The Millennium ExperienceChronicle of the Future

Bio-bombers strike in New York

20.02.13: THE DEATH TOLL following the biological weapons attack on New York yesterday is expected to reach 20,000.

Three unidentified remote-controlled unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) sprayed Manhattan with a biological agent during the morning rush hour, as part of a co-ordinated onslaught that brought the city's financial quarter to a standstill.

The city's biological weapons sensor systems ­ installed after the failed attack on St Louis in 2008 ­ were disrupted because the agent was micro-encapsulated in an unknown substance that interfered with the multiple (DNA) sensor chips. Dense smoke from the fire at the Empire State Building also affected the sensors. Sabotage of the city's electrical supply and signal systems left commuters trapped for long periods before they could be told to put on their face masks to avoid breathing in the agent.

Wall Street closed, throwing the world's financial markets into chaos. There seems little hope of the stock exchange reopening immediately.

Fear of further attacks on the city has led to the president, George Bush Jr, being evacuated to Camp David. From there he broadcast the warning that America was prepared to use its most advanced weapons against those responsible for the attack.

The Warfare Research Institute in Maryland is understood to have identified the agent involved. Unofficial sources suggest that it is a variant of the normally benign tularemia Francisella tularensis, genetically engineered to make it resistant to multiple antibiotics, and able to rapidly produce toxic chemicals as it multiplies in the bodies of victims.

It is thought the perpetrators come from the Middle East, where the crisis over who controls the oil reserves of the former Iraq is expected to prompt further military action by the United Nations Worldwide Intervention Force. Sub-national groups in the war-torn region certainly possess the biotechnology required to produce the tularemia agent.

America considered retaliating with cruise missile strikes, but was advised