| by Alex Newhouse

It’s been known for years that Islamist terrorist groups have been interested in weapons of mass destruction, and - as our colleagues at CNS have discussed - ISIS has occasionally deployed chemical agents in battles in Syria. But what about bioterrorism, a risk that was highlighted by CNS back in 2001? In this mid-pandemic world, the weaponization of biological agents by terrorist organizations seems more real, and more frightening, than ever before. 

In a new publication, CTEC expert and MIIS professor Jeffrey M. Bale, Johns Hopkins’ Noreen Hynes, and Thomas Reidy take on the possibility of Islamist terrorists using living humans to spread dangerous diseases. Bale et al. show that this type of attack has a low probability, but the tradeoff is that its potential impact could be devastating, and so international governments should take it seriously and mitigate the risk to the extent that they can.

The report in its entirety can be found here.