Saturday, September 19, 2020



Elmo R Cortez, PGDip-AC, PGDip-SRM                                                         LEAPS Academy Philippines                                                                              September 2020 Edition 


As COVID-19 continues to weave its way into our daily lives, it’s imperative that companies take a step back and consider next steps as we begin to plan for the new normal. It's probably safe to assume that most of us weren’t around in 1918 for the Spanish Flu outbreak, and while it’s helpful to learn from the past, there have been quite a few changes since then. With this rapidly spreading pandemic changing the way we work, travel and live, we find ourselves in uncharted territory.

During this tumultuous period all aspects of our personal and work lives have altered. The coronavirus pandemic is having obvious implications for business continuity across the entire economy, and business in all industries and market sectors are adapting to a very different operational landscape. Security services providers are no exception and as the lockdown restrictions begin to ease, their role in protecting people is more critical than ever as lockdown restrictions are slowly lifted and workforce begins to emerge.

The security industry is well positioned to deal with these new challenges – identifying potential risks and managing them is what we do. However, there will be some fundamental differences to how this is achieved and, with the situation changing so rapidly, companies need to be flexible, agile and quick to react. Before people do return to their offices ‘en masse’, it must be safe enough for them to do so and effective systems have to be in place. Since lockdown was first announced, forward thinking organisations have spent time training their employees so that they can hit the ground running.

In a time of so much uncertainty, it has become overwhelmingly clear that it has never been more important to control what you can, for yourself and those around you, and take preventive measures to ensure health and safety for the future. Today, social distancing has changed the way we go to work, shop, and even what types of jobs are deemed essential. Companies have been forced to completely alter their business practices, and there's been a push to innovate new tools to help us understand, navigate, and stop the spread of this pandemic.

Because work-place are prime locations for viruses like COVID-19 to spread, we’ve witnessed a major shift in coronavirus office policies. For many businesses who are now operating with minimal staffing or a fully remote workforce, that means drastic changes to who has building access, and how employees are coming and going.

While the government has identified access control and security as part of the essential workforce during the pandemic, many businesses are still trying to navigate how to ensure the security of their physical spaces and assets without having someone on site, and how to pivot daily operations as they shift to a remote working environment. Even with fewer employees actually coming into the office, there are still security risks to consider:

  • Access for regular deliveries and maintenance
  • Updated door schedules and operating hours
  • Possible internet or service interruptions
  • Limited or no access to security systems that run on localized servers
  • Inability to deactivate or replace lost badges, cards or fobs
  • Access needs to allow for regular cleaning and disinfecting in the facility

One-way organizations are attempting to address some of these concerns is to install a lockbox onsite that holds a key or credential and can be accessed by anyone who has the code to the lockbox. While this seems like a convenient solution, the credential would need to be changed out weekly to prevent someone cloning or copying that credential at any nearby convenience store, not to mention, a communal lockbox will need to be disinfected after each use, presenting its own set of new potential problems. There has to be a better, smarter way.


As organizations make operational decisions in response to COVID-19, they should ensure their threat mitigation policy is reflected in their access control system. For instance, schools that have cancelled or postponed community activities should revisit their lock/unlock and alarm open/close schedules to make sure their building(s) is properly armed. They may also need to deactivate or suspend individuals’ access control cards to reflect these changes.

All operational decisions should be reinforced within your organization’s access control settings, so you can control the environment as best as you can. You may also want to use this as an opportunity to audit your access privileges to make sure the right people have access to the right areas of the building. Consider taking some time to review your settings, so they properly reflect the security levels of the areas you’re protecting.


As more organizations send staff home and temporarily close their doors to visitors and contractors, they may need to leverage remote services and support for some business functions, including security.

It is critically important to ensure your security program is working properly when you’re off-site. Many technology manufacturers and security providers have remote services in place for learning and support.

For instance, some have remote training capabilities and online learning opportunities that allow individuals to receive technical training and certifications remotely. Be sure to leverage these when possible to help maintain your security program. While organizations continue to evaluate this dynamic situation, it’s important to take inventory of the tools you have at your disposal that may help you reinforce the safety and security policies of your organization.


The first order of the day for all security agencies has been making sure that their workers remain safe, particularly, but not exclusively, those who are serving the healthcare sector. It’s not just at hospital facilities, but everywhere. This is a pandemic hitting people in every single sector, in every area of the country.

Instructions to guards about workstation cleanliness and, in many circumstances, providing guard details with personal protective equipment (PPE) along with instructions on how to use it. We have to observe cleanliness at all times, hand sanitizer, washing hands, and social distancing in dealing with people.

Giving highest priority to a safe workplace, with practices that protect the health of employees, customers and other visitors. To that end, the company has obtained and distributed resources like wipes, cleaning spray, hand sanitizers and gloves, and giving instructions to the staff and officers to wipe high-touch surfaces on a regular basis.


Companies are in general reporting increased demand at healthcare, groceries, and for some hotel properties, but decreasing demand at some retailers, educational, government, office building and special events.

Obviously if there are no business establishments operating within the area, you don’t need as many security officers on duty. However, healthcare institutions are ramping up. That’s borne out of a need for hospitals to address lots of people who are coming and presenting themselves with symptoms of COVID-19 at the facilities. Many of the healthcare facilities are recommending that people who have mild symptoms to stay at home and call their doctors. That, despite public information, some people are deciding to go directly to the hospitals, which is a bit of a challenge.

Some hospitals facing that challenge, who have been hit with an above-average volume of COVID-19, have decided to partially lock down their facilities and allow access only through certain entrances. In those cases, they’re adding additional security coverage for their lockdowns for access control and to provide information to visitors and patients.


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced organisations and individuals to embrace new practices such as social distancing and remote working. Governments are reconsidering ways to ensure that their countries are stable by developing and enforcing new economic plans. Nevertheless, while the world is focused on the health and economic threats posed by COVID-19, cyber criminals around the world undoubtedly are capitalizing on this crisis.


With many employees working from home and students learning virtually, enterprise virtual private network (VPN) servers have now become a lifeline to companies/schools, and their security and availability will be a major focus going forward. In a bid to achieve this, there is a possibility that an organisation's unpreparedness will lead to security misconfiguration in VPNs thereby exposing sensitive information on the internet and also exposing the devices to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. In addition to this, some users may utilise personal computers to perform official duties which could also pose a great amount of risk to organisations. Organisations should ensure VPN services are safe and reliable as there promises to be a lot more scrutiny against these services. Furthermore, employees should be advised against using personal computers for official use.


The enforcement of “work from home” policy by some companies, where stable power supply and fast Internet connection may be a luxury in some quarters, may see employees work from public spaces to utilize power and free internet facilities. This behavior may inadvertently expose the computing facilities and confidential information it contains to theft or damage. Organisations are hereby encouraged to sensitize their employees around information security outside of the office space. Working from public spaces should be restricted and organization should utilize technologies that ensure confidential information remain secure on these devices in the case of theft or damage.


Many organizations have business continuity plans, but it is obvious the impact of a global pandemic like COVID-19 was not considered in many BCPs. With the widespread impact of the COVID-19, organisations need to re-visit their Business continuity program and incident response plans specially to feature such pandemics that affect many countries and critical elements of supply chains at the same time. A revised risk assessment should be conducted on critical processes to identify the various options in ensuring these processes can still be maintained at an acceptable level and an effective fail over is achievable.


The functioning of many security teams is likely to be impaired due to the COVID-19 pandemic thereby making detection of malicious activities difficult and responding to these activities even more complicated. Updating patches on systems may also be a challenge if security teams are not operational. Organizations should evaluate the security defenses in place and explore the use of co-sourcing with external consultants especially for areas where key man risks have been identified. 


        Globally, companies are downsizing their workforce to cope with the effects of COVID-19. Some people have also lost their means of livelihood due to the various restrictions of movement by governments across the world. This move would likely encourage the growth of cyber criminals as idle people with internet access who have lost their jobs from the effects of COVID-19 may see an opportunity to make a living out of this pandemic. Organisations considering laying off staff should enforce proper exit plans. Also, we encourage all who have lost their jobs or currently being restricted to a location to consider taking this period to learn a new profitable skill and undertake online courses.


        The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a huge strain on the global economy with some experts predicting a recession as part of the after effects of the pandemic. Organisations Post COVID-19 pandemic strategy might include downsizing by cutting off business lines considered as non-critical which may include cyber security operations. This short-term plan might however prove to be “penny wise and pound foolish” in the long haul as this will further increase the impact of attacks on the organization. Organizations are advised to update at their BCPs and remote working policies/practices whilst prioritizing cyber security during post COVID-19 re-strategizing process.


     In addition, relatively new systems such as CCTV cameras with thermal sensing are being used to identify those people entering a building who have a high temperature – a symptom of COVID-19. Some of these systems can even remotely read multiple individuals’ temperatures and use the cloud to share data in real time with security teams to keep buildings safe for operation.

       Initially at least, employees returning to their places of work are likely to be nervous, apprehensive and uncertain. On top of that, a place that was previously familiar may now seem different and there is likely to be some confusion about how any new operational policies work in practice. A security team’s ability to communicate in a way that is firm but friendly, calm, focused, clear and tactful will be imperative, particularly when approaching occupants who are inadvertently contravening social distancing guidelines.

    Good communication is also a prerequisite when working with clients to develop policy and operational guidance, carry out risk assessments and define business continuity strategies. By adopting a customer service and concierge-style approach, security professionals can demonstrate a level of proactivity that assists any defined objectives.

        For instance, initiating a system whereby a member of its security team will act as an elevator operator, who is responsible for pressing the buttons and making sure that a lift is not overcrowded.

      In many respects, security personnel need to be the eyes and ears of a building by monitoring whether seating and workstations are suitably distanced, if space is being utilized properly and if there are any areas where people are congregating. Employee health and safety also depends on a hygienic work environment so workstations, conference rooms, collaborative areas, cafes, reception desks and other common areas must be monitored and cleaning staff notified to take immediate action if minimum standards are not met.

        The adoption of home working and the use of video conferencing technology have been two of the standout features of the coronavirus lockdown. While it’s too early to understand the full extent of the new skills and habits we’ve developed while working and communicating remotely, it’s reasonable to assume that this will continue to some extent once lockdown is fully lifted.

      Security services providers have benefited enormously from video conferencing technology as a way to communicate with clients and colleagues, which has been highly effective in making sure that relevant personnel are up to speed with any developments. Just as importantly, it has allowed meetings to be carried out to brainstorm, share ideas, exchange best practice tips, monitor workflows, build community, reinforce organisational culture, and strengthen colleague and client relationships.

        There have also been less obvious benefits. While some people have easily adapted to home working, others have not. For this group of people video conferencing has offered a welcome level of human interaction and engagement, which has reduced their sense of isolation. It has also meant that those who are visibly struggling with lockdown can be more easily identified, and action taken to monitor their mental health and well being.

        The coronavirus pandemic has raised the profile of security within organisations and service providers need to start planning for when people return to their clients’ workplaces in greater numbers. As the security industry adapts to the ‘new normal’ we must not forget that pre-coronavirus threats still exist and must not be ignored, but be in a position to adapt to fundamental changes in the way we work, as well as workplace design and operation.


       Since the start of the pandemic, global messaging has consistently purported the benefits of staying home, avoiding crowded places and, particularly, the need to minimize physical contact. This has unsurprisingly led to a rise in interest for technology by which processes or procedures are performed with minimal human contact, especially “contactless technology”.

        We can expect a lasting impact in security trends in this area, for example automated customer counting and flow control (to comply with social distancing rules in shops), facial recognition, integrated fever screening and detection, remote monitoring systems, robotics and drones. However, automation must be carefully managed. We always stress to our customers that automation does not mean the replacement of people. Far from it. For an automated system to be effective, it becomes even more important to have reliable and accurate human input in order to respond if something goes wrong. People are less involved, but their involvement becomes more critical.

        Perhaps one of the most notable consequences of the COVID-19 crisis is that it has given the digital transformation an immense boost. At the root of this boost is the remote everything habit that it has been necessary to adopt. We believe that digitization will continue, including in security, where security system will play a central role. They will be the hub where the digitized information is centralized and where smart operators (people supported by artificial intelligence) will act upon the information received as agreed with the customer.


        New threats may emerge following the pandemic, making it more important than ever that threat and risk analysis is a part of every company’s continuous improvement plan.  Gathering intelligence, and processing it, will become an essential activity of every security professional.  Similarly, companies will have to consider their security needs and with more people working remotely, the need to protect ‘just’ an office building is extended to employees’ homes. No one has a crystal ball to look into the future, but by analyzing the current impact, trends and habits formed during the pandemic, we can glimpse what the new normal for security might be.


        We have seen, and will continue to see, a huge change in our societal habits, for example an increased focus on health protection and social awareness, plus a dramatic reduction in travel, and we expect this to continue to some degree in the post COVID-19 world.

        There will be continued attention on infection prevention and control. We expect to see more fever detection and screening systems, and a faster deployment and wider acceptance of personal protective measures, both with physical distancing and the use of PPE.

        Remote working, remote shopping, remote sporting, remote entertainment, everything has turned remote and the most surprising fact, for many, is that it is working. People adapted to the obligation of keeping a safe distance and have adopted the remote technology that was already present in their lives. For example, remote monitoring by virtual security checks as an alternative to physical officers’ rounds has been in high demand and this will probably remain so.


        COVID-19 has had financial implications for many, and the Department of Trade and Industry has reported a sharp contraction in household spending. Most leisure and culture sectors were at a standstill for many weeks. With less or no revenue coming in and production halted, companies have started cutting costs. Security activities are being rationalized and it will be more important than ever to provide solutions that are lean and efficient. This will require security professionals to be more agile, meaning they will need to have the ability to put new operating models in place (internal or external), supported by the right processes and governance. It is important for customers to know the quality of what they are purchasing when it comes to security, not just the cost. Solutions that are agile are not always the cheapest, but will be able to flex and adapt to challenges quickly and without compromising the assets they seek to protect.

        Other significant economic impacts of the pandemic will be seen from increased unemployment, and the potential resulting increase in crime. The International Labour Organization estimated that in the second quarter of 2020, worldwide working hours have declined by 6.7%, which is equivalent to 195 million full-time workers losing their jobs globally. This increased unemployment is all the more alarming when considered alongside scientific research conducted worldwide, which found that in those countries up to 80,000 additional monetary crimes were committed each year for every percentage point that the unemployment rate increases.

        Another economic factor to consider is the movement of goods and services across borders. As the virus spread, borders closed and countries went into lockdown, and sourcing products locally sometimes became the only solution. The repercussions of this trend could be seen when companies are forced to depend on local products as supply from beyond country borders may be limited.  If supply streams come under pressure, the importance of securing them will increase.



    COVID-19 will change our lives forever with new work styles, new cybersecurity issues, access control new proposed policies, personal hygiene and guard force administration. The fight against COVID-19 is not just for the organisation, employee or customer but a joint effort from everyone. It is also apparent that Post COVID-19, organizations will need to rethink their risk management measures to address the issues posed by this pandemic.

        Organizations had to restructure their network and security systems almost overnight to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and doing this inevitably meant that security gaps opened up, increasing their risk and vulnerabilities and creating new opportunities for criminals. Now that we are moving towards a ‘new normal’ way of working as lockdowns lift globally, organizations need to close off those security gaps and secure their networks, from employees’ home personal computers and mobiles to the enterprise data center, with a holistic, end-to-end security architecture, promote social distancing and personal hygiene.  The Covid-19 pandemic may be fading, but the needs to secure thereafter is triggered here to stay. However, the right approach to security, is to continue conducting risk and vulnerability assessment, and business continuity plan to address the issues on the “new normal” after the pandemic. 



Thursday, July 16, 2020



Rommel K Manwong, Alexis V Quijano and Leandro Y Paralisan
LEAPS Academy | PG Diploma in Terrorism Studies | July 2020 Edition


The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 repealed the Human Security Act of 2007. The key features of the law include the expansion of the definition of “terrorism” to include acts intended to cause death or serious bodily injury to any person, extensive damage and destruction to a government facility, private property or critical infrastructure and when the purpose of those acts is to intimidate the general public, create an atmosphere or message of fear, or seriously destabilize or destroy the fundamental political, economic and social structures of the country. Anyone found guilty shall be punished with life sentence without the chance of parole.

The law punishes the threat, planning, training, facilitating of and proposal and inciting to terrorist activities by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, banners and emblems. It also subjects a suspect to surveillance, warrantless arrest and detention for up to 24 days. In addition, it removes compensation for the suspect in the event of acquittal. The law also boosted the Anti-Terrorism Council being the implementing arm, whose members are appointed by the President.

The law became controversial when it triggered online and street protests even as community quarantine restrictions are imposed due to COVID-19 pandemic. Some multi-sectoral backlash ensued, but the sponsors of the law and their supporters pressed on.

The Opposition’s Fear of Abuse

During the height of the congressional discussions about the bill and until it was signed into law, the oppositions, mostly led by the legal fronts of the communist group, shared strong sentiments that the law was not timely and it is prone to abuse. Even the Commission on Human Rights have argued that the broad definition of terrorism in the bill paves the road for possible abuse. According to CHR, it could be used to limit substantial freedoms, including expression of dissent, while with the ambiguous definition, authorities could wantonly tag the exercise of rights as terrorist expressions. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also said the bill dilutes human rights safeguards.

From the business community, there are least a few business groups who have jointly voiced strong opposition stating the same argument that the bill is highly divisive because it poses clear and present danger to human rights. Some oppositions from universities also emerged notably influenced by the Catholic church.

Necessity and Alignment to National Security

Public safety and national security are the two broad goals of the law. Backers of this legislative measure seek to end terrorism in the country, which is still battling decades of insurgencies by both the Communist group and Islamic extremists. The government has been tirelessly dealing with this problem for a long time.

In 2017, the Islamic State-aligned militants laid siege of Marawi City. Even the lockdown did not stop nor slowed the terror groups in pursuing their terroristic activities. This is evident by communist rebels intensified attacks on soldiers and policemen while securing the distribution of the financial aids, plus attacks by Islamic militants in the southern part of the country that led the evacuation of almost 6,000 people.

The Human Security Act was enacted during the time of President Gloria Arroyo. She was an active participant in the US-led War on Terror. She also held out the rhetoric War on Terror by rendering the CPP-NPA armed struggle as “terrorism” previously viewed as “insurgency”. Those days, the urgency to have a legal framework for counterterrorism was an external pressure brought to bear by the United States, fully supported by the United Nations Security Council, which obliged countries to adopt anti-terrorism laws. Some of the provisions of the HSA were also controversial during those times before it was enacted.

Although we had the Human Security Act (HAS) of 2007, Senator Panfilo Lacson, the principal author of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, stated that the HSA “has proved to fail in terms of its efficacy as an anti-terrorism measure” partly because of its restrictiveness among enforcers and leniency for offenders. For instance, in the HSA, there are only four instances for terrorists to be prosecuted while there are 20 instances where law enforcers can be charged and penalized for violations of the such law.

The risks of terrorism in the country are genuine and constantly looming. For a nation that has been experiencing deadly terrorist atrocities for decades that accounted for thousands of lives and millions worth of destroyed properties, the government must exercise both its’ duty and mandate to protect national security and safeguard the Filipino people from brutal acts of terrorist act.

Even after the Marawi incursion, terrorism activities in diverse patterns and degree continue to prevail in terror-stricken areas in the Philippines. Predominantly, where the Maute Group (MG) also tagged as the Islamic State of Lanao (ISL), the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) an identified affiliate of Al-Qaeda now the Islamic State enjoys a stronghold, the southern part of this country has long been a deadly battle ground for terrorist activities.

Other terror threat groups and pro-ISIS affiliates are continually intimidating government forces, including those as those from the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF). While these groups have been effectively carrying out targeted attacks, the Communist Party of the Philippines, New People’s Army, National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF) remain as an inherent threat in our battle against terrorism.

With the existing presence of ISIS affiliates and the younger generation of terrorist groups (plus an influx of foreign terrorist fighters), the Philippines stands even more vulnerable to possible external attacks from extremist networks of the Southeast Asian terror group, Jemaah Islamiyah.

In the thick of a deadly pandemic, the internal and external threats of terrorism seemed to be relentless undermining the country’s peace and orderliness and security and seriously affecting government’s campaign in fighting COVID-19 to include relief and humanitarian efforts being conducted out in hard to reach communities. Apparently, there had been deadly attacks on civilians and government forces rendering the need for more stringent anti-terrorism law in the country.

Comparatively, in countries like Australia, a total of 81 Anti-Terror Laws had been signed since 2001 albeit claims of the Home by Ministry that tough laws alone cannot eliminate terrorism, it is how leaders are responding to the threats through legislation and how it impacts society.

In these current times, the global concern in terrorism leaves every nation with sound prudence to believe that no country is invulnerable to these phenomena. The Anti-Terrorism Law if exercised with reasonable and discerning objectivity will permeate an equilibrium of efficiency in responding against the menace of terrorism and safeguarding basic human rights. At a time when the Anti-Terror Law is now in place, our greatest perturbation perhaps should not be on what the context of the same per se, rather in the manner of how this will be delivered on the administrative, procedural and on the operational levels where all is a different matter in one blanket.

The Law is open to Legal Challenge

The opposition can always challenge the Anti-Terrorism Act in the Supreme Court. The Department of Justice must have fully reviewed the bill for the so-called potential violation of constitutional rights, before President Duterte signed it into law.

Some lawyers are alarmed over possible abuses, accordingly, of the poorly worded provisions of the law that they say could be used as weapons against people critical of the government policies. Other opposition congressmen feared that the measure would aggravate red tagging of left winged groups.

On the other hand, the current administration assured oppositions of this legislative measure and reassured the public that there are sufficient safeguards against abuse.

These issues shall be settled once and for all, if it reaches the hands of the Supreme Court.


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Friday, June 19, 2020


By: Rommel K Manwong; Emerjhon D Hernandez; Leandro Y Paralisan


We explore the process of radicalization and highlighting the shift from traditional to modern recruitment patterns made by extremist groups in this issue. We find out how the internet and social media play a major role in the current trends in radicalization in this digital age.

The notion of radicalization is widely used to convey the idea of a process through which an individual adopts an increasingly set of beliefs and aspirations. This may include, but is not defined by, the willingness to condone, support, facilitate or use violence to further political, ideological, religious or other goals. This is the reason why radicalization becomes a means of extremism.

Extremism is the holding of strong political or religious views considered to be beyond the mainstream norms of the society. For any contradicting social system, this ideology may trigger the use of violence against it and as a means to claim what they are fighting for, hence the existence of terrorism as universally defined. Terrorism is the inevitable product of radicalization.


Radicalization has four-stage process. First is pre-radicalization, the period where individuals have not been exposed to an extremist belief system and live normally, although there may be aspects of their experiences and environments, for instance isolation and discrimination, that potentially make them more vulnerable to radicalization.

The second stage is self-identification which involve individuals’ introduction to and eventual embrace of an extremist belief system. This usually occurs when they are experiencing economic, social, political, or personal crises and they are exposed to extremist views and narratives through the existing social networks, including their friends and family, or through movements promoting these beliefs.

The third stage is indoctrination where individuals’ extremist beliefs intensify. They view violence as necessary to supporting these beliefs. They tend to join groups that embrace the same terrorist views and detach themselves from their normal lives.

The final stage is jihadization which allows the terrorist groups goal take complete precedence for individuals, and the final steps are taken toward violence as individuals train, acquire weapons, and ultimately attempt to carry out attacks.


The recruitment patterns that can effectively be replicated in the context of online recruitment are as follows:

  1. The net - this is where violent extremist and terrorist groups disseminate undifferentiated propaganda, such as video clips or messages, to a target population deemed homogeneous and receptive to the propaganda.
  2. The funnel - entails an incremental approach to target specific individuals considered ready for recruitment, using psychological techniques to increase commitment and dedication. Even targeted children who resist complete recruitment may develop positive outlooks on the group’s activities.
  3. The infection - when the target population is difficult to reach, an agent can be inserted to pursue recruitment from within, employing direct and personal appeals. The social bonds between the recruiter and the targets may be strengthened by appealing to grievances, such as marginalization or social frustration.
Individuals are said to have push and pull factors that may lead them to be radicalized. The push factors are the sociological aspects that are structural in nature within the society. These are conducive to radicalization as individuals become vulnerable. Examples are - lack of socio-economic opportunities; marginalization and discrimination; poor governance; violations of human rights and the rule of law; prolonged and unresolved conflicts; and prison proselytization. The pull factors on the other hand, are the psychological aspects that can render an individual more susceptible to undertaking violent extremist behavior to which they are motivated to transform their ideas and grievances. Some examples are individual backgrounds and motivations; collective grievances and victimization stemming from domination, oppression, subjugation or foreign intervention; distortion and misuse of beliefs, political ideologies and ethnic and cultural differences; and leadership and social networks.

From the beginning, terrorist groups have been unyielding when it comes to recruitment of members. The push factors are the most considerable pathway to connect with their targets. They search individuals having behaviors indicative of cognitive opening. Recruitment processes are often characterized by elements of both compulsion and voluntariness. Forced recruitment continues to be prevalent and the most vulnerable are people living in poverty, children without parental care, and the street children. Although some individuals may appear to join voluntarily, they are usually enticed by economic reasons when extremist groups offer payment, food, accommodation and protection, encouraging loyalty.

There is also recruitment through ties between the group and community leadership. In some instances, communities support an armed group listed as a terrorist group because the group is perceived as defending the community against threats from other armed groups. In such a situation, families and community leaders may encourage children to join the armed group. The most common form of recruitment used is propaganda.


The internet has proven to be a highly potent platform of communication stretching to millions of audiences in the global scene. The increasing development of sophisticated technology has created and easy approach to communicate with fair anonymity, swiftly and effectively across borders, to an almost boundless assemblage.

While using internet technology is a matter of human right. Nonetheless, it must become an inherent awareness of each individual that the same technology that alleviates vital communication can also be exploited for the purposes of terrorism.

The use of the internet in crime and terrorist purposes opens varying levels of challenges and opportunities in countering terrorism. Under the united nations counter terrorism implementation task force, a functional approach has resulted to the identification of overlapping categories by which the internet is used to promote and reinforce acts of terrorism, as follows:

  • Propaganda - one of the primary exploits of the internet by terrorist is for the dissemination of terror attacks in order to gain immediate, fast and high impact global recognition. This include recruitment, radicalization and incitement to terrorism. As a case in point - that deadly Christchurch shooting in New Zealand march of 2019 was live-streamed over Facebook by the attacker himself under an account named Brenton Tarrant. The event showed a distressing footage that shows him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children. At the height of the ISIS invasion in Iraq and Syria, Local terrorist groups in the Philippines aired their pledge of allegiance by posting videos in various social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The dissemination of extremists’ rhetoric and promotion of violent acts is also an increasing trend across growing range of internet-based platforms that sets a user-generated content. These contents are easily distributed through a wide-range of tools and dedicated websites, virtual chat rooms and private forums, on-line reading materials, social networking platforms and video or file sharing internet instruments. In summary, the rudimentary threat posed by extremist propaganda is associated to the manner in which it is formed, used and the intent with which the information is disseminated.
  • Financing - the way in which terrorist exploit the internet in raising and collecting funds are categorized into the following general categories:
  1. Direct solicitation direct solicitation - is the use of websites, chat groups, mass mailing system and targeted communications to request financial support from sympathizer institutions or individuals.
  2. E-commerce - is the exploitation of legal on-line stores to sell extremists books, audio and video recording materials, electronic flyers with extremism contents and other items to supporters.
  3. Exploitation of on-line payment platforms - counter terrorism organizations has widely uncovered the exploitation of prominent on-line payment facilities that offer a dedicated website or communication platform that provides ease of money transfers electronically between terrorist cells through wire transfers, fictitious credit cards. It has also been noted that terrorist organizations had been exploiting prominent payment facilities such as PayPal and Skype in moving financial transactions.
  4. Charitable (front) organizations - the system employed similar to that of the CPP-NPA, International terrorist organizations funnel their funds through the guise of seemingly legitimate organizations such as charities, foundations under the guise of philanthropic intent yet potentially be delivered for illicit purposes particularly in support to its tactical operations. These institutions may assert to support humanitarian initiatives as a cover while in fact donations are reverted in funding acts of terrorism.
  • Training - there has been an increasing number of internet platforms used in disseminating a wide range of terrorist related training materials and practical guides in the form of on-line instructional manuals, audio and video clips, coaching information and technical advises. This information is presented in multiple languages that stems from showing how to join a terrorist organization, use of firearms and weapons, how to execute an attack and go as far as teaching in detail how to construct explosives or improvised explosive devices. A prominent example is an on-line magazine dubbed as “inspire” which is said to be a publication of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula where it teaches Muslims to train and prepare for jihad right at the very comforts of their homes. The magazine disseminates a large amount of ideological materials for purposes of inciting terrorism to include random speeches from the high-ranking officers of the group.
  • Planning - counter terrorism experts, theorists and criminal justice practitioners have suggested that almost all cases of terrorism involved the use of internet technology. Records of remote communication involving several terrorist personalities have been uncovered indicating a collective planning effort in carrying out terrorist attacks. In one case in France an information was obtained illustrating various forms of communication through social media platforms within and between terrorist organizations inciting violent extremism even across borders. The arrest of Adlene Hicheur, an Algerian-born French national for participation in a criminal conspiracy for the preparation a terrorist attack, was triggered by an electronic email communication containing jihadist content that prompted an investigation in 2008. The email was allegedly sent to a website linked to the president of the French Republic and eventually traced to a member of an Al-Qaeda cell.
  • Execution - at the height of kidnapping activities of the Abu Sayyaf group in southern Mindanao, explicit threats of violence to include beheading landed ostensibly appeared to the internet where executions are published live over YouTube and other social media platforms purposely to sow panic, anxiety and fear among the populace. Through an open or public display such acts, terrorist organizations aim to undermine any government capabilities to protect its citizens and create an impression of insecurity therefor reducing public confidence to the government particularly its armed forces. As such, this method further boosts recruitment activities, radicalization and creates increased confidence among its supporters and to any potential institution who carries idealism towards violent acts of extremism.
  • Cyber Attacks - one method is grooming, which is based on the perpetrators’ learning about the individual’s interests in order to tailor the approach and build up a relationship of trust. Another technique is targeted advertising, by tracking the online behavior of internet users, a group can identify those vulnerable to its propaganda and tailor the narrative to suit its target audience.

The trends in terrorism is dynamic. It changes as global condition changes. In this digital age, cyber-radicalization is the new signature of extremist groups. The global counter terrorism forces must provide greater flexibility in the current technological advancements and should always outweigh the terrorists’ innovative movements.

In the late 20th until this 21st century, there have been a remarkable shift from traditional to advance industrialization. Personal computers and other subsequent technologies were introduced to provide users the ability to easily and rapidly transfer information with the use of internet. The dissemination of propaganda as most commonly used means of recruitment has now gone online.

The internet is now playing an increasingly prominent role in radicalization. Specific websites advertise the existence of the extremist groups and, in many instances, multiple sites in different languages include different messages tailored to specific audiences. Social media platforms, including email, chat rooms, e-groups, message boards, video recordings and applications like Twitter and Facebook are especially popular recruitment tools that can also facilitate tailored approaches.

ISIS fighters have been reported to have been using twitter to post pictures of beheading. In one such case, ISIS sympathizers and fighters were using the hashtag world cup with the accompanying terrifying words. For ISIS’s media wing Al-Furqan, Twitter used as a platform for them to be able to provide messages with speed and reinforce that narrative with retweets to thousands of followers. Twitter therefore acts as a megaphone by which ISIS are able to send out live updates of fighters tweeting about what it feels like to be in Syria.


In line with the united nations global counter-terrorism strategy, different nations across the globe should provide countermeasures in addressing the radicalization of the extremist group. There should be strategic suppression of terrorists’ radicalization such as but not limited to:

  1. Trace and mediate – governments around the globe must continuously fight against terrorism and should take into consideration the listings of possible factors that make individuals vulnerable to recruitment for radicalization. Inter-agency cooperation remains effective and should be use to trace individuals that satisfy all those listed radicalization factors and bring them into mediation. Mediation requires the process of understanding their grievances and triggering events and helping them to cope up through various programs.
  2. Convene and intervene – regular international forum among stakeholders and experts in counter-terrorism must keep up. Owners of social media platforms maybe called upon to help address the issue on online radicalization via strategic interventions. Technological solutions should be developed to facilitate the speedy removal of terrorist propaganda and automatic tracing and deactivating sympathizers who spread terrorism interests on social media.


Suggested Readings

  1. Smith, a. G. (2018, June). How Radicalization to Terrorism occurs in the United States: What research sponsored by the National Institute of Justice tells us (US, Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs - National Institute of Justice).
  2. UNODC, The Doha Declaration: Promoting a Culture of Lawfulness (July, 2018). Drivers of Violent Extremism.
  3. Strategies for Preventing Recruitment of Children by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups. (2017). UNODC, Handbook on Children Recruited and Exploited by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups: The Role of the Justice System.
  4. Awan, Imran. (2017). Cyber-extremism: ISIS and the Power of Social Media Society.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020


By: Jomar T. Sadie, PGDip-TS
LEAPS Academy Philippines
Area: Human Trafficking

Basra, Iraq - It was barely over a year ago, when we were pulling all stops sorting things out with prison officials in order to extract one kababayan Jocelyn Capate and bring her back home. She burst into tears the moment she saw us that morning of 03 April 2019. And more so when we told her she's flying home the same day, mere hours after her release from jail.

Joyce's ordeal started in July of 2018 when she was promised a job in Dubai. Instead of arriving in the UAE however, she ended up in Iraq using a Kurdistan visa. Such a visa is easy to acquire online. For three days, Joyce was transported by car from Erbil to Basra, a journey that should have been only 8 hours long at most. This is because the visa she holds is not valid for travel to the rest of Iraq.

During that trip, she was transferred from one car to another at least five times in order to avoid inspection at various checkpoints that pepper their route. She is among the luckier ones. At least twenty (21) other Filipinos experienced traveling the same route from July to December of 2018. Some were detained, two were allegedly kidnapped, and several were molested during the 3-day journey.

Last October, Joyce managed to escape. She ran away to escape the maltreatment she was enduring from her employers in Basra. But it was a dangerous trip. She traveled via taxi to Baghdad amidst the protest and violence that erupted in that city during that month. She stayed in the Embassy for a few months along with other Filipinos who were victims of human trafficking.

By December, we were sending home 22 victims of human trafficking. This was no easy feat, but no one heard about this. We couldn't celebrate. Joyce was left behind even with her duly processed exit visa dated 10 December 2018. Her employer had filed a case against her, as if fate deemed it, a day before her flight. She was detained at the airport. She was so close to getting home. And she was devastated. We couldn't fully rejoice for the 21, because even if the men and I are rough around the edges, "No one gets left behind" is not just lip service but a mantra we take to heart at the Embassy.

Because of the case filed by her former employer, Joyce was locked up for five months. Frustrated with the situation, but still keeping true to the spirit of diplomacy, the Philippine Embassy in Iraq transmitted a strongly worded note verbale to the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating, among others, that the Baghdad Philippine Embassy aspires to regularize Filipino workers in Iraq as well as combat human trafficking, but Capate’s prolonged detention made it difficult to advance these advocacies.

The central government took notice and responded; thus, Joyce was released. I remember looking at Joyce enjoying a cigarette in the other vehicle within our heavily guarded convoy that's running fast to the airport. I see her finally free. And she is celebrating with that cigarette, windows open. I roll down my window and light a stick to join the celebration. And damn, what a celebration! I wrote personal thank you letters to those who helped us, without friends, it is impossible to bear Iraq.

I remember writing this then and I say it now “To those, who are eyeing jobs in Dubai or Erbil with shady details, may this story serve as a warning to always be careful. If the offer is too good to be true, it is not true. And to those recruiters who are feeding off the blood and sweat of your very own Kababayans, we sincerely wish that you live long, may you never be hungry, may you never be cold in bed or without a bed, and may you never be left alone, for the world is round, and life is long and you'll never know that twist of fate when it's your turn to be behind bars wanting and waiting for kind words. We are happy to be the first one to wish you well. See you there.”


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Sunday, May 24, 2020


LEAPS Academy Philippines | PG Diploma in Terrorism Studies


The current definition of terrorism emphasizes that its primary aim is to threaten and terrorize large groups of humans, governments, armies, or society as a whole. Thus, one may assume, in the context of a socio-historical analysis of bioterrorism, that it involves the use of various biological agents by all kinds of actors or groups, including political or military actors and official states, motivated by different reasons (be they political, religious, or other ideological objectives), in order to attain such objectives.

The use of biological agents such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, or their toxins to cause disease or death among human population, food crops and livestock, or to terrorize society and manipulate the government, has increased much possibilities in recent times. It could be by any means of any method, covert or overt, for the transmission of disease from one human to another or to the desired target. For instance, measles, influenza, avian flu, smallpox, plague, and viral hemorrhagic fevers. Bioterrorist agents of major concern have been categorized as A, B and C based on the priority of the agents, and all posing risk to societal security.

The Threat of Bioterrorism

The threat of bioterrorism, in which biological agents are used by extremists as weapons against civilian populations, is a matter of great concern. Nations and dissident groups exist that have both the motivation and access to skills to selectively cultivate some of the most dangerous pathogens and to deploy them as agents in acts of terrorism. Although a bioterrorist attack is difficult to predict, the consequences of a successful attack could be devastating and cannot be ignored.

Bioterrorism and its effects can impose heavy demands on the public health care system which will be called upon to handle the consequences. It causes public health emergency. Early detection and rapid investigation are the keys to contain the attacks. An effective public health care system with strong disease surveillance, rapid epidemiological and laboratory investigation, efficient medical management, information, education and communication will be required to counter any act of covert or overt bioterrorist attack. Thus, the role of public health epidemiologist is critical not only in determining the scope and magnitude of the attack but also in effective implementation of interventions. The most important step in any case of bioterrorist attack is the identification of the event. This can be achieved by generating knowledge about it, having high degree of critical awareness and having a good surveillance system to assist quick detection.

Historical Backgrounder

Contagious diseases and other biological weapons were recognized for their potential impact on armies or people as early as the 14th century BC. The Hittites documented examples of Biological Warfare (BW) by sending diseased rams, possibly infected with bacterial disease tularaemia, to their enemies to weaken them.

In the 4th century BC, the Greek historian Herodotus relates that Scythian archers used to infect their arrows by dipping them in a mixture of decomposing cadavers of adders and human blood – a mixture which might have contained Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium tetani, as well as snakes’ venom.

During the 3rd century BC, the military commander Hannibal of Cartagena set fire to the enemy’s fleet with pots full of venomous snakes. Similar examples are reported by historians and anthropologists of the use of arrows or other vessels infected with different products extracted from animal parts or plants in order to attack the human enemy.

The use of arrows for the transmission of plague were documented in history. For instance, in 1346, the Mongols, by throwing diseased cadavers with catapults against their enemies. The attacking enemy army experienced an epidemic of bubonic plague. Similar examples of the use of the technique of catapulting infected cadavers can be found throughout the modern period, from the siege of the Bohemian City of Carolstein by Lithuanian troops in 1422 to the siege of the Swedish army in Reval (Estonia) in 1710 by the Russians.

In brief, here are some featured events in the history of Biological Warfare:

  • 14th century BC - the Hittites send rams infected with tularaemia to their enemies
  • 4th century BC - according to Herodotus, Scythian archers infect their arrows by dipping them into decomposing cadavers
  • 1155 - Barbarossa poisons water wells with human bodies, Tortona (Italy)
  • 1346 - Mongols hurl bodies of plague victims over the walls of the besieged city of Caffa (Crimea)
  • 1422 - Lithuanian army hurls manure made of infected victims into the town of Carolstein (Bohemia)
  • 1495 - Spanish mix wine with blood of leprosy patients to sell to their French foes, Naples (Italy)
  • 1650 - Polish army fires saliva from rabid dogs towards their enemies
  • 1710 - Russian army catapult plague cadavers over the Swedish troops in Reval (Estonia)
  • 1763 - British officers distribute blankets from smallpox hospital to Native Americans
  • 1797 - The Napoleonic armies flood the plains around Mantua (Italy), to enhance the spread of malaria among the enemy
  • 1863 - Confederates sell clothing from yellow fever and smallpox patients to Union troops during the American Civil War
During the subsequent centuries, smallpox represented the most effective, if purposefully used, biological weapon. Introduced in the American continent by the European colonizers, it was explicitly used several times as a way to infect Native Americans during the so called ‘Conquest of the West’.

Below summarizes the use of biological agents during the historic wars:

Category A
  • Anthrax - Bacillus anthracis - World War I; World War II; Soviet Union, 1979; Japan, 1995; USA, 2001
  • Haemorrhagic - Marburg virus - Soviet bioweapons programme
  • Plague - Yersinia pestis - Fourteenth-century Europe; World War II
  • Smallpox - Variola major - Eighteenth-century North America
  • Tularaemia - Francisella tularensis - World War II

Category B
  • Cholera - Vibrio cholerae - World War II
  • Encephalitis – Alphaviruses - World War II
  • Food poisoning - Salmonella species, Shigella species - World War II; USA, 1990s
  • Glanders - Burkholderia mallei - World War I; World War II
  • Typhus - Rickettsia prowazekii - World War II
  • Various toxic syndromes - Various bacteria - World War II

Classification of Bioterrorism Agents

To determine the risks from various agents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers their effect on human health, the degree of contagiousness or method of transfer to humans, and the availability and effectiveness of vaccines and therapies to prevent and treat illness. The level of threat from specific agents is reviewed and revised periodically. New high-risk pathogens may be added to the list as they are discovered. It is also possible that the relative level of threat could change. For example, if an effective vaccine is developed against a particular agent, its level of threat would decrease, whereas if an agent becomes resistant to current therapies, its level of threat could increase. 

The classification into Categories A, B, and C is based on the ability of the agent to be disseminated, the mortality rate of the agent, the actions required for public health preparedness, and the capability of causing public panic.

  • Category A consists of the agents that are considered the highest risk, and much of the biodefense research effort is directed towards these agents. It poses the highest risk to national security; can be easily disseminated or transmitted from person to person; result in high mortality rates and could have a major public health impact; require special public health preparedness actions; have potential to cause public panic and social disruption.
Examples - Anthrax, Botulism, Dengue, Ebola, Hantavirus, Lassa, Marburg, Plague, Smallpox, Tularemia

  • Category B agents are ones that could conceivably threaten water and food safety. It poses the second highest risk to national security; are moderately easy to disseminate; result in moderate morbidity rates and low mortality rates; require enhanced diagnostic capacity and disease surveillance.
Examples - Caliciviruses, Chikungunya, Cholera, E. coli O157:H7, Hepatitis A, Ricin toxin, Salmonella, Typhus fever, Yellow fever, Zika

  • Category C includes pathogens that are considered emerging infectious disease threats and which could be engineered for mass dissemination; are easily produced and disseminated; have potential for high morbidity and mortality rates and major health impact.
Examples - Antimicrobial Resistance, Hendra, Influenza (highly pathogenic strains), MERS, Nipah, Prions, Rabies, SARS, Tickborne encephalitis, Tuberculosis

Public Health Emergency Preparedness and Response

The responsibilities of public health agencies are surveillance of infectious diseases, detection and investigation of outbreaks, identification of etiologic agents and their modes of transmission and the development of prevention and control strategies.

Maintaining effective disease surveillance and communication systems are fundamental components of an adequate public health infrastructure. Ensuring adequate epidemiologic and laboratory capacity are prerequisites to effective surveillance systems. One approach to early detection is “syndrome surveillance”, in which electronic symptom data are captured early in the course of illness and analyzed for signals that might indicate an outbreak requiring public health investigation and response. Syndrome surveillance has been used for early detection of outbreaks to follow the size, spread and tempo of outbreaks, to monitor disease trends and to provide reassurance that an outbreak has not occurred. Syndrome surveillance systems seek to use existing health data in real time to provide immediate analysis and feedback to those charged with investigation and follow-up of potential outbreaks.

Exposure to the agents of bioterrorism by use of vaccines and antibiotics has dramatic potential for saving lives and expense. The public health approach to bioterrorism must begin with the development of local and state-level plans. Close collaboration between the clinical and public health communities is also critical. To effectively respond to an emergency or disaster, health departments must engage in preparedness activities.
Completion of the following five phases of activities prior to an incident are essential for successful response to a bioterrorist attack.

  1. Preparedness Phase - includes actions to be taken by different agencies to ensure required state of preparedness. These include evaluation of the laboratory facilities and upgrading the same, evaluating the hospital preparedness in emergency response and case management in case of an imminent attack, conduct training of health professionals, rapid response team (RRT) and quick response medical team (QRMT) who would be the first responders, work out the legal provision and their implications, ensure that requirement of safe drinking water is met, ensure availability of adequate stocks of medicines and vaccines, coordinate with security organization, organize mock drills for health professionals, government departments, animal husbandry, security, law enforcing and other agencies so as to assess their preparedness levels to act in case of an attack, prepare contact details so that communications is unhampered during an attack. Public should be kept aware about imminent attacks so that voluntary reporting is encouraged. It is important to carry out review of situation based on current information of threat perception.
  1. Early Warning Phase - in the surveillance system, this includes activities like case definitions, notification, compilation and interpretation of epidemiological data. Early detection and rapid investigation by public health epidemiologist is critical in determining the scope and magnitude of the attack and to implement effective interventions.
  1. Notification Phase - it is mandatory to report any unusual syndrome or usual syndromes in unusual numbers to appropriate authorities. The activities in this phase include rapid epidemiological investigations, quick laboratory support for confirmation of diagnosis, quarantine, isolation, keeping health care facilities geared for impending casualty management and evolving public health facilities for control.
  1. Response Phase - activities include rapid epidemiological investigation, quick laboratory support, mass casualty management and initiation of preventive, curative and specific control measures for containing the further spread of the disease.
In order to achieve them, following steps can be followed:

    1. Assess the situation - Initiate the response by assessing the situation in terms of time, place and person distribution of those affected, routes of transmission, its impact on critical infrastructure and health facilities, the agencies and organizations involved in responding to the event, communicate to the public health responders, local, state and national level emergency operation centers for event management etc.
    2. Contact key health personnel - Contact and coordinate with personnel within the health department that have emergency response roles and responsibilities. Record all contacts and follow-up actions.
    3. Develop action plan - Develop initial health response objectives that are specific, measurable and achievable. Establish an action plan based on the assessment of the situation. Assign responsibilities and record all actions.
    4. Implementation of the action plan - RRTs/QRMTs investigate the outbreak/increase in the disease incidence, collect samples and send it to the identified state/national laboratory for testing. Hospitals are alerted for receiving the patients and their treatment. If necessary tented hospitals are set up. Methods to control the disease and quarantine measures are instituted. Once the disease is identified, treatment protocols are sent to all concerned by the fastest possible means. Standard operating procedures (SOP) for laboratory testing is made by the identified laboratory and the same is sent to all the hospital laboratories and district hospitals for implementation. Laboratory reagents are distributed to the concerned laboratories. Public is taken into confidence to prevent any panic. The list of ‘Do's and Don'ts’ are circulated thorough the print and electronic media. Hospitals ensure appropriate isolation, quarantine, waste disposal and personal protective measures. All contaminated clothing and equipment are carefully disposed of by incineration. An impact assessment team assesses the impact of the attacks on humans, animals and plants.
  1. Recovery Phase - the setbacks suffered as a result of the bioterrorist attack are restored and lessons learnt in this phase are incorporated in the future preparedness plans. The damage done to the public health facilities and the essential items utilized during the response phase are replenished. Public advisories are issued regarding restoration of normalcy. The RRTs compile and analyze data to identify the deficiencies experienced in the implementation of the response measures. The necessary modifications are then incorporated in the contingency plan for future.
Final Thoughts

Despite the advances in scientific research on bacteriology and, more generally, in biology and medicine, definitive conclusions regarding the effective use of biological attacks in the history of humankind remain difficult to handle. The lack of microbiological and epidemiological data, the weight of political propaganda and issues about military secrecy make the problem particularly difficult to solve for the historical researcher. However, the recurring use of biological weapons (be it speculative or real), which emerged long before the scientific revolution of microbiology at the end of the 19th century, is a striking characteristic of human history.

Biological warfare is a potential threat on the battlefield of daily life. It is vital for neurologists and other health-care practitioners to be familiar with biological and toxic agents that target the nervous system. Most illnesses caused by biological warfare agents are not commonly considered neurological diseases; however, many of these agents may present with headache, meningitis, or mental status changes, in addition to fever and other symptoms and signs.

Bioterrorism remains a legitimate threat for both domestics and international terrorist groups. The government should conduct a timely surveillance, awareness of syndromes resulting to bioterrorism, epidemiologic investigation, and laboratory diagnostics capacities, ability to rapidly disseminate critical information on a need-to-know and need-to-share basis. Managing public information to the media is also vital. Ensuring the adequate supply of medicines availability. Standard operating procedures on the level of health care will go a long way in minimizing the mortality and morbidity of bioterrorism attack.


References and Suggested Readings:

  • Sharma R., India wakes up to threat of bioterrorism. BMJ. 2001;323:714.
  • Lane HC, Fuci AS. Microbial Bioterrorism. In: Kasper DL, Braunwald E, editors. Harrison's Principle of Internal Medicine. 16th ed. McGraw Hill; New York: 2005. pp. 1279–1288.
  • Centres for Diseases Control and Prevention. Emergency Preparedness and Response: Bioterrorism Overview.
  • Gupta ML, Sharma A. Pneumonic plague, northern India. Emerg Infect Dis. 2002 2007
  • Borio L, Inglesby T, Peters CJ, Schmaljohn AL, Hughes JM, Jahrling PB. Haemorrhagic fever viruses as biological weapons: medical and public health management. JAMA. 2002;287:391–405.
  • Torok TJ, Tauxe RV, Wise RP, Livengood JR, Sokolow R, Mauvais S. A large community outbreak of salmonellosis caused by intentional contamination of restaurant salad bars. JAMA. 1997;278:389–395.
  • Bioterrorist agents: Differential diagnosis, initial laboratory tests, and public health actions.
  • J Lederberg (Ed.), Biological weapons. Limiting the threat, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (1999)
  • GW Christopher, TJ Cieslak, JA Pavlin, EM EitzenBiological warfare: a historical perspective
  • SI Trevisatano, ‘Hittite plaque’ an epidemic of tularemia and the first record of biological warfare Med Hypotheses, 69 (2007)
  • MD GrmekLesruses de guerre dans l'Antiquité Rev Etud Grec, 92 (1979)
  • OC EnehBiological weapons—agents for life and environmental destruction Res J Environ Toxicol, 6 (2012)

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