. 2
( 61 .)


Strengthening Confidence 213
Disarming Soviet Bioweapons Stockpiles 215
Two Issues for Removal 219
Protecting the Free Trade in Bioscience 220
A Global BWC Organization 221

9 The Challenge of Global Governance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Governance Mission: The Global Covenant 222
Governance Agencies 226
The United Nations Commission on Bioscience and
Security (Commission) 228
Promote Bioscience Research 228
De¬ne Standards for Bioscience 230
Promote Capacity Building and Resource Mobilization 231
The Bioviolence Prevention Office (Office) 233
Information Gathering and Analysis 234
Impelling Implementation 235

United Nations Bioviolence Committee (Security Council
Committee) 238
Predecessors 239
A New Inspectorate 240
A Final Note on Governance 241

Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242

Notes 247
Bibliography 285
Index 355

As this book is written, civil war and insurgency in¬‚ame Iraq; Palestini-
ans and Israelis unrelentingly clash; and genocide perpetuates in Darfur.
With time, other and perhaps worse con¬‚icts will come to the fore. Even-
tually, some combatant or fanatic will choose to raise the stakes by using
a weapon that altogether multiplies casualties. Just as planes ¬‚ying into
towers on 9/11 instantly became an historical marker dividing strategic
perspectives before from after, that day will herald the onslaught of dis-
ease as an instrument of malevolence, profoundly changing everything.
Today, leaders proclaim that they are doing everything possible to meet
this threat. Following a truly catastrophic act of bioviolence, they will likely
tell the public that they had no idea where, when, or how a bioattack would
occur “ if they had known, they would of course have dedicated all their
prodigious powers to thwart it. And the evil perpetrators of this horrible
crime surely will be caught and punished.
These proclamations are disingenuous and these avowals will be half-
truths, deluding all of us about where security may be found and how to get
there “ not so much a deliberate lie but a mirage grounded on little more
than a wish and a prayer. The more complete truth is that little is being
done to prevent bioviolence; if catastrophe occurs, leaders must be held
responsible for willful disregard of the well-being of countless victims who
entrust them to prevent unspeakable horrors. There is no way to know
where, when, or how a bioattack will occur, but much can be learned if
we gather information more effectively. A promise to hold the attackers
to account is a small gesture: most likely they will be dead or very hard
to ¬nd; in any event, punishing them will scarcely compensate for the
massive injuries in¬‚icted.
This book is in small part an indictment, in larger part a policy map.
More broadly, it is a discussion of how international law should cope with


the planetary implications of advancing bioscience. It is born of seven years
of traversing ¬ve continents and participating in hundreds of workshops,
meetings, and brie¬ngs with of¬cials of governments and international
organizations, scientists, diplomats, and advocates of peace and develop-
ment. Emerging from this experience is a strong belief that humanity is
more vulnerable than it should be and that the dangers are speedily and
unnecessarily accelerating.
The central reality of bioviolence is that it is an immense threat, but a
massive catastrophe has not yet happened. Few informed policy makers
are sanguine about this threat, but it is at the periphery of their vision,
superseded by more urgent crises. Without a bioattack that reveals the
failure of current policies, support for progressive initiatives is dif¬cult to
rouse. Truth is, we are likely to take appropriate steps to prevent a second
bioattack, but we seem fated to suffer the wounds of one disease disaster
before this conjectural threat becomes real enough to embrace complex
policies. Frustrating as this realization might be, it exposes the dilemma
of how to make tough choices in uncharted policy arenas at the frontiers
of science and law.
Ultimately, placing blame would be pointless. It is important to know
why decisions have been unwise, and readers are entitled to be discour-
aged by our leaders™ disarray in addressing bioviolence. Yet, the analytical
challenges associated with preventing bioviolence are dif¬cult to resolve.
The threat is a multifaceted phenomenon; each facet re¬‚ects angles and
depths that intersect with ever more far-reaching implications. At the heart
of this dif¬culty is how to grapple with a problem that necessarily demands
humanity-wide cooperation in the context of fragmented and anarchic
political systems.
A pervasive question is whether the sweeping changes called for in
this book are “worth it.” Does the level of risk justify the cost of glob-
ally implementing expensive intrusions into scienti¬c freedom, national
sovereignty, and personal privacy? Many policies must be pursued with
potentially adverse rami¬cations for professional and scienti¬c commu-
nities that are key to addressing bioviolence. And underlying this question
is the wish that anxiety about bioviolence turns out to be a false alarm “
hopefully much ado about something that never occurs.
What is certain is that trend lines are pointing the wrong way. Techno-
logical progress increasingly enables a mere handful of maniacs to commit
a monstrous level of violence. Until recently, only a powerful nation-state
could threaten such devastation. Whatever their motives “ greed, distorted
sense of political grievance, nihilism “ a nano-fraction of humanity can

now in¬‚ict a species-wide catastrophe that breaches the progression of
history. At the beginning of the third millennium, bioviolence scenarios
that crack the foundations of modern civilization™s stability are the most
likely deliberate threat to humanity™s survival and progress.
How these risks should be measured, what they justify in terms of
commitment of resources and insistence on change “ these are questions
that deserve serious discussion. Currently, that discussion is impaired by
inadequate systematic analyses of relevant issues. Absent breadth of per-
spective, threats of bioviolence are met with planetary silence. This book
is a refusal to perpetuate that silence.
We can make the world a lot safer, save some children from dying
whether by hand of nature or man, and, most intriguing, we can appreciate
the role of law in shaping human affairs at this time.

Barry Kellman
Chicago, USA
Ronald K. Noble
Secretary General, Interpol

Throughout the centuries, diseases unleashed by nature have savaged
humankind on a horri¬c scale, in¬‚icting wide-scale death, as well as social,
political, and economic upheaval. In the 20th Century alone, more people
died of smallpox (over three hundred million) than in both world wars com-
bined, and an in¬‚uenza epidemic claimed over forty million lives. Even
a disease that af¬‚icts only animals can have devastating consequences.
The outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom in 2001
took months to control, required the slaughter of millions of animals, and
caused billions of dollars in losses.
These are the risks posed by nature. Now, added to these risks, we face
the threat of bioterrorism.
We know from recent events that terrorists remain committed to perpe-
trating large-scale violence. And we also know that there is much evidence
that terrorists have a strong interest in the use of biological weapons and
are planning to use them. The eleventh volume of Al Qaeda™s Encyclopedia
of Jihad is devoted to chemical and biological weapons. Captured terrorist
suspects have admitted that their organizations are plotting potential bio-
logical attacks. Authorities have seized documents, computer hard drives,
and terrorist training materials that discuss the acquisition, production,
and use of bioweapons.
We also know that, as biotechnology industries continue to expand
throughout the world, new pathogens and pathogen-making technologies
are rapidly proliferating, increasing the risk that terrorists could get their
hands on deadly pathogens or on the means of producing them. And many
experts believe that advances in biotechnology could produce genetically
engineered pathogens more lethal than any currently known to man.
There are many ways for terrorists to obtain deadly pathogens. They
can buy or steal them from universities, research labs, pharmaceutical


companies, military stockpiles, or commercial supply houses; acquire
them from “friendly states” or other sympathizers; buy them on the black
market; or produce the agents on their own.
It is also becoming ever more possible for terrorists to themselves pro-
duce the pathogens, as the volume and sophistication of the necessary
information becomes increasingly accessible through publications, the
internet, and other sources.
Once terrorists get their hands on the pathogens, they can all too eas-
ily determine how to use them in a biological attack. The information
and materials for creating biological weapons “ both crude and sophisti-
cated “ are publicly available. They could even cause a so-called “martyr”
to become infected and act as a suicide bioweapon. Or they could simply
adopt the approach used by the anthrax terrorists in 2001 in the United
States, who disrupted the world™s economy by targeting and murdering
nearly ten U.S. citizens merely by placing powder laced with anthrax in
envelopes mailed to just a handful of people.
In my view, Al Qaeda™s global network, its proven capabilities, its deadly
history, its desire to do the unthinkable, and the evidence collected about
its bioterrorist ambitions and plans ominously portend a clear and present
danger of the highest order that Al Qaeda (or another terrorist group) will
someday perpetrate a biological terrorist attack.
As was made clear in a letter dated December 1, 2003, addressed to
the president of the United Nations Security Council from the chairman
of the United Nations Security Council Committee established pursuant
to Resolution 1267 concerning Al Qaeda and the Taliban and associated
individuals and entities, “Undoubtedly Al Qaeda is still considering the use
of chemical or biological weapons to perpetrate its terrorist actions. When
might this happen? Nobody really knows. It is just a matter of time before
the terrorists believe they are ready. They have already taken the decision
to use such chemical and biological weapons in their forthcoming attacks.
The only restraint they are facing is the technical complexity of operating
them properly and effectively.”
To be sure, there are some technical and other obstacles involved in
obtaining pathogens and effectively deploying them on a mass scale in the
real world, but as we learned on September 11, 2001, where there™s a will
there™s a way.
Now, I realize that my statement that the bioterrorist threat is real goes
against the natural human tendency to operate under the assumption that
terrorists will not use biological weapons in the future on a large scale be-
cause they have not done so in the past. But this assumption is dangerous.

Some would prefer not to think about the possibility of such deadly
terrorist acts. Yet, we cannot avoid the danger by ignoring it. Both the
assumption that it won™t happen because it hasn™t happened and the ten-
dency to want to avoid a danger by not thinking about it are irresponsible.
Moreover, whatever the history, the current threat is real. Indeed, no
one ever crashed commercial airplanes into buildings before Septem-
ber 11, 2001, and, yet, as we learned, that threat was nevertheless all too
Given the magnitude of the harm that would be caused by a bioterrorist
attack “ hundreds, thousands, and even millions of deaths are possible “
it is clear to me that this alone mandates that we take this threat seriously.
Even if hundreds or thousands do not die, the panic and the social and
economic upheaval that could follow such an attack represent another
set of reasons why we should take this threat seriously. Unfortunately,
however, the world is not taking this threat seriously, and this represents a
very grave situation.
There is a lack of awareness and understanding of the threat, lack of the
required specialized training, lack of required specialized resources, lack
of the required legal and regulatory framework, and lack of the required
coordination mechanisms for the most effective prevention and response.
Because governments and their law enforcement agencies have lim-
ited experience dealing with bioterrorism, it remains a remote and esoteric
topic understood by few of¬cials, given little attention by policy makers,
and perceived by the political leadership as having little domestic impact.
Political support and funding for security programs tend to be oriented
toward the traditional and concrete areas of crime that affect citizens on
a daily basis, such as robbery, rape, murder, and so on. There is a natural
tendency for governments to neglect threats of future harm in favor of the
seemingly more pressing matters of the day with which they are more com-
fortable in dealing, but this is putting the world™s citizens at great risk. The
world must start paying much more attention to the threat of bioterrorism.
Pretending that this threat does not exist is a recipe for disaster.


Meeting the threat of bioterrorism requires capabilities in the following
four areas: 1) threat assessment, 2) attack prevention, 3) attack detection,
and 4) attack response (mitigating the damage, apprehending the perpe-
trators, and gaining knowledge and expertise to enhance future capabili-
ties in these four areas).

Threat assessment is required to shape and guide the other three areas.
Attack prevention includes tactical intelligence, interdiction, disruption,
facilities protection, pathogen control, etc. Attack detection means being
able to detect a biological attack as early as possible (many pathogens
have incubation periods ranging up to a week or more before symptoms
appear, and even then it can take time to realize that they are the product
of an attack). Early detection is critical to save the injured, contain the dis-
ease, and apprehend the perpetrators before they can attack again. Attack
response includes medical services, containment, security, environmen-
tal remediation, investigation, apprehension, intelligence gathering, and
To accomplish these things, the relevant constituencies must develop
or acquire the requisite skilled personnel, tools, and equipment. They must
also establish and implement protocols and procedures to share infor-
mation and cooperate in prevention and detection efforts, to mobilize
response resources in the event of an attack, and to coordinate all of these
efforts and resources (within and across functions, agencies, levels of gov-
ernment, and internationally).
Written plans should be created covering the conceivable potentialities


. 2
( 61 .)