Terrorism and Aviation Intelligence Gathering Chemical/Biological Warfare Weapons of Mass Destruction
Indeed, in many conflicts, diseases have been responsible for more deaths than all the employed combat arms combined, even when they have not consciously been used as weapons.
Radiological weapons leverage the longstanding fear of radiation, potentially generating reactions to an attack that are disproportionate to its scale.
Some of the epidemics they caused persisted for years and continued to kill more than 30,000 people in 1947, long after the Japanese had surrendered (Harris, 1992, 2002). Ishii's troops also used some of their agents against the Soviet army, but it is unclear as to whether the casualties on both sides were caused by this deliberate spread of disease or by natural infections (Harris, 1999). After the war, the Soviets convicted some of the Japanese biowarfare researchers for war crimes, but the USA granted freedom to all researchers in exchange for information on their human experiments. In this way, war criminals once more became respected citizens, and some went on to found pharmaceutical companies. Ishii's successor, Masaji Kitano, even published postwar research articles on human experiments, replacing 'human' with 'monkey' when referring to the experiments in wartime China (Harris, 1992, 2002).
Weapon of mass destruction threats are normally grouped in categories of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN). High yield explosives are included sometimes in a description of WMD within an acronym of CBRNE.
Harris S.H. (2002) Factories of Death. Japanese Biological Warfare, 1932-1945, and the American Cover-up, revised edn. Routledge, New York, USA.
Leitenberg M. (2001) Biological weapons in the twentieth century: a review and analysis. Crit. Rev. Microbiol., 27, 267–320.
Malakoff D. (2003) Researchers urged to self-censor sensitive data. Science 299, 321.