A Conspiracy Theory of Biological Attack on Pakistan



By Syed Haroon Haider Gilani

On September 27, 2011 Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) have asked the security agencies to probe into the deliberate spread of Dengue virus into Pakistan (Pakistan Observer, 2011). The demand of doctors has spread across the globe immediately and in Pakistan it has been creating massive anti-American sentiments because the people think dengue is being used as an agent of Biological warfare to kill or threaten the Nation besides Drone attacks and other deadly covert operations. By the end of September 2011, about 12,000 people were affected of the disease. Due to the sudden and rapid spread of the disease, In less than a month, 126 people have died and more than 12,000 have been diagnosed with the virus, which has spread rapidly among both rich and poor in Pakistan’s cultural capital Lahore (Gilani, 2011).

In 1967, Science Magazine reported that at the US government center in Fort Detrick, Maryland, dengue fever was among those diseases that are at least the object of considerable research and that appears to be among those regarded as potential BW (biological warfare) agents (Blum, 2003, p. 189). Before discussing the reasons for dengue as choice for CIA as biological warfare agent, we see the intellectual opinion and potential of dengue as being a biological warfare agent.

Dengue fever is a potentially fatal, mosquito borne viral disease. Although dengue, with its severe, flu like symptoms, rarely caused death before twentieth century, dengue hemorrhagic fever, a potentially lethal complication, has become a leading cause of admission to hospital and death among children in several tropical and subtropical countries. Vaccine development for dengue has been difficult because this disease can be caused by one of four related viruses and unless a vaccine can protect against all four, the vaccine could possibly the risk of the more serious variant, dengue hemorrhagic fever (World Health Organization (WHO), 2009). It makes dengue as potential agent as being practically incurable in advance and complicated to treat, highly deadly, devastating and rapidly spreading.

CIA, Biological Warfare Programs and Dengue in Pakistan

Pakistan has been being experimented by CIA since massive expansion of CIA operations during Russia-Afghanistan war of 80s and Western agencies has been breeding Mosquitos in Pakistan and intellectuals has been reporting it periodically ever since. Russian intelligence reported that in 1982, American efforts to control malaria by releasing sterilized male mosquitoes in Pakistan were really germ warfare (McDermott, 1987). These mosquitoes, known as OX513A, necessarily have to be of the Aedes aegypti type in order to achieve the goals publicly stated by the developers. Therefore, the millions of male mosquitoes that were released into the open-air environment in 2009, and again in 2010, were all of the dengue fever carrying type (Turbeville, 2010). A British biotechnology company named Oxitec developed the OX513A mosquitoes and the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) in the Cayman Islands, a British overseas territory, oversaw their subsequent release (Cheng, 2010). British government was exposed for deliberately granting licenses to certain British firms to export such material usable for biological weapons till 1996 at least (Chomsky, 2000, p. 25)

Although Oxitec Limited (Cheng, 2010) was the developer who engaged in most of the groundwork for the GM insects, the project was not theirs alone. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, The PEW Charitable Trusts, and government agencies in the United States, England, Malaysia, and others were all involved in the development and promotion of the GM mosquitoes (Turbeville, 2010).

In 1953, CIA commenced a secret project, named Project MKULTRA, an eleven-year program to produce and test drugs and biological warfare. 1967, CIA and US Department of Defence (DOD) have entered into a secret joint project, named, MKNAOMI to maintain stocks and test biological and chemical weapons (Donald G. Lett, 2008, p. 250). On November 1969, US President Richard Nixon has banned biological and chemical warfare development programs and to destroy the stockpiles of such weapons but a congressional committee s investigation found the evidences that although the programs were officially shutdown but CIA covertly continued all the operations in full scale (Time Magazine, 1975).

Dengue and Cuba, Nicaragua and El Salvador

In 1984, it was testified by a Cuban exile in New York that in 1980, a ship travelled from Florida to Cuba with a mission to carry some germs to introduce them in Cuba to be used against the Soviets and against Cuban Economy, to begin what was called chemical war, which later on produced that was not what we had expected, because we thought that it was going to be used against the Soviet Forces, and it was used against our own people, and with that we did not agree (Blum, 2003, p. 189). Between May-to-October 1981, some 158 people were dead of which 101 were children with age less than 15 (Blum, 2003), while number of affected people was 350,000 to 500,000 (The News and Courier, 1983). Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader, publicly suggested that the Central Intelligence Agency had deliberately introduced a new strain of dengue fever, known to medical authorities as dengue 2, into Cuba (The New York Times, 1982). The impacts of the warfare were catastrophic for the economy of Cuba that was flourishing from its Sugar export and surplus in budgets (Barry’sS. Levy, 2000). Since then 2 million cases were reported in the region, with countries such as El Salvador and Ecuador in 2000 and Venezuela in 2001 declaring national state of emergency (Joseph R Biden, 2003, p. 57). On August 2001, Venezuela s president (A top US opposition and enemy) declared a National emergency after the dengue s lethal form attacking the nation s 24,000 citizen (Joseph R Biden, 2003, p. 74).

On May 1981, at the Boyeros municipality in the Cuban capital, reports began of people sick with fever, ocular, abdominal and muscular pains, rashes, cephalalgia and asthenia frequently accompanied by multiple bleeding with different degrees of severity. A few days later, there was an outbreak of similar cases in the provinces of Cienfuegos, Holguin and Villa Clara, by then rapidly extending to the rest of the country.

The initial studies demonstrated that the first cases had appeared simultaneously in three places on the island at a distance of more than 300 kilometers one from the other. There was no epidemiological explanation that would allow interpreting these incidents as a natural infection. Laboratory studies confirmed that the etiological agent was the dengue type 2 virus. The fact that the virus showed up unexpectedly, when no dengue-2 epidemic activity had been reported in the American continent or in any country with which Cuba had a significant exchange of personnel, as well as, its simultaneous appearance in different regions of the country are elements that back up the studies carried out by Cuban scientists of acknowledged prestige, with the co-operation of foreign scientists highly specialized in detecting and fighting biological aggression.

The exhaustive research and studies carried out led to the evidence that agents at the service of the U.S. government deliberately introduced the epidemic in the national territory. American experts in biological warfare had been the only ones who had obtained a variety of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, very much associated with the transmission of the type 2 dengue virus, according to a statement by Colonel Phillip Russell in the 14th International Congress on the Pacific Ocean, held in 1979, only two years before the outbreak of the brutal epidemic in Cuba.

It is significant that, in 1975 American scientist Charles Henry Calisher, on a visit to Cuba took an interest in, and obtained information on, the existence of antibodies to dengue in the Cuban population and the non-existence in the population, in at least 45 years, of antibodies for the type 2 dengue virus. In the trial held in the United States in 1984 against Eduardo Arocena, a ringleader of the terrorist organization Omega-7, he publicly confessed to having introduced germs into Cuba and admitted that hemorrhagic dengue fever had been introduced in the island through related groups of Cuban origin, based in the United States.

Whether or not the confession is true made by the leader of the well-known terrorist organization Omega 7 about the groups used to introduce hemorrhagic dengue fever in Cuba, we have exhaustively explained and demonstrated here who those groups were, who organized them and in whose service they were acting. Furthermore, the U.S. army had reported the existence of a vaccine that included protection against dengue-2, which was applied to the population inside Guantanamo Naval Base. Of course, not a single case affected by the disease was recorded in that military enclave while the epidemic hit the rest of the island’s territory without exception.

From November 18 to 20 and on December 2, 9, 18 and 19, 1969, during the 91st U.S. Congress, a hearing was held to analyze alleged plans concerning the use of biological warfare against Cuba. The following dialogue took place in that session:

  • “Mr. Fraser: It has been said the United States was prepared to use biological agents with regard to the invasion of Cuba. Can you tell us whether that is true?
  • “Mr. Pickering: I just have no knowledge of that.
  • “Mr. Fraser: Has anyone here any information on that question? (No response.)
  • “Mr. Pickering: I have seen the discussions of this subject in the press.
  • “Mr. McCarthy: I would say the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is familiar with the incidents alluded to and there are people in the Government who know what the record is, present and past. I know the information is available in your records.”

The use of insects to transmit diseases has been carefully studied in Fort Detrick. A journalist reported that the insect inventory at Fort Detrick in 1959 included mosquitoes infected with yellow fever, malaria and dengue; fleas infected with plague; ticks with tularemia, relapsing fever and Colorado fever; and houseflies infected with cholera, anthrax and dysentery.

According to data released by the United States army some 20 years ago, on July 1958, the Center for Bacteriological Weapons of the US Ground Forces conducted experiments with Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which carried yellow fever. These experiments were carried out on a landing ground in the state of Florida. The swarm of mosquitoes –not infected, of course– and made up of approximately 600,000 specimens was dispersed over the landing ground from a plane. The results of the research showed that, in one day, the mosquitoes could reach distances of 1.6 to 3.2 kilometers and bit many people and that the Aedes aegypti had great potential to carry yellow fever over long distances.

On October 29, 1980, a press dispatch from Washington reported that:

“…The US government seriously considered using yellow-fever mosquitoes against the Soviet Union in 1956. “Declassified military documents released today state that the US Army considered using Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to spread yellow fever inside the USSR. …

“At Fort Detrick, Maryland, experiments are being carried out with millions of yellow-fever mosquitoes. These laboratories can produce half a million mosquitoes every month, and work on a new plant designed by the Army, with a capacity for 130 million mosquitoes a month, is about to begin….”

“The declassified documents assert that the possible aggression against the USSR is based on the Soviet Union’s inability to implement a program of massive immunization against such a mosquito attack.”

This was the case with a great power, located at a great distance and in a vast territory, with which the United States was not at war. However, it toyed with the idea of silent biological sabotage. The following may serve as a background to explain what happened in Cuba. The Miami Herald newspaper, which cannot be suspected of friendliness toward Cuba, published on September 1st, 1981 an article, which read:

  • “WASHINGTON. The pompous statement by Fidel Castro that the ‘harmful plagues’ that are destroying crops and animals in Cuba and the dengue fever epidemic that has brought about the death of over 100 people in the island are the doings of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) does not seem inconceivable to the authors of a new book that shall be put out this autumn.
  • “William W. Turner, former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and journalist Warren Hinckle, state that the United States used biological warfare against Cuba during the Nixon administration.
  • “The authors argue that the CIA has committed the United States to a secret, undeclared and illegal war against Cuba for more than twenty years. The so-called Cuban Project is the largest and least known operated by the CIA outside the legal limits of its statutes, they say.
  • “The history of the Cuban Project is the history of an important US war not declared by Congress, not acknowledged by Washington, and not reported in the press.”

Before that, a UPI cable dated in Washington on January 9, 1977 reported the following:

  • “Newsday, a Long Island (New York) newspaper said that at least with the tacit support of the CIA, agents related to anti-Castro terrorists introduced the African swine fever virus in Cuba in 1971.
  • “Six weeks later, an outbreak of the disease forced Cuban sanitary authorities to sacrifice 500,000 pigs in order to avoid an animal epidemic of national proportions.
  • “An unidentified source of the CIA revealed to Newsday that at the beginning of 1971 he was given a container with virus at Fort Gulick, a US Army base situated in the Panama Canal Zone also used by the CIA, and that the container had been taken on a fishing boat by underground agents in Cuba.
  • “It was the first time the disease appeared in the Western Hemisphere.
  • “It is known, through their own admission, that when the African swine fever broke out in Cuba, the CIA and the US Army were experimenting with poisons, deadly toxins, products to destroy crops and other techniques of bacteriological warfare.”

There is a mountain of evidence, background information and facts that cannot possibly be ignored. What is beyond question is that, in just a few weeks, the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic in Cuba –where it had never existed– had affected a total of 344,203 people, a figure with no known precedent in any other country of the world. There was another truly record case when 11,400 new patients were reported in a single day on July 6, 1981. A total of 116,143 cases were hospitalized. About 24,000 patients suffered from hemorrhaging and 10,224 suffered some degree of dengue-induced shock.

One hundred and fifty-eight people died as a result of the epidemic, including 101 children. The whole country and all its resources were mobilized to fight the epidemic. The vector’s presence was strongly and simultaneously controlled in all of Cuba’s towns and cities, using all possible means and with products and equipment urgently bought from anywhere, including the United States. A request was made to the United States through the Pan-American Health Organization and finally, in the month of August, an important larvicide could be bought. Chemicals and equipment were brought in, often by plane and sometimes from countries as far away as Japan, whose factories sold Cuba thousands of individual motor fumigators. Malathion had to be brought from Europe at a transportation fee of 5,000 dollars a ton, that is, three and a half times the cost of the product.

In addition to the existing hospital network, dozens of boarding schools were turned into hospitals in order to isolate every new patient reported, without exception. At the same time, intensive-care units were built and equipped in all of the country’s children hospitals. This is how the last infected case was reported on October 10, 1981. If it had not been for this enormous effort, tens of thousands of people, the vast majority of them children, would have died. An epidemic that many experts had forecast would take years to eradicate was defeated in little more than four months. The adverse economic impact was also considerable (THE PEOPLE OF CUBA VS THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FOR HUMAN DAMAGES, 1999).

The New York Times reported that CIA has experimented biological warfare in Nicaragua, by releasing swarms of mosquitos, carrying dengue virus in 1985. Consequently thousands of people fell ill within days. The campaign against dengue became the most pressing issue of Nicaragua (Lancaster, 1992, p. 256).

Dengue in Florida and role of CIA

CIA undercover, Dr. David R. Nalin and Dengue mosquito breeding in Lahore

Dr. David Nalin has joined, along with many other medical student, the Epidemiological Intelligence Service, where they were shipped overseas undercover to do research or offer medical care. In July 1967, Dr. Nalin arrived in East Pakistan s capital Decca along with others (Cash, 1987). USAID for Ministry of Health and Population Planning of Pakistan established malarial Research Centre, Lahore in 1962 under the supervision of University of Maryland. It is important to note that University of Maryland is main institute being used by CIA to study and experiment the biological warfare (Buncher, 1976, p. 30). Dr. David Nalin was its director in 1980.

The center was established to eradicate Malaria but it, instead caused its growth in the areas of Punjab, Pakistan. In 1981, Tens of citizens of Lahore living near this research center were attacked by swarms of mosquitos of a species unusual for the area. People stung by them fell ill with Yellow Fever, hepatitis, jaundice and went mad. Those doomed were not saved by any remedies and antidotes (Ziauddin Sardar, 1982). Reports in the magazines say, “Doctors in Lahore are investigating the tragic effects of a drug administered to some poor patients of Green Town. Four of such patients have developed serious psychiatric disorders. It is alleged that they have been given an anti-malaria drug, which is still in the experimental stage. The experiment is reported to be part of a research program; a local institution is carrying out in association with an American University. Until those responsible for the experiment are made to disclose the nature of the drug, it is not possible to say as exactly what has happened to the four unfortunate patients – aged between 15 and 25 years (Haq, 2011).” In 1981, Government of Pakistan expelled Dr. David Nalin as persona non grata for the involvement into the mosquito breeding. The whole operation of CIA was blown and forced to close by law enforcement agencies of Pakistan.

These mosquitos are aggressive and bigger, capable to carry viruses of dengue, yellow fever, LaCrosse encephalitis, and other diseases, and able to breed in any container large enough to hold water (Joseph R Biden, 2003, p. 74).


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