January 20, 2009
When al Qaeda Germ Warfare Goes Terribly Right
A followup on yesterday's report claiming that 40 al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)terrorist had been killed by the plague. In the comments a lot of people were speculating that this was somehow a "tragic" accident, perhaps related to AQIM experimenting with the plague as a WMD.
I had two responses: First, the source of the report was a British tabloid, hence take it with a grain of salt. Second, most people are unaware that the plague is actually fairly common around the world today.
I'll have to give the hat tip to Norseman for recommending Alex Berenson's Faithful Spy, the plot of which revolved around al Qaeda trying to weaponize the plague. The source of the seed germs? Africa. So, it's not like the plague isn't native to the continent.
But this morning I woke up to several e-mails pointing to a Washington Times report which claims that the dead AQIM were in fact killed in a "work related accident".
An al Qaeda affiliate in Algeria closed a base earlier this month after an experiment with unconventional weapons went awry, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Monday. ...If the report pans out then let me be the first to suggest that maybe we should give al Qaeda WMD. Save us all a whole lot of trouble.
He said authorities in the first week of January intercepted an urgent communication between the leadership of al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda's leadership in the tribal region of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. The communication suggested that an area sealed to prevent leakage of a biological or chemical substance had been breached, according to the official.
"We don't know if this is biological or chemical," the official said.