Bioterrorism Threats Highlighted in Hearing – Counterterrorism Blog

State Department and non-government experts have told Congress that a biological weapons attack is a clear and present danger and that countering the threats overseas is essential to protect the United State.

The issues were discussed at a hearing Thursday by the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade on “the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats,” chaired by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-California).

Mr. Vann H. Van Diepen, the acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, testified that “The biological threat has several important components, including intent from groups that have expressed interest in obtaining biological weapons and expertise, emerging infectious diseases that create new opportunities for havoc, and growing biotechnology capacity in areas of the world with a terrorist presence.”