The Weaponizing of Biology

Bioterrorism, Biocrime and Biohacking


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About the Book

Focusing on three forms of biological threat—bioterrorism, biocrime and biohacking—the author examines the history of biowarfare and terrorism. Groups drawn to biological aggression are discussed, along with the array of viruses, bacteria and toxins they might use in their attacks. The phenomenon of biocrime—biological aggression targeting individuals for personal rather than ideological reasons—is explored, along with the growing trend of biohacking. Part II presents case studies of bioterrorism and biocrime from the United States and Japan.

About the Author(s)

Marc E. Vargo is the author of ten nonfiction books and numerous articles in professional journals. He lives on New Orleans’ Northshore.

Bibliographic Details

Marc E. Vargo
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 252
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6542-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2933-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part One—Concepts

1. From Ancient China to ­al-Qaeda: A Brief History of Biological Warfare 5

2. Bioterrorism and Biocrime: Ideologies, Motives and Objectives 30

3. Biohacking: Citizen Science and Societal Risk 52

4. Pathogens, Toxins and Their Weaponization: Science Subverted 70

Part Two—Cases

5. Bad Medicine: Biocrime in the Healthcare Professions 93

6. The Oregon Conspiracy: Salad Bars, Salmonella and the Orange People Sect 115

7. Tokyo Under Siege: The Aum Shinrikyo Biochemical Attacks 140

8. Lethal Letters: September 11th and the Anthrax Enigma 165

Chapter Notes 213

Bibliography 221

Index 237

Book Reviews & Awards

• “A highly readable, well organized, carefully documented, extensively researched, and clearly written overview of the field of bioterrorism…contains the best review of the Amerithrax case that I’ve read…the author’s command of the material shines…compelling narrative…a highly readable and readily accessible source of dates-and-names.”—Terrorism and Political Violence
• “Intelligence and security communities have worried about terrorist bioweapon use for four decades. Marc Vargo catches us up on new developments, examines motivations and laboratories of regimes and (so far) rare BW terrorists, and introduces us to biocrime and biohacking. Fascinating, if worrisome, reading.”—Ed Mickolus, president, Vinyard Software, Inc., and retired CIA officer.