Threats from new terrorist groups and extremist sects are becoming increasingly common, according to a United States bioterrorism expert.
These groups are constantly evolving, which means that the U.S. and its allies must stay one step ahead of its enemies.
Bioterrorism is one of the evolving threats. Daniel Gerstein, who is part of the nonpartisan, nonprofit RAND Corporation, recently commented on such threats.
“Advances in biotechnology have brought a wide range of benefits in health and medical research, food and agriculture — even manufacturing,” he said. “At the same time, biotechnology is also advancing on a darker side, as biological weapons are now within the reach of many rogue nations and possibly some terrorist groups.”
Over the past 40 years, the Biological Weapons Convention has served as the leader to protect against bioterrorism-related weaponry. In 2016, the Eighth Review Conference will be convened to give the U.S. a chance to provide new leadership.
“Since 2001, when the anthrax attacks brought the threat of biological terrorism to the headlines with the delivery of mail containing the deadly white powder, attention to the threat posed by biological weapons has tended to drift away from concerns about the deliberate use of biological pathogens and toward public health efforts directed mostly at naturally occurring disease threats — such as pandemic influenza H1N1, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Ebola,” Gerstein said.
He elaborated that the same tools to combat Ebola might not be useful against a biological attack.