What if terrorists stopped planting bombs and used genetically engineered mosquitoes?

What if terrorists stopped planting bombs and used genetically engineered mosquitoes?

Terrorists unleash genetically engineered mosquitoes at a Washington, DC, mall, and wreak havoc. This is the plot of a 2001 biotech thriller The Mosquito War by VA MacAlister .

Some experts, however, believe that this scenario is not as remote as it seems and that we must prepare for it.

First ideas

In 2010, a team of seventy experts met in Florida to address the bioterrorist introduction of pathogen-infected mosquitoes through mosquito control. Issues such as those described by Timothy Winegard in his book The Mosquito were raised at the meeting:

Let’s think about what would happen if a single bioterrorist who had contracted yellow fever infected five hundred Aedes aegypti by feeding them his blood and a week later released them in the French Quarter of New Orleans or on Miami’s South Beach.

Without the current population being vaccinated, the shadow of the destruction of yellow fever would once again constitute a serious threat . And that is only the tip of the iceberg of what could happen to mosquitoes that carry more lethal or even unknown diseases, the result of genetic manipulation.

However, the idea of ​​using mosquitoes to win a war (real or ideological) is not new:

The perverse formula and sinister strategy had already been seen in Napoleon’s Walcheren fever, Dr. Luke Blackburn’s macabre yellow fever missions, and the Nazis’ deliberate repopulation with malaria-carrying mosquitoes of the Pontine lagoons in Anzio, among other historical examples of biological traps. In his book Tactical Commentary on How Sieges Must Be Defeated, dating from the 4th century BC, the Greek writer Aeneas the Tactician, one of the earliest scholars of the art of war, approved of "releasing stinging insects" into tunnels dug by sappers. enemies.