Interpol chief warns of bio-terrorism attack
LONDON: The threat of a biological terrorist strike by Al Qaeda is very real but the world is still not prepared, the head of Interpol said.
Ronald Noble said governments, police and security services were more organised than ever before but he warned it would be wrong to assume the threat from Osama bin Laden’s group, blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, had eased.
“The terrorist threat is as real today as in 2001 when September 11 occurred,” Noble said in an interview with the BBC late on Tuesday. “The number of terrorist attacks that have occurred around the world and the evidence that has been seized revealing the kind of planning that Al Qaeda has done in the area of biological weapons or chemical weapons ... is enough evidence for me to be concerned about it.”
Interpol is due to hold its biggest ever conference next month in Lyons, France, which 400 senior police officers and health officials from around the globe will attend.
Sharing information to combat the threat of a potential biological attack will be a central theme.
“Anyone who is honest about this has to admit that if Al Qaeda launches a spectacular biological attack which could cause contagious disease to be spread, no entity in the world is prepared for it,” Noble said. “Not the US, not Europe, not Asia, not Africa.”
His warning comes a week after US intelligence chiefs cautioned that Al Qaeda or other militants were seeking chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, with new CIA head Porter Goss saying “it may only be a matter of time” before they used such arms. reuters