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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Biological Weapons Program

It was reported that Egypt's biological warfare efforts may include work on plague, botulism toxin and the encephalitis virus. Other research is said to include anthrax, Rift Valley fever, and mycotoxicosis. The extent of weaponization of any of these agents is unknown, but the extensive domestic Egypt armaments industry is probably capable of devising a variety of suitable delivery systems.

In 1970, the president of Egypt Anwar al-Sadat was reported to have stated that that “Egypt has biological weapons stored in refrigerators and could use them against Israel’s crowded population.” Al-Sadat’s declaration was apparently intended to warn Israel against a nuclear strike, and Israel did in fact contemplate the use of nuclear weapons in the darkest moments of the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

According to a 1998 Arms Control and Disarmament Agency compliance report, “The United States believes that Egypt had developed BW agents by 1972. There is no evidence to indicate that Egypt has eliminated this capability and it remains likely that the Egyptian capability to conduct BW continues to exist.” These concerns are not expressed in either the 2001 or 2005 reports.

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Page last modified: 21-09-2012 16:28:04 ZULU