Look Inside. An important and fascinating look into a terrifying world of which we were blissfully unaware. Incurable and horrifying Ebola-related fevers. For two decades, while a fearful world prepared for nuclear winter, an elite team of Russian bioweaponeers began to till a new killing field: a bleak tract sown with powerful seeds of mass destruction—by doctors who had committed themselves to creating a biological Armageddon.
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During his heyday as a Soviet bio-weapons designer, in the late s and s, Alibekov oversaw projects that included weaponizing glanders and Marburg hemorrhagic fever , and created Russia's first tularemia bomb. In , he defected to the United States; he has since become an American citizen and made his living as a biodefense consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur. He had actively participated in the development of biodefense strategy for the U.
Congress and other governments on biotechnology issues. In the lead up to the war between the US and Iraq, he testified before Congress, without direct knowledge or evidence, [ citation needed ] that "attempts to wipe out Iraq's bioweapons capability were probably not successful. Apart from this, he is actively involved in research on autism and its infectious etiology.
He grew up in Almaty , the republic's former capital. His academic performance while studying military medicine at the Tomsk Medical Institute and his family's noted patriotism led to his selection to work for Biopreparat , the secret biological weapons program overseen by the Soviet Union's Council of Ministers.
His first assignment was to the Eastern European Branch of the Institute of Applied Biochemistry IAB near Omutninsk , a combined pesticide production facility and reserve biological weapons production plant intended for activation in a time of war.
At Omutninsk, Alibek mastered the art and science of formulating and evaluating nutrient media and cultivation conditions for the optimization of microbial growth. It was here that he expanded his medical school laboratory skills into the complex skill set required for industrial level production of microorganisms and their toxins. After a year at Omutninsk, Alibek was transferred to the Siberian Branch of the IAB near Berdsk another name of the branch was the Berdsk scientific and production base.
With the assistance of a colleague, he designed and constructed a microbiology research and development laboratory that worked on techniques to optimize production of biological formulations.
After several promotions, Alibek was transferred back to Omutninsk, where he rose to the position of Deputy Director. He was soon transferred to the Kazakhstan Scientific and Production Base in Stepnogorsk another reserve BW facility to become the new Director of that facility.
Officially, he was Deputy Director of the Progress Scientific and Production Association, a manufacturer of fertilizer and pesticide. At Stepnogorsk , Alibek created an efficient industrial scale assembly line for biological formulations. In a time of war, the assembly line could be used to produce weaponized anthrax. Continued successes in science and biotechnology led to more promotions, which resulted in a transfer to Moscow.
He was later promoted to First Deputy Director of Biopreparat, where he not only oversaw the biological weapons facilities but also the significant number of pharmaceutical facilities that produced antibiotics , vaccines , sera, and interferon for the public. In response to a Spring announcement that the Ministry of Medical and Microbiological Industry was to be reorganized, Alibek drafted and forwarded a memo to General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev proposing the cessation of Biopreparat's BW work.
Though Gorbachev approved the proposal, an additional paragraph had been secretly inserted into Alibek's draft, resulting in a presidential decree that ordered the end of Biopreparat's BW work but also required them to remain prepared for future production. Though disappointed by the double dealing, Alibek used his position at Biopreparat and the authority granted to him by the first part of the decree to begin destruction of the BW program.
Specifically, he ordered the dismantling of BW production and testing capabilities at a number of research and development facilities, including Stepnogorsk , Kol'tsovo , Obolensk and a number of others. He also negotiated a concurrent appointment to a Biopreparat facility called Biomash. Biomash designed and produced technical equipment for microbial cultivation and testing. Alibek was subsequently placed in charge of intensive preparations for inspections of Soviet biological facilities by a joint American and British delegation.
When he participated in the subsequent Soviet inspection of American facilities, his growing suspicion that the United States did not have an offensive bioweapons program was confirmed before his return to Russia the Soviet Union dissolved while he was in the US.
In January , not long after his return from the US, Alibek, protesting against the continuation of bioweapons work, resigned from both the Soviet Army and Biopreparat and became jobless.
In October he emigrated with his family to the US. Since moving to the US, Alibekov — who simplified his name to Kenneth Ken Alibek — has provided the government with a detailed accounting of the former Soviet BW program and has testified before the US Congress on numerous occasions see also Sverdlovsk anthrax leak. He has provided guidance to the intelligence, policy, national security, and medical communities and has returned to the pure biomedical research that captured his interest as a medical student.
He was the impetus behind the creation of an innovative biodefense graduate education program at George Mason University GMU that drew students from across the country and has served in the program as both a Distinguished Professor of Medical Microbiology and as the Director of Education.
In , Alibek published an autobiographical account of his work in the Soviet Union and his defection. On 11 March , Alibek announced that, owing to substantive differences between himself and GMU over the future of the Graduate Programs in Biodefense, he would not be teaching classes beyond the Spring semester and was resigning from GMU effective 27 August In an agreement with his students, he volunteered his time from Spring through Spring to help them earn their doctoral degrees.
Motivated by the lack of affordable anti-cancer therapies available in Eastern Europe and Central Asia , AFG was using Alibek's biotechnology experience to plan, build, and manage a new pharmaceutical production facility designed specifically to address this problem.
Based in Washington, D. Off-patent generic pharmaceuticals produced at this site are supposed to target severe oncological, cardiological, immunological, and chronic infectious diseases. Construction of the Boryspil facility began in April and was completed in March ; initial production was scheduled to begin in The stated intention was that high quality pharmaceuticals would be produced and become an affordable source of therapy for millions of underprivileged who currently have no therapeutic options.
The main focus of Alibek's current research is to develop novel forms of therapy for late stage oncological diseases and other chronic degenerative pathologies and disorders. He focuses on the role of chronic viral and bacterial infections in causing age-related diseases and premature aging.
Additionally, he develops and implements novel systemic immunotherapy methods for late stage cancer patients. Alibek has a wife and five children two sons and three daughters ; one of his daughters is autistic.
In , by invitation he began working in Kazakhstan as an educator and researcher at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. During his stay, he published a number of articles in research journals and taught various courses in various fields of biology and medicine. He focuses on a possible role of chronic infections, metabolic disorders and immunosuppression on cancer development. In , he was awarded by a prize from the Deputy Prime Minister for his contribution in the development of educational system in Kazakhstan.
In , he was awarded with a medal by the Minister of Education and Science of Kazakhstan for his contribution in research in Kazakhstan. He continues his work as a physician and research and educational professor. He keeps his American citizenship and residence and his family lives in the United States. More than , people voted in this project, and Alibek was voted into 10th place in his category. Starting from , Ken Alibek in addition to his other project, started doing research in autism.
He considers the disorder to be the result of prenatal viral and bacterial infections. In , five articles on autism have been published by Alibek. Using antiviral, antibacterial and immune-modulatory methods he treats children from different countries, free of charge using a telemedicine approach.
In his studies, he describes the cases of successful treatment of infections and inflammation resulting in improvements of autistic symptoms. Alibek published more than 80 articles in classified journals on the development of new types of biological weapons and on medical aspects of biodefense prior to his defection to the United States.
Alibek began publishing research and review articles in Since then he published more than 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals on various aspects of biomedical research.
Some observers have questioned the scientific credibility of Alibek's recent work and his motivations: . From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.
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January Learn how and when to remove this template message. Retrieved Soviet biological weapons program. Project Bonfire Project Factor. Sverdlovsk anthrax leak Aral smallpox incident. Categories : American people of Kazakhstani descent Kazakhstani emigrants to the United States Kazakhstani scientists Living people People from Almaty Region Siberian State Medical University alumni Soviet biological weapons program Soviet military doctors Soviet microbiologists The Heritage Foundation births anthrax attacks 20th-century biologists.
By Christopher Davis. We have lived parallel lives. We were born within three months of each other in We share humble beginnings, career paths in medicine, life in the armed services of our respective countries, PhDs, and work in research and development. We first met on a dark, bitterly cold early morning in the depths of a Moscow winter-on Tuesday, 8 January , not Monday, 14 January as he says in his account.
During his heyday as a Soviet bio-weapons designer, in the late s and s, Alibekov oversaw projects that included weaponizing glanders and Marburg hemorrhagic fever , and created Russia's first tularemia bomb. In , he defected to the United States; he has since become an American citizen and made his living as a biodefense consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur. He had actively participated in the development of biodefense strategy for the U. Congress and other governments on biotechnology issues.
Ken Alibek, Steven Handleman. Random House, New York. Biohazard focuses on the career of the author, Ken Alibek, a military physician and microbiologist who worked on the Soviet Union's secret biological weapons BW program in an agency known as Biopreparat, the research arm of the BW program. Biohazard covers Alibek's career from , when he completed his medical studies and was recruited for Biopreparat, through the period —, when he was deputy chief of the BW program; the book also discusses Alibek's defection to the United States in and his subsequent experiences and insights through Intertwined with the story of Alibek's career are the chilling facts about the early development of the Soviet BW program, the continuation of the program by Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the BW programs of other countries, and the current efforts of governments to defend themselves against biological weapons.