Bioelectric Terrorism:
Analysis of Possible Threat

Grigoriev O.A.1, Grigoriev Y.G.2,
Stepanov V.S.2, Chekmarev O.M.3

Published in Russian in "Annual of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection 2004-5" Moscow, 2006, page 205-216. The following translation to english by UC Davis student, Tatiana Kanare, August 2006.

The book begins in english: "The possible threat analysis of the EMF technologies applications in terrorist activity is presented for the first time."

The article ends in english: "Analyses of Possibility Threat of The Bioelectromagnetic Terrorism.  The possiblity of the bioelectromagnetic terrorism is discussed in this article. It was analyzed main aims, ways and methods of EMF effects for biologics objects. In opinion of authors, EMF will be able to using for bioelectromagnetic terrorism in futures."

A special thank you to Anatolij, a victim of the Netherlands, who sent Mind Justice the background information and this russian article in 2005.  You have made a difference, Anatolij, thank you! Anatolij was a university law student in 1997 when the severe psychotronic, electromagnetic attacks began. The severe remote torture he described continues to this day. It is unimaginable and also similar to the many cases being reported worldwide.

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Grigoriev O.A.1, Grigoriev Y.G.2, Stepanov V.S.2, Chekmarev O.M.3

  1. Center of Electromagnetic Safety*, Moscow
  2. SSC (State Scientific Center) Institute of Biophysics, Moscow
  3. Center of State Sanitary Control of Administrative Department of President of the Russian Federation, Moscow

The principle possibility of the use of biological action of the electromagnetic field (EMF) by terrorist elements is examined, and also the respective possible ways, methods and aims of electromagnetic influence on bio-object, corresponding measures on warning of negative consequences of such influence are analyzed. The article is prepared on the basis of the materials of lecture by authors at the 2nd International Conference “World Association Against Globalization of Criminality and Terrorism”, held in Moscow on January 20-21, 2004.

Most often the term “electromagnetic terrorism” is used in relation to the destruction of technical objects. Examining the theme of biological action of EMF in relation to terrorist acts, the authors considered it possible to use the term “bioelectromagnetic terrorism”, taking into account that EMF, as well as factors related to the weapon of mass destruction, can affect a man with a lethal and nonlethal outcome, and affect all of the elements of biosphere and ecosystems.

EMF is a biologically active physical factor, depending on the terms of influence on bio-objects, it can exert harmful, dangerous or striking action. The passage of Federal Law in effect from 2001, “About a weapon” (article 6) establishes the possibility of the existence of “weapon and other objects, the striking action of which is based on the usage of electromagnetic radiation” [1].

In problems of electromagnetic terrorism, power levels, pulsing and broadband sources of EMF are considered. It is fully justified, if the question is about technical objects (computer networks, systems of electric supply and etc.), when for realization of destruction, power characteristics play an essential role. It goes without saying that high-power electromagnetic impulses also have striking biological action, in particular this question was considered in 2003 at the meeting of the Russian National Committee on Defense from the Unionizing Radiations.

However, a biological effect is not always determined by the amount of energy. The biological action of EMF of radio frequency range is carried out depending on the intensity by means of two basic mechanisms – thermal and non-thermal, so-called informational or containing information. At normal levels of influence on an organism the response reaction can be registered at all levels: cell, system and organismic. The central nervous system, cardio-vessel, immune and endocrine systems are the critical systems of organism to be influenced by EMF. The reproductive system is also sensitive to the certain modes of electromagnetic influence [2,3,6].

* Address for correspondence: Russia, 123182, Moscow, Zhyvopysnaya St., 46; tel./fax +7 (495) 193-0187, e-mail:

Under the influence of EMF the following parameters influence the biological reaction: the intensity of EMF (size), duration of the influence – factor of time, bearing frequency, type of signal modulation, simultaneous combination of a few frequencies of EMF, periodicity of action, cumulative effect, combination with other unfavorable factors of physical and/or chemical nature, and also the initial subjective state of a man and individual radio sensitiveness. The combination of the above mentioned parameters can give different consequences for the reaction of the exposed biological object to the rays.

The scientific research studies of the last decades have established that at the non-lethal levels of the influence for the biological reaction, the modulation of the influencing electromagnetic field plays the determining role [3,4,5].

The uniqueness of biological action of EMF in comparison with other physical factors of the influence is in the presence of after-effects, thus the maximal biological reaction can become apparent exactly in the period of after-effects.

The process of cumulation is important, i.e. the accumulation of unhealthy reactions in the period of the repeated electromagnetic influences during the protracted radiation.

Affecting bio-objects, EMF can be directly both as a striking factor and a promoter or “catalyst” under the influence of other factors of physical or chemical nature, and also as a component of psycho-terrorist acts.

It goes without saying that the undetectable delivery of electromagnetic radiation signal is extremely important, inasmuch as a man does not have the proper sense-organs and direct perceptive receptors.

Obviously the enumerated variety of parameters of EMF, result in the different biological reactions, and in theory allows the creation, in principle, of new striking effects, which will make it possible to provide a high quality distinction between the terrorist acts and traditionally used ones.

Examining the effects of direct biological action of EMF, it is necessary to remember the often quoted, by authors in anti-terrorist subject, effect of “radio audibility”, which is known to the specialists over 30 years. It is based on a thermal mechanism in principle and requires enough high power expenses, as well as modes of sharp microwave pulsing [6,7].

According to the results of experimental researches, distinctly expressed biological effects are found at super small intensities of the influence, when the heating of fabrics is not occurring and is impossible in general. Thus, the method of organization of electromagnetic signal and, first of all, the modulation plays the leading role in bio-effects. For example, it is experimentally shown that the pulsed super-high frequencies of radiation (SHF), being synchronized with a certain part of cardiac cycle, influences the work of heart, changing frequency of rhythm of cardiac reductions, depending on the change of frequency of modulation. During this experiment, the intensity of influencing EMF did not exceed the set maximum-possible level of EMF for the present time for the human population. At low intensities of modulated EMF in the experiment on the isolated hearts of frogs, the effect of heart stop was produced; and on chicken embryos the possibility of influence on early memory of chickens was shown on imprinting [8,9]. Numerous similar laboratory results achieved in different countries can be shown, which demonstrate the potential possibility in the near future of the appearance of new, nontraditional means of defeat, based on biological activity of EMF.

For the estimation of the value of striking action of EMF, the fact that there is a change in the sensitivity of an organism is extremely important to other factors of environment after influence of EMF of very low levels, including the change of stability to the chemical factor. In particular, it can be related to the increase of permeability of hematoencephalic barrier, as a result of which the safe concentration of chemical substance in the environment can become dangerous for the functional state and health of a man. Thus, it is necessary to notice that if prior EMF exposure is taken into account and the facts of possibility of change of permeability of hematoencephalic were related to the laboratory experiments [10, 11], the later published results of the scientific studies of the Swedish specialists show that it is possible under the influence of EMF of mobile telephones [12, 13, 14].

It is appropriate to note that according to data of the International Electromagnetic Project of the World Organization of Health Protection, active research on the biological action of EMF, including the aspects of the applied usage (medical, biotechnological, military and etc.) are being developed in more than half of world countries, including countries on territory of which the known terrorist organizations are based. In Russia, to the contrary, researches have been abandoned in the last decades, which in the case of appearance of the relevant threat; it will not allow realizing antiterrorist activity in this direction.

Examining the technical means of realization of tasks of bioelectromagnetic terrorism, we must admit that according to modern data in most cases for the achievement of effective influence the use of difficult and unique equipment, and the work of the prepared specialists is required. It, surely, limits the possibility of terrorists on the modern stage.

According to the published data, the armed forces of the USA successfully realized the complex of weapons for tactical purposes on the basis of super-high frequencies generators [15]. Presently it is examined with the field tests in a stationary version, but a mobile complex of truck and later air basing are planned. This non-lethal weapon is intended for the rapid local heating-up to 55C of skin cover on a depth to 0.5 mm. The mass stimulation of thermo-receptors leads to pain which vanishes after termination of super-high frequencies of influence. The distance of action of this weapon is 750 meters. It is scheduled for deployment in 2008. It is obvious that for the reproduction of similar weapons for terrorist aims, considerable material and intellectual resources are required.

In our opinion, for planning of bioelectromagnetic terrorist activity the already existent infrastructure of electromagnetic sources can be used. The analysis conducted by authors shows that in the present time, many sources of EMF are so close to population, that they can be examined as the means of the hidden delivery of EM influence. Among such sources, it is possible to select mobile connection (wireless and trunking) and electric supply systems of buildings and construction. In accordance with our estimation, performed by conducting hygienical research studies, a general number of the population of the country, being in the contact with EMF of the above mentioned sources, is presently no less than 80 million people.

For carrying out local acts of individual or group destructive electromagnetic biological influence, and also as an element of complex influence, systems of electric supply of buildings can be used. The actual data analysis shows that existence of publicly-accessible technical means allow modulating currents flowing through the systems of the electric supply, including the sources of uninterrupted delivery. Thus, for formation of the complex magnetic condition in the apartments, elements of metal constructions and pipelines of buildings can be used, and for organization of modulation it is not quite necessary to use any additional equipment, as systems of the electric supply in buildings, having a difficult structure, allow to use electrical engineering elements and calculations for creation of the magnetic field directly, possessing difficult modulation and space-temporal distribution. Thus, areas of local increased level of the magnetic field of the industrial frequency can be formed, which can lead to the oncological diseases, illnesses of the cardio-vascular and central nervous systems under the long influence. Besides, it is necessary to pay attention to the sources of uninterrupted delivery, which can form distortions on the screens of the means of visual display of information, leading to the influence on a brain through a visual analyzer [16, 17].

Mobile (wireless and trunking) connection is the closest to the objects of influence by means of the delivery of the biologically significant electromagnetic field. For this purpose, both subscriber terminals (wireless telephones and radio stations) and base stations can be used. Taking into account the system of structure of mobile connection, individual, group or mass influence on considerable or preset local territories is possible.

The elements of mobile connection, especially base stations, are characterized by low-power, so-called informational level of influencing EMF. It is necessary to point out that the hygienically setting of norms and control are measured and recorded only by energetic characteristics. At the same time it is repeatedly proved and is no longer questioned or doubted that in the development of character and direction of biological reaction at the relatively low levels of influence the method of organization of EMF signal (modulation, intermittency factor, repetition and etc.) plays the most important role. The most possible consequences are related to functioning of the central nervous system under the condition of the influence.

Two basic directions of unfavorable influence are possible:

  • accumulation (cumulation) of unfavorable biological effect as a result of long-term influence of EMF, accompanying regular work of elements of systems of mobile connection;
  • unfavorable biological reactions, especially of central nervous system, developing in the preset direction during the special organization of influence of EMF elements of systems of mobile connection.

In this connection at consideration of possible antiterrorist activities with the use of elements of mobile connection we select three stages of estimation of danger:

  • hygienical estimation of elements of mobile connections in terms of regular usage;
  • estimation of possibility of organization of influence by changing the regime of work of transmitting means of radio communication (Baltic system (BS), subscriber terminal) without changing their essential technical parameters);
  • estimation of possibility of organization of influence by changing technical parameters of transmitting means of radio communication (influence by the preset signal).

In accordance with the preliminary analysis of possibility of the use of mobile connection, as a factor of the possible directed influence on the state of health and conduct, the most obvious and potentially dangerous effects can be:

  • provocation of epileptic reaction (provoked development of convulsive activity);
  • change of permeability of hematoencephalic barrier;
  • the changed state of behavior (oppression, aggression, depression), the development of the stressing state.

However, as a thorough analysis of technical abilities of transmitting means of mobile connection was not conducted, additional possibilities and consequences of their use is possible.

It is known that a regular monitoring of electromagnetic environment, formed by networks of mobile connection, is carried out only from the point of providing electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), the external control after the modes of exploitation and management of subscriber terminals here is not carried out. In the present time all mobile phones and trunking radio stations are made abroad. Taking into account this circumstance, in the conditions of absence of individual control of electromagnetic safety and at having a special purpose delivery for the different corporate programs, including at providing the state structure, subscriber terminals can be placed, for example, both with constantly increased power and with additional or changed generators of electromagnetic signals. In these conditions there is no guarantee that the following scenario may not occur; the result of the influence of EMF mobile telephones would be the penetration of the hematoencephalic barrier of the brain by highly active chemical substances which are present in the building.

Thus, in our opinion, mobile connection is potentially the means for the realization of terrorist tasks of both physical defeat of people and psycho-terrorism. Taking into account the relative complexity and spending required, the most obvious possibilities in this case, are purpose groups.

Examining a possibility of mass bioelectromagnetic terrorism it is necessary to examine the structure of subject domain of “methods and facilities of terrorist activity”. It takes “the agents of influence in the links of the control” and action system of “provocation of taking necessary decision” to the social class of methods of the directed influence [18]. As it was indicated above, more than a half of population of the country is in contact with the modern sources of EMF in domestic and non-productive conditions of influence. Consequently, the cost of error sharply increases at determination of maximum-possible level of the influence of EMF.

In the period of the existence of the USSR careful and multilateral hygienical researches were followed by the development and implementation of all essential for the population and mass sources of EMF, from television centers to the super-high frequency stove. Now Russia is the sole country in the world, which develops mobile connection and, contrary to its own experience of the preceding period and modern international experience, does not conduct the relevant medical-biological researches. It is not a secret to experts that despite their opinion and experience of hygienical science of the period of 60s-80s, the introduction of mobile connection in Russia has been taking place since 1994 actually without conducting adequate researches of biological action and with the scientifically groundless maximum-possible levels of EMF for the population. Presently more than 36 million people have mobile telephones, and about 10% of users are children, it is planned to lead the number of proprietors of mobile telephones up to 60-80 million. On the territories already covered by mobile connection networks, about 80 million people live. The creation of the federal network of mobile radio connection of a standard of “TETRA” also takes place without medical-biological accompaniment, while subscriber terminals of this standard are more powerful than mobile telephones, and are intended for the professional usage, including for special services. Whether the act of terror (in accordance with the above-mentioned definition) is the absence of adequate ground of electromagnetic safety and research of bioelectromagnetic terrorist possibilities of mobile connections, the answer must be given by experts in antiterrorist activity. It is obvious that in modern conditions, the role of electromagnetic situation is very high and the insufficient control of sources and mechanisms of its generation can be an element of the long destructive influence on great masses of population of Russia.

It is necessary to note that the operating formulation of the law “About a weapon” does not limit possibilities of potential terrorists. In accordance to the law the weapons are wares, “striking action of which is based on the use of electromagnetic radiation, and which have outlet parameters, exceeding the size set by the state standards of the Russian Federation and adequate norms of federal organ of executive power in the area of health protection.” However, the hygienical setting of norms in our country does not take into account all parameters for the biological reaction under the influence of EMF, oriented only on the power loading.


  1. The electromagnetic field is a biologically dangerous factor, which under the certain condition can be used for the striking action in terrorist aims.
  2. The electromagnetic field, as a factor of a biological influence, possesses a number of unique specific features, including the dependence of bio-effect from the modulation and method of organization of signal, allowing for different terrorist tasks, including tasks of psycho-terrorism.
  3. The use of the electromagnetic field in combination with other types of weapons of mass defeat, foremost chemical, can sharply multiply their terrorist efficiency.
  4. It is possible to use existent sources of the electromagnetic field close to the population, in particular mobile connection and systems of electro-supply of buildings, as facilities of delivery of a factor of the unfavorable influence.
  5. The most obvious directions of application of bioelectromagnetic terrorism are toward groups of special importance, and especially at providing the defense to traditional directions of safety.
  6. The electromagnetic situation can be the element of a long duration of destructive influence on great masses of population, especially on the generation of children.

Description of literature.

1. Federal Law, December 13, 1996. #150-FL “About a weapon” (Collection of legislation of the Russian Federation, 1996, #51, article 5681).

2. Hygienical Problems of unionizing radiations. Edited by Grigoriev Y.G., and Stepanov V.S. Volume 4. M.: Publ. of AT, 1999.

3. Hygienical aspects and Biological Action of the Modulated Electromagnetic Fields of Range of Radio Frequencies. Collection of Scientific Work. M. Publ. MSIIG named after Ervsman. 1990. p.159.

4. Grigoriev Y.G. Role of Modulation in Biological Action of Electromagnetic Radiation. Radiation Biology. Radioecology. 1996, v. 36, 5, pp. 659-670.

5. Grigoriev Y.G. Role of Modulation in Development of Somatic eEfects of EMF. Materials of the International Conference “Electromagnetic Fields. Biological Action and Hygienical Setting of Norms”. Moscow, May 18-22, 1998. The World Organization of Health Protection, Geneva, Switzerland. 1999, pp. 37-48.

6. ICNIRP Guidelines for Limiting Exposure to Time-varying Electric, Magnetic, and Electromagnetic Fields (up to 300 GHz). Health Physics. April 1998. Volume 74, Number 4. pp. 494-522.

7. Elder J., Chou C. Auditory Response to Pulsed Radiofrequency Energy. Bioelectromagnetics. Supplement, 2003, vol. 6, pp. 162-173.

8. Grigoriev Y.G., Afrikanova L.A. The Influence of Electromagnetic Radiation of Different Modes on the Heart Activity (in the experiment). Radiation Biology. Radioecology. 1996, vol. 36, 5, pp. 691-699.

9. Grigoriev Y.G., Stepanov V.S. Forming of the Chicken Memory (Imprinting) After Preliminary Influence of Electromagnetic Fields of Low Levels. Radiation Biology. Radioecology. 1998, v. 38, 2, pp. 223-231.

10. Grigoriev Y.G., Rynskov V.V., Lukyanova S.N., etc. The Influence of Long Action of Low Intensity and Modulated Microwave Radiation on Hematoencephalic Barrier. Abst. Book Biomed. Effects Relevant to Amel. Modul. RF Fields, Kuopoio, 1995, p.8.

11. Salford L., Bertil R., Persson B. Neurological Aspects on Wireless Communications. Jn. Proc. Int. Seminar on Biological Effects of Non-Thermal Pulsed and Amplitude Modulated RF EMF and Related Health Risk. Munich, November, 20-21, 1996, pp. 131-143.

12. Persson B., Salford L., Brun A. Blood-brain Barrier Permeability in Rats Exposed to Electromagnetic Fields Used in Wireless Communication. Wireless Networks, 1997, # 3, pp. 455-461.

13. Persson B., Malmgren L., Brun A. et al. Studies of Pulsed 900/1800 MHz RF-Fields on the Permeability of the Blood-Brain Barrier in Rats. Pros. 3rd Int. Conferences on Bioelectromagnetism. 8-12 Oct. 2000, Bled-Slovenia, pp. 243-244.

14. Salford L., Brun A., Eberhardt J. et al. Microwaves Emitted by Mobile Phones Damages Neurons in the Rat Brain. Proc. 3rd Int. EMF Seminar China: EMF and Biol. Effects, Guillin, China, Oct. 13-17, 2003, pp.33-34.

15. Barnett A. Army’s Secret ‘People Zapper’ Plans. “The Observer”, November 3, 2002.

16. Computer and System of Electro-supply in the Office: Modern Aspects of Safe Use. Edited by Grigoriev O.A. – M.: Publ. RUDN, 2003, p. 103.

17. Grigoriev O.A., Petuchov V.S., Merkulov A.V. Magnetic Field of Industrial Frequency in Conditions of Non-productive Influence: Sources and Methods of Tool Control.// col. “The Year-book of the Russian National Committee of the Protection from Unionizing Radiations”// Collection of scientific work.- M.: Publ. RUDN, 2003, pp. 85-105.

18. Super Terrorism: the New Challenge of the Next Century. Edited by Phedorov A.V. – M.: Human Rights, 2002, p. 392.

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