One of the biggest fears of intelligence organizations has been the Islamic State group making chemical or biological weapons to use in mass casualty terror attacks in Europe or the United States.
Scientists are now trying to create a vaccine against pneumonic plague out of fears that the Islamic State group is seeking to engineer a version of the disease that would be immune to modern antibiotics, the U.K. Daily Mail reported.
“Terrorists can easily grow the bacteria and make the strains resistant to antibiotics,” explained Dr. Ashok Chopra, who works at the University of Texas as a microbiologist and immunologist.
“The pneumonic plague is very contagious and very hard to treat. It could kill millions,” added Chopra, whose research was being backed by the Department of Defense.
There are three types of plague: pneumonic, bubonic, and septicemic, all of which have the potential to wipe out large chunks of the world’s population if engineered in the correct fashion.
All three plagues are caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, commonly referred to as y-pestis.
The fears of the Islamic State group weaponizing a disease are not only in the mind of people who war-game these scenarios. The U.K. Independent noted that a laptop seized from the Islamic State in 2014 contained documents regarding how to weaponize bubonic plague.
Haaretz noted that in 2015, the European Parliament was briefed on the possibility that the Islamic State could be looking to carry out a biological or chemical attack in Europe or America. The terror organization has the resources and the know-how to carry out such an attack.
These sorts of attacks, or even the possibility that they should occur, should frighten all of us. While a bombing or shooting could kill dozens, even a moderate chemical attack could kill hundreds or thousands, and sicken many more.
President-elect Donald Trump must take action quickly to eradicate this terror group before it can carry out such a horrific attack.
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