Open Source Intelligence and Collateral Analysis


In 1986, Brac Scientific Consulting  developed a technique of open sources intelligence, which was termed 'collateral analysis'.  Under contract and in collaboration with  the Verification Research Unit at the Canadian Department of External Affairs, I examined over 1000 scientific publications dealing with the biological agents Bacillus anthracis and the VEE virus.  Critical analysis of the publications from the Soviet Union gave clear indications but not conclusive proof that the anthrax bacteria and the VEE virus were being examined as potential biological warfare agents.  Later revelations by defectors from Soviet Union confirmed that these two agents had in fact been developed in stockpiled as biological weapons.

In 1991, as the Gulf War ended, I undertook a similar study of Iraqi biological information sources. I identified sites of Iraqi biological activity and concluded that the anthrax bacteria and botulinum toxin were agents of concern. As well, I documented evidence that Iraqi laboratories had acquired samples of the West Nile virus from culture collections in the United States before 1990. 

Brac Scientific undertook for the Department of Biomedical Defence at the Department of  National Defence an  analysis of the contents of thousands of scientific papers dealing with neurotoxin research in the former Soviet union and its allied countries. I  was the primary contractor of the final report Collateral Analysis of Warsaw Pact Neurotoxin Publications.

The following two reports are examples of projects that I managed which were published as Government documents and submitted to United Nations experts conferences  on disarmament.

Novel Toxins and Bioregulators: the Emerging Scientific and Technological Issues relating to Verification and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention,

Collateral Analysis and Verification of Biological and Toxin Research in Iraq.

Some these reports for the Canadian Government are listed here.

The FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency has made extensive use of the methodology developed by Brac Scientific Consulting  as described in reports on  Iran  and Israel.