The Bioterrorist Threat to the United States and Israel

Date of Graduation

Spring 1997


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


Biological terrorism does not seem like a particularly prevalent or realistic threat, considering that an attack of this nature has never taken place against the United States. It is, to be sure, a threat rarely considered by policy analysts and the general population alike. Biological weapons do not generate the awe of nuclear weapons or the attention of chemical weapons. They are silent, insidious, and largely ignored. Yet terrorism as a topic has provoked an enormous amount of media attention and academic literature. Television has brought hijackings and hostages crises into our homes, while terrorism analysts have churned out volumes of treatises. With the rampant proliferation of biological weapons and the presistance of terrorism, it may not be long before the two phenomena unite to form a deadly alliance. The United States and its foremost ally in the Middle East, Israel, are acutely vulnerable to a bioterrorist attack. The consequences of such an attack could be disastrous. Indeed, biological terrorism is a threat to the national security of the United States and to the very survival of the State of Israel. Terrorism no longer can be considered merely a nuisance; the bioterrorism of tomorrow may rival the impact of an atomic bomb. This thesis analyzes that threat and examines options for dealing with it.

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Kathleen Ann Teitel