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ANTHRAX: Cabunclo, carbunco, cabunculo

I wrote: Experts say that smallpox, which is highly infectious, is far more dangerous as a biological weapon than anthrax". Katharine Skillern of the Division of Infectious Disease and Geographic Medicine of Stanford Medical School comments:

"However, smallpox may be more difficult to "weaponize" than anthrax. The advantage of anthrax for terrorists is that it forms infectious spores which can withstand heat, acid, etc. It may be difficult to come up with ways to deliver smallpox as a weapon, since it is more a more fragile organism. It would certainly take more research, knowledge about the biology of smallpox, and ingenuity. Another problem is that working with a highly contagious organism like smallpox increases the likelihood that the terrorists will infect themselves and their countrymen and have the whole scheme backfire on them.

One question I have about all this talk of bioterrorism is: how much infrastructure do these people have access to? It takes buildings, equipment, expertise, and organization (not to mention money) in order to develop and mass-produce biological weapons. It's not exactly something a few people could do in their basements and backyards to any large extent. Whoever is sending anthrax to people in the mail probably got it (if indirectly) from one of the governments whose policy it is to develop biological agents as weapons".

My comment: See Tim Brown's piece on the structure of terrorist groups.

Ronald Hilton - 10/15/01