An ethnic bioweapon (biogenetic weapon) is a type of theoretical
bioweapon that aims to harm only or primarily people of specific
ethnicities or genotypes.
1.1 Genetic weapons
2 Israeli "ethno-bomb" controversy
3 Russian ban on export of biological samples
4 See also
6 External links
One of the first modern fictional discussions of ethnic weapons is in
Robert A. Heinlein's 1942 novel
Sixth Column (republished as The Day
After Tomorrow), in which a race-specific radiation weapon is used
against a so-called "Pan-Asian" invader.
U.S. Secretary of Defense
U.S. Secretary of Defense
William Cohen referred to the
concept of an ethnic bioweapon as a possible risk. In 1998 some
biological weapon experts considered such a "genetic weapon"
plausible, and believed the former
Soviet Union had undertaken some
research on the influence of various substances on human genes.
In its 2000 policy paper Rebuilding America's Defenses, think-tank
Project for the New American Century
Project for the New American Century (PNAC) described ethnic
bioweapons as a potentially "politically useful tool". PNAC went on to
provide substantial staffing for the Bush Jr administration.
The possibility of a "genetic bomb" is presented in Vincent Sarich's
and Frank Miele's book, Race: The Reality of Human Differences,
published in 2004. These authors view such weapons as technically
feasible but not very likely to be used. (page 248 of paperback
The Guardian reported that the British Medical Association
(BMA) considered bioweapons designed to target certain ethnic groups
as a possibility, and highlighted problems that advances in science
for such things as "treatment to
Alzheimer's and other debilitating
diseases could also be used for malign purposes".
In 2005, the official view of the International Committee of the Red
Cross was "The potential to target a particular ethnic group with a
biological agent is probably not far off. These scenarios are not the
product of the ICRC's imagination but have either occurred or been
identified by countless independent and governmental experts."
The Atlantic wrote that a specific virus that targets
individuals with a specific DNA sequence is within possibility in the
near future. The magazine put forward a hypothetical scenario of a
virus which caused mild flu to the general population but deadly
symptoms to the President of the United States. They cite advances in
personalized gene therapy as evidence.
Foreign Policy magazine suggested the possibility of a virus
used as an ethnic bioweapon that could sterilize a
"genetically-related ethnic population."
Israeli "ethno-bomb" controversy
In November 1998, The Sunday Times reported that Israel was attempting
to build an "ethno-bomb" containing a biological agent that could
specifically target genetic traits present amongst Arab
Wired News also reported the story, as did
Microbiologists and geneticists were skeptical towards the scientific
plausibility of such a biological agent. The New York Post,
describing the claims as "blood libel", reported that the likely
source for the story was a work of science fiction by Israeli academic
Doron Stanitsky. Stanitsky had sent his completely fictional work
about such a weapon to Israeli newspapers two years before. The
article also noted the views of genetic researchers who claimed the
idea as "wholly fantastical", with others claiming that the weapon was
A planned second installment of the article never appeared, and no
sources were ever identified. Neither of the authors of the Sunday
Uzi Mahnaimi and Marie Colvin, have spoken publicly on
the matter.
Russian ban on export of biological samples
In May 2007, a Russian newspaper
Kommersant reported that the Russian
government banned all exports of human biosamples. The report
claims that the reason for the ban was a secret FSB report about
on-going development of "genetic bioweapons" targeting Russian
population by Western institutions. The report mentions the Harvard
School of Public Health, American International Health Alliance,
Department of Medical Biotechnology of Jagiellonian University, United
States Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources
Division, Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology Warsaw University,
and United States Agency for International Development.
Genographic Project, genetic anthropology study; intention is to study
Prayer of the Rollerboys
Race in biomedicine
Syphon Filter, a video game in which terrorists attempt to release a
genetically programmable virus.
International HapMap Project
William Cohen (1997-04-28). "Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction,
and U.S. Strategy". Sam Nunn Policy Forum, University of Georgia.
Archived from the original on 2004-11-18. Retrieved 2006-07-12.
^ Interview of Dr Christopher Davis, UK Defence Intelligence Staff,
Plague War, Frontline, PBS, October 1998
^ Adam, David (28 October 2004), Could you make a genetically targeted
weapon?, The Guardian
^ Preventing the use of biological and chemical weapons: 80 years on,
Official Statement by Jacques Forster, vice-president of the ICRC,
^ Hessel, Andrew (2012), Hacking the President’s DNA, The
^ Brooks, Rosa (2016-03-15). "Can There Be War Without Soldiers?".
Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2016-06-15.
^ Uzi Mahnaimi;
Marie Colvin (1998-11-15). "Israel planning 'ethnic'
bomb as Saddam caves in". The Sunday Times. access-date=
requires url= (help)
^ "Israel's Ethnic Weapon?". Wired News. 1998-11-16.
^ James Ridgeway (1999-02-02). "Ethnic Warfare". The Village
^ "UPI report".
^ Stein, Jeff. "Debunking the "ethno-bomb"". Salon. Retrieved 25
^ "Now Playing: A Blood Libel For The 21st Century". New York Post.
1998-11-22. access-date= requires url= (help)
^ "Google Groups quoting Haaretz". groups.google.com. Retrieved
^ "Россия блюдет человеческий образец".
Kommersant. 2007-05-29. Retrieved 2007-05-29.
"Ethnic Weapons" -
Race Specific Biological Weapons 1970 Military
Review on YouTube
Genetic weapons: a 21st-century nightmare?, Ethirajan Anbarasan,
UNESCO Courier, March 1999
Is all fair in biological warfare?, Journal of Medical Ethics, June
New biological weapons: Science fiction or moral imperative?, Robin
Coupland, Red Cross Red Crescent, July 1999
(list by death toll)
Dzungar Mongols (1750s)
Circassian genocide (1860s)
Herero and Namaqua (1904–1907)
The Holocaust (1941–1945)
East Timor (1974–1999)
Guatemalan Maya (1981–1983)
Kurds in Iraq (1986–1989)
Partition of India
Partition of India (1947)
Polish genocide(s) in the USSR
Great Purge Era (1937–1938
Occupation of Poland (1939–1945)
Katyn massacre (1940)
Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia
Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia (1943–1944)
Burundian genocides (1972 & 1993)
Selk'nam genocide (1890s–1900s)
Bosnian genocide (1992–1995)
Srebrenica massacre (1995)
ISIL Genocides (2014–)
Genocide of indigenous peoples
Effects on young survivors
Lothar von Trotha
Efraín Ríos Mo