Did Iraq Get Weaponized
Smallpox From Russian Scientist?
By Judith Miller

The CIA is said to be investigating an informant's accusation that Iraq obtained a particularly virulent strain of smallpox from a Russian scientist who worked in a smallpox lab in Moscow during Soviet times.
United States officials said several US scientists were told in August that Iraq might have obtained the mysterious strain from Nelja Maltseva, a virologist who worked for more than 30 years at the Research Institute for Viral Preparations in Moscow before her death two years ago.
The information came to the US Government from an informant whose identity has not been disclosed. The attempt to verify the information is continuing.
Ms Maltseva is known to have visited Iraq on several occasions. . Some experts fear she may have provided the Iraqis with a version that could be resistant to vaccines and could be more easily transmitted as a biological weapon.
The possibility that Iraq poss common-or-garden-variety smallpox.
In Britain, the Government announced plans to vaccinate some members of the military and health service workers against smallpox as a precaution against a terrorist attack.
Thought it denied receiving specific information of a smallpox attack, the British Government said on Monday that it would vaccinate 350 health specialists, as well as selected members of the armed forces likely to be in the front line of any biological attack.
The immunisations are expected to be carried out by the end of next month.
The Government also said it was starting a tender for more smallpox vaccine as it sought to stock enough for the whole population.
The White House is expected to announce this week that, despite the risk of illness or death that mass vaccinations can bring, it will authorise vaccinating those most at risk - 500,000 members of the military who could be assigned to the Middle East for a war with Iraq, and 500,000 civilian medical worker


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