Monday, January 19, 2009

Return of the Paranoia

The Plague? In Algeria? Killing Al-Qaeda? Its more likely than you think.
How could that happen you say. The plague? Preposterous.
Here's an idea...

A terrorist training camp in Northern Africa has been vacated of occupants. Not by the military, or rival cells, or even by unpaid sub-prime mortgage debt. The terrorists-in-training (terrorlings? terrorkittens?) have been wiped out by the Black Death.

Bubonic plague has struck down an Al-Qaeda facility in Algeria (in-between Morocco and Libya, South of Spain via the Mediterranean, Islamic rule, member of OPEC) leaving at least 40 dead and an unknown number running for hospitals as fast as they can get there.

This is the first major outbreak of Bubonic Plague in Algeria since 2003, before that it had been 50 years. The WHO has no idea what the hell is going on. The last time it hit in the city of Oran (a port city) all 18 patients survived thanks to modern medicine.

Flash forward to now and some caves 150 klicks outside the largest city (Algiers) that contain a large Al-Queda cell get struck with plague.

Its not the location that gets me really, its the who and the how. Plague is certainly plausible in this situation. Outbreaks (well, 1) have occured sort of near there (350 miles away or so) so its certainly not impossible. To be honest though, I don't entirely buy it.

Its just too good a coincidence, and coincidence is not something I tend to put much stock in. Plus some plague carrying mice are missing from an infectious disease lab in New Jersey.

Back in '05 three mice infected with Bubonic Plague were stolen from 3 seperate cages at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. The lab which is funded by the Public Health Research Institute reported that the mice die "very fast" and the risk to the public was "slim to none".

That may be. It will be interesting to see however if anyone bothers to check the bacterium that killed the Al-Qaeda cell to see what strain it was. Though it may be easier to get cultures of the active Plague from the survivors, as the 40 who died were found in mass graves. Someone had to bury them.

+ + +

More later, I promise.

Also my attorney says the previous post is invalid because he is pretty sure that the Goode amendment was scraped from the final version of the bill. I have yet to have the time to properly look it up, so if anyone out there knows the answer feel free to chime in via comments.

/End Transmission.