March 27, 2014

U.S. Government Official Stresses Danger, Severity Of Emerging Biological Threats

Print More


Andrew Weber, assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, said there are numerous emerging biological threats worldwide due to the easy accessibility of materials involved in the production of biological weapons during a lecture Thursday.

“Today, there is a lack of need for infrastructure that only a nation state would have,” he said. “[Ingredients are] available at Home Depot.”

With regard to terrorist groups, Weber said he was concerned that al-Quaida has asked for brothers with degrees in microbiology or chemistry to develop weapons of mass destruction. He also said he was concerned about the location the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo produced their biological weapons used in the Tokyo Metro attack in 1995, where cult members punctured packets of the neurotoxin sarin on the Tokyo subway system, leading to hundreds of injuries and lasting medical conditions.