Some very scary news has emerged from Syria. A laptop recovered from an ISIS hideout included instructions for creating very dangerous biological weapons.
The documents also suggest that the laptop's owner was teaching himself about the use of biological weaponry, in preparation for a potential attack that would have shocked the world.
The laptop belonged to a Tunisian named Muhammed S., who studied physics and chemistry at two universities. It was found by a moderate Syrian rebel group after ISIS had abandoned a hideout.
Most of the information on the laptop was typical for a jihadist's computer, including videos of Osama bin Laden, bomb-making directions and advice on how to disguise while traveling. But, the computer also had a 19-page document on it describing how ISIS could "weaponize the bubonic plague from infected animals."
It doesn't look like the terrorists have weapons like this yet, but the documents show that they're thinking about how to make them.
And any jihadi organization contemplating a bioterrorist attack will face many difficulties: Al Qaeda tried unsuccessfully for years to get its hands on such weapons, and the United States has devoted massive resources to preventing terrorists from making just this sort of breakthrough. The material on this laptop, however, is a reminder that jihadists are also hard at work at acquiring the weapons that could allow them to kill thousands of people with one blow.
This is scary because ISIS has taken over parts of Syria and Iraq that include universities and labs where they could get to work. Hopefully, the forces fighting against them can take back these areas before ISIS has a chance to try and develop these weapons.