Islamic State (ISIS) could be planning to use biological warfare against the West, a military expert stated earlier this week - by introducing the Ebola virus into the camps of its enemies.
While the theory sounds like it was ripped from the script of the 2002 horror classic 28 Days Later, it is feasible, experts say.
According to Captain (ret.) Al Shimkus, a Professor of National Security Affairs at the US Naval War College, spreading the virus would be remarkably simple.
“The individual exposed to the Ebola Virus would be the carrier,” Shimkus told Forbes earlier this week. “In the context of terrorist activity, it doesn’t take much sophistication to go to that next step to use a human being as a carrier.”
Shimkus, who teaches a course in biowarfare, stated that ISIS would simply need to send "a half dozen operatives" into any West African country battling the epidemic to create a carrier - then intentionally infect as many people as possible in a target country.
The fatality rate for Ebola hovers at 50% - making it an effective weapon - but that rate could skyrocket to well over 90% in countries without sufficient medical care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Shinkus isn't the only expert to warn about Ebola being weaponized.
Amanda Teckman, author of the paper “The Bioterrorist Threat of Ebola in East Africa and Implications for Global Health and Security” concluded in 2013 that “the threat of an Ebola bioterrorist attack in East Africa is a global health and security concern, and should not be ignored.”
And last month, a Tunisian terrorist for ISIS was found researching biowarfare on his laptop - although the scope of his research focused on the bubonic plague, not Ebola.
Experts say the find proves not that ISIS already has biological weapons, but is at least actively seeking them to expand their jihadist campaign in the Middle East and around the globe - and become an unprecedented threat if they do.
“If they obtain biological or chemical weapons, they will use them," Princeton University Jurisprudence professor Robert George stated to the Glenn Beck show in September. "There’s no question. There’s nothing that’s stopping them from using those weapons."
Over 7,200 people have been infected with Ebola, according to latest WHO estimate - including several cases recorded in Spain and in Macedonia.