Security experts from the Council of Europe have warned of the possibility of biological terror in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, saying the outbreak has revealed societal vulnerabilities.
Council of Europe Committee on Counter-Terrorism experts said that terrorist groups could be incentivised to look into creating and deploying biological weapons after seeing the dramatic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown how vulnerable modern societies are to viral infections and their shock potential,” the committee said on Monday, German newspaper Die Welt reports.
“The damage is quick and potentially global,” the experts added and said that a biological attack could have a far greater impact on people and the economy than traditional terror attacks have in the past.
Tunisian Migrant in Court over ‘Ricin Attack Plot’ Against ‘Unbelievers’ https://t.co/S0fLhHaK2o
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Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the country’s domestic security agency, said that it had not seen “concrete or abstract plans” regarding bioweapon terror attacks so far, but said a well-organised group such as Islamic State would likely be behind what they determined to be an “unlikely” attack.
While biological weapons are rare compared to attacks using explosives, firearms, and knives, Germany has seen at least one foiled biological terror attack in recent years.
In August of 2018, Tunisian migrant Sief Allah H. was arrested in the city of Cologne after authorities discovered he had planned a terrorist attack using the deadly biological compound known as ricin in what was considered Germany’s first bioterrorism plot.
A year later, both he and his 43-year-old Muslim convert wife Yasmin were brought up on terrorism charges with both believed to be sympathisers of Islamic State.
The Tunisian migrant was found guilty of manufacturing a biological weapon and preparing a terrorist attack in March and sentenced to ten years in a German prison.