As many as 17 nations, including several the U.S. State Department considers
"state sponsors of terrorism," have developed lethal biological agents as
weapons of war. The list of bacteria, viruses, and toxins explored by these
weapons programs is vast—running in the dozens. We focus on eight agents
that may pose the greatest threats.
Most of these deadly pathogens are difficult to obtain, process, and most
critically, deploy to cause mass casualties. Yet we must understand these
agents—how they would be used and the diseases they trigger—to prepare
for even the most unlikely bioterrorist attack.