Engineering Bio-Terror Agents

07.06.06 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A private researcher investigating the history of the U.S. biological weapons program at the National Archives recently came up empty.

“She asked for the files for Fort Detrick from 1946 to 1956, and was brought 16 cartons,” recounted Milton Leitenberg of the University of Maryland. “However, every single file in every one of the 16 cartons had been removed, and replaced with a page dated post-2002, saying that the item had been withdrawn.”

The Fort Detrick records were removed from public access “after the Bush administration ordered agencies to withhold anything that might aid terrorists,” reported Scott Shane, then of the Baltimore Sun, in an August 1, 2004 Sun story on Fort Detrick’s Special Operations Division.

Meanwhile, the record of a congressional hearing that was held last year on biological terrorism has just been published.

See “Engineering Bio-Terror Agents: Lessons from the Offensive U.S. and Soviet Biological Weapons Programs,” House Committee on Homeland Security, July 13, 2005.