FBI working to establish ties with scientific community

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is working to establish closer ties with the scientific community in order to enhance its ability to seek out potential bioterrorists.

The FBI has been building a system they can use to determine the legitimacy of those trying to obtain dangerous biological agents. It depends critically on their assessment of those agents and their potential uses. A constant, open dialogue with the scientific community is believed to be essential to help track terrorists, according to CDispatch.com.

"We have to enhance bioterrorism outreach with academia, industry and the scientific community," FBI Policy and Program Analyst William So said, CDispatch.com reports.

So spoke recently at a  biosecurity workshop at Mississippi State University.

"We're not a regulatory agency; we're not a compliance agency. But we need to strengthen the relationships with the scientific community,” So said, according to CDispatch.com. “New medicine and technologies, we need to develop that partnership. How can the FBI support you to make sure the threat isn't coming near you? And at the same time you guys advise us on what new technology is coming so we know what to look for.”

The FBI is not necessarily looking for an airborne pathogen that could infect millions immediately, but is trying to cover a wide range of threats, including potential accidents.

"We're concerned about the health and welfare of our people, animals, wildlife and crops," Patricia Cox, a biological safety officer at MSU, said, CDispatch.com reports. "We monitor anything that might have a deleterious effect on that.