MUNICH, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- Microsoft founder Bill Gates said at the Munich Security Conference that genetic engineering could be a terrorist weapon and may kill tens of millions of people.
"The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus ... or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu," Gates made the remarks on Saturday.
Having spent billions of U.S. dollars in a philanthropic drive to improve health worldwide, Gates said that bio-terrorism could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year.
Furthermore, he predicted that there is a possibility our globe will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years.
Some intelligence agencies have noticed that the Islamic State has been trying to develop biological weapons at its bases in Syria and Iraq, according to the Guardian.
Although the threat seems tiny due to technological support and manpower, the pressure from bio-terrorism has become more and more realistic in the past years.
"Getting ready for a global pandemic is every bit as important as nuclear deterrence and avoiding a climate catastrophe. Innovation, cooperation and careful planning can dramatically mitigate the risks presented by each of these threats," said Gates.