Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ricin: An Unlikely Weapon of Mass Destruction | Stratfor

Excellent work.

Ricin: An Unlikely Weapon of Mass Destruction | Stratfor: "Infectious diseases are even harder to culture and distribute in a mass attack. With many diseases, their slow progress makes them better incapacitants and disruptors than true weapons of mass destruction. To a great degree this is why, despite some tests by various nonstate militant groups, few biological attacks have been attempted.

In addition, the money, resources and effort that go into a biological program can be more cost-effectively spent on training and supplying fighters with conventional weapons. The train bombings in Madrid and London, as compared with the attempted sarin attack by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Tokyo, clearly demonstrate that conventional explosives have been more effective than homemade biological or chemical agents.

This is not to say that militants will stop trying to develop and experiment with biological agents. From a purely psychological perspective, these agents can have a significant impact, not to mention they can be quite effective as a tool of assassination and disruption. But to deploy a true biological weapon of mass destruction takes the resources of a state. Militant groups, given their limited resources and personnel, and often their space and time constraints, are more likely to focus on improving upon the tactics they already know."

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