© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
An American biodefense analyst living in Europe says if the U.S.
invades Iran to halt its nuclear ambitions, Syria is ready to respond with
weapons of mass destruction – specifically biological weapons.
"Syria is positioned to launch a biological attack on Israel or Europe
should the U.S. attack Iran," Jill Bellamy-Dekker told WND. "The Syrians
are embedding their biological weapons program into their commercial
pharmaceuticals business and their veterinary vaccine-research facilities.
The intelligence service oversees Syria's 'bio-farm' program and the
Ministry of Defense is well interfaced into the effort."
Bellamy-Decker currently directs the Public Health Preparedness program
for the European Homeland Security Association under the French High
Committee for Civil Defense.
She anticipates a variation of smallpox is the biological agent Syria
"The Syrians are also working on orthopox viruses that are related to
smallpox," Bellamy-Decker said, "and it's a good way to get around
international treaties against offensive biological weapons development.
They work on camelpox as a cover for smallpox."
According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy
(CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, camelpox
is a virus closely related to smallpox, that causes a "severe and
economically important disease in camels," but rarely, if ever, causes the
disease in humans.
Bellamy-Decker also told WND the North Koreans were working closely
with the Syrians on their biological weapons program.
"The Syrians have made some recent acquisitions in regard to their
smallpox program from the DPRK," she explained. "Right before the recent
Lebanon war, the Syrians had a crash program in cryptosporidium."
According to the Washington State Department of Health, cryptosporidium
is a one-celled parasite that causes a gastrointestinal illness with
symptoms of diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headaches, nausea, vomiting, and a
low-grade fever. The symptoms can last for weeks and may result in weight
loss and dehydration.
"Because cryptosporidium is impervious to chlorine," Bellamy-Decker
continued, "you could infect the water supply by the bucket full of
cryptosporidium, if you know where to get it. The resulting illness would
put down a lot of civilians and military who might oppose you going into
"The Syrians have a modus operandi of covert operations and
deniability," she stressed, "so biological weapons are absolutely perfect
WND asked Bellamy-Decker if the Syrians have any history of having used
"I believe they are testing biological weapons right now, in Sudan, in
the conflict in Darfur," she answered. "There is credible information
about flyover activity in Darfur, where little parachutes have been
dropped down on the population. This is consistent with dispersal methods
in bioweapons attacks. I've also seen evidence of bodies that have been
recovered from Darfur that look as if they had been exposed to biological
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran met with Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir in
Khartoum Feb. 28 to exchange expressions of support and solidarity.
"The Syrians now consider biological weapons as part of their arsenal,"
Bellamy-Decker said. "The Syrian military is also beginning to plan the
eventual integration of biological weapons in its tactical and strategic
She referenced an April 2000 article published by Syrian defense
minister General Mustafa Talas, titled "Biological (Germ) Warfare: A New
and Effective Method in Modern Warfare." The article was republished in a
Farsi translation in Tehran.
"All indications suggest that Syria's ultimate objective is to mount
biological warheads on all varieties of the long-range surface-to-surface
missiles in its possession," Bellamy-Decker maintained. "This is a goal
that can probably be achieved within a few years, and it may already have
been realized in part."
She argued that instead of producing large quantities of bioweapons
agents, Syria is seeking to develop a smaller, but high-quality arsenal,
which it can deliver accurately against military and civilian targets.
When asked how Syria might be expected to retaliate against Israel or
Europe if the U.S. attacked Iran, she responded, "Syria has most likely
forward-deployed some of their covert operatives. Smallpox does not need
to be weaponized. Aerosol release is the way to go."
Bellamy-Decker explained the methodology of a terrorist bio-attack:
So with a good primary aerosol release in an airport in
Israel or Europe and you could get 100 index cases. If you've made the
strain sufficiently virulent, you could have a ratio of 1 to 13 for
infectivity, where the normal ratio is 1 to 3. If every index case
infects 13 other people, you unfortunately have a great first
"A terrorist bio-attack could go global," she noted. "A good biological
hit will spread rapidly with international travel. Smallpox is a better
weapon than anthrax. Smallpox has been field-tested, it is highly stable,
and highly communicable, especially if you look at some of the strains the
Russians manipulated. Syria probably retained some of [its] smallpox
strains from the last outbreak back in 1972."
Another risk is the possibility Syria's military might give bioweapons
"We are close to seeing a breakthrough where Syria could provide
biological weapons to some of the terrorist groups they work with, like
Hezbollah in Lebanon," Bellamy-Decker argued. "The Syrians believe they
can vaccinate themselves and they are working within the Syrian military.
They're certainly not worried about releasing these biological weapons in
a military setting, or even if civilians were infected as well, as long as
they are vaccinated. I think it is a real threat."
Bellamy-Decker is presenting a paper at this week's Intelligence
Summit in St. Petersburg, Fla. It is expected to focus on the
sophisticated state of development of the Syrian bioweapons program.
"The Syrians have developed a rather remarkable bioweapons capability
that has gone under the radar of U.S. intelligence," she said. "U.S.
intelligence continues to insist that the Syrian capability is not highly
developed. The Syrian program mirrors how the Russians have developed
their program, as well as Iraq under Saddam Hussein, North Korea, and
Iran. The emphasis in the Syrian program is on latent potential and
Bellamy-Decker explained we should not expect to find stockpiles of
"Stockpiles are just not how biological weapons are done," she said.
"With biological weapons, it is not the quantity, but the quality that
counts. If you can produce a virulent, communicable strain, then you have
a great biological weapon and it doesn't matter how much of it you have,
it depends on what the weapon looks like."
Bellamy-Decker also referenced a paper
she had co-authored for the European Homeland Security Association (EHSA)
titled, "Public Health Security and Preparedness."
This paper is intended to be used as part of a new initiative EHSA is
launching in Brussels to hold a quarterly bioterrorism forum bringing
together national and international experts with high-level
decision-makers "to discuss the threat posed by deliberate disease and the
appropriate preparedness and response mechanisms vitally needed to address
Are you a representative of the media who would you like to
interview the author of this story? Let us
Jerome R. Corsi is a
staff writer for WND. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in
political science in 1972 and has written many books and articles,
including co-authoring with John O'Neill the No. 1 New York Times
best-seller, "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against
John Kerry." Corsi's most recent book was authored with Michael Evans: "Showdown with
Nuclear Iran." Dr. Corsi's other recent books include "Black Gold
Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil," which he
co-authored with WND columnist
Craig. R. Smith, and "Atomic Iran."