Date of Graduation

Spring 2013


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

Dr. Bronson


biological terrorism, biological weapons, al Qaeda, biotechnology revolution, anthrax

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


The purpose of this paper is to determine if there is a growing bioterrorism threat. The thesis analyzes the lessons and implications taken from two state program case studies and four examples of terrorists desiring or achieving a biological weapons capability. The second part of the thesis aims to understand the effects of the biotechnology revolution on biological weapons programs. The final chapter uses this analysis to assess terrorists' interest in a biological weapon and determine what motivations exist for a terrorist to target and work towards acquiring a biological weapon. The thesis concludes that there is a growing bioterrorism threat and then provides two paths for policy-makers to take when addressing the threat. Broadly speaking, policy-makers can take steps to prevent terrorists achieving a biological weapons capability or follow a path that prepares the United States to effectively address and mitigate the effects of an attack.


© Kimberly Anne Kisner

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