Bioterrorists Could Employ Insects, Expert Warns

Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2009

A Wyoming University entomologist has warned that terrorists could employ insects to help spread a lethal disease, RedOrbit.com reported yesterday (see GSN, Feb. 7, 2007).

“Rift Valley Fever or other diseases could be transported into a country by a terrorist with a suitcase,” said Jeffrey Lockwood. "A small terrorist cell could very easily develop an insect-based weapon,” he said.

Terrorists could launch an insect-based biological attack more easily than a chemical or nuclear strike because the "raw material is in the backyard," said Lockwood, who authored Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War.

Warning that governments could not prevent smugglers from carrying insects across borders, Lockwood urged nations to develop an effective "pest management infrastructure that's able to absorb and respond to an introduction" of insects carrying a deadly disease (RedOrbit.com, Jan. 5).