Fears over a zombie apocalypse have some wondering whether it's possible for a viral hybrid between rabies and the flu virus to cause the end of the world. After all, the Pentagon has a plan for the zombie apocalypse, and even the state of Kansas is preparing for the walking dead. But could fears over a zombie attack be justified by the ISIS terrorist group?
In a related report by the Inquisitr, some Christians believe the Ebola virus could evolve to the point that it becomes deadly enough to meet the standard for the Bible's "end of times" prophecy, which predicts a quarter of the world's population will die from diseases before the end of the world. But if the Ebola virus did become airborne, this feat would require genetic engineering since evolutionary theory seems to indicate the scenario would not happen naturally.
According to Elankumaran Subbiah, a virologist at Virginia Tech, a viral rabies hybrid really could create a zombie apocalypse, but it would have to be genetically engineered since random mutations are unlikely to pull off a zombie virus.
"They're too different. They cannot share genetic information. Viruses assemble only parts that belong to them, and they don't mix and match from different families," said Subbiah. "Sure, I could imagine a scenario where you mix rabies with a flu virus to get airborne transmission, a measles virus to get personality changes, the encephalitis virus to cook your brain with fever and throw in the ebola virus to cause you to bleed from your guts. Combine all these things, and you'll [get] something like a zombie virus. But [nature] doesn't allow all of these things to happen at the same time.... You'd most likely get a dead virus."
Zombie apocalypse averted, right? Unfortunately, the modern world has this scenario becoming a frightening reality. Mass panic ensued when two dead Ebola victims rose like the walking dead on the way to their burial, although it's believed they were simply improperly diagnosed as being dead. But what if the Islamic State were to purposefully genetically engineer a zombie virus as a weapon of mass destruction?
As reported by Vetogate, the ISIS terrorist group leaders reportedly claimed their jihadists would be willing to sacrifice themselves by spreading the Ebola virus in its current form, which requires physical contact with body fluids from the victims.
"Followers and soldiers of the Islamic State are mostly suicide bombers and all of them are ready not only to carry Ebola, but to drink Ebola if they were asked to carry and spread it in the United States. This is not difficult but we need a decision from the leaders jihadist (sic).... The process of spreading disease is not difficult. It can easily be transported in a bottle in your bag from Africa to America. The contents of the bottle can then be released in an air-conditioning duct or put it in the public drinking water."
The question of a zombie apocalypse caused by a ISIS WMD is then reduced to the question of capability. U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe once claimed the ISIS terrorist group was developing a WMD capable of blowing up American cities, although when the ISIS in Iraq found Saddam Hussein's WMD stockpiles, most experts agreed they would not be able to create anything too dangerous with the chemical and nuclear materials.
Earlier reports claimed the Islamic State has funding that exceeds $2 to $4 million per day based upon arms dealing, oil, and other operations. Since ISIS has the money, and some of the ISIS leadership has college doctorates, in the worst case scenario they manage to hire scientists capable of devising such a horrible WMD.
Fortunately, scientific knowledge for creating an artificial virus is not exactly a common specialty, and it took a team led by J. Craig Venter years to make the first major scientific breakthrough. But in August of 2014, researchers from Wageningen UR successfully developed an artificial virus for the first time. The long-term goal is to apply these techniques to biotechnology, medicine, and nanotechnology, but how long will it be until these techniques are weaponized? If that scenario were to ever become reality, the world may wish the zombie apocalypse had been created by nature instead of man.