FBI says not to discount agroterrorism

An expert on weapons of mass destruction for the Federal Bureau of Investigation recently said that, although the food sector is not a likely target for terrorists, gaining access to the food supply would be relatively simple.

John Frank, the WMD coordinator for the FBI mobile field office in Kansas, said that agroterrorism is a threat not usually considered when people think of conventional terrorism, according to Examiner.com.

“Agroterrorism is a very big topic because if you think about the (agricultural) industry it covers a huge span of things,” Frank said, Examiner.com reports. “It’s not just about animals; it’s not just about crops. It’s much bigger than that.”

Frank, who spoke at a town hall meeting in Healy, Kansas, is one of 56 WMD coordinators across the country. He is the FBI’s contact point in his district regarding any investigation of WMD incidents.

“Whether state or local agencies, even the private sector, we get involved with special events such as the Super Bowl or Mardi Gras,” Frank said, according to Examiner.com. “Anything you can think of–there’s a good chance the FBI will have a presence there.”

Frank said that overseas terrorists are generally not thought of as preparing to engage in agroterrorism, but evidence suggests otherwise.

“It is accepted within certain terrorist organizations in their mindsets,” Frank said, Examiner.com reports. “In 2002, Operation Enduring Freedom recovered a lot of documents overseas that showed their interest in using toxins and biological agents not only against humans, but against animals and crops and food supplies. They have the interest and the desire to do it and they know what they’re talking about.”

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