Bird Flu and Terrorism

By: rickstooker
Bird flu won't stop terrorists, and a serious pandemic may encourage them to strike.

Therefore, one more problem which policy makers in the world must watch out for is maintaining security. This will be hard enough when police, security guards and soldiers are sick and dying in large numbers.

Of course, terrorists are not immune to bird flu, and some will no doubt become sick and die just as everyone else. But since we cannot count on bird flu incapacitating all of them, we must prepare to guard against attacks.

Many terrorists do prefer to meticulously plan and prepare for their attacks. During a pandemic society will not be on a regular basis, and therefore it'll be harder to make detailed plans that assume society will maintain its established order. However, the relative chaos and anarchy will make it easier to carry out small scale but strategically targeted bombings.

In some countries, there may be so much anti-government sentiment and activity that terrorism will be unnecessary. Terrorists looking to attack the established order may find that bombs just aren't necessary -- there're too many demonstrators and rioters in the streets already. One bomb more or less won't make any difference.

It's possible that in prodominately Islamic countries those that preach a return to an extreme interpretation of the Koran and sharia as a way to avoid Allah's wrath in the form of bird flu will find a ready audience of the fearful and grief-stricken.

It's also possible that in many countries those that are able to use the bird flu pandemic to seize power from the government will be opportunists and strong-arm criminal dictators who have no sincere interest in rule by Islamic law. They will impose rule by force upon a population decimated by bird flu and looking for a way to return to normal.

Terrorists may take advantage of U.S. disorganization and law enforcement personnel shortages to enter the country from either the northern or southern borders.

As ordinary citizens, we cannot guard nuclear power plants or similar targets, but we can help maintain order in our own neighborhoods, and look for danger in the form of both criminals and terrorists.

Terrorists who really analyze the world situation may well conclude that it's important to strike at the United States while we are distracted and weakened by the bird flu pandemic.

Our main world rival, China, will be weakened even more so. It's quite possible that in China there'll be widespread violence in the countryside against the government, and conflicts between regions. It is possible it could break up into different countries.

It's possible that a great ally of terrorism, North Korea, could see a political change. North Koreans have withstood massive starvation in the past twenty years. Will they also passively accept widespread death by bird flu?

Iran's mullahtocracy could be overturned by its dissatisfied citizens. Though the House of Saud may be overturned by Islamic fanatics.

A bird flu pandemic could be a bad time to be the government -- in many countries around the world. Yet the United States, although facing violence and chaos, has the best chance of emerging from the pandemic politically intact. And although we'd be economically weakened, we'd be in relatively better shape than the rest of the world, similar to our situation at the end of World War 2 -- which terrorists would hate.

Governments around the world recognize the potential for a serious bird flu pandemic to drive them from power, which is why they are working so hard despite political differences to contain the virus.

However, terrorists have no such interest in maintaining the present order. Therefore, we must assume they may take advantage of the situation. They may get little or no publicity while the world is preoccupied with millions of bird flu deaths, but they may be able to damage needed infrastructure.
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