Accession Number:

ADA523242

Title:

Intelligence Support to the Life Science Community: Mitigating Threats from Bioterrorism

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WASHINGTON DC CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF INTELLIGENCE

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2004-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

13.0

Abstract:

The al-Qaida attacks of 11 September 2001 and the delivery of Bacillus anthracis anthrax via the US Postal Service triggered a significant increase in initiatives to improve defense against biological attacks. They also reinvigorated a decades-old debate about the contributions that openly published scientific research might make to the efforts of bioterrorists and others who may be developing a biological warfare BW or other weapons of mass destruction WMD capability. Resolution of this debate could be made easier by input from knowledgeable intelligence and other national security professionals. Collaboration involving the national security and bioscience research communities could be key to minimizing the challenges posed by proliferation of research findings that have bioterror and BW applications. Unfortunately, while there have been recent discussions involving these communities, the relationship between them has been nearly nonexistent. Accordingly, initial approaches and interactions must be planned and carefully carried out to ensure that the bridges built between the two communities are solid and long lasting. A necessary next step is to make sure that national security professionals who enter this collaboration are thoroughly familiar with the current and past debates among scientists about the potential openly published research findings have to enable BW or bioterrorism. This article is an overview of this debate, and it summarizes the most recent discussions among bioscience researchers. In addition, it offers some options the Intelligence Community IC can consider to help the life science community continue its work effectively, while safeguarding national security.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Intelligence
  • Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE