Effective prosecution and decisions regarding U.S. response depend on accurate attribution of biological attacks. Despite ongoing biological crimes and suspected development of biological weapons for the purpose of attacking the Nation, the United States has yet to establish this capability fully. The Study Panel hosted a special focus meeting entitled Attribution of Biological Crime, Terrorism, and Warfare: Challenges and Solutions. Former Senator Joe Lieberman joined former Homeland Security Advisor Ken Wainstein and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, as they led this meeting of the Study Panel which addressed the current states of science, investigations, and intelligence for biological attribution and the extent to which they inform strategic, operational, and tactical decisions; and provided a better understanding of the ability of the United States to:
- Identify pathogens and their sources correctly,
- Attribute biological crimes, terrorism, proliferation, and warfare to their perpetrators, using scientific and other forms of evidence and information, and
- Explore the processes used for investigative, legal, policy, and political decisions involving biological attribution.
Federal government, industry, and academic representatives discussed their perspectives, experiences, challenges, and recommended solutions with regard to biological attribution.