ISIS Plots Destruction of West Using Ebola-Infected Megabats

Most kids like Batman. As a kid, I dreamt of one day being able to don a batsuit with the hope of beating up all the criminals terrorizing my neighborhood in The Bronx. My love for Batman had as much to do with my fascist upbringing as it did with the fact that bats were mystical animals; clean and with unimaginable powers, such as echolocation. 

Megabats, however, don't need echolocation. Some megabats grow to have a
wingspan of almost 6 feet, possessing long tongues they use to dig deep into flowers, and which help them consume fruit.

It is also these tongues that allow them to spread the deadly disease that we have come to know as Ebola. While snakes spew venom, bats frighten the world with a disease which makes us spew blood from our eyes and die a gradual, horrid death. 

From 2001 to 2003, researchers discovered that megabats were a natural reservoir for the Marburg virus, a cousin of Ebola that is difficult to distinguish from its more famous cousin: "Scientist tested over 1,100 bats representing 10 species. They found Marburg in only one species, Rousettus aegyptiacus, a common type of fruit bat that lives in caves." Scientist had for years suspected that bats were the ones responsible for transmitting Marburg and Ebola, but the process was not clearly understood.

Nonetheless, scientist deduced that Ebola/Marburg is transmitted by the fecal matter of bats, meaning that what we in the West see as a common fertilizer, could be used to destroy our way of life: "Investigators have noted the ceiling of the cave’s tallest chamber is just 10 feet high, and miners’ hands and feet are in constant contact with bat guano."

Bat guano is rich in Potassium Nitrate, a common ingredient in explosives. Whether the Potassium Nitrate extracted from Ebola/Marburg-infected guano could be used to spread deadly filoviruses, is not yet clear. An old book with instructions on how to make saltpetre indicates that the only required elements are an: "Ordinary iron pot, for boiling; three or four tubs, pails, or barrels cut off; two or three small troughs; some coarse bags or a wheelbarrow to bring the earth from the cave and four strong barrels with one head in each -- empty vinegar, whiskey or pork barrels are very good -- are all about the articles required for a small saltpetre manufactory... and some ash barrels to make potash lye."

Less than a week ago, Foreign Policy reporters were given access to a laptop owned by an ISIS chemistry student, highlighting that those in the group's sphere of influence were plotting to develop biological weapons, including the bubonic plague: "Use small grenades with the virus, and throw them in closed areas like metros, soccer stadiums, or entertainment centers... best to do it next to the air-conditioning. It also can be used during suicide operations."

ISIS has shown that they are researching the possibilities of spreading a deadly plague in the West, especially diseases that can be dispersed by easily-manufactured explosives, crossing the inter-species boundary. Though it is very difficult for diseases to cross from unrelated species, humans share many similarities with bats in that they both have: "Amino acid sequences for three goblin genes... [indicating] that neurological similarities between megabats and primates are due to either retention of primitive characters or to convergent evolution rather than to inheritance from a common ancestor."

In essence, megabats are able to infect us because we have evolved along the same lines; a scary realization that highlights how other animals could also be able to pass diseases along to us due to convergent evolution. An ISIS Ebola bomb could very well infect non-human animals, setting the stage for a mutation dangerous enough to wipe out human civilization.