I don’t want to spoil your day – but have you ever heard of Dark Winter?

I’m currently reading a cracking – and very long – novel called “I Am Pilgrim”, the debut work by Terry Hayes. It’s a thriller centred on a bio-terror attack on America. The text mentions a bio-terrorist simulation exercise called Dark Winter which turns out to be true.

Operation Dark Winter was the code name for a senior-level bio-terrorist attack simulation conducted from 22-23 June 2001. It was designed to carry out a mock version of a covert and widespread smallpox attack on the United States.

As Wikipedia puts it:

“Dark Winter’s simulated scenario involved an initial localized smallpox attack on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with additional smallpox attack cases in Georgia and Pennsylvania. The simulation was then designed to spiral out of control. This would create a contingency in which the National Security Council struggles to determine both the origin of the attack as well as deal with containing the spreading virus. By not being able to keep pace with the disease’s rate of spread, a new catastrophic contingency emerges in which massive civilian casualties would overwhelm America’s emergency response capabilities.”

You can read more about the exercise here.


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