India could face threat of biological warfare

A recent biological weapons report found a plausible threat of bioweapons being used against India by non-state actors.

"The BioWeapons Monitor 2012," a report released as part of the BioWeapons Prevention Project, determined that while the chances of state actors using bioweapons against India are slight, there is a definite threat from non-state actors, reports.

India has yet to face a bioterrorism incident, though it has dealt with intermittent bioweapon-related scares and blackmail. In 2001, fake anthrax letters were sent to government offices and elsewhere in India after the real anthrax attacks in the United States.

An October 2010 threat letter sent from Indian Mujahideen, an unknown terrorist group, threatened that the group would start a biological war in the northeast state of Assam as part of a blackmail scheme.

Non-state actors such as the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayiba and other Kashmir-related groups might be the most likely actors in bioterrorism schemes. The group includes trained medical professionals and a robust medical and path lab network in Pakistan.

During the 2010 Commonwealth Games, India's National Disaster Response Force was deployed with nerve-gas antidotes, anthrax prophylaxis, chemical agent monitors, residual vapor detectors, water poisoning detector kits and three-color detector papers to stop any biological and chemical incidents at the New Delhi venues, reports.