March 20, 2007
Interpol's top official said Monday that evidence collected from terrorists suggests that international law enforcement agencies should be ready to respond to chemical and biological attacks. Training materials recovered from Al Qaida investigations and information from captured operatives suggest that terrorist groups have had plans to launch bioterrorist attacks. Terrorists in Iraq recently perpetrated three chlorine bomb attacks, and "it is not difficult to imagine these attacks being extended from chemical to biological." The only restraint the terrorists face is the technical complexity of launching effective attacks. In January, British intelligence officials warned the country's laboratory officials that Islamic terrorists may try to steal deadly viruses to mount biological attacks. Labs that handle infectious disease pathogens such as polio, rabies, tuberculosis, and avian flu were told that their security measures would be reviewed by law enforcement. Britain's MI5 security service had warned government officials that al Qaida operatives were training in bioterrorism and that the group had apparently tried to recruit university students to gain access to labs.