The New Zealand Herald received a package Monday from a jihadist group that contained a vial and letter claiming that the liquid contained therein was a sample of the Ebola virus.
The Herald evacuated the mailroom and washed down any potentially infected staff.
The paper and the (Victoria, Australia) Herald Sun both reported that the package was a hoax, according to Truth Revolt, but the source of that information was unclear.
The sample was sent to Australia’s Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory for analysis, but not before it was swabbed by investigators looking for fingerprints and DNA evidence. Results from the forensic tests are expected in a few days.
Risk of infection to the employees at The Herald was “almost non-existent,” authorities said.
Although the news turned out to be a hoax on the other side of the world, it serves to highlight the fear many Americans have of Islamic jihadists using Ebola or other deadly infectious diseases in an attack on the American homeland.
Samples of the virus would not seem difficult to obtain from any of the three West African nations currently stricken by the deadly hemorrhagic fever.
Nor is access to America particularly problematic, given that President Barack Obama seems intent on keeping America’s southern border as porous as he can.
That’s method and opportunity. Does anyone doubt that the Islamic militants currently waging a war of conquest in Iraq and Syria lack motive?