Biological Attacks and the Non-State Actor: A Threat Assessment

Christian Enemark

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1 Citation (SciVal)


In a climate of political concern about the deliberate dissemination of pathogenic micro-organisms, this article assesses the nature and scope of the threat to national security posed by actors other than states. Key factors include the motivations and disincentives for carrying out a biological attack and the technical challenges likely to be encountered by a non-state organization that decides to use disease as its weapon of choice. The assessment concludes that non-state organizations do not at present pose a great threat, that biological attacks should generally not be regarded as a ‘WMD’ issue, but also that the conduct of individual scientists engaged in pathogen research warrants careful monitoring.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-930
Number of pages20
JournalIntelligence and National Security
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2006


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