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SITE Publications
Preparation of Botulism Toxin
By SITE Institute
January 11, 2005

A comprehensive manual for the preparation and weaponization of botulism toxin was recently circulated via Jihadist email groups, including through an al-Qaeda mouthpiece. (Botulism toxin is produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and causes botulism, a serious and often deadly paralytic illness.)

The 28-page manual, entitled ?Preparation of Botulism Toxin? and written primarily in English (though with some supplemental and explanatory material in Arabic), is divided into the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • List of Equipment Needed (interrupted on page 2 by a section entirely in Arabic providing an overview of the manual and its subject)
  • List of Reagents
  • A section entirely in Arabic listing important precautions
  • General Notices (including a 15-point list of ?Some Characters (sic) of the Toxin?)
  • Chapter 1 - Searching for the Bacteria (Clostridium Botulinum) type A or B and there (sic) Isolation (including sections on Procedures, Preparation of Media, and Isolation of Pure Culture)
  • Chapter 2 - Ideal Requirements for the Production of the Toxin (including sections on Medium Composition, Temperature, PH Concentration, and Inoculation and Toxin Production)
  • Chapter 3 - Isolation of the Toxin and Its Purification (including sections Cell Fractionation (Bead Mill Homogenization Procedures, Enzymatic Lysis), First-Step Purification by Ammonium Sulphate Precipitation, and Second-Step Purification Using Ammonium Sulphate Precipitation at the Isoelectric Point)
  • Chapter 4 - Assay of the Toxin
  • Chapter 5 - Storage of the Toxin and Its Stability
  • Chapter 6 - How to Use the Toxin As Biological Weapon (including in spray form, as an additive to water tanks or food supplies, and using powders as carriers)
  • A concluding statement by the author (entirely in Arabic)

Note that in most cases the Arabic in the document is either a repetition or clarification of neighboring English, or the continuation of a technical or procedural explanation begun in English. However, a few longer sections of uninterrupted Arabic constitute departures from the flow of explanatory material in English.

Summary translations of these longer Arabic sections (i.e., an overview of the manual and its subject, a list of important precautions, and the author?s concluding statement) and the 28-page manual in its original form (uncorrected, unannotated and unabridged).are provided to our Intel Service Members.

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