NBC Weapons: The Taliban Mystery Gas




August 31, 2010: On August 25th, for the eighth time this year, students and staff at a girls high school were injured by some kind of poison gas. In the latest incident, nine teachers and 46 students were hospitalized. They were all dizzy, and a few were unconscious. But there did not appear to be any permanent damage. The first of these attacks occurred last year, and there have been eleven so far. Blood tests do not indicate what the poison agent could be. American chemical weapons experts were involved in some of the investigations, but have not announced any findings. There have been suggestions that this might be some kind of mass hysteria, but since it also involves adults as well, and all tell the same story of smelling something strange before falling, the hysteria angle is unlikely.

Most doctors at the hospitals agree that it was some kind of poison, but have not been able to identify it yet. All the victims smelled something odd while at school, then fell ill, with some of the students and teachers losing consciousness. The Taliban have been known to attack girls schools, including injuring or killing students with gunfire, explosives and, in at least one case, acid thrown into the faces of students. Now it appears that poison gas has been added to the Taliban arsenal.

The Taliban do not believe in education for girls (which they believe is forbidden by Islam), but do believe in chemical weapons (which they do not believe is forbidden by Islam). When the Taliban ran Afghanistan in the late 1990s, they hosted al Qaeda, and al Qaeda set up a chemical warfare research facility. If the Taliban are using some kind of poisonous chemical for these attacks, they could have gotten it from their better educated friends in al Qaeda. The Taliban are very much against education for girls, and prohibited it from 1996-2001. Millions of Afghan girls are now in school, and the Taliban are very angry about it.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contribute. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   contribute   Close