War on Terrorism

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- October 11, 2006

PharmAthene awarded $1M for anthrax drug

“PharmAthene said Wednesday the U.S. Congress has earmarked $1 million to fund development of Valortim, a potential anthrax treatment. The funding is included in the FY 2007 Department of Defense appropriations law. Valortim is a fully human monoclonal antibody PharmAthene is developing as a preventative and treatment of anthrax infection.” (United Press International, 11Oct06)


Officials: White powder in letter to [Arkansas governor] Huckabee was harmless

“A letter to Gov. Mike Huckabee containing a white powder led authorities to briefly evacuate an office used by governor’s office employees in the state Capitol on Tuesday morning, but the powder was quickly determined to be harmless, authorities said. When the powder was discovered, the Little Rock Fire Department, the Pulaski County Office of Emergency Management, Arkansas State Police and
FBI responded. Hazardous materials specialists, wearing blue protective suits, were sent in to the office [where the letter was opened].” (Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 11Oct06, Jim Brooks and Seth Blomeley)

Outbreak Raises Fears of Food

“Dozens of people had already eaten contaminated spinach by the time the Food and Drug Administration and other federal agencies connected outbreaks of a particularly nasty strain of E. coli bacteria in several states. The outbreak hit 26 states, made 199 people sick, some of them with a type of kidney failure, and led to three confirmed deaths. That got the attention of government
terrorism experts, who are studying the outbreak for lessons in how to combat an attack on the food supply. There is no evidence that the contamination of bagged spinach eventually traced last month to a California supplier was intentional, but in the post-9/11 world, minds tend to spin in that direction. ‘It was on our radar screen right off the bat,’ said David Acheson, director of food safety and security at FDA, which oversees produce safety. ‘We were looking, and continue to look, for weirdness.’” (The Ledger, 10Oct06, Cory Reiss)

A.V. [Antelope Valley, Los Angeles County] Fair site used to gauge efforts

“Hundreds of people lined up Tuesday at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds to test how quickly authorities could dispense stockpiled antibiotics to combat a bioterrorism attack. Simulating an anthrax [Bacillus anthracis] release, city and county workers stationed at folding tables handed out empty pill bottles to volunteers - mostly students - as officials kept count on the progress: The goal was 1,500 people an hour.” (Los Angeles Daily News, 10Oct06, Charles F. Bostwick)


Depot advisors cool to shipping out liquid waste

“The head of the program responsible for destroying aging stockpiles of chemical weapons here and at the Blue Grass
Army Depot in Kentucky was back in Pueblo Tuesday night. But Mike Parker, manager of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program and head of the Army’s Chemical Materials Agency, made little progress convincing locals that a plan to ship liquid waste from the depot is a good idea. Parker said he’d like to get a decision from the Colorado Chemical Demilitarization Citizens Advisory Commission by next summer. The CAC has already made that decision, but Parker said that things had changed at the Pentagon and the program is now limited to $150 million a year, money that could be used to get things going sooner if the waste was treated elsewhere.” (The Pueblo Chieftain, 11Oct06, John Norton)

Depot detects trace of mustard chemical vapors

“A depot chemical operations monitoring crew detected mustard (HD) chemical agent vapors this morning inside a depot storage structure containing bulk storage containers. The trace of mustard chemical agent was detected during routine monitoring. The storage structure, commonly called an igloo, has a ‘passive’ filter system that prevents chemical agent vapor from escaping outside the structure. However, as a further protective measure a powered filter system will be installed. The leaking container will be identified, inspected and decontaminated.” (
U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, 10Oct06)

China says North Korea must face ‘some punitive action’ after reported nuclear test

“North Korea must face ‘some punitive actions’ for testing a nuclear device, China's U.N. ambassador said Tuesday, suggesting that Beijing may be willing to impose some form of Security Council sanctions against Pyongyang. …China canceled leave for its soldiers along the North Korean border and some units were conducting anti-chemical weapons drills, the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po reported in Hong Kong. The paper didn't elaborate.”
(San Diego Union Tribune; 10Oct06; Nick Wadhams, AP)

New session of Saddam Trial ends amid chaos

“The Tuesday session of trial of Saddam~Hussein and his aides on charge of genocide ended amid chaos, in which the chief judge ejected the deposed leader and a co-defendant punched a guard and denounced prosecutors as pimps and traitors. Chief Judge Muhammed Ureybi ordered Saddam to leave the courtroom after cutting off his microphone when he began an improvised speech after the first Kurdish witness finished her testimony. It was the fourth time in the last five sessions that Saddam had been ejected.”
(People’s Daily Online, 11Oct06, Xinhua)


OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] Director-General Addresses the United Nations General Assembly’s First Committee

“In his address to the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on 9 October 2006, the Director–General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, stated, ‘The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) is being effectively implemented, in particular, its disarmament agenda; and the OPCW has emerged as a solid institution that is carrying out its mandate with dedication and determination.’ He also provided a comprehensive overview of current developments in chemical disarmament and non-proliferation, while participating in a Panel of the First Committee of the United Nations General Assembly on the ‘Current state of affairs in the field of arms control and disarmament and the role of the respective organizations.’” (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons,

Russia, Hungary formulate measures against dirty bombs

“Russia and Hungary have formulated a set of relief measures in the event of a
terrorist attack using a Radiological Dispersal Device, also known as a dirty bomb, a senior official from the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry said Wednesday. Yury Brazhnikov, the head of the ministry's international department, said the sides had created an ‘aeromobile complex’ comprising ‘specialized robots, helicopters, a cargo plane and a mobile laboratory to conduct tests in conditions of radiation, chemical or biological contamination.’” (RIA Novosti, 11Oct06)

Experts fear nuclear sales

“Since the early 1990s, former Sen. Sam Nunn has been sounding alarms about the danger of so-called ‘loose nukes’ falling into the hands of
terrorists. ‘The thing I worry about most is nuclear weapons being in the hands of a group that does not have a return address. North Korea has a return address. The question is who they may sell the material to, or weapons to,’ Nunn says.” (CBS5.com, 11Oct06)

Maple Hts. [Ohio] asks U.S. court to halt rail expansion

“Maple Heights- The city has asked a federal judge to halt a railroad yard expansion that officials fear will turn Maple Heights into a terrorist target. Norfolk Southern plans to build a second station where trains and trucks drop off and pick up shipping containers. It would be near an existing station along tracks south of Broadway Avenue, with work beginning in about a week, spokesman Rudy Husband said. Maple Heights wants Norfolk Southern to submit plans for city approval, but the railroad says it answers only to federal regulators. The response frustrates city officials, who are afraid the extra freight will draw
terrorists who will rig cargo with explosives or chemicals. ‘There's no reason to think someone somewhere isn't contemplating how to get a dirty bomb into a rail car,’ said Mayor Michael Ciaravino, who questioned monitoring of the nation's seaports and cargo system.” (The Plain Dealer, 10Oct06, Thomas

North Korea warns of “war” over sanctions

“North Korea stoked regional tensions today, threatening more nuclear tests and saying additional sanctions imposed on it would be considered an act of war, as nervous neighbors raced to bolster defenses and punish Pyongyang. …The United States asked the U.N. Security Council to impose a partial trade embargo including strict limits on Korea's weapons exports and freezing of related financial assets. All imports would be inspected too, to filter materials that could be made into nuclear, chemical or biological weapons.” (The Seattle Times; 11Oct06; Hans Greimel, AP)

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