Can terrorists spread Ebola?

A lot has been made of the hate and vitriol that the terrorist group ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State have for everyone (but themselves). They’ve been on a murderous rampage in parts of Syria and Iraq with ongoing dreams of spreading their brand of violent Islamic terrorism across the world either by export or by radicalizing natives in those countries. So what happens when you combine the scrounge of ISIS with the other big danger being covered in the news (Ebola)? Of course there is a convergence and we end up with reports that the Islamic State is looking to somehow use Ebola as a bio-terrorism weapon in the United States. They are not likely to get access to a weaponized version of Ebola which, if it ever existed, would have been limited to the Soviet Union and maybe other military powers during the cold war.

Could they take a large amount of infected (body) fluid and somehow get it on people? Sure but that would be very cumbersome and any such hypothetical attack would have a small footprint. Terrorists could figure out a way to either smuggle or through international travel, get Ebola infected comrades into the United States or Europe. Once there these infected jihadis could try to spread the disease from person to person by physical contact. This is hard as once in the stage where Ebola is alive in the carrier and spreadable, the disease will be ravaging the human carrier and assuming it is not aerosolized, would be hard to spread. The most likely victims would have been medical personnel but one can assume that they are now on guard for Ebola cases in general. But none of these details prevent terrorists from talking about it in Internet chat rooms (sic).

Could ISIS/ISIL terrorists spread Ebola to the United States?

Could ISIS/ISIL terrorists spread Ebola to the United States?

According to Spain’s RTVE public broadcasting corporation, the interior ministry number two said there had been “many examples” of threats to use the Ebola virus and other toxins in a new form of terrorism offensive against the West, referring specifically to three recent cases.

Most recently there was the “jihadist chat room” conversation discovered in mid-September in which “the use of Ebola as a poisonous weapon against the United States” was discussed in a forum Martínez described as “linked to Isis”.

The security chief also mentioned a series of tweets from July in which, he said, the terrorist organization Ansar al-Islam was shown to be considering the use of “deadly chemical products from laboratories”. (The Local)



Ebola bioterrorism hoax

The Ebola disease and bioterrorism are both serious topics. Ebola is wrecking havoc and Liberia, Sierra Leone and other West African nations with cases now being reported across the world as people travel in and out of the affected areas. Bioterrorism threats from terrorist groups is not considered to be very high on the probability scale due to the sophisticated planning and technology that may be needed but it is a very scary scenario. The consistent (initial slow) spread of Ebola and the breakdown of global medical organizations (WHO) to take necessary actions early on to stem this disease, has lead to a lot of speculation and rumors about Ebola. A scary thought for the most rational of people, and easy fodder for those that do not trust the alleged (government) perpetrators.

Ebola conspiracy theories and rumours abound, including those of bioterrorism

Ebola conspiracy theories and rumors abound, including those of bioterrorism

“Another conspiracy theory, which is doing the rounds in the United States, is that the whole Ebola scare is a CDC cover-up over its MMR vaccine, which causes autism…

Spreading the seeds of mistrust, Daily Observer, a major Liberian newspaper, carried an article by a Liberian born faculty member of a US university, implying that the Ebola epidemic is the result of bioterrorism experiments, conducted by the United States Department of Defense.”