I've written about bio-chemical terrorism before, from past incidents to its likely future ("Toxic Terror Tick-Tock"). Looks like some of that may be coming true already.
LGF has a link to a disturbing Reuters report. An Egyptian sailor was in Brazil, where he would join his ship as it traveled to Canada. He opened the suitcase he was carrying in his hotel room, says the report... and now he's dead from anthrax. Apparently, several hotel emplyees who found him in that room also became ill with symptoms.
"A spokesman for Brazilian federal police in the Amazon state of Para said on Monday an autopsy of the Egyptian man, whom he named as Ibrahim Saved Soliman Ibrahim, showed that he had died after vomiting, internal bleeding and multiple organ failure.Initial Canadian reports concerning the now-quarrantined aluminum ore carrier were saying the sailor died on board ship, but subsequent articles now concur that he died in Brazil.
"He was the victim of anthrax," said Fernando Sergio Castro, adding that police were 90 percent certain that Ibrahim had died of anthrax."
Even so, 90% isn't 100% yet. There will undoubtedly be more information to come. Still, this is at the very least least highly suggestive. It's exactly how you'd do it, if you wanted to slip bioweapons into the United States. Here's the sequence...
- Material made wherever and by whomever, at a secure location. Doesn't matter.
- Anthrax smuggled to Brazil, or possibly even transported within Brazil if made there.
- Sailor travels to Brazil, "clean" so no suspicion (this conflicts with the official story, but see my follow-up post).
- Sailor met and given anthrax suitcase. He's just a "courier," with no exact knowledge of what he carries. Note that southern Brazil's "Iguazu" region near Argentina and Paraguay is known as a haven for Islamist terrorists.
- Sailor boards ship in Brazil for transit to Canada, an origination point unlikely to arouse suspicion.
- Sailor gets to Canada and hands it off to designated contact.
- Contact carries it across a very long, undefended border where smuggling is common and controls are few.
- Anthrax moved to destination point, all in one batch or after being split up at a desingated point in Canada or the USA.
- Terrorist attack or attacks conducted. Here is some solid background on anthrax as a weapon.
"That Alcan plant where this ship was headed is maybe an hour northeast of Montreal... South of Ottawa the population is fairly sparse on both the Canadian and US sides of the international border, so it would be a desirable crossing point, assuming that the eventual target is somewhere in the northeast of the United States."In fact, just south of Montreal is the Akwesasne Indian Reservation, frequently used as a smuggling zone because it stretches across the border. If the courier hadn't gotten curious and decided to enjoy some of the white powder for himself, I'd give pretty good odds that this would have gone off successfully.
The data in this case is particularly alarming given my notes in "Toxic Terror Tick-Tock" about the live tests conducted by American scientists in 1966, tests that demonstrated the risks from a weaponized anthrax attack in New York's subway system.
We haven't heard the last of this incident - or this issue.
UPDATE: No, we haven't. I've got some questions about the official account.