Bioterrorism and Biological Warfare

This important, disturbing and timely book focuses on on the use of disease and germs as a weapon of mass destruction (WMD) and the threat bioterrorism poses in an increasingly unpredictable and volatile future for the world. For context it traces developments from the earliest primitive but effective days of infectious rams, poison-tipped arrows and plague-infected corpses used as toxic, disease-spreading projectiles, to the twenty-first-century industrial scale weaponization of biomedicine. Paul Chrystal shows how biological weapons and acts of bioterrorism are especially effective at instilling terror, panic, death, famine and economic ruin on a large scale, shredding public confidence in governments and civilization itself. For the disaffected, lethal biological agents are comparatively easy to manufacture and obtain, and they have the benefit of being almost invisible and easy and quick to administer in lethal quantities through a variety of discreet delivery systems. Just what the terrorist wants. We explore the sinister connection between the industrial-scale proliferation of biological weaponry by state actors and the greater opportunities these growing bio-arsenals give to the increasingly scientific-minded and determined terrorist to manufacture his or her weapon of choice, taking advantage also of the state of the art sophisticated delivery systems. The epilogue analyses the concerted but groundless 2022-2023 disinformation campaign conducted by Russia, with support from China, relating to the claim that public health facilities in Ukraine are ‘secret U.S.-funded biolabs’, purportedly developing biological weapons.

“I found this a very interesting – if disconcerting – book. If I wasn’t worried enough about the state of humanity by watching the daily news, I certainly am now.” –  Linne Matthews, Editor