23:28 GMT +317 January 2020
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    Early warning and rapid response are crucial to protect the United States from terrorists armed with deadly biological weapons, as well as new diseases that naturally emerge, the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Health Affairs Acting Director Aaron Firoved said in a congressional testimony.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — He explained that DHS preparations were tested during the recent outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa. As the epidemic grew, DHS coordinated and implemented screening for more than 42,000 international passengers.

    "Synthetic biology and gene editing offer the promise of great medical breakthroughs; however, they also offer international terrorist organizations, homegrown violent extremists, and rogue states similar potential to modify organisms for malicious purposes," Firoved told the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Thursday.

    "Within 24 hours, an individual infected with a virulent, contagious, potentially-manmade pathogen can land on our shores and spark an outbreak with far reaching national or global consequences," Firoved noted.

    Tags:
    terrorism, biological weapon
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