Jan 05, 2015 03:17 PM EST
It's what national security organizations have feared since day one-the World Health Organization (WHO) announced last week that they are evaluating jihadist militants associated with ISIS, who may have contracted the virus responsible for Ebola. While the WHO has yet to confirm whether or not the fighters are exhibiting symptoms, the current evaluations of a Mosul hospital 250 miles north of Baghdad are prompting concerns that the fringe extremist group ISIS may in fact be able to obtain a biological weapon unlike anything the world has seen before.
Though Mosul has been under ISIS control since late last June, the Iraqi health ministry has issued a press release denying reports from Iraqi news outlets that claim the soldier are definitively infected and seeking treatment in Mosul.
"The Ebola virus could be in any area in the world, including Mosul, where they don't have the measures or techniques to diagnose the virus" spokesperson for the health ministry Ahmed Rudaini says. "They are incapable to detect it."
Over the past several months, the world has watched as threats from extremist group ISIS have come true, from the beheadings of captured prisoners of war to the mass murder of children's schools. And with the possibility of a global pandemic looming over our heads, many are demanding action be taken to isolate the potential vectors as a worst case scenario. Yet, as conflicting reports abound, international health organizations and the WHO are unable to assess the health concern on site, and treat the patients as their own.
WHO director Christy Feig told reporters early this weekend that " We [the WHO] have no official notification from the Iraqi government that it is Ebola."
While that may be true, the possibility that the militants may have contracted the virus causes a problematic situation for the WHO, in that ISIS does not believe in modern medicine and an outbreak in an ISIS-controlled area like Mosul could be a breeding ground for the ever-mutating virus. But worst of all, aside from the possibility of possible infection of Iraq, should ISIS isolate the virus for themselves, the entire western world may find soon enough that the Ebola virus could be the worst weapon known to man.
"U.N. workers have thus far been prohibited from entering ISIS-controlled territory in both Iraq and Syria," intelligence analyst for Levantine Group, Benjamin T. Decker says. "In this context, the lack of medical infrastructure, supplies and practitioners in the city suggests that the outbreak could quickly lead to further infection of both ISIS fighters and residents of Mosul."
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