Biological terrorism: Delhi, Mumbai most vulnerable
Nuclear and biological terrorism are primary concerns today with latest intelligence inputs suggesting that the cities of Mumbai and Delhi are most vulnerable to biological warfare. Terrorist groups would look to use biological agents to contaminate water and create mass graves in these cities.
With terrorist groups threatening to use both nuclear and biological weapons, the security agencies especially in India and Pakistan have a lot to worry about. Terrorist groups have often boasted about having nuclear powers and the ISIS had even recently claimed that they would source such weapons from corrupt officials and rogue scientists in Pakistan.
Terrorist groups have used biological weapons in tested doses off late. They are still testing the waters and it may be a while before they decide to completely go biological in their warfare. Security experts say that the biggest user of the biological and the nuclear weapons will be the Taliban and the ISIS. These are not run of the mill terrorist groups and both are trying to establish a government in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
Nuclear and biological weapons smuggling:
The danger of nuclear smuggling is immense today. Security officials working in both India and Pakistan have identified the routes through which nuclear weapons could be smuggled. Punjab, Assam, Kashmir and Balochistan and the danger routes identified by the Intelligence Bureau officials. There is a lot of demand for nuclear and biological weapons in these areas are they are conflict torn zones.
As the battle intensifies, the demand for stronger weapons will only increase and terrorist groups may go that extra mile to source such material. While it is extremely difficult to source such weapons and the costs are extremely high, groups such as the ISIS and the Taliban can afford it. They are making the right contacts in Pakistan and will target rogue scientists to lay their hands on these weapons.
Delhi, Mumbai targets of biological warfare:
For the moment, the terrorist groups are still carry out test runs with the help of biological weapons. The use of a nuclear weapons even in a test run has not been reported as of now. In fact the ISIS only a month back made the announcement that it would go nuclear. The reason that terrorist groups will be slow to use these weapons as it is their trump card.
Experts say that they will conduct many more trial runs before they actually deploy it to fight the enemy. A couple of instances reported both in Pakistan and Iraq show that biological weapons have been used. Bioligical agents were used to contaminate the water as a result of which several persons had taken ill. It appears that the terrorist groups tested these agents in very small quantity and hence none lost their lives.
Intelligence agencies say that the target cities for terrorist groups to use biological weapons in India will be Delhi and Mumbai. In Pakistan there is a chance of the same being used in Khyber Paktunkhwa, Singh, Islamabad and Karachi. Recently intelligence bureau inputs suggested that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba too had been working on a unit to deal with biological weapons. They have been making attempts to launch a biological warfare on India.
The challenge ahead:
The challenge ahead for the security agencies in India is immense. The threat of a biological warfare cannot be ignored or taken lightly at all. Intelligence Bureau officials are aware of the capabilities of groups such as the Lashkar and Taliban which used very sophisticated weapons.
The threat of nuclear and biological weapons being smuggled had started in the year 1998 itself. The threat of biological warfare has to be nipped in the bud itself. If terrorists manage to contaminate water with biological agents the damage will be immense.
IB officials say that the routes in Assam and Kashmir have to be monitored at all times. The threat of these weapons coming in through these routes is immense. We cannot afford a slip up even once on this front, the officer says.