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US making stink bomb, says monthly

DAWN, 5 July 2002

LONDON, July 4: The Pentagon is developing a stink bomb to drive away enemy troops or hostile crowds, the magazine New Scientist said on Wednesday.

Stench warfare could form a key part of the U.S. non-lethal weapons programme and provide police with an extra means of dealing with the kind of rioting that has disrupted recent summits of world leaders.

It would give us an offensive capability against large and unruly groups of people, if they are unwilling to move or are openly hostile, New Scientist quoted a Pentagon spokesman as saying. And it would minimise the risk to our people and to the antagonists.

Researchers said there was a close link between nasty smells and fear, as a bad smell can activate tissue deep within the brain. The perfect stink for defence purposes would be one that triggered an emotional response in humans. The problem is that odours can provoke varying reactions in different people because of social and cultural conditioning.