TERRORISTS could wage war on the West with grim bioweapons after seeing the catastrophe caused by Covid, Tony Blair warned today.
The former PM said it was no longer “the realm of science fiction” that Islamist extremists could attack with bugs.
In a speech at the RUSI think tank marking 20 years since the 9/11 attacks, he said: “Covid 19 has taught us about deadly pathogens.
“Bio-terror possibilities may seem like the realm of science fiction. But we would be wise now to prepare for their potential use by non-state actors.
“Islamism, both the ideology and the violence, is a first order security threat; and, unchecked, it will come to us, even if centred far from us, as 9/11 demonstrated.
“Mr Blair – who first sent British troops to Afghanistan in 2001 – said there would always be a need for “boots on the ground” in the Middle East.
As Labour PM at the time of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Mr Blair came under heavy criticism for following George Bush first into Afghanistan and then Iraq.
Last month he described Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw from Kabul as “imbecilic”, and today bemoaned the US’s “very limited appetite for military engagement”.
He did propose “engaging” with the Taliban, saying: “I don’t rule out at all engaging with the Taliban…but it has to be done from a position of strength.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says the UK won’t formally recognise the Taliban, but has opened up a dialogue.