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Bioterrorism is a term used to describe the threat or use of biological agents by individuals or groups motivated by political, religious, ecological, or another ideological objective. Bioterrorism is considered to differ from Biological warfare primarily by generally not being state-sponsored. Nevertheless, this is not always the case; the definition is weak as it does not include indirect sponsorship from a state or otherwise involved in terrorism directly.

Historically, most genocide or use of biochemical warfare always include the state, since operations at such levels demand not only resources but control of media, control of police etc. However, the definition runs into problems to distinguish between civilians or military combat operated actions. In western society, civilians are all people not wearing a uniform, these have fewer resources than a state. The main purpose is ideological objectives. Most actions on this level are more likely to create or draw attention to a specific cause rather than mass deaths.

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