Author's note: Last year I presented a review of possible Syrian biological warfare programs as an invited speaker by the Bundeswehr Medical Military and Microbiology Institute in Munich. As a previous participant at both their nuclear and bio-defence conferences, I was honored to be asked to deliver a talk on this subject. The discussion, which was not sugar coated for the non-proliferation participants, touched upon the potential of Hezbollah to acquire a BW capability, either via Syria or Iran. Moreover, the central theme of my talk revolved around looting (not destruction through war) of Syrian veterinary and vaccine labs, and for which before and after photos were made available upon request. In discussions with colleagues prior to my talk, one of the subjects repeatedly brought up was Germany's lack of initiative in listing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. Some caution was urged at accepting the invitation given Germany's apparent policy issues related to Hezbollah. The EU has now listed Hezbollah, but Germany apparently was extremely hesitant to do so and resisted for some time. In reviewing Germany's relationship to Hezbollah, it is interesting to consider how their lack of initiative could compromise public health security, not only their own, but that of the international community as a whole, should Hezbollah acquire a BW capability.
"According to U.S. intelligence officials Hezbollah has cooperated with the terrorist network formerly lead by Abu Masab al-Zarqawi [ ]. This network officially became part of Al Qaeda in 2004. Despite Zarqawi's militantly anti-Shia views, the two groups have reportedly coordinated terrorist efforts against Israel on an ad hoc basis. Zarqawi's network, composed of Sunni extremists from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq and other countries has a strong fundraising and support infrastructure in Europe that poses a significant threat to Europeans as well as citizens from a wide range of other countries."
See: James Phillips, "Hezbollah's Terrorist Threat to the European Union", Heritage Lectures, No. 1038, Delivered June 20, 2007, published August 28, 2007. Germany has a rather concerning history when it comes to Hezbollah. In 2005 for example they released a Hezbollah hijacker and ignored extradition requests from the United States.
"In ignoring the threat from Hezbollah, the German government puts hope above experience. While it tries to spare German citizens from the wrath of Hezbollah, it plays down the danger of a group that seeks to destroy both Lebanese democracy and the Jewish state. In the end, this approach also compromises the safety of German citizens. On July 31, 2006, two Lebanese students, Yussuf Mohammed El Hajdib and Jihad Hamad, placed bombs hidden in suitcases on two regional trains in Germany, but they failed to go off. Germany's federal law enforcement agency concluded that a successful explosion would have resulted in a tragedy on par with the London subway attacks of July 2005. The two suspects said they wanted to take revenge for the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed. - See more at: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/hezbollahs-german-helpers/#sthash.LguTx6p0.dpuf In the past, the German government has shown strong resolve when it saw a threat to German security. It banned the Hamas "charity" al-Aqsa as well as the radical Sunni Islamist Hizb-ut Tahrir group. And it joined the EU in designating the PKK, the radical Kurdish group, as a terrorist organization." It did not, however, ban Hezbollah - See more at: http://www.defenddemocracy.org/media-hit/hezbollahs-german-helpers/#sthash.LguTx6p0.dpuf
So, while Germany reluctantly listed Hezbollah, the potential that they posses a BW capability is slowly being acknowledged and one wonders, when BW is used in Europe, where the responsibility will fall.
"The IDF is sounding increasingly alarmed over who might wind up with Syria's chemical and biological weapons collections after the fall of Assad. The question is when, not if. And the big question is what's going to come the day after." Eshel See: http://israelmatzav.blogspot.nl/2012/01/who-gets-chemicals.html
Recalling that several Germany companies were involved in providing dual use materials which ultimately were used for Assad's BW and CW programs. In a 2002 report, which appeared in the Middle East Quarterly entitled: "Guile, Gas and Germs: Syria's Ultimate Weapons," The author notes:
"West German companies also did their share. The first Syrian project involved setting up a production line for serial manufacturing of di-fluoro—DF, from which sarin nerve gas for binary munitions is obtained. The process involves two stages. The first requires resistance to a compound that includes chlorine, which has to be produced before the DF; and the second requires resistance to fluoride, an even more destructive component than chlorine. The processes require highly resistant industrial glass components. Syria chose two German companies to provide them: Schott and Sigri.
Jill Bellamy is an internationally recognized expert on biological warfare and defence. She has formerly advised NATO and for the past seventeen years has represented a number of bio-pharmaceutical and government clients working on procurement strategy between NATO MS and Washington DC. Her articles have appeared in the National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Sunday Times of London, Le Temps, Le Monde and the Jerusalem Post among other publications. She is a CBRN SME with the U.S. Department of Defence, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Information Analysis Center and CEO of Warfare Technology Analytics, a private consultancy based in the Netherlands.