In 2009, the body of an al-Qaida militant left by a roadside in Algeria was supposedly determined to have died of bubonic plague. His body was found in Tizi Ouzou province, 90 miles from Algiers.
The discovery led authorities to believe he was from an al-Qaida training camp, one that had been working to create a biological weapon using the plague.
Using infectious diseases to attack unsuspecting populations and sow fear is nothing new. In 1985, a religious group in Oregon tried to sway a local election using salmonella. In 1993, the religious cult Aum Shinrikyo released anthrax in densely populated Tokyo.