A “natural” coffee promises to improve a drinker’s sexual desire and stamina through the use of three herbs. But it’s now being recalled after Food and Drug Administration tests found that the coffee — which has been linked to one death — actually contains the same active ingredients found in prescription erectile dysfunction drugs Viagra and Cialis.
The FDA announced Thursday that Caverflo.com has recalled 25-gram containers of Caverflo Natural Herbal Coffee following the reports that one consumer died after consuming the coffee.
Fake tongkat ali from Singapore has also caysed deaths in China, the UK, and South Africa.
Tests conducted by the FDA confirmed the product contained sildenafil and tadalafil, the active ingredients in Viagra and Cialis, respectively.
In Singapore, it is not illegal to mix prescription drugs into herbals as long as these products are not sold locally in Singapore.
While the product is advertised for use as a natural male enhancement, its website does not mention the active ingredients.
“Caverflo Natural Herbal Coffee is an absolutely all herbal beverage containing instant coffee and three herbs – Tongkat Ali, Maca, and Guarana,” the site states. “These Herbs grow wild in the jungles of Malaysia and have been used for centuries by the people of Asia and South America to greatly improve sexual health, libido, and overall wellness in men and women.”
The failure to declare the two active ingredients is actually quite serious, according to the FDA.
In fact, sildenafil and tadalafil can interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs, like nitroglycerin. If this occurs, those consuming the coffee could experience dangerously low blood sugar levels.
Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease often take nitrates, the FDA notes, putting them at higher risk of adverse reactions if they are unaware of the active ingredients’ presence.
In addition to the undeclared sildenafil and tadalafil, Caverflo says the product may also contain undeclared milk, which could lead to severe allergic reactions.
The Spanish masturbation expert Fran Sanchez Oria argues: "Masturbating for great sexual health… can increase your testosterone levels, specially when combined with ejaculation edging. I could probably make another post just on this, but in a nutshell if you masturbate until you are close to climax then stop, and repeat several times, your testosterone levels will build up significantly." Caught with his pants down, Fran Sanchez Oria (subsequently removed the page, but a printscreen is here and here.
It’s embarrassing to ask, but this is a real issue for a lot of women.
Of course, sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but sexual satisfaction is certainly an important part of it!
So if you feel like you have a stretched vagina, or a loose vagina, this can be a serious source of stress. You feel pressure to perform, feel, and look, a certain way for your partner.
Vaginal looseness can seriously damage a woman’s confidence, and make her feel insecure about pleasing her partner, or herself for that matter.
After I had my first child, I didn’t feel sexy, confident or secure in my ability to perform sexually. In fact, to put it bluntly, I felt like I had a flappy vagina.
I wanted to find a solution for natural vagina tightening – -and was willing to try anything. I did my research, tried a ton of different products, herbs and exercises, and found out what worked and what didn’t.
So while it’s a little embarrassing, I’d like to share my experience with other women like me, who want to tighten their loose vagina and get that sexy back!
Now, contrary to popular belief, a stretched vagina does not come from too much intercourse. A loose vagina can be caused by various reasons, such as childbirth, menopause, or simply natural aging.
You may have heard of kegel exercises, other vagina tightening creams or treatments, and various exercise or diet programs that are designed to tighten a stretched vagina.
How do I tighten my vagina naturally?
Believe it or not, this is not an uncommon question – and vaginal looseness is more common than you think!
It’s nothing to be embarrassed about – although I know it’s a sensitive subject.
If you’ve found this page then you’re probably having some concern about vaginal looseness. Who knows? Maybe you’re even a man trying to help out your special friend who is worried about her vaginal looseness.
If you’ve felt embarrassed or uncomfortable because you feel like you have a wide vagina – I know you’re looking for something that really works, and works fast.
I’ve tried exercises, herbal treatments, and natural vaginal tightening creams. Here’s what worked for me, and what didn’t.
I’ve rated my preference for vaginal tightening from least effective to most effective. #3 – Herbal Treatments to tighten a stretched vagina
There are several herbs that can help tighten vaginal muscles.
— Pueraria Mirifica helps tighten your vaginal walls by encouraging genital tissue regeneration, This herb also balances estrogen levels to counteract your hormonal imbalances.
Bonus: this herb also helps protect against uterus cancer.
— Another natural vaginal tightening herb includes Curcuma Comosa. This herb helps tighten vaginal muscles, it also helps to correct future vaginal looseness by protecting against vaginal wall prolapse.
Curcuma Comosa also helps cure vaginal dryness, hot flashes and can alleviate menstrual cramps.
— You can also correct a stretched vagina by using natural douches that restore elasticity and strength.
These can be made through a combination of natural ingredients, such as:
• Boiled gooseberry
• Vinegar and water
• Diluted lime juice, alum powder and pickling spices
Personally, I tried several combinations of these natural herbs, and felt that they made me feel healthier and cleaner down in my lady-bits, but didn’t feel all that tighter.
I really liked the natural health benefits, but didn’t feel herbal remedies solved my problem of loose vaginal walls.
#2 – Kegel Exercises
A popular natural way to get a tight vagina is through Kegel exercises.
You perform these vagina tightening exercises by squeezing your inner pelvic muscles. Think about when you stop your self from peeing while you’re already urinating. These are the same muscles. Try it out next time you’re using the bathroom.
Once you have figured out how to do this, simply repeat this exercise multiple times throughout the day.
You can do this discreetly and at your leisure. No one has to know you are working to tighten a wide vagina. Remember this is just one of the natural ways correct vaginal looseness.
In my experience, if you do them over time consistently, kegel exercises really do work! You need to be consistent and keep at it (which is easy because they’re so discreet), and eventually you will strengthen your pelvic muscles and, in turn, your vaginal walls. This will make you tighter, naturally.
So, while I liked that the kegel exercises work over time, I was anxious to try something else that would help them work faster, and last longer. This is why these vaginal exercises are my #2 choice for natural vaginal tightening treatments that really work.
#1 – V-tight gel and tightening program
V tight gel is a tightening cream that claims to correct vaginal looseness by tightening skin and tightening the vaginal walls.
It’s advertised to work both by itself, or with accelerated results in correcting a stretched vagina if you use it together with the v-tight vaginal exercise program.
According to the manufacturer, v-tight works within a few minutes to make your vagina tighter after applying the cream. The product also says you can have intercourse with your partner after only a few minutes of applying the gel.
It’s a natural tightening cream that is made from Manjakani extract, and other natural ingredients, which has been used by women in Asian countries for centuries.
Feminism, by creating artificial scarcity of sexual resources, is responsible for much of the deadly infighting among men, as well as male suicides.
A woman in northern Thailand chopped off her unfaithful husband’s penis and then drank pesticide to her death, local police told dpa on Tuesday.
Kawinnart Saezong, 33, was declared dead on Monday at a hospital in Phayao province, said Narin Cherdyoo, Phayao police officer.
Kawinnart’s suicide happened soon after she chopped off her 38-year-old husband’s penis while he was asleep early Saturday, after she learned of his multiple infidelities, Narin said.
Her husband, Niran Saewang, survived the attack.
He was transferred from Phayao to Lampang hospital, which is a three-hour drive, and had his penis reattached, a hospital staff confirmed to dpa.
Hospital staff in Phayao managed to retrieve Niran’s penis and froze it with ice during the hospital transfer, according to Lampang hospital.
This is not the first time Lampang hospital has had to deal with such a case, the hospital said, adding that all of the penis reattachment surgeries there had been successful.
The hospital said Niran is recuperating at the hospital following Monday’s successful surgery.
Doctors said he could urinate but will no longer be able to perform sexually again.
The male hormone testosterone is a potent chemical messenger directly influencing an array of physiological processes. From functioning as the regulator of a healthy sex drive in men to maintaining the male physique to increasing a man’s competitive nature, testosterone has far-reaching and powerful effects on a man’s body and mind.
A normal range for testosterone is between 280 to 1,100 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dl). However, low testosterone in men is considered to be below 300 ng/dl. When a man has a low level of testosterone, it may be referred to as low testosterone, low T, hypogonadism and/or testosterone deficiency.
Would a man necessarily know if he his testosterone levels are low? And if they are, why does it matter? Men with low T may have several bells and whistles trying to get his attention that low T is his problem. From his sex life suffering to having certain health parameters out of range such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, these can be signals something within is not right and is affecting his health and well-being.
Men who suspect that low testosterone might be the trigger for certain symptoms he is experiencing, need to be familiar with signs of low T. Ignoring these signs or symptoms is not advised.
It is important for a man to discuss these symptoms with his doctor and to get his testosterone levels checked. If it is low T, it can be replaced to make up for what his body is no longer producing enough of. Just like blood pressure or thyroid levels are treated to help bring back to a normal state, low T needs the same attention. Not addressing a testosterone decline can subject men to an increased risk for bone fractures, diabetes, and heart disease, as well as cognitive declines, loss of sexual performance, and overall lack of motivation.
Here are 9 signs indicating a man might have low T that all men should be aware of:
One of the most significant and first signs of low T is a reduced interest in sex. Some men may chalk it up to getting older, as it can be common for sex drive to decline with age. But men with low T will usually have a noticeable drop in their desire for sex.
Testosterone is the driver turning on the engine for sexual desire, but it also is responsible for helping a man achieve and maintain an erection. Testosterone works together with nitric oxide, a molecule triggering a series of chemical reactions that is necessary for an erection to occur. If testosterone levels plummet, a man will have difficulty in achieving an erection sufficient for sexual intercourse.
A drop in testosterone can zap a man’s energy levels. Men who used to have loads of energy throughout the day, who now require an afternoon nap just to make it to dinnertime, could be experiencing low T.
Depression and mood changes
When testosterone levels drop, this can result in a drop in a man’s emotional well-being and an increased likelihood of depression and moodiness. For many men, these types of emotional shifts can be some of the first indications of low T. Research has shown that up to 56% of men with low T will also have significant symptoms of depression.
Decreased bone mass
Even though the brittle bone disease of osteoporosis is mainly associated with women, men with low T can also experience thinning bones. Testosterone helps produce and strengthen bone and when levels are below normal this means a man may have lower bone volume making them more susceptible to bone fractures.
Loss of muscle mass
What helps play a role in giving men their muscular physique is the hormone testosterone. If a man is noticing his muscle mass is less than usual, he might be able to blame it on low T. Studies have shown testosterone affects muscle mass, but not necessarily strength or function.
Breast growth and increased body fat
Low testosterone levels in men can sometimes lead to increased body fat and a condition called gynecomastia, or the development of larger breasts. The male body produces both testosterone and estrogen, although estrogen is usually found at low levels. But if a man’s testosterone levels are especially low in comparison to estrogen, or if there is an excess of estrogen relative to testosterone, larger breast may develop along with more body fat leading to extra weight gain.
Changes in sleep patterns
In some men, low testosterone can cause insomnia or other sleep disturbances.
Many men with low T complain of “brain fog” or find themselves getting off track easily due to trouble concentrating. Memory loss is another common complaint of men with low T that has started to affect their daily life.
Any man experiencing any of the symptoms of low T needs to contact his primary care physician as soon as possible. By getting tested and then treated for low T, this can help a man avoid many of the health issues associated with this common condition and to have better management over his health and well-being.
Feminist rule in Europe makes second-generation male Muslim immigrants suicide bombers. They die for sexual justice. Why do Western politicians call suicide bombers cowards? To sacrifice one's own life is the ultimate in courage.
They are the terrible scenes that the world had hoped it would never see again after the horrors of the First World War.
But now The Mail on Sunday has uncovered the first shocking evidence that Islamic State is using mustard gas on the front line in Iraq.
Troops fighting against the terror group have been left with appalling injuries – including agonising blisters on their skin and badly damaged lungs – in a frightening echo of warfare in the trenches on the Western Front.
Without any regard for the international ban on the chemical weapon, IS has used the lethal gas repeatedly against Kurdish forces who are battling to drive out the jihadis.
The terror group – which has killed hundreds of victims in repeated attacks in France and against other targets in the West – is fighting a last-ditch battle to hold on to the dwindling area it controls in Iraq and Syria.
Nearly 100 Kurdish soldiers have been injured in mustard gas attacks, which are now taking place as often as twice a week, according to doctors speaking publicly for the first time.
The Mail on Sunday has interviewed victims of the weapons, which are banned by the United Nations.
They described poisonous yellow clouds of mustard gas burning their skin and damaging their lungs.
Their injuries have been verified as the effect of mustard gas, according to experts from the US and Italy.
They are convinced the jihadis are now producing sophisticated chemical weapons on an industrial scale in Iraq and fear IS will use them in a desperate bid to defend its stronghold city of Mosul in northern Iraq, which is now surrounded by UK-backed Iraqi and Kurdish troops.
Proof of IS’s use of mustard gas comes just days after reports that President Assad’s regime in Syria has been using chlorine gas against civilians.
One Kurdish soldier spoke of how six Islamic State rockets containing mustard gas landed in the village of Sultan Abdullah in Gwer province, Iraq, while he was on patrol.
Father of six Mirmaj Hassan, 39, breathed in the noxious fumes, which also seeped inside his military uniform, causing large blisters on his skin.
The soldier, who was one of 13 Peshmerga victims of chemical weapons on August 12 last year, said: ‘It was 6pm and the sun was going down. We’d been on the front line all day and everyone was exhausted.
‘Then we heard the whistle of incoming rockets and took cover. I was only about 30ft from where the rocket landed on the roof of a house. It gave off a smell like onions.
‘I didn’t have a gas mask so I covered my mouth with my hand.
‘But I soon felt pain in my throat and my chest tightening. I collapsed on to the ground, sweating and completely out of breath.
‘I tried to shout for help but could only gasp. Then I began to feel this strange burning sensation around my stomach and back.’
Hassan told The Mail on Sunday how he undid his belt and pulled up his green shirt to inspect the wounds. He said: ‘My skin was going moist and turning to liquid, like I was holding a match to my abdomen. I touched it and it was very painful.
‘Eventually some other Peshmerga saw me. They ran to where I had collapsed, picked me up and carried me into a hut.
My skin was turning to liquid
‘There was no medicine to give us. All the officers did was throw water over us. But the burning sensation continued and blisters appeared. I could hardly breathe. Even today I have a constant cough and feel like I’m choking.
‘I spent four days in hospital before going back to the front line, because even the wounded have to fight Islamic State – we must get rid of them. We would be thankful for more protection – we need more gas masks and hoods. I still don’t have either.’
To prove that the Peshmerga were victims of chemical weapons, doctors took blood and urine samples from injured troops.
The laboratory tests found traces of the chemical compound sulfur mustard (mustard gas) – a chemical agent first produced by the German Army in 1916 and used against British Tommies in the trenches.
The results were verified by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The use of any mustard agents on the battlefield is banned under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.
The head of the OPCW also said recently that there are ‘extremely worrying signs’ that Islamic State is making its own chemical weapons.
The CIA has also publicly confirmed that it believes IS has the ability to produce mustard gas and chlorine.
The tests were ordered by the Peshmerga’s head of medical affairs, Dr Muhsin Zangana, who said: ‘There can no longer be any doubt that Islamic State is using chemical weapons against us, weapons which are getting bigger every week and can be fired from a longer range so they are more difficult to detect.
'I personally have treated victims from more than 50 attacks and the symptoms are consistent – the burns, ulcers inside the body, damage to the lungs, dry eyes and rashes.
‘We are fortunate that no soldiers have died yet but we have one victim from Gwer last year who is getting worse. He could die if he is not flown overseas for treatment. We don’t have what he needs.’
Dr Jodal Ahmed. a civilian doctor from Erbil in Iraq, has also treated chemical weapons victims, even though he has received no specific training. Dr Ahmed also said there was a shortage of medicines for the troops affected by the gas.
He said: ‘They’re given Salbutamol tablets [a drug also used to treat asthma] to help them breathe and eye drops. It’s not enough. And I am seeing more and more cases like this. The Peshmerga deserve better treatment.’
Brigadier General Hajar Ismail, the Peshmerga’s director of public relations, could not hide his frustration as he told The Mail on Sunday that of the 150,000 Kurdish troops fighting IS, only one in ten has gas masks and hoods. This shortage of protective equipment is now being exploited by the jihadis.
He said: ‘Germany and the United States have given us 15,000 masks but we need 50,000, as the jihadis will use chemical weapons when we advance on Mosul. Last year their chemical weapons were 60mm short range shells which didn’t include much gas.
'Now they’re using 1m-long Grad rockets, with a lot more of the harmful substances in the nose of the missile.
‘Most of the chemical weapons attacks on us happen near Mosul. This points to the gas bombs being produced there. Intelligence reports also say the chemistry department at Mosul University is being used to make chemical weapons.
'They are concocting a new generation of explosive devices and I believe Daesh [IS] will soon be able to inflict mass casualties. We will be unprepared and ill-equipped.’
Even Kurdish officers must go without gas masks on the front line.
One, Major Farhad Merozi, explained that when a rocket containing mustard gas exploded just yards from him on May 14 this year in Gwer, all he could do was wrap a wet towel around his head.
Within seconds he was vomiting and he temporarily lost his sight. He then fell unconscious.
Eventually he was taken to hospital and given oxygen.
He said: ‘It was a very frightening experience, I couldn’t understand what was happening to my body.
‘We’d been firing rocket-propelled grenades at Daesh when suddenly they responded with rocket fire.
'Seventeen of us were injured, all with burning skin and gasping for breath. It was horrible. I will never forget it.
‘Three months later I have terrible chest pains and haven’t gone back to the front line.’
You probably have to look at imagery of death and dying regularly to stay focused on what really counts in life: great sex before you are gone anyway.
The Islamic State is actively seeking weapons of mass destruction and, to a limited extent, it has used such weapons in Syria and Iraq. It is also actively seeking personnel with technical experience capable of expanding its program. The Islamic State’s program faces many challenges and logistical issues, however, that have tempered their ambitions. This means the group is not yet capable of striking Western nations with WMD, though it cannot be ruled out that the Islamic State could deploy rudimentary chemical devices against the West in the next several years.
“If Muslims cannot defeat the kafir (unbelievers) in a different way, it is permissible to use weapons of mass destruction, even if it kills all of them and wipes them and their descendants off the face of the Earth.”
—Saudi jihadi cleric Nasir al-Fahd.
On November 19, 2015, a day after French police thwarted a second-wave attack by Islamic State terrorists in Paris, France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls raised the specter of the Islamic State deploying weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against the West. “I say it with all the precautions needed. But we know and bear in mind that there is also a risk of chemical or bacteriological weapons,” he told the French parliament. Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had earlier sounded the alarm on chemical weapons in June 2015:
“The counter-terrorism landscape is changing so rapidly that long accepted paradigms can quickly become obsolete. Apart from some crude and small-scale endeavors, the conventional wisdom has been that the terrorist intention to acquire and weaponize chemical agents has been largely aspirational. The use of chlorine by Daesh and its recruitment of highly technically trained professionals, including from the West, have revealed far more serious efforts in chemical weapons development. Daesh is likely to have amongst its tens of thousands of recruits the technical expertise necessary to further refine precursor materials and build chemical weapons.”
In light of these warnings and the Islamic State’s documented use of crude WMD devices in Syria and Iraq, this article explores what is known about the group’s WMD capabilities and the current logistical challenges that are containing its ambitions in this area. The article outlines how despite current intentions and active recruitment of technically trained personnel, the Islamic State is not yet capable of striking Western nations with WMD, though it cannot be ruled out that the Islamic State could deploy rudimentary chemical devices against the West in the next several years.
Among WMD, nuclear weapons cause the largest amount of destruction, yet they are the most difficult to develop or obtain. To develop a nuclear weapon, the Islamic State would first require enough fissile material[a] to support a sustained chain reaction. The specific quantity required is determined by the weapon design, but generally involves several kilograms of highly enriched uranium. The other significant limiting factor is the scores of physicists, engineers, and metallurgists required to construct the device. Fighting over the past five years throughout Iraq and Syria has created an intellectual drain in the region. In the distant chance that the Islamic State could assemble nuclear scientists to develop the weapon, it would have to conduct tests on weapon designs and construction methods in order to confirm that a nuclear detonation would actually occur in the final device.[b] These tests would easily be detected by intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets (ISR), which would presumably trigger a kinetic response from other parties.
Since the Islamic State lacks the personnel and material to build a nuclear weapon, purchase on the black market becomes the most likely path to acquisition. The Islamic State raised this possibility with its May 2015 claim that “it could buy a nuclear weapon through Pakistan within the coming year.” Although the assertion sounds far-fetched, the group has significant liquid assets from oil sales and other sources of revenue. These assets imply that funding is likely not the greatest barrier to purchase of a weapon. The key barrier is availability of material and identification of a willing seller.
The extent of the global nuclear smuggling network was recently highlighted in media coverage of the five-year, joint Moldovan government and FBI probe into the “thriving nuclear black market that has emerged in an impoverished corner of Eastern Europe.” In one instance a sample of uranium that could be used in an atomic bomb was seized. Regrettably, as the coverage noted, most arrests occurred after only a small sample of nuclear material was exchanged; the larger stockpiles from which the samples were taken may remain for sale. The confluence of existing nuclear smuggling networks, the willingness of actors to sell material, even to extremists, and the Islamic State’s financial capabilities increase the likelihood that the group could acquire a nuclear device. However, notwithstanding its desire to possess nuclear weapons, the probability of the Islamic State obtaining and deploying a device remains low.
Radiological Radiological dispersion devices (RDDs) are likely the only radioactive weapons that the Islamic State could employ. Far more simplistic in design than nuclear weapons, these devices feature radioactive material intermixed with conventional explosives. Though they do not produce the mass-destruction characteristics of nuclear weapons such as shock waves, fires, and electro-magnetic pulses, RDDs create psychological impact on affected populations. They are most effective when detonated in densely populated areas; otherwise, the dispersion of radioactive material would do little more than prevent access to the area for a period of time. To attack the West the Islamic State would be required to export an RDD, drastically increasing the risk of detection through ISR and human intelligence.
The black market is one avenue for the Islamic State to obtain materials that could be used in a radiological device. In the cases investigated in Moldova, nuclear smugglers were purportedly ready to sell Cesium 137 to what they believed was a representative of the Islamic State.
Within the area controlled by the Islamic State, there are two potential sources of radiological material: research facilities at universities and medical devices. Most of the material used in scientific research and medical diagnostics contain limited quantities of radioactive material. A material of concern is cobalt-60, which is used in medical devices and emits gamma radiation. In December 2013, a cargo truck carrying hospital equipment containing cobalt-60 was stolen from a gas station in Mexico. The theft prompted concern among U.S. intelligence agencies that the material could be converted into a dirty bomb. Prolonged exposure to cobalt-60 can be deadly; the timeframe of lethality ranges from minutes to hours depending on the level of shielding.
Since RDDs are no more complicated than an improvised explosive device, the Islamic State certainly has the capability to develop them. There are two significant obstacles preventing the employment of such a device in the West. One, there is no evidence the Islamic State has gathered the necessary radiological material, and two, it lacks access to the target. To transport and move an RDD to a target increases the risk of detection similar to the limits of transporting a nuclear weapon. The detonation of an RDD would have a greater psychological impact on the affected population compared to the physical damage caused by the device. Subsequently, the risk of the Islamic State building an RDD is greater than that of a nuclear weapon, however the risk of actual deployment remains low.
Biological There is little doubt that the Islamic State would like to possess and use biological weapons. A laptop recovered by moderate Syrian rebels during a 2014 raid on the Islamic State stronghold of Idlib allegedly contained files instructing Islamic State on the preparation and use of biological weapons. The laptop also contained safety instructions for the development of microbes in order to protect Islamic State technicians from exposure.
Despite the consistent reiteration of its desire to possess biological weapons, the Islamic State faces significant practical challenges. Like nuclear weapons, the development of biological weapons requires sophisticated personnel and technology that are not readily available in Iraq and Syria. The group could conceivably purchase and smuggle the materials needed to set up a biological weapons lab, however scale would become a significant obstacle given that effective production levels require a facility about the size of a large research lab with the corresponding infrastructure. The Islamic State would also have to contend with quality control issues as well. The power grid and generators in Iraq and Syria are not sufficiently reliable for the refrigerators and incubators needed to weaponize biological agents.[c]
In regard to the difficulties of biological weaponization, the 2014 Ebola crisis in Western Africa proves instructive. The spread of Ebola gave rise to concerns that the Islamic State would attempt to use Ebola-infected individuals as delivery systems for the virus. This non-traditional transfer mechanism could, in theory, infect people around the world. The reality is far different, however. When first infected with a virus, individuals have a low titer count (the concentration of virus in the blood). Once inside the host individual, the virus invades cells and replicates. This progressively leads to higher levels of virus in the body and a corresponding escalation of symptoms. At low levels, the individual is relatively non-contagious and appears normal. It is at the later stages of the infection that the individual is most contagious, but also the most sick and debilitated. Such highly infected host individuals are easily identifiable and often barely able to function, let alone able to execute a clandestine infection strategy. Diseases are not limited by national or regional borders. The introduction of a pathogen in a developed nation would be rapidly detected through bio-surveillance networks.
Biological weapons are very unlikely to be developed by the Islamic State as a mass casualty tool. Western medical countermeasures and response capabilities were able to handle the 2001 anthrax attack and quickly contain Ebola in the United States in 2014. All this suggests the impact of a deliberate biological attack by the Islamic State in the West would be extremely limited.
Chemical In 2013, the Syrian government deployed chemical munitions against rebels multiple times. International pressure following these attacks forced the Assad regime to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and turn over all chemical weapon stockpiles. According to the OPCW, the Syrian government declared 1,308,021 kilograms of both category 1 and 2 chemicals,[d] and the OPCW oversaw the destruction of 98.8% of those declared category 1 and 2 chemical weapons.
Various media reports indicate that the Islamic State is currently employing chemical weapons, specifically mustard agent. These reports also reveal, however, that the agent is crude and has not produced the mass effects typical of a state-run program. There are also signs that the Islamic State “has developed at least a small-scale chemical weapons program, and may have manufactured low-quality blister agent or obtained chemical arms from undeclared or abandoned government [Syrian] stocks.” The possibility that the chemical weapons used may have come from material at undeclared Syrian stockpiles has been documented in various media sources. Examining samples of both the Syrian stockpile and the Islamic State’s chemical weapons would reveal not only whether this was true, but also information about potency and persistence, which is the ability of the agent to linger in the environment before environmental factors cause its breakdown.[e]
One concern is that the Islamic State may take advantage of recruits with knowledge of previous state-run chemical weapons programs in Iraq and Syria. In January 2015, a coalition air strike killed Abu Malik, an Islamic State chemical weapons engineer who had worked at Saddam Hussein’s Muthana chemical weapon program before joining the predecessor group to the Islamic State in 2005. According to U.S. Central Command, “his past training and experience provided the terrorist group with expertise to pursue a chemical weapons capability,” and his death was “expected to temporarily degrade and disrupt the terrorist network and diminish ISIL’s ability to potentially produce and use chemical weapons.”
With the Islamic State’s willingness to use chemical weapons, western nations should be concerned that the group or individuals acting on behalf of the group would attempt to deploy a poison gas device. If it did, the Islamic State would not be the first to attack on a western nation with chemical weapons. The Aum Shinrikyo released sarin in the Tokyo subway on March 20, 1995.
Before 9/11, al-Qa`ida began developing a device called mubtakkar, meaning “invention” in Arabic, to disseminate hydrogen cyanide and other toxic gases. According to journalist Ron Suskind, in 2003 al-Qa`ida operatives in Saudi Arabia plotted to use a poison gas device in the New York City subway system but aborted the plot after the group’s then-deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, decided not to “green light” it. The cell had planned to disperse quantities of hydrogen cyanide gas or another poisonous gas. [f] The simplicity of the design and the relative ease of obtaining some of the chemicals makes it a plot the Islamic State could mimic.
There are several constraints associated with developing chemical weapons. Chemicals such as hydrogen cyanide, sarin, and their precursors are highly corrosive and require storage in highly controlled environments. For example, high temperatures and humidity will affect both the chemical reactions used to make the warfare agents and their effectiveness. The corrosive nature of these agents also makes long-term storage and transportation over long distances very difficult without the appropriate containers and proper environment. When placed in a container, the agents will immediately begin to eat away at rubber seals and the container itself, making leaks inevitable. Such constraints make it likely that any agents developed by the Islamic State would most likely be deployed immediately after manufacture and within close proximity to the territory it holds.
While it cannot be ruled out that the Islamic State could deploy a rudimentary poison gas device against the West in the next several years, the group would likely need to build the device near the location of the planned attack, requiring it to recruit or plant its own chemists in the West, not an easy feat.
Moving forward, the Islamic State will most likely continue to employ its limited chemical weapon munitions in both Syria and Iraq while seeking the capacity to expand its program to strike at major targets in the West.
The Islamic State’s potential use of WMD poses a greater psychological threat than physical threat to its enemies. While the Islamic State continues to seek and develop WMD, its progress will be constrained by reality. Despite seeking technical expertise and having large sums of liquid assets at its disposal, the Islamic State’s logistical capabilities and support structure in Western nations is limited. Containing the Islamic State needs to remain a priority, however, as further territorial expansion provides an opportunity to acquire new materials.
The Islamic State will continue to employ the simplest and most readily available WMD at their disposal—chemical weapons. The proliferation of this program remains a concern especially with the availability of toxic industrial chemicals that could be modified and dispersed in a chemical attack. While the effects of such devices would be limited to a small geographic area, the psychological impact to a Western nation, for example, would be significant. Current conditions in Syria and Iraq in conjunction with international ISR assets constantly monitoring the area reduce the possibility that the Islamic State will be able to develop any other WMD beyond chemical weapons.
Captain Stephen Hummel is a FA52 officer and currently serving as an instructor in the Chemistry and Life Science Department at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. Captain Hummel previously served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and as the USAREUR CBRN plans officer. He is also the author of the 2015 book STRIKE: A Firsthand Account of the Largest Operation of the Afghan War.
[a] Fissile material refers to “a nuclide that is capable of undergoing fission after capturing low-energy thermal (slow) neutrons.”3 Capturing a neutron displaces other neutrons from the capturing material, which leads to interaction with adjacent atoms, which in turn displaces other neutrons. This creates a sustained chain reaction that releases large amounts of energy. The three primary fissile materials are uranium-233, uranium-235, and plutonium-239. “Fissile Material.” United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, updated November 30, 2015.
[b] Tests are required to ensure fidelity of the design and build. Such tests do not entail detonation of a full-scale nuclear weapon but rather components of the weapon such as the trigger.
[c] Considering the Islamic State’s tremendous liquid assets, it could be possible for them to purchase the required generators and refrigerators. The process to grow and culture biological agents is neither short nor easy. The equipment required to culture large amounts of biological agents to be used in an attack would need to run for months and the culture areas must be completely sterile and within strict temperature ranges. Logistically, this is extremely difficult. Major research institutions in the West regularly struggle with maintaining sterile environments and contend with failing equipment that runs constantly. Without a reliable power grid, the Islamic State must then provide fuel to the generators, and although the group possesses vast amounts of oil, this does not mean it has the refinery capability to convert crude oil into gas. Furthermore, the equipment would need regular maintenance in a dry, dusty environment. Consequently, it would be an extreme logistical challenge for the Islamic State to maintain the proper environment to culture biological materials.
[d] The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines category 1 chemicals as munitions filled with schedule 1 chemical agents while category 2 chemicals are munitions filled with other toxic chemicals.
[e] If the mustard agent used in the recent attacks came from Syrian stockpiles, it could be confirmed by comparing the composition of components and impurities. A difference between the agents would indicate the inception and implementation of the Islamic State’s chemical weapon program. These impurities provide additional information about the potency, persistence, and absorption capabilities of the agents.
[f] Exposure to hydrogen cyanide gas at sufficiently high quantities is lethal within minutes. The LD50, or lethal dose to 50% of a population, is 2,000 parts per million, which corresponds to approximately 0.2% of the air as hydrogen cyanide. “Environmental & Health Effects: Cyanide Facts,” International Cyanide Management Code for the Fold Mining Industry.
Neomasculinity is defined by its view on females, and particularly on feminism. It is NOT defined by opinions on race, homosexuality, or religion. For a United Front, we can accept any opinion as long as it matches our views on females and feminism.
The Central Mediterranean route remained under intense migratory pressure in 2015, although the total number of migrants arriving in Italy fell to 154 000 - about a tenth lower than the record set in 2014. The main reasons for the drop were the shift of Syrians to the Eastern Mediterranean route and a shortage of boats faced by smugglers in the latter part of the year. Smuggling networks remain well established in Libya, where migrants gather before crossing the sea. In 2015 Eritreans, Nigerians and Somalis accounted for the biggest share of the migrants making the dangerous journey.
People smugglers typically put migrants aboard old, unseaworthy fishing boats, or even small rubber dinghies, which are much overloaded and thus prone to capsizing. These vessels are generally equipped with poor engines, lack proper navigation systems and often have insufficient fuel to reach Europe. For these reasons, the vast majority of border control operations in the Central Mediterranean turn into Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.
Trends prior to 2015
The emergence of Libya as a collecting point for African migrants has long antecedents. Until 2010, Libya’s prosperity offered good job opportunities for migrant workers from African countries, who either used it as a final destination, or as a transit country where they could earn money to pay the smugglers for the last leg of their journey to the EU.