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[H.A.S.C. No. 10652]
TERRORIST THREATS TO THE UNITED STATES
SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MAY 23, 2000
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SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman
DUNCAN HUNTER, California
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
HERBERT H. BATEMAN, Virginia
ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
SAXBY CHAMBLISS, Georgia
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
FLOYD D. SPENCE, ex officio, South Carolina
VIC SNYDER, Arkansas
GENE TAYLOR, Mississippi
JAMES H. MALONEY, Connecticut
MIKE McINTYRE, North Carolina
ROBERT E. ANDREWS, New Jersey
BARON P. HILL, Indiana
SILVESTRE REYES, Texas
IKE SKELTON, ex officio, Missouri
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Robert S. Rangel, Director
David Trachtenberg, Professional Staff Member
Lisa Wetzel, Staff Assistant
C O N T E N T S
CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF HEARINGS
Tuesday, May 23, 2000, Biological, Nuclear, and
Cyber Terrorism Threats
Tuesday, May 23, 2000
TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2000
BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR, AND CYBER TERRORISM THREATS
STATEMENTS PRESENTED BY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
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Hon. Jim, a Representative from New Jersey, Chairman, Special Oversight
Panel on Terrorism
Snyder, Hon. Vic, a Representative from Arkansas,
Ranking Member, Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism
Alibek, Dr. Kenneth, Chief Scientist, Hadron, Inc.,
Former First Deputy Chief, Biopreparat (USSR)
Cikotas, Bronius, Former EMP Division Chief, Defense
Denning, Dr. Dorothy E., Professor of Computer Science,
[The Prepared Statements submitted for the Record can be viewed in the hard
Alibek, Dr. Kenneth
Denning, Dr. Dorothy E.
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Saxton, Hon. Jim
DOCUMENTS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Documents submitted for the Record.]
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD:
[There were no Questions and Answers submitted for the Record.]
BIOLOGICAL, NUCLEAR, AND CYBER TERRORISM THREATS
House of Representatives,
Committee on Armed Services,
Special Oversight Panel on Terrorism,
Washington, DC, Tuesday, May 23, 2000.
The Panel met, pursuant to call, at 2:00 p.m. in
Room 2212, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Jim Saxton (Chairman of the
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM NEW JERSEY,
CHAIRMAN, SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. SAXTON. Having met in closed session
this morning, this Oversight Panel on Terrorism convenes this afternoon
for our first ever open session, and this hearing, I believe, will be a
great way for us to start our duties.
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This is, I think, an auspicious day. I personally
have been studying and working actively on these issues for over ten years.
Many of us from both parties have for years been watching terrorism evolve
into an even greater threat.
We have been increasingly concerned that the growing
threat is not understood or its implications thoroughly appreciated. For
that reason, I and my colleagues have sought the establishment of this Special
Oversight Panel on Terrorism. I would like to take this opportunity to thank
the Ranking Member Mr. Snyder for helping it to come about, as well as the
Chairman of the full Committee, Mr. Spence.
Through this Panel we hope to cast a spotlight on
terrorism and related emerging threats. One of the chief goals is to illuminate
the rapid emergence of what amounts to what I call ''new terrorism'', different
in kind and potentially vastly more destructive than the terrorism that
we knew during the Cold War or during the last decade.
This Panel will dissect the evolving phenomenon
of that terrorism. Our objective is to understand how terrorism is changing
and where the terrorist threat may be going so that policymakers and the
public will be better positioned to make informed decisions on what to do
about the threat.
Therefore, in keeping with the purpose of this Panel
to explore disturbing new aspects of terrorism, it is appropriate that our
first hearing deal with the ''cutting-edge'' terrorist threats, biological
terrorism, nuclear terrorism, and cyberterrorism.
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weapons are becoming easier for state and nonstate actors to develop as
biological technologies proliferate. Indeed, many of the same technologies
that are used for benign medical research or for innocuous commercial purposes,
such as the fermentation of beer, can be used for manufacturing biological
Biological weapons are relatively inexpensive and
easy to make, and yet are potentially deadlier even than nuclear weapons.
Future terrorists wishing to wreak havoc and mass casualties may well turn
to these new strains of biological weapons.
Nuclear terrorism, regarded as the stuff of fictional
novels and movies during the Cold War, is now widely regarded as plausible.
Lax security at Russian nuclear weapons storage sites and laboratories and
powerful plants where nuclear materials are available raises the possibility
of threats of the sale of nuclear weapons to terrorist groups.
Terrorists armed with short-range missiles, which
these days can be purchased even by arms collectors and museums on the international
market and armed with nuclear weapons, could conceivably make an electronic
attack against the United States.
An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack could incapacitate
power grids, communications, computer systems, and even electronic infrastructure
that makes modern society possible. Terrorists will also build or acquire
radio frequency weapons and use them for nonnuclear devices to selectively
damage crucial parts of the United States' electronic infrastructure.
For example, a radio frequency weapon detonated
on Wall Street could erase electronic business records and cause billions
of dollars worth of damage to the U.S. economy, and, in fact, bring it to
a halt, or a relatively small radio frequency weapon built from readily
available technology could be used by terrorists parked at the end of the
airport runway to debilitate airplanes taking off or landing.
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Cyberterrorists could use information warfare techniques
to manipulate computer systems or disrupt or incapacitate power grids and
other infrastructure without resort to nuclear or radio frequency weapons.
The ILOVEYOU virus is a recent example of cyberterrorism
that disrupted governments and industry worldwide and may foreshadow far
more serious destruction that could be inflicted by cyberterrorists.
We have today a panel which I will introduce when
we return from our votes.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton can be found
in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. I yield to Mr. Snyder, the Ranking
Member, for any statement.
STATEMENT OF HON. VIC SNYDER, A REPRESENTATIVE FROM ARKANSAS, RANKING MEMBER,
SPECIAL OVERSIGHT PANEL ON TERRORISM
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank
you for your long interest in this topic, and for your efforts in bringing
about the formation of this Panel.
I have heard it said that you have a better chance
in this country of dying from a lightning strike than from a terrorist incident.
I suspect that is probably true. But being from Arkansas, we very much know
that lightning does indeed strike, in the case of terrorism with some dramatic
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I saw a friend of mine on Saturday. I just happened
to be at a party where he was. He will be going to Europe soon because his
son was killed in the Lockerbie disaster. Another friend of mine, also from
Arkansas, was working in Kenya for the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
and was on the phone talking to the embassy when that bomb went off. They
immediately went to the site and spent the next literally several days hoping
to find survivors. All they found, of course, were bodies.
So lightning does indeed strike, and with dramatic
and devastating results.
This is an oversight Panel, and my particular interest
in this, and I guess it is not the very sexy part of it, but I am going
to be interested in seeing if I can figure out are there things we should
be doing better and more efficiently than what we are doing, both in the
executive level and also in the Congress.
It has seemed to me and to some others that we have
talked to that we have this cyberterrorism, antiterrorism function, and
it is spread out through a variety of different subcommittees, through a
variety of different branches of government, perhaps to our detriment.
Any comments that you might want to make when we
get back, if that is a particular interest of yours, I would be interested
in hearing about.
Thanks to you again, Mr. Chairman, for convening
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SAXTON. Thank you, Mr. Snyder.
Let me just go ahead and introduce this panel so
members of the staff and perhaps people who are interested in the audience
may wish to chat with these three folks. They are all great folks and real
experts in their field.
First, Dr. Ken Alibek, seated to my right, is the
chief scientist at Hadron, Inc., and was the deputy chief of Biopreparat,
a leading biological weapons laboratory in the former Soviet Union. Ken,
who has become a friend, a good friend of mine, defected to this Country
in 1992 and has brought with him information which has been extremely helpful
for us in preparing to deal with potential biological weapons attacks.
Bron Cikotas is a nuclear weapons expert. He was
former EMP Division Chief with the Defense Nuclear Agency. He is one of
the Nation's foremost experts on the electromagnetic pulse phenomenon and
invented the ground wave emergency network to protect U.S. strategic communications
from nuclear attack.
Dorothy Denning is a professor of computer science
from Georgetown University and deals in an area which is of increasing concern
to American national security, as well as American business, an authority
in cyberterrorism and cybersecurity.
Welcome, all three of you. We are anxious to hear
from you. I hope you will all relax. We are probably going to be gone the
better part of a half-hour. I'm sorry about that.
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Mr. SAXTON. I should announce that we will
be using the five-minute rule. That means that all the witnesses and Members
have five minutes of time allotted to them, so if you have a written statement,
your entire written statement will be included in the record.
And we are going to begin at this time with Dr.
Alibek. Dr. Alibek, I was reminded that not unlike yourself, Mr. Snyder
is also a family physician, and so you are talking to someone who will understand
exactly what you are talking about.
You may proceed, sir.
STATEMENT OF DR. KENNETH ALIBEK, CHIEF SCIENTIST, HADRON, INC., FORMER FIRST
DEPUTY CHIEF, BIOPREPARAT (USSR)
Dr. ALIBEK. Mr. Chairman and members of the
Panel, thank you for the invitation. For this short period of time, I will
try to tell you about biological weapons and possible use of biological
weapons as devices in case of bioterrorism, terrorism.
Biological weapons are weapons of mass destruction,
or, to be precise, mass casualty weapons. Biological weapons do not destroy
nonliving entities, they just infect, disease, and kill people. Biological
weapons could be developed using bacterial agents, ADL agents, fungi, and
some toxins and other biological substances.
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Depending on the type of biological agents used
in biological weapons, we should expect different consequences. For example,
biological weapons made of smallpox could cause significant destruction,
enormous disruption of any vital activity; can cause epidemics or even pandemics,
killing hundreds of thousands to even millions of people.
For example, the well-known anthrax, it is not a
contagious infection, but it has quite a high level of mortality rate. In
case of use of anthrax biological weapons, we should expectdepending
on the type of application, we could expect from tens of thousands up to
millions of casualties, depending, as I said before, on the type of application.
The problem is this, even now. Some experts insist
that biological weapons are very difficult to produce, difficult to develop,
or difficult to deploy. I would like to say this very firmly, that that
is absolute incorrect information. Biological weapons are very easy to produce.
They are inexpensive. They could be produced using different production
For example, just to produce anthrax biological
weapons, several thousands of different techniques could be used for production.
Biological weapons, we can compare, for example, could cause absolutely
the same devastating effect.
It requires, for example, $1,000 in the case of
using nuclear weapons, and about $25 if somebody uses chemical weapons,
and just $1 in case of use of biological weapons. In this case, in my opinion,
we need to realize biological weapons are very effective, very powerful,
and, unfortunately, easy to develop, manufacture, and deploy, and especially
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some experts insist that the problem of application of biological weapons
is a technique, how to deploy biological weapons, unfortunately there are
many different techniques, from some primitive techniques to sophisticated
ones. In this case, of course, they would cause different effects, but they
could be deployed using absolutely primitive techniques without the necessity
to have very well-trained people.
On the problem of biological weapons, what we need
to realize, in my opinion today, because with the 21st century, the century
of information technology, the information of how to develop biological
weapons you can find on the Internet. This information is available in different
publications in some countries.
In many cases, scientists who publish this information
don't specify that this technique has been developed, a certain technique
has been developed, or has been used for developing biological weapons,
The problem is, if we take a look at some scientific
publications, and especially I would like to refer to some Russian scientific
publications, we can find many, many discrete techniques on how to produce
different viruses. Specifically, they describe how to produce anthrax. They
describe how to produce Marburg infection, Marburg virus, Machupo and Bolivian
hemorraghic fever, and many others. We can find all different information
regarding genetic engineering techniques, how to genetically alter a biological
agent, and many others, many other approaches.
There are several other types of preparation of
biological weapons. It is the usual scientific exchange. It is development
of so-called dual-purpose techniques that could be used both for producing
legitimate products and could be used for production of biological weapons
of different types.
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This information is growing, and unfortunately,
this information is proliferating through several different pathways. The
problem isthe kinds of problems we, let me say, face here in the United
States, in 1969, the offensive biological weapons program in the United
States was terminated by Executive Order of President Nixon. Since then,
the knowledge in the area of biological weapons, and, unfortunately, in
the area of biological weapons defense, was goingthis knowledge was
I would like to say that the United States is one
of the most sophisticated countries in developing protection against biological
weapons, but even in this case, our current understanding of what is appropriate,
what is the best protection against biological weapons, this knowledge is
For example, in the area of developing protection
against biological weapons, we work in many different areas. Specifically,
for example, we develop specific regulations for export control. We develop
different treaties just to reducelet me say to ban production of biological
weapons. We develop some others for physical protection against biological
weapons, a detection system. But what we need to realize, these approaches
will not give us and will never give us, let me say, 100 percent assurance
that we are not vulnerable and that we are protected well.
The problem is we need to understand that biological
weapons are mostlyare a matter of medical defense. Biological weapons
are causing infectious diseases, unusual infectious diseases, but infectious
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we develop medical protection, we usually work in three different areas.
We call these areas pretreatment, the first area; and the second area is
so-called urgent prophylaxis; and third area is treatment.
Here in the United States we spent mostly time finding
ways to develop first direction. We are going into the first direction.
We do not pay much attention to others. In my opinion, it is a significant
mistake. We need to reconsider our efforts in the area of medical defense.
We need to understand what is the real threat.
The problem is when we develop a medical defense,
we need to answer or address four major issues. There are four major criteria
just to determine whether or not our defense is effective. I would call
these the tactical criterion, logistical criterion, medical criterion, and
scientific criterion. If we are able to say we meet all four of them, it
means our protection against a specific weapon is effective. If we are not
able to answer this question, of course, it means we are developing a wrong
Saying this, I would like to finish my testimony
by saying that our significant problem for now is we still have no well-defined
concept of how to develop medical protection. We need to do this as soon
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Alibek can be found
in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Cikotas and Professor Denning,
Dr. Alibek is going to have to leave us in a few minutes, so with your permission,
we would like to just ask him a few questions at this point.
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Dr. Alibek, let me just start by saying that when
I introduced you, I said that you came to this country in 1992 and that
you defected from Russia to come here. Prior to that, you were the deputy
director of the offensive biological weapons organization known as Biopreparat;
is that right?
Dr. ALIBEK. Yes. You are absolutely correct.
Mr. SAXTON. How many people were in Biopreparat?
Dr. ALIBEK. The Soviet Union has one of the
most sophisticated, advanced, powerful programs of biological weapons created,
ever created in this world. Many different ministries and many different
main directorates were there.
I was the scientific leader of the main directorate,
Biopreparat. It included about 20 scientific development facilities and
about 20 production facilities.
Mr. SAXTON. Twenty development.
Dr. ALIBEK. Development and production.
Mr. SAXTON. How many people worked in all?
Dr. ALIBEK. Not all have been involved directly
in biological weapons. Some were defensive, but a number of people were
involved. Just under, let me say, my supervision, this number was about
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Mr. SAXTON. That was about maybe half of
the total, 30,000 people?
Dr. ALIBEK. Yes. The Ministry of Defense
had about 15,000. The Ministry of Agriculture to develop agricultural biological
weapons had about 10,000. The Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Health,
the main directorate, many other entities have been involved in developing
Mr. SAXTON. How many strains of biological
weapons were developed by the Soviet Union?
Dr. ALIBEK. We studied practically all possible
agents that could be used in biological weapons. Specifically the number
of biological weapons developed using different agents was more than two
dozen. But the number of agents we studied was far over 50, somewhere between
50 and 70 different biological agents that could be used in biological weapons.
Mr. SAXTON. Could you name the dozen or so
biological weapons that you believe would be the most effective?
Dr. ALIBEK. We developed smallpox biological
weapon, plague biological weapon, anthrax, glanders, tularemia, melioidosis,
Ebola virus, Marburg and Machupo viruses, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Q
fever, epidemic typhus, and many others.
Mr. SAXTON. Were those strains all capable
of being weaponized?
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Dr. ALIBEK. These were actual biological
weapons developed, taken in armaments and ready for use.
Mr. SAXTON. Is the organization, Biopreparat,
still together as an organization? Are all the people still working there?
Of course, some of them belong to other Soviet Republics, I assume, so let
us just talk about the Russian component. Is that still intact?
Dr. ALIBEK. The Russian component is intact,
but not Biopreparat, but the Ministry of Defense part. They have four top
secret facilities located in four different cities. These facilities are
facilities to research and develop biological weapons.
Mr. SAXTON. What happened to the other facilities
that were not under the auspices of the Defense Department?
Dr. ALIBEK. For example, the facilities located
in Kazakhstan, they are now under dismantlement.
Mr. SAXTON. What happened to the scientists
that worked there?
Dr. ALIBEK. Nobody knows where they are.
Mr. SAXTON. They could be working anyplace
in the world. You chose to come here, thank God, but they could be anyplace
in the world?
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ALIBEK. I would say many of them are overseas, many are abroad. At
least we knew that some of them tried to sell some knowledge to China. There
was one attempt. Some traveled to North Korea. There was a huge event in
1995 in Iran, and about 100 scientists with the knowledge how to develop
biological weapons came to Iran in 1995. Some, of course the great majority
of them, came back, but we know that some of them are still working in Iraq
doing some research work.
There was a rumor, of course, but I cannot prove
or disprove this, that some of them left for Iraq. Of course, many of themin
my opinion, it is very difficult to find any trace of these people.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
If we take Mr. Maloney and Mr. Taylor and myself,
three reasonably literate people, do you have an opinion, just by going
to the Internet and to the science books available and medical schools and
that kind of stuff, the information available, how long would it take us
as purely amateurs to develop some kind of a crude biological weapon that
would result in the deaths of triple digit numbers of people?
Dr. ALIBEK. I would say this. I don't want
to be an instructor, for example, because I believe here people are not
interested in developing biological weapons. But I would say just to develop
a crude biological weapon using, for example, anthrax, using simple cultivation
techniques, using easy techniques for deployment.
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Mr. SNYDER. It is information readily available?
Dr. ALIBEK. This information is readily available,
yes, and it would take maybe two weeks, three weeks to develop such a weapon.
Mr. SNYDER. One of the comments you make
in your written statement is that the samethat an investment in trying
to come up with what you have referred to as the medical protection would
have payoff in terms of how we deal with other of the world's infectious
diseases. Talk about that.
Dr. ALIBEK. The problem is when we develop
vaccines, they are too specific. If we develop a vaccine against plague,
we can treat nothing or protect nothing but plague. There are several other
approaches. This approach, this information is regularly available.
This is what I am talking about all the time, that
we need to pay attention to so-called broad-spectrum approaches in medical
defense. For example, one of the possible approaches is so-called enhancing
our own immune response.
Mr. SNYDER. I'm sorry, I did not understand.
Dr. ALIBEK. Enhancing our own immune response
to biological agents, because our immune system is capable just to fight
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this case, if you read scientific articles, you would be amazed how many
publications there are now in this area. But unfortunately, in the area
of defense against biological weapons, we do not accept these approaches.
What I would like to say, when we discuss an issue
on developing a defense against biological weapons, we are wasting money
or wasting the taxpayers' money. In my opinion, it is a significant mistake.
When we develop protection, medical protection, against biological weapons
using these broad-spectrum approaches, these approaches would be easily
applicable to many other medical areas to treat or prevent against infectious
diseases, let me say, we face every single day, such as tuberculosis, respiratory
infection, or even HIV infections.
Mr. SNYDER. In your oral presentation you
say, ''We have no well-defined concept on how to develop medical protection.''
Amplify on that, if you would, please.
Dr. ALIBEK. As I said before, when we discussI
already mentioned three major directions. I said that we are working just
in one direction. We don't pay much attention to the two others.
The problem is when we develop a medical protection
plan, as I said before, we need to keep in mind four major criteria. If
we meet this criteria, these approaches, of course, it means this protection
is going to work. It is medical criterion, scientific criterion, tactical
criterion, and logistical.
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example, we can analyze the situation, for example, the well-known situation
with anthrax vaccination. We can analyze it using these four criteria. If
it is scientifically possible, we know it is possible medically. We know
that we had some minor side effects, but medically, it is not, let me say,
a significant threat.
Let us analyze the logistical issue. Now we have
just vaccinated 400,000 troops. In this case, we are having a very significant
problem, and we will be having this problem, but again, it is possible to
solve this problem.
Let us analyze the situation from a tactical standpoint.
When we discuss this situation, now we vaccinate the entire Armed Forces
against this infection. It is going to cost a tremendous amount of money.
In this case that is not a problem, but let us analyze the situation from
a different standpoint, bioterrorism. Is it possible to vaccinate the entire
country against anthrax?
Let us imagine that we know, for example, there
is going to be a terrorist event using anthrax very soon. We do not know
where, we do not know who, or the possible, let me say, size of this event.
In this case, of course, even though we know it is going to happen, it is
too late to vaccinate people because it takes us 18 months just to get people
with a sufficient concentration of antibodies to this infection. It means
we do not meet at least one of these criteria. It means this protection
is not going to work againstin the area of biological terrorism. That
is the problem.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
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Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Dr. Alibek, I am currently reading your book. I
was pleasantly pleased when I came today and heard you were one of the witnesses.
For anyone who has any question about whether or not this is a meaningful
threat, I would recommend them to your book, Biohazard. It is a very well-written
In your book, sir, you indicate very large stores
of these weapons in the USSR, and Russia inherited much of that. Have these
been destroyed? Are there still meaningful stores there, from your perspective?
Dr. ALIBEK. I would say this. Russia now
does not, let me say, pose any imminent threat to the United States, because
in 1989and what I would like to emphasize, in 1989 when the United
States Government, and in 1990, started pressuring the Soviet Union very
severely, the Soviet Union decided to get rid of all stockpiled biological
weapons. The Soviet Union did not destroy and dismantle its capability to
produce biological weapons, but by 1989 the Soviet Union did not have biological
From this standpoint, I would say Russiaand,
of course, I have no idea what happened for the last several years, but
at least by 1992, they did not have a biological weapons stockpile.
Mr. BARTLETT. Do you have any knowledge that
this kind of research and development still continues?
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Dr. ALIBEK. I am 100 percent sure that Russia
is still interested in researching and developing biological weapons. I
would call this issue maybe not biological weapons, I would call it military
In the area of biological weapons, in many instances
you need to know what problems, what kinds of problems you need to solve
to develop effective biological weapons. When you read scientific publications
published in Russian, you can find a lot of information that this type of
research has just a single application, or so-called dual-purpose research.
In some cases, for example, some research publications
have no explanation except for possible use in developing new biological
Mr. BARTLETT. What percent of those 30,000
who were working on biological weapons while you were there might now be
working for entities or countries less responsible than Russia?
Dr. ALIBEK. It is very difficult to say.
In many cases it is not a matter, for example, to have many people. When
somebody is developing biological weapons, it is impossibleit is important
just to understand so-called bottlenecks in developing protection. You can
spend millions and millions of dollars, but you are not able to get, let
me say, really sophisticated biological weapons. You are not able to solve,
for example, two key issues.
But if you have a scientist, a single scientist
who knows how to solve this bottleneck problem, of course, you are able
to develop a sophisticated weapon.
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Mr. BARTLETT. We are expending considerable
efforts trying to trace nuclear scientists in Russia to make sure that they
are gainfully employed, other than for someone who should not be making
nuclear weapons. I gather that we have not done that for the scientists
working on biological weapons. In your view, should we have been doing that?
Should we be doing it now?
Dr. ALIBEK. Of course, it would be nice to
do this, but I don't believe it would give us somelet me say some
trustworthy information, because the problem is each scientist who has the
knowledge of how to research and develop biological weapons has a general
understanding in some other biological areas.
In this case, of course, just to know where the
scientist is and just to have such a list is important, but it would be
very difficult to prove that this scientist is helping a certain country,
helping a certain country develop biological weapons.
Mr. BARTLETT. It would be nice to know that
he either was or was not in that country?
Dr. ALIBEK. Yes. Of course, it would be nice
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Gibbons.
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GIBBONS. Mr. Chairman, thank you.
Dr. Alibek, I know in you are in a bit of a hurry.
I will keep my remarks to a simple, short question.
We have dealt with the production side, the development
side, as well as the treatment or the defense side. What are we doing to
ensure that we have adequate detection of these biological elements around
so we have rapid detection of dispersement?
Dr. ALIBEK. It is one of the most difficult
questions. IfI would say this. For the military, for the Armed Forces
particularly it is possible. We have something for the Armed Forces for
detection and neutralizing of biological agents.
Not everything is perfect. For detection of these
agents for the civilian population, of course, we have absolutely nothing.
At least, we know there were some attempts to develop something, but even
now we have nothing appropriate that could be used to detect and identify
biological agents in the cities, in the metro systems, commercial buildings,
such and such.
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you.
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TAYLOR. Dr. Alibek, I appreciate your sticking around.
If you had a son or daughter serving in the United
States military, knowing what you know about the threat of biological weapons,
would you encourage them or discourage them from taking the anthrax shots?
Dr. ALIBEK. Let me answer it this way. If
you know that your son or daughter is going to fight in Korea or is stationed
in South Korea, stationed in the Middle East, of course I would encourage
Mr. TAYLOR. Is that yes, sir, you would encourage
Dr. ALIBEK. Yes. I would encourage them.
But for example, in my opinion, there is no necessity to vaccinate the entire
Armed Forces, because I do not believe that all 2.4 million troops would
fight in the Middle East or in Korea.
Of course, we need to develop some kind of gradual
approach to determine who or what troops must be vaccinated first, what
troops must be ready for possible vaccination, and what troops or, for example,
services we do not have to vaccinate at all.
Mr. TAYLOR. Given your background in this
field, sir, I would hopeI have been told that the anthrax vaccine
that is being supplied to the American troops is basically the same vaccine
that veterinarians who work with large animals have been using for decades.
Is that accurate?
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ALIBEK. You know, generally, yes. I would say, of course, we do not
have to think that we use for people absolutely the same that we use for
livestock. The general principle, yes; the general principles, for example,
of, let me say, form and antibodies.
The form of specific hemoglobins for this infection,
they are the same or similar. But, of course, it is not the same vaccine.
There is a level of purification. The level of quality is much higher when
we use such vaccine for humans.
Mr. TAYLOR. I apologize for missing the beginning
of your testimony, and I think you probably covered this.
Given the fact that we cannot be everywhere at once,
that we cannot do everything that we would like to do, how would you respond
if you were a Congressman from the United States, given limited resourceshow
would you respond to the biological threat? Where would you make your investments?
Dr. ALIBEK. In my opinion, the problem of
defense against biological weapons is mostly a medical problem. If we may
continue, just let me give you this statement.
I do not want to just to shake anybody, but the
problem is now in the area of medical defense against biological weapons,
we are using the approaches and we are usingwe are developing defense
against biological weapons developed 25, 30 years ago. Now it means our
current approaches in developing defense have about a 25-year or 30-year
gap. We have absolutely nothing, and we are not developing anything against
biological weapons developed recently.
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Even if we take into consideration that, for example,
to develop more or less sophisticated biological weapons, it requires about
2 or 3 years, maybe 4 years, and to develop protection against this weapon,
it would take about 10 or 15 years, so we can imagine what kind of situation
we would face in about 10 or 15 years.
The problem is, in my opinion, if we continue developing
vaccines, we would be in a significant trouble. I am not saying we need
to stop this research. We need to continue the research. But in the area
of medical defense, there are many other areas. We need to investigate this
area. We need to develop new, completely new, approaches in developing defenses
against biological weapons. It is possible.
Mr. TAYLOR. If I may, I understand that the
former Soviet Union was very active in the development of biological weapons.
How active was the former Soviet Union in developing defenses against biological
weapons? Is that where you would look for the expertise?
Dr. ALIBEK. My facilities I oversaw have
been involved in developing the biological weapons and some in developing
defenses against biological weapons, infectious diseases.
The Soviet Union, at least in the 1980s, beginning
of 1990s, was spending much time and resources to develop vaccines. But
if we take a look, for example, at what they are doing now in a number of
applications in scientific journals, we would see much research work wasted
on so-called enhancing the immune system response.
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tried to find, using their limited resources, resources to develop protection
based not just on the vaccination, they tried to find solutions to enhance
one's own immune responses. In my opinion, this is just one of the possible
ways. I'm not saying it is the only way.
What I would like to say, there are many different
ways. We need to explore all of them to find an appropriate protection against
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you, sir.
Mr. McIntyre, do you have a question?
Mr. MCINTYRE. To follow up on that, I wanted
to ask you specifically, in eastern North Carolina where I am from, we have
several military bases from the Marines, Air Force, and Army. We also have
a premier school of public health at the University of North Carolina.
You have mentioned in your paper, and somewhat in
your remarks, about three types of medical defense: first, pretreatment;
second, a type of urgent treatment after exposure; and then third, chemotherapy.
For our university research centers that are trying
to develop protection, what do you see is the greatest shortcoming, with
limited amounts of time and resources, that they need to be spending the
most time and concentration on in terms of medical defense?
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Dr. ALIBEK. Just imagine the situation. There
is a threat of biological weapon attacks somewhere in Washington, D.C. We
have no idea what kind of agents would be used. We have no idea when it
is going to happen.
In this case, what are our possible approaches?
Of course, we will start preparing our first responders just to deal with
possible consequences of this. But what we do not keep in mind is that we
have no treatment approaches, we have no prophylactic approaches, because
in this case, we have no idea what to act against. In many cases, we even
have no vaccines developed.
One of the possible approaches, for example, if
we start talking to the scientists involved in the research, for example,
is to study nonspecific immune responses, to study some nonspecific immune
responses, responses and techniques to modulate our own immune response.
For example, biological weapons mostly work in this
way. It is an aerosol application. We inhale and we breathe in this agent.
In this case, our first line of defense is our respiratory system, because
immunity is responding to this agent.
If we find new waysand, again, it is not,
let me say, a fantasy. A lot of research has been done. If we find some
new approaches to enhance our mucosal immune response, just because this
response is working nonspecifically, it does not matter for this immune
response what kind of agent is entering the body.
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this case, at least we would be able to saveI'm not saying we would
be able to save 100 percent of people. It depends on many factors, and we
would have different figures. But at least this approach would help us to
save the great majority of people who are exposed, who have been exposed
to biological agents.
It is one of the possible approaches. I am not describing
some others. But in my opinion, this is a matter of quite deep analysis
in developing some new programs in the area of medical defense against biological
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Dr. Alibek, that is all the questions we have for
you at this point. We appreciate you staying with us. We hope we did not
hold you up too long. We appreciate very much the information that you have
shared with us today. We will get back to you if we have further questions.
Dr. ALIBEK. Thank you very much for inviting
me. If I was helping, I would be very glad.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
Mr. Cikotas and Professor Denning, we apologize
to you for the delay of votes and having to get Dr. Alibek taken care of.
Mr. Cikotas, if you would like to proceed at this
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STATEMENT OF BRONIUS CIKOTAS, FORMER EMP DIVISION CHIEF, DEFENSE NUCLEAR
Mr. CIKOTAS. Mr. Chairman, thank you for
the invitation to speak before you on these subjects.
Because of the 5-minute limit, I am going to try
not to repeat the things that are in my written testimony, but cover some
other areas that I think are important, particularly with respect to where
we stand in infrastructure protection and what I see as the problems in
this particular area.
First of all, we all know that there are terrorists
or groups and various organizations that play in this area. The target typically
is the U.S. Population and the U.S. Government. That is the responsibility
of the U.S. Government, to protect us against these types of attacks.
One of the problemsand Presidential Decision
Directive (PDD63) was written for that reason, particularly to address
the government agencies and start infrastructure protection against terrorism.
One of the problems that is quite often not understood is that the government
owns something less than five percent of the total infrastructure. The States
own less than five percent of the total infrastructure. Most of the infrastructure
is owned by the private sector, and PDD-63 and some of the other efforts
really do not address, and in effect cannot protect us from, terrorist attacks
on the majority of our infrastructure.
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The problem, the way I see it, but it is a new concept
to the private sector and the public, is that the survival of our society
or way of life can be threatened by hidden external forces, and this protection
to a large extent against these threats is dependent on the private sector
and not on the government or national security forces alone.
Until this concept is understood and accepted by
the private sector, no effort by the government short of legislative direction
or an electronic nuclear or chem-bio Pearl Harbor perpetrated by our enemies
is going to significantly move the private sector to act to protect our
I think that is the key issue, that we are trying
to do something in this area, but the problem is really somewhat out of
our hands unless we get into some different modes of operating in this area.
The challenge that we have is the threat reduction,
warning, containment to a large extent depends upon the government. That
is really where it belongs. But the infrastructure protection to a large
extent is really in the private sector's hands.
The other thing is that the private sector is largely
unaware of the severity of the threat and its implications on the infrastructure,
and is unlikely to act without understanding of these issues. Major education
efforts are needed to be initiated by the government for the private sector
on the severity of the threat and its implications and options available
to deal with it.
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the government and the private sector do not equally understand the interdependencies
of the infrastructure and the potential cascading effects which can result.
This understanding is necessary for finding an allocation of resources for
the infrastructure protection. In a micro way, to some extent this was addressed
by the Y2K issue from the standpoint that it forced a lot of the industry
to look at their vulnerabilities to that particular type of a bug. As a
result of that, I think they have a much better understanding of their infrastructures.
Y2K did serve another purpose in that we have a better understanding in
As far as the nuclear threats go, and particularly
the EMP threat is concerned, the threat is a holdover from the Cold War,
and its primary capabilitythe primary capability to perpetrate that
threat rests with Russia. They understandthey have the weapons, and
they understand how to use them. They understand the implications of it.
An EMP attack, EMP results in a largely nonnuclear
electromagnetic pulse propagated in line of sight from the burst, where
the burst is typically between, I will say, 30 and 300 kilometers, so it
can cover the area from part of the East Coast all the way to the total
of the continental United States (CONUS) essentially. The electromagnetic
pulse is severe enough if we talk about the unhardened systems, and most
of our infrastructure is unhardened, we can expect significant damage to
For example, there was a lot of assessment for EMP
vulnerability of the power grid, which is very critical to all of us. That
assessment was done to a large extent by the Department of Defense, but
it was never completed. There are holes in that that essentially do not
tell usthey can tell us, but they really do not give us a good answer
of what would happen to the power grid in case of an EMP attack.
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Mr. SAXTON. Some people feel that they have
the potential to turn our lights out.
Mr. CIKOTAS. That is there. There is no question
about the potential. Again, we have to talk about who is doing it.
If we talk about a small terrorist group who just
happened to get hold of a former Soviet tactical weapon or something like
that, they get hold of a Scud, and they are going to launch it off the East
Coast and try to detonate it and cause EMP, basically they would not know
whether in terms of, let's say, explosive power that the result would result
in a small bomb-equivalent EMP event, in a grenade, or a firecracker. It
is a sophisticated kind of attack.
If we get a well-financed terrorist group that particularly
has access to former Soviet Union scientists that did the design work in
this area, we can start approaching the levels that are becoming important
in terms of a threat to us.
Again, what is emerging in this area is that we
are coming to the area of what is known as poor man's EMP, and that is the
area of radio frequency weapons. It is an electromagnetic pulse produced
using batteries and capacitors and pulsers that radiates in a local area.
Let me talk a little bit about the range. The high-altitude
Mr. SAXTON. I will ask you that question,
and you can talk about it then, if that is okay.
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[The prepared statement of Mr. Cikotas can be found
in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Now we'll go to Professor Denning.
STATEMENT OF DR. DOROTHY E. DENNING, PROFESSOR OF COMPUTER SCIENCE, GEORGETOWN
Dr. DENNING. Thank you very much for the
opportunity to testify, Mr. Chairman.
As we all know, cyberspace is constantly under assault.
We havepeople are breaking into computer systems, stealing credit
card numbers, selling credit card numbers, stealing sensitive government
information and proprietary information.
There have been massive denial of service assaults
against Internet service providers and major electronic commerce sites.
There has been a lot of destruction of data on computer systems, especially
by former employees and insiders.
The recent ILOVEYOU virus, which is one of among
about 60,000 viruses altogether, is estimated to have affected tens of millions
of people and cost about $8 billion worth of damage. So there are a lot
of serious problems out there.
If we look at cyberterrorism specifically in assaults
that could lead to death or bodily injury or cause major harm, major economic
harm of the sort like a World Trade Center bombing or Oklahoma City or something
like that, so far we have not had anything like that. There have been activists
who have been using the Internet to try to promote their causes, but by
and large, the activity that they engage in is what we might call disruptive,
but not destructive. In fact, it looks mild compared to the effect of the
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People are defacing Web sites and posting political
messages. There has been spamming againstsending thousands of e-mail
messages to Internet service providers or government agencies. The Sri Lankan
Embassy got e-mail bombed for about a two-week period by an offshoot of
the Tamil Tigers.
We have had Web sit-ins against the World Trade
Organization (WTO), and animal rights activists have done Web sit-ins where
a whole mass of people, tens of thousands of people all at once, point their
browsers to some site and issue download requests. Again, these things are
disruptive, but they are not destructive. In my book, they are not terrorism.
Right now, today, the truck bomb is a much more
serious threat than the logic bomb. But the question is, what might be coming.
In order to assess that threat, we have to look at two things. First, we
have to look at vulnerabilities, are there critical infrastructures that
are vulnerable to a major attack that could have serious consequences. Second,
we have to ask, are there actors with the capability to do that, and who
are motivated to do that in cyberspace as opposed to doing it with more
traditional kinds of weapons?
The unfortunate part about the vulnerabilities is
that it looks like systems are vulnerable. I have seen several major reports
done by the government, and also talking to people that I know that have
more extensive knowledge, that point in the direction that systems could
be attacked in ways that could pose serious harm to people.
It is very, very hard to protect against that. It
is very, very hard to plug all the holes in computer systems. Even if we
make the technology good, it has to be configured right, all the patches
have to be installed, and so on.
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I was at a presentation this morning by the Joint
Task Force Computer Network Defense, and they reported that of all the attacks
that have been recorded recently, 94 percent of them were exploiting vulnerabilities
that they knew about, they had fixes for, so these are standard things.
They were not new types of attacks.
Even if you do your best and try to stay up to date,
on top of everything, there are new kind of attacks rolling out fast, like
the ILOVEYOU virus. It went out and it hit lots and lots of people. It was
a variant of earlier viruses, but the antiviral tools could not detect it.
Then we also have problems of insiders who have
access to information, and we have potential contractors and so on. A lot
of the more serious kinds of things that are there that have done a lot
of destruction against computer systems have been done by insiders.
The Aum Shinrikyo cult, it was recently discovered
that these folks had actually been writing software for some 80 Japanese
firms; I think it was 10 government agencies, or something like that. Among
other things, they were using the system to track police vehicles for the
police department. They had collected data on over 100 unmarked police cars
before it was discovered that they were the ones who had actually written
So that is the vulnerability side of it. It is not
good. If we look now at the actors who would have the motivation and the
skill to do that, the best study of that that I know of was done at the
Naval post-graduate school in Monterrey, California. They did a report called
Cyberterror Prospects and Implications. The bottom line of that is that,
in their assessment, it was notcyberterrorism was not an imminent
threat. They concluded that the barrier to entry for anything beyond annoying
hacks is quite high in that terrorists generally lack the wherewithal and
human capital needed to mount a meaningful operation. So cyberterrorism
was something that they argued was something for the future, although it
could be pursued as an ancillary tool.
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Cyberterrorism would have some advantages to a terrorist.
It could be done remotely, anonymously. You do not have to handle and deal
with explosives or other dangerous materials. It would probably get a lot
of media coverage, because the media loves to cover any kind of cyberattack.
It also has its drawbacks. Systems are complex,
so it is not clear thathow easy it would be to actually carry out
some mission and actually accomplish your goals, resulting in serious harm.
Unless people are injured, there is going to be a lot less drama and emotional
Terrorists may be disinclined to try new methods
and learn what it would take to conduct effective cyberterrorist operations,
and prefer to stick with the methods that they already know and have been
trained to use.
The next generation of terrorists are going to grow
up in a digital world, so things could change over time. They may see greater
potential for cyberterrorism. They may be recruited by terrorists, or become
self-recruiting terrorists, the Timothy McVeighs of cyberspace.
It could also become more attractive as the real
and virtual worlds become more closely coupled with a great deal of physical
devices connected to the Internet and controlled remotely. For example,
in the area of telemedicine, we have telesurgery, so we could start thinking
in terms of potential terrorists attacks against robots that are used for
Mr. SAXTON. Dr. Denning, I am told that we
are going to have some votes upcoming here, so if you could summarize.
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Dr. DENNING. I was actually right at the
Basically, just a summary, again, is that right
now cyberterrorism is largely a theoretical threat, and it is hard to predict
what might happen in the future.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
[The prepared statement of Dr. Denning can be found
in the Appendix.]
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Cikotas, you had discussed
in your testimony that the more powerful threat, nonnuclear electromagnetic
pulse, takes some degree of sophistication and resources to be able to carry
a terrorist attack with that.
Mr. CIKOTAS. That is correct.
Mr. SAXTON. Then you moved to what you referred
to as the poor man's EMP. Would you explain a little further the concept
of radio frequency weapons?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Basically what is done in the
radio frequency weapons is that in the nonnuclear EMP, the ranges we are
talking are hundreds to thousands of kilometers from a burst. In the radio
frequency weapons area, you are talking tens of meters to tens of kilometers.
Mr. SAXTON. What is a radio frequency weapon
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Mr. CIKOTAS. A radio frequency weapon is
a device that can vary from the size of an attache case to something that
is mounted in a van that produces a very fast-rising, typically a short-duration
pulse, high-amplitude pulse. If we look at the pulse amplitude, the pulse
power is likely to be in gigawatts. The duration is likely to be in tens
of nanoseconds. So the power is very great; the duration is short. It tends
to interact with electronic systems and can cause both disruption and damage
to electronic systems.
Mr. SAXTON. Someone once likened itand
I don't know what gigawatts are, but someone once likened it to radio static.
I could understand that.
Mr. CIKOTAS. It is nothing like that. It
is much more than radio static. The levels are significantly higher. With
radio static, unless it is directly connected to something, it is not going
to cause damage.
Mr. SAXTON. It is a signal that goes out?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Yes, that goes out from some
sort of antenna that propagates, like I say, for tens of meters. If it is
a bigger device, it could go for ten kilometers. It can cause damage to
electronic equipment and burn it out.
Mr. SAXTON. This would disrupt computer activities,
perhaps some electronics components?
Mr. CIKOTAS. That is correct.
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Mr. SAXTON. What would happen if someone
had a device, the proper size, able to cover several hundred yards, turned
it on, and drove down Wall Street?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Basically, it would not be detected.
The effects would be there.
Mr. SAXTON. What would be the effect?
Mr. CIKOTAS. The effects could result in
major damage to computer systems on Wall Street, particularly those that
were reasonably close to it. The problem with the radio frequency weapons
is in effect it is a stealth weapon today.
Mr. SAXTON. That means you do not know it
Mr. CIKOTAS. Right. If your computer failed,
the normal assumption is something is wrong with the computer, that, I have
an internal problem, rather than that it comes from the outside. Therefore,
the truck could drive by one building, go to the next building, and this
is a renewable power source, so you need to basically drive and fire. You
would not know what is happening. You could see a trend that a whole block
or two of New York, the electronic systems have failed, but it would take
some time to figure out that this is not a normal failure. By that time
the truck is long gone and maybe doing the damage somewhere else.
Mr. SAXTON. In preparing for today's hearing,
my staff was talking with someone, and they mentioned that it is possible
to use one of these devices against aircraft.
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Mr. CIKOTAS. If the device range is up to
ten kilometers, that covers aircraft. For example, if we look, one of the
devices that the British got is NAGARA radar.
Mr. SAXTON. What is that word?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Nanosecond gigahertz amplitude
The British basically concluded that they could
not safely fly helicopters within something like seven kilometers of that
device. It is a truck-mounted device, not a van-mounted, with an antenna
on the end.
Mr. SAXTON. Have we done experiments and
have we been able to demonstrate that this weapon, these weapons, could
be used successfully against helicopters or any other devices?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I know we are working in those
areas. I do notI am not specifically involved in those programs.
Mr. SAXTON. What happens if you have a radio
frequency weapon that has a ten-kilometer range and park it at the end of
Mr. CIKOTAS. You are likely to take out all
the flights coming in and going.
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SAXTON. Thank you.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
The discussion that you are having with the gentleman
is somewhat similar to Dr. Denning's discussion. If somebody drives down
the street and takes out the computer for the local flower shop, that is
not a terrorist incident. It may be disruptive of those shops. If it takes
down an airline, then it does create the kinds of problems that cannot be
done by amateurs.
Dr. Denning, I wanted to have you talk a little
bit about this business about distinguishing between disruption and terrorism,
which does not mean we should not be working on this, but maybe it is a
question of who should be doing the work, and will it get lost.
In terms of terrorist incidents, we think of them
being ones that cause fear. If you had a cyberterrorist attack so bank accounts
were wiped out and could not be recovered, I assume that is possible, but
probably not practicalI would think that would create a lot of fear.
If we talk about fear and the bank crashes of 1929.
Dr. DENNING. I agree, that would create a
lot of fear. There I think you would look at the motivation. If the motivation
was for political or social objectives and designed to cause that kind of
fear, I would call that cyberterrorism.
Fortunately, I think the banking system is fairly
well hardened against that kind of thing. If you have a lot of backups and
things like that, so they actually get in and destroy all the records in
a way that nothing can be recovered, that is I think getting a little bit
farfetched. I am not going to say it is impossible, but I think the banking
system is better protected than that.
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Mr. SNYDER. What about in terms ofyou
mentioned remote surgery and so on. What about issues involving a function
of a busy metropolitan hospital and some kind of an attack on a busy surgical
ward, obstetrical ward? Are those hardened?
Dr. DENNING. I think right now most of them
are not Internet-enabled. I am not sure what all the mechanisms are in place
in those systems that would protect against that.
Some time ago, maybe about a year ago, there was
a story circulating on the Internet that basically said that the FBI was
going aftermaybe they had caught some mobster or something, but he
had been badly wounded, and he was in the hospital, and there were guys
who wanted to take him out, and they could not get physical access to the
hospital, so they had hacked into the life support system that he was on
and tampered with it, and he died. This was a story that was circulating
I immediately went to some of the people that I
know that know a lot about hospital information systems, who basically said,
no, that could not happen, that that was a fabrication. I also checked with
people in the FBI who said thatnobody could find any record of any
incident like that.
Mr. SNYDER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Bartlett.
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BARTLETT. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chairman, you and I and nine other of our colleagues
just about a year ago sat in a hotel in Vienna with members of the Russian
Duma. One of those members was Vladimir Lukhin.
Mr. Cikotas, you mentioned this incident in your
written testimony. He was a very angry person. He sat for two days with
his arms crossed, looking at the ceiling. We were there developing a framework
agreement for ending the Kosovo conflict.
He said at one point, you spit on us, and now you
want us to help you. Why should we help you? Then again during these two
days he made the statement, if we really wanted to hurt you, with no fear
of retaliation, we would launch an Sea-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM),
detonate a nuclear weapon high above your country, shut down your power
grid and your communications for a month or two.
Was he kidding?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I don't think so.
Mr. BARTLETT. This is possible?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I believe it is possible. To
a large extent, as you have seen in my testimony, the DOD has worked hard
to protect our response systems or our military systems. Again, we are getting
back to the 95 percent of the infrastructure that has no protection, and
that is what we were dealing with. That is why it is possible.
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That is, again, because the Russians are probably
more sophisticated than anybody else in doing those types of attacks, or
as sophisticated as we would be.
Mr. BARTLETT. They have developed an EMP-enhanced
Mr. CIKOTAS. I am not aware of that. I think
they have capabilities for things like that.
Mr. BARTLETT. It is my understanding they
have developed EMP-enhanced weapons.
Sir, if this is true, if a single weapon would not
do itand a single weapon detonated 300 miles high over Nebraska covers
all of the continental United States, it would produce at the margins about
10,000 to 20,000 volts per meter. If that is not enough to extinguish all
of our computers and microelectronics countrywide, then if they were not
sure that would do it, if they used six weaponsand they have thousands
of weaponsif they used six weapons, they certainly could, could they
not, disable every computer in our country?
Mr. CIKOTAS. They would certainly improve
their capability to do that significantly.
Mr. BARTLETT. Communist China has the Long
March missile tipped with a 4.4 megaton weapon. I do not know that that
is EMP-enhanced, but a weapon that large detonated over our country, you
would expect it to do what kind of damage, EMP-wise?
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Mr. CIKOTAS. The problem is that it is very
difficult to predict the extent of the damage. I would expect there would
be significant damage. How muchwithout looking at the weapon parameters,
looking at what kind of EMP it produced, it is kind of hard to say what
kind of damage it would do, it would cause.
Mr. BARTLETT. Is there any way that an enemy
could detonate a nuclear weapon on us or over us that would do as much damage
as an EMP lay-down, which would not hurt a single person or damage a single
Mr. CIKOTAS. The statement that EMP would
not hurt a single person or damage a single building is not really true,
because when we look at the power grid shutdown, we are going to lose lives
if we shut the power grid across the U.S.; not directly, but indirectly.
Mr. BARTLETT. That was my next question.
If you could imagine 275 million people living in a country that has no
power and will have no power, that has no communications and will have no
communications, where only a few antique vehicles will run, if you could
get gas in them, because there would be no power at the service station,
although there are no direct effects on people, the potential effects on
the population are really enormous; are they not?
Mr. CIKOTAS. I believe they would be. We
are not prepared for that type of a situation.
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BARTLETT. A terrorist attack would be somewhere between a dud doing
nothing and this; would it not?
Mr. CIKOTAS. More closer to the dud, I would
Mr. BARTLETT. We hope.
Mr. CIKOTAS. It depends on the sophistication
and particularly how much help they might be able to get in terms of state-supported
terrorism, or from scientists that have worked in that field.
Mr. BARTLETT. One last note, Mr. Chairman.
Vladimir Lukhinand, by the way, he is the chairman of their foreign
affairs committee in the Duma, he was the ambassador here at the end of
Bush and the beginning of the Reagan administration, so he is a very responsible
person who is now the chairman of his party in Russia. When he says, ''Without
fear of retaliation, if it came from the sea,'' was he implying it would
be very difficult for us to know, in fact, the source of that attack?
Mr. CIKOTAS. It might be difficult to figure
out the source of that attack, particularly if they tried to shield it in
Mr. BARTLETT. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Let me just ask Mr. Gibbons.
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GIBBONS. No, sir.
Mr. SAXTON. Mr. Taylor, I believe, has a
question or two.
Mr. TAYLOR. Mr. Cikotas, other than a nuclear
blast, is therecan someone generate an electromagnetic pulse by other
than nuclear means large enough, say, to wipe out the power grid of a city?
Is that available technology?
Mr. CIKOTAS. That depends on if you are talking
now about a nonnuclear EMP, a radio frequency weapon type of device, you
would have to look at a range of one with ten kilometers or so.
Mr. TAYLOR. The question is, is that existing
Mr. CIKOTAS. The technologyI would
say it is existing within Russia. I am not sure in that range what is existing
within the United States.
The radio frequency device.
Mr. TAYLOR. Going back to a previous panel
when the gentleman made the point that it is fairly low-tech to create a
biological weapon, to do that, to have a ten-kilometer EMP weapon.
Mr. CIKOTAS. That is a high-tech weapon.
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TAYLOR. A lot of money, a lot of expertise?
Mr. CIKOTAS. Yes, but one that has a range
of 10 to 100 meters is not that much of a technology problem. There is information
on the Internet on how to do many of these things.
Mr. TAYLOR. For the low-tech end of the spectrum,
what are the most likely targets, in your mind?
Mr. CIKOTAS. For example, in Russia radio
frequency weapons have been used to defeat security systems. You can deal
with security systemsI understand there has been blackmail against
banks in Great Britain that they have been paying in order not to affect
their banking systems.
Banks in the California area have expressed an interest
in dealing with the radio frequency (RF) threat and have offered or asked
the government people that are doing testing, would you be willing to test
our systems in our facility?
So it is a local area. It is something that can
be done with stealth. There are detectors that will allow you to see that
you have been attacked or are in the process of being attacked, but it will
not point to the perpetrator.
Mr. TAYLOR. For the sake of people getting
on an airplane this evening, you had talked about someone had mentioned
putting one at the end of the runway. How real a threat is it, that someone
could direct this at a plane taking off and fry the electronics on the plane,
and therefore disable it?
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Mr. CIKOTAS. I think that the reality of
the threat depends on the sophistication and the funding of the organization,
and to what extent they have researched the field or tried to apply it.
Some of these things are going to get commercialized.
Mr. TAYLOR. I am old enough to remember the
hijackings in the 1960s or 1970s. What is the realistic chance that this
technology touches off another wave of crime against airlines?
Mr. CIKOTAS. There is a lot of information
we do not know in this area, what the susceptibilities are. The Swedish
have demonstrated a device that can stop cars at 300 feet. It is basically
a commercial device that is going to be propagated probably to police departments
where they get into vehicle chases and things like that.
I don't have an answer what that would do to an
airliner, but it is something that we should find out and we should be concerned
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. I want to thank our witnesses
for being with us today. We appreciate it very much. I thank the members
of the Panel for being here and for their participation. We will look forward
to working with you in the future. Thank you again for being here.
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[Whereupon, at 3:55 p.m., the Panel was adjourned.]