Why Bioterrorism Could Start the Zombie Apocalypse
Bioterrorism has been relatively minor in relation to CBRN terrorism throughout history, this could all change with the creation of a zombie virus. Appropriately suited for groups seeking to instigate the apocalypse, the zombie virus would be the ideal weapon to cause mass casualties… meaning everyone.
Bio-Terrorism: Setting the Stage
A biological attack, being the intentional release of a pathogen or biotoxin against humans, plants, or animals, can be incredibly dangerous if in a form that transmits from host to host easily. An attack using a biological agent against people could be used to cause illness, death, fear, societal disruption, and economic damage. In most cases, a terrorist organization would desire a biological agent that would be able to inflict the most casualties, thus leading us to the zombie virus.
The logical argument that the zombie strain is a mere fictional notion is true in a literal sense although it does not mean that it is impossible. Weaponized strains of pathogens are by definition mutated, new variations of existing pathogens, so it would be irresponsible to assume that a zombie strain could not be created.
Zombies are the definition of Apocalyptic Millenarianism
Apocalyptic millenarian groups, being those that subscribe to a religious, social, or political belief in a coming major transformation that will spell the end of the world. In many cases, the group believes that they are required to play a role in instigating the beginning of the apocalypse. This being said, what better way to bring about the end of life than a virus that not only kills its host but transforms the host into a form that actively transports the virus and forcefully transfers it to new hosts.
One might argue that a terrorist group would not want to use the zombie virus as a zombie will chomp without discretion or understanding of who may or may not be on a righteous path. Apocalyptic millenarian groups are some of the terrorist groups most likely to employ suicide attacks if the world is ending then why care if you die in the process of starting the apocalypse? And the creation of a zombie virus would most certainly be categorized under the label of a suicide attack.
All the movies say it’s possible
Societal trends are picking up on the devastation that a zombie apocalypse could inflict on the world. The number of zombie related movies have noticeably increased since 2000. While the cause of the “zombie strain” is varied in a number of different zombie-related media, the risk of destruction remains the same. While the movie Zombie Land has blamed the zombie apocalypse on a mutated strain of mad cow disease, others have been lab experiments gone wrong or even malicious attacks. In the movie Resident Evil the “T-virus,” which is the cause of the zombie condition, becomes aerosolized for a time when the vial smashes on the floor. Less intentionally, in the movie I Am Legend the zombie virus, named the Krippin virus, was a tragically faulty cure for cancer that had both an airborne strain and a contact strain each with different infection rates.
Depending on the agent that causes the change from living person to a brain-eating corpse, the method of dispersal would be different. Although most of the literature seems to agree that once it has infected a human host, the spread of infection through bite would increase exponentially.
Regardless of the root cause, through humanities tendencies to push scientific boundaries or through malicious actors experimentation, the creation of a zombie virus would be the pinnacle of devastating and effective bioweapons.