HYPOTHETICAL BIOLOGICAL WARFARE ATTACK WITH ANTHRAX:
Subject: HYPOTHETICAL BIOLOGICAL WARFARE ATTACK WITH ANTHRAX:
Assumptions and Conditions:
1. East to Northeast wind at ten miles per hour with neutral to
moderately stable conditions.
-East to Northeast winds occur approximately 20-25 percent
the time (i.e. 6-7 days/month).
-Neutral to moderately stable conditions occur approximately
75 percent of the time.
The most probable time for these conditions to occur is from
2. The Saudi coast would be attacked along a 100-mile (160-km)
line by several boats with aerosol generators about two miles off
-four boats traveling at 25 mph could disseminate the
in one hour; obviously less time if more boats or faster
-a minimum of 200 gallons (total) of liquid anthrax (500
billion spores per milliliter) would be disseminated.
-the type of aerosol generators acquired by the Iraqis can
disseminate over 700 hundred gallons of agent per hour. This
is more than enough capacity.
-coastal facilities would be heavily contaminated within 15-
30 minutes with high casualties.
-the western edge of the major oil field is 50-100 miles
(100-150 kms) from the coast thereby requiring 5-10 hours
for the forward edge of the anthrax cloud to encompass the
field with a wind speed of 10 mph. Its possible for proper
meteorological conditions to be maintained for this period.
Casualties would be lower than at the coast due to agent
dilution. Contamination of the major oil fields would
effectively shut down Saudi oil production.
-Riyadh is approximately 175 miles from the coast and would
require 17-18 hours for the aerosol cloud to reach it. It is
possible, but unlikely, that meteorological conditions
would hold for that period. Casualties would be even lower
Riyadh were reached--again due to agent dilution.
Potential Problems for the Iraqis:
1. Unfavorable weather conditions could result in dissipation of
the aerosol cloud shortly after reaching the coast, thereby
limiting its effect. The BW attack would be detected with the
2. An unexpected shift in the wind could blow the agent cloud
toward and into Kuwait, out to sea and into Iran, or into Qatar.
Although the Iraqis are technically capable of a coastal attack,
it is unlikely they would risk the adverse political and military
consequences if the attack were conducted but went wrong. The
Iraqis would have to be quite desperate or willing to gamble for
very high stakes to conduct such an attack.
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