EU prepares for threat of bio-terrorism

The European Commission will discuss
precautionary measures to deal with the threat of biological
warefare against EU Member States on Thursday, 11 October. The
US and European nations are stepping up measures to counter
bio-terrorism amidst intelligence warnings that terrorists may
be preparing to use biochemical weapons in further
attacks.

The spokesperson of the EU Environment Commissioner Margot
Wallström said that the Commission may be willing to
“look at resources” to counter possible usage of biological
warfare.

The United Nations has warned that
terrorists could deliberately spread animal diseases
throughout the Western countries in order to devastate
their agricultures. Such attacks could do lasting damage to
the economies of the Western countries.

 

Suleiman Abu Gheith, spokesman for Osama bin Laden's
Al-Qaida terrorist organisation, has threatened the US with
further attacks in a videotaped statement.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation
has warned that terrorists could easily introduce animal
diseases such as foot-and-mouth, African swine fever and
classical swine fever into a country. The FAO has warned
that authorities have to prepare to reduce risks of
"agri-terrorism".

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has
said that countries need to strengthen their capacity to
respond to the consequences of the use of biological or
chemical agents as weapons. The WHO has called for "proper
surveillance and a quick coordinated response" against the
use of agents such as anthrax or smallpox.

The German government has decided to set
up a federal information office on biological warfare. The
Netherlands is probing its food chain in order to detect
any vulnerabilities to attacks using biochemical agents.
Britain and Italy have also taken measures to deal with
risks of this nature.

German pharmaceutical company Bayer has
announced that it will increase production of its
anti-anthrax drug Cipro following reports of an anthrax
outbreak in Florida.

 

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