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SITE Publications
A Manual Instructing in the Use of Plague as a Biological Weapon
By SITE Institute
January 24, 2006

A manual posted to a jihadist forum provides instructions for the cultivation and use of three strains of plague - bubonic, septicemic, and pneumonic - from the Yersinia Pestis microbe, as a biological weapon. The document refers to myriad sources for its foundation, including ?Tawhid? magazine, a ?book on microbiology by an Arab scholar,? Internet publications, and ?Microbiology? textbook by Pelczar, Reid and Chan, and discusses not only the methods of preparing and storing the microbe, either in agar or mice, and security precaution to be undertaken, but the devastation caused by the release of even one gram of the microbe. The author cites a report from 1970 by the World Health Organization that ?dropping aerosol composed of 50 kilograms of dried powder containing 106 [units] of this microbe over a city with 5 million inhabitants in a financially developed region, such as the United States, might lead to 150,000 cases of diseases and 36,000 casualties?.

Reasoning for developing such a manual for the Yersinia Pestis microbe is based upon the author?s view of the ?relative easiness of getting hold of it and because of the possibility of using it in the form of aerosol. Thereby, it can easily be spread in the air and strike an innumerable number of people with lethal pneumonic plague?. To this end, the manual also describes other means of transmission, including main water lines and food, and that its diffusion through the air may be from the explosion of a bomb, crop spraying device, any vehicle traveling through the city, and small bombs or boxes ?left in crowded areas such as metros, underground passages, closed sport areas or recreation centers (preferably in places with central air-conditioning).?

A summary of the manual and a translation of selected excerpts are provided to our Intel Service members.

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