BAMAKO — Mali is scrambling to prevent a major Ebola epidemic after the deaths of an Islamic cleric and a nurse, as the official death toll in the worst ever epidemic of the virus passed 5,000. The two deaths in Mali have dashed optimism that the country was free of the highly-infectious pathogen and caused alarm in the capital Bamako, where the imam was washed by mourners at a mosque after his death. It came as the World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Wednesday that the outbreak — almost entirely confined to west Africa — had passed a gruesome landmark, with 5,160 deaths from around 14,000 cases since Ebola emerged in Guinea in December. In Mali, the latest country to see infections, the clinic where the imam died has been quarantined, with around 30 people trapped inside including medical staff, patients and 15 African soldiers from the United Nations mission in Mali. The nurse who died of Ebola had treated the imam at Bamako’s Pasteur clinic. – AFP
According to Spanish intelligence reported by Breitbart, online jihadists are openly discussing the weaponization of Ebola to be used in a terrorist attack.
Spanish intelligence has intercepted messages passed between jihadists online discussing the weaponisation of the deadly Ebola virus for use against the West, while a blackmailer in Prague has threatened to unleash the virus unless the Czech Republic pay him one million bitcoin, a volume of online currency worth over £200 million.
The national secretary of state for security in giving evidence to the Spanish Senate revealed online jihad propagandists had issued an edict to followers to kill Westerners by any means possible. Some of the methods suggested included “deadly chemical products from laboratories”, “poisonous injections” and “Ebola as a poisonous weapon”, reports theLocal.es.
Rumors of Ebola as a weapon have long circulated among the international intelligence community, as speculation arose over the potential successes of the former Soviet Union’s extensive biological weapons programme in the last century. It is thought that at least one terrorist organisation, the Japanese Aum Shinrikyo cult has attempted to cultivate the Ebola for attacks. The cult killed thirteen on the Tokyo subway in 1995 with a release of potent nerve agent Sarin gas.
Although Aum Shinriyko and Islamic Fundamentalists have an ideological reason for engaging in biological warfare, the communications received by the Czech government last week appear to have been entirely driven by a profit motive. The bitcoin demand, which is worth £210 million in fiat currency terms was demanded in three tranches, one payment on Monday this week, a second on Wednesday, and a third after the blackmailer handed the Ebola material to the government.
The deadline has now passed for the payments and the Czech government has no intentions to cave in. Responding to the communication, which stated: “If you don’t answer this letter, we will send press releases to media and inform people on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to let them know how negligent the Czech offices are”, a spokesman for the Czech authorities said the cold weather would probably stop the infection spreading far.
While no one doubts the desire of jihadists to carry out an attack using an Ebola-infected terrorist, the possibility seems remote. By the time someone becomes symptomatic and able to infect others, it’s only a matter of hours before the progress of the disease makes it very difficult to move around. Since it’s impossible to say exactly when a particular patient will become infectious, it’s a crapshoot for a terrorist group to insert a sick person into a crowd at an airport or mall, or some other crowded venue.
That’s not to say that it couldn’t be tried. Perhaps it has been already. But the tumblers would all have to click into place for an operation like this to succeed and there are easier ways to kill a lot of people.
The extortion gambit also seems a little far fetched. When they catch the perp, it will probably be some 15 year old computer whiz who will learn a very valuable lesson about punking people.