UPI reported yesterday that al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQIM) has suffered the unfortunate loss of at least 40 members to the plague (aka "Black Death"). This prompted me to search the article for mention of AQIM's pestilent living conditions, since everyone knows bubonic plague is spread by fleas jumping from infected rats and biting the sorry victims. But I didn't find any reference to AQIM living with rats or other vermin.
Instead, it turns out that the vermin were AQIM themselves. The Washington Times reported yesterday that al Qaeda was up to no good.
An al Qaeda affiliate in Algeria closed a base earlier this month after an experiment with unconventional weapons went awry, a senior U.S. intelligence official said Monday.
The official, who spoke on the condition he not be named because of the sensitive nature of the issue, said he could not confirm press reports that the accident killed at least 40 al Qaeda operatives, but he said the mishap led the militant group to shut down a base in the mountains of Tizi Ouzou province in eastern Algeria.
He said authorities in the first week of January intercepted an urgent communication between the leadership of al Qaeda in the Land of the Maghreb (AQIM) and al Qaeda's leadership in the tribal region of Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. The communication suggested that an area sealed to prevent leakage of a biological or chemical substance had been breached, according to the official.
"We don't know if this is biological or chemical," the official said.
Does it matter? Al Qaeda is trying to weaponize the plague so they can kill their enemies (for the reality-challenged, "their enemies" means "you and me"). The fact that they've got doofus bioengineers working for them doesn't change the fact that they'll keep trying until they get it right.
I hope their best and brightest are among the dead.