Author Biography

Scott Cary is a distance-learning student at the U.S. Naval War College, currently enrolled in two courses: Joint Maritime Operations, and Counter-Terrorism. He holds two Master's degrees: an MA in Psychology from Northwestern University, and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. He is currently employed with the City of Washington, D.C. Mr. Cary can be reached for comment at: scott.cary@dc.gov.



Subject Area Keywords

Al-Qaida, Asymmetric warfare, Biological weapons, Chemical weapons, Terrorism / counterterrorism, Weapons of mass destruction


This article presents a strategic, operational, and tactical analysis of information currently available on the state of bio-weapons development by non-state actors, primarily Islamist jihadists. It discusses the evidence supporting a practical assessment that non-state actors have begun to acquire, and in the near-term intend to employ, bio-weapons. A pathogen and method of attack specifically designed to achieve the strategic goals of jihadists are presented as functional examples of the problem of the emerging global bio-weapons threat.Is a terrorist attack utilizing biological weapons a real threat? If so, is there a way to predict the circumstances under which it might happen or how it might be conducted? This article explores what is known and cannot be known about these questions, and will examine the threat of biological terrorism in the context of the strategic goals, operational methods, and tactical intentions of Islamist terrorists.