Project Bacchus was a covert investigation by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency US Defense Department to determine whether it is possible to construct a bioweapons production facility with off-the-shelf equipment.
Project Bacchus ran during 1999 and 2000 and investigated whether would-be terrorists could build an anthrax production facility and remain undetected. In the two-year simulation, the facility was constructed, and production of an anthrax-like bacterium was successfully achieved. The participating scientists were able to produce about one kilogram of highly refined bacterial particles.
The secret Project Bacchus was revealed to the public in a September 2001 article in The New York Times. Reporters Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg and William J. Broad collaborated to write the article. It is presumed that the reporters had knowledge of the program for at least several months; shortly after the article appeared they published a book that detailed the story further. The book, Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War, and the article are the only publicly available sources concerning Project Bacchus and its sister projects, Clear Vision and Jefferson.