Florida, of course... and more ITYS for Gene ;-)

Eugene Leitl Eugene.Leitl@lrz.uni-muenchen.de
Thu, 18 Oct 2001 11:52:21 +0200 (MET DST)


On Wed, 17 Oct 2001, Jeff Bone wrote:

> PS - Gene:  I told you so, told you so, told you so, told you so...
> ;-) :-) :-)  About a month ago, Gene said:

Hah! Your kung-fu is weak in face of my Death Star planet-destruction
beam, Frodo!

> "Low tech is not going to hurt, with overwhelming probability. This
> relates to both obtaining starter pathogens, modifying them,
> culturing them, packaging them, quality-testing them, and deploying
> them. This is a long chain, requiring considerable resources, leaving
> trails in physical and logical space. All links have to be good in
> order for it to kill lots of people...  If you don't aerosol that
> stuff, covertly, in presence of many people, you're not going to make
> a splash."

What is wrong with this statement? Nothing. Sending badly prepared
non-weapon strain anthrax in mail letters has killed how many people so
far? 1, 2? Negligable. I would start worrying when you'd add two or three
zeros.

> How about we double down on this one, Gene?  I'm willing to bet we
> ultimately discover that this anthrax was produced by fairly
> low-skilled (i.e., undergrad-level education) Islamic extremists from

Low-skilled yes. Islamic extremists, possibly, but the links are tenuous
still.

> cultures found in abandoned Russian biowar facilities the CIS
> (probably Uzbekistan) and subsequently provided to US-based Al Qaeda
> operatives for distribution.  One interesting similarity between 9-11

No, this is not weapon grade strain. The one we have can be traced back to
an US veterinary institute. I'm not sure how many strains are cruising
around and how many groups are operating, but so far we don't have any
evidence that Biopreparat strains are being used.

> and the anthrax attacks:  both use interesting delivery mechanisms,
> in the first case turning airliners into missiles and in the second
> using the mail as a (possibly mass) biowar delivery vehicle.  Both

Don't be silly. Sending anthrax via mail is nothing but a shenanigan. The
kill efficiency per gram of agent is ridiculous.

> have multiple effects:  the first-order shock, horror, and costs,
> plus follow-on fear and disruption of existing systems
> (transportation, logistics;  governmental and military systems,
> media, tying up healthcare, disrupting financial markets) leading to
> continuing financial impact.  This whole operation (if indeed 9-11
> and the anthrax attacks are part of a single coordinated operation)
> is *extremely* well thought-out strategically.  It might be prudent
> for us to consider what other innocuous systems and mechanisms could
> be subverted to wage a terror war against the US.  Top of my
> things-to-watch list:  food distribution, particularly dairy and
> meat.

Dunno, this whole anthrax thing looks so far like a lot of people finding
nothing better to do than chasing their tails. Yawn.

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://www.lrz.de/~ui22204/">leitl</a>
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