Cases of coronavirus cases have topped more than five million at the time of writing and according to security experts, terrorists could now use biological weapons after witnessing the devastating impact of the coronavirus. According to experts from the Council of Europe, the virus has now exposed how vulnerable modern societies are. In a statement from the Council of Europe said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the vulnerability of modern societies to viral infections and their potential for disruption.
“The intentional use of a pathogen or other biological agent for the purpose of terrorism may prove highly effective and cause damage – both human and economic – on a far grander scale than ‘traditional’ terrorist attacks, paralyzing societies for prolonged periods, spreading fear and sowing distrust far beyond those communities immediately affected.
“All countries are vulnerable to bioterrorism.
“Its damage is rapid and potentially global.
“It is necessary to strengthen preventive bioterrorism measures by means of competent interinstitutional intervention and effective international cooperation.”
The council did state, however, that as it stands there have been no reports of links to any upcoming attacks.
Due to the crippling effect of the coronavirus, United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres warned of the potential damage to international peace.
He also warned there could be an increase in social unrest and violence while terrorists could also seize on the opportunity to strike.
He added: “The weaknesses and lack of preparedness exposed by this pandemic provide a window onto how a bioterrorist attack might unfold – and may increase its risks.
“And there are growing manifestations of authoritarianism, including limits on the media, civic space and freedom of expression.”
The fear of a potentially damaging bioweapon has also been expressed by both US and UK officials.
The former head of the UK Government’s National Counter Terrorism Security Office, Chris Phillips warned of the potential for a laboratory-created virus.
Mr Phillips stated in the wake of the virus’ outbreak that COVID-19 had now highlighted just how vulnerable the world is.
He said: “If you were a hardened terrorist and had worked in a lab for years, you would know how to do it.”
Assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Robert Kadlec told NBC News how the virus could greenlight a potential attack.
He said: “Many of the very worst-case characteristics of an intentional event are also being seen in this naturally occurring pandemic.”