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Talent, other experts fear bioterrorism as 9/11 anniversary approaches

September 4, 2011
by Bill Lambrecht
McClatchy in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The manifesto written by the man charged in the mass murder in Norway this summer listed a terrorist scenario far worse than his gun and bomb rampage: He referred 59 times to anthrax, which he described as "one of the most effective weapons."

Experts say it is unlikely that the suspect, Anders Breivik, had obtained anthrax or would know how to spread it if he did. But his obsession with the deadly bacterium underscored the widely held belief that terrorists are seeking to deploy biological weapons.

That belief prompted former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, vice chairman of the national Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, to predict in 2008 that a terrorist attack by 2013 is "more likely than not" barring urgent action. The most likely form of attack, Talent and others concluded, would involve unleashing a biological agent such as anthrax.

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