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A Guide to Researching Terrorism: BIO-ECO-CYBER





Definitions & Facts: 

  • “A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants." They "can be spread through the air, through water, or in food and... can be extremely difficult to detect." -- CDC
  • Cyber terrorism is “a criminal act perpetrated through computers resulting in violence, death and/or destruction, and creating terror for the purpose of coercing a government to change its policies.” -- National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC)
  • Eco-terrorism is "the use or threatened use of violence of a criminal nature against innocent victims or property by an environmentally oriented, subnational group for environmental-political reasons, or aimed at an audience beyond the target, often of a symbolic nature.” -- FBI
  • The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) have become the most active criminal extremist elements in the US. FBI estimates more than 1100 ecoterrorist acts since 1976, with damages of approximately $110 million.
  • Bioterrorism agents are separated into three categories, A, B or C, based on how easily they can be spread and the severity of illness or death they cause. Bacillus anthracis, (Anthrax) poses a severe threat to public health and is therefore classified as a category A agent.


Additional Resources:

CDC Bioterrorism:

Clark, WR. Bracing for armageddon?: the science and politics of bioterrorism in America. New York:Oxford University Press, c2008.

Clarke, RA. & RK Knake. Cyber war: the next threat to national security and what to do about it. New York: Ecco, c2010.

Coen, B. & E. Nadler. Dead silence: fear and terror on the anthrax trail. Berkeley: Counterpoint: Distributed by Publishers Group West, c2009.

Cole, B. The changing face of terrorism: how real is the threat from biological, chemical and nuclear weapons?  London : B. Tauris, c2011.

Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center:

King, KE. Germs gone wild: how the unchecked development of domestic biodefense threatens America. New York :Pegasus Books, c2010

FBI - Amerithrax or Anthrax Investigation:

Long, D. Ecoterrorism. New York, NY: Facts On File, c2004.

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