War on Terrorism

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News-November 6, 2006

Boston biolab plan will be reassessed

“Boston University (BU) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have agreed to conduct a second, much broader environmental impact assessment for their [Biosafety Level]-4 anti-terrorism biolab, which has been under construction since March in Roxbury, a poor, densely populated part of Boston's South End. …In May, community residents sued to try to force the agency to stop funding the lab, which is intended for BSL-4 research on incurable fatal diseases like plague and Ebola virus... In an October 20 order, Federal District Judge Patti Saris deferred granting the plaintiffs' request to make the NIH temporarily cut off funding, but announced that the NIH and BU had agreed to conduct a comprehensive environmental reassessment to see whether a less-populated site might be preferable and to determine what would happen if a highly contagious fatal disease escaped from the lab... BU Medical Center spokesperson Ellen Berlin told The Scientist that the new offer to conduct a reassessment was voluntary.” (The Scientist; 02Nov06; John Dudley Miller)


Ukraine's interior minister calling to step up fight against bioterrorism

“Ukraine's Interior Minister Yuriy Lutsenko has said it is necessary to step up fight against biological terrorism. ‘Bioterrorism has no boundaries... We should get ready to counteract biological
terrorism,’ the interior minister said at the international seminar of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) dedicated to bioterrorism and its possible aftermath, which is taking place in Kyiv on Monday. Lutsenko said a special state program for combating terrorism has been elaborated in Ukraine. The program will be carried out with the participation of the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Emergency Ministry and the Defense Ministry, Lutsenko said.” (Interfax-Ukraine; 06Nov06)

Macau bank tied to DPRK WMD projects/Funds sent from accounts to Japan in '02

“North Korea used accounts opened at a Macau-based bank, allegedly linked to its illicit activities, to pay for purchases made in 2002 from Japanese companies supplying equipment that could be used to produce weapons of mass destruction, according to investigative sources… In September 2002, North Korea sent money from a 24431746BDA24431746TAMARA CHAPMAN [Banco Delta Asia] account to pay for the unlawful purchase, via Taiwan, of a freeze dryer that could be used develop biological weapons… According to
police authorities, a corporation directly linked to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il asked a 58-year-old former president of a Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo-based trading firm to ship a freeze dryer… The company directly tied to Kim eventually sold the freeze dryer to a North Korean hospital suspected of studying biological weapons.” (The Daily Yomiuri; 04Nov06; The Yorumi Shimbun) http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy

NEWS ANALYSIS: Bioweapons Treaty Progress Predicted

“Representatives from 155 states meeting in Geneva Nov. 20-Dec. 8 to review and advance the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) are expressing cautious optimism that the once-every-five-years gathering will prove more successful than its immediate predecessor and other similar recent international gatherings. ... [D]iplomats say that the political dynamics at this review conference are likely to produce less tension than in past meetings... [T]he most important decision reached at the meeting is likely to be to continue holding annual meetings aimed at strengthening the convention and deciding on their scope, diplomats say... States-parties still disagree whether such meetings should have more power than the previous set, which could not issue formal recommendations to states-parties because of U.S. resistance.”(Arms Control Today; Nov06; Olivia Meier)


Chemical arms removal remains tough subject

“Officials of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, overseeing weapons destruction here [in Pueblo, Colorado] and at the Blue Grass
Army Depot in Kentucky, say that off-site treatment [of mustard agent] will save $150 million... Critics, however, call that a false economy, fearing that the agency eventually will be forced to treat the hydrolysate on-site anyway and wind up spending more money because they didn’t plan for it... Hydrolysate is the generic term for the liquid left over from any hydrolysis process. The demilitarization program here will break down 2,611 tons of mustard agent into two hazardous chemicals, thiodiglycol and sodium hydroxide, along with a few smaller traces of organic compounds suspended in millions of gallons of water. Officials of the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternative program have offered assurances that the hydrolysate is safe to ship and while that could be true, local critics of the plan are more worried about the reaction from other communities through which the hydrolysate will travel and eventually be treated.” (The Pueblo Chieftain Online; 05Nov06; John Norton)

Tehran holding intl. [international] course on treatment of chemical weapons injuries

“The 8th International Course on the Medical Aspects of Defence against Chemical Weapons opened here [Tehran] on Saturday at the Baqiatollah Hospital. Specialist physicians from 24 countries are participating in the four-day course, which will be focusing on theoretical discussions about Iran’s discoveries for the treatment of injuries caused by chemical weapons... During the opening ceremony, Reza Tabatabaii, the director of the Tehran office of The Hague-based Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said that Iran welcomes this opportunity to both express its opposition to all weapons of mass destruction, and particularly chemical weapons, and also to reveal the horrific crimes of Saddam Hussein, who is currently on trial.” (Mehr News; 4Nov06; MNA)

Saddam Hussein death sentence a milestone

“Celebratory gunfire swept across parts of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities Sunday as Saddam Hussein and two former top Iraqi officials were sentenced to die for crimes against humanity.... The tribunal is the first such court since Nuremburg's Nazi war-crimes trials to hand down a death sentence. After appeal, Hussein faces hanging. The case dealt with a 1982 assassination attempt against Hussein in the town of Dujail, which prompted revenge killings of 148 people, deportation of 400, and razing of orchards.... The second, much larger case, charges genocide and covers the 1988 Anfal campaign against the Kurds in which up to 180,000 were killed... Besides the Dujail and Anfal cases... Some 5,000 Kurds were killed by chemical weapons in Halabja in 1988. Hussein ordered his armies into Iran in 1980, sparking nearly a decade of war that left 1 million dead and wounded, and in which Iraq used chemical munitions.” (Christian Science Monitor; 6Nov06; Scott Peterson)


Details of 'dirty bomb' plot revealed

“Details of a 'dirty bomb' plot hatched by a British man have been revealed at Woolwich Crown Court. Dhiren Barot, 34, from London had planned a series of ‘massive’ sychronised attacks in the UK and US, the court heard, [including] a series of bombings in the US, which were initiated before the September 11 attacks. The targets were the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington DC, as well as the New York Stock Exchange, the Citigroup headquarters and the Prudential building in Newark, New Jersey. Barot, from Kingsbury in north-west London, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder last month.” (4NI.com; 06Nov06)

Analysis: No real terror A-bomb threat

“Two leading U.S. nuclear scientists say a team of terrorists with industrial equipment, physics and engineering skills and access to highly enriched uranium could build a crude atomic weapon in the United States for less than $10 million. The claim, on the heels of revelations that U.S. agencies Web-posted detailed technical documents from Saddam Hussein's Iraqi nuclear weapons program that might aid such an effort, is likely to fuel concerns about the possibility of a terrorist nuclear strike inside the United States. ... But a careful review of the evidence suggests that there are technical obstacles to such an attack that are insuperable, for the time being at least, by the only
terrorist organization seriously interested in staging one -- Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida... Bin Laden ‘perhaps has yet to find his Robert Oppenheimer,’ write Peter Zimmerman and Jeffrey Lewis in ‘Foreign Policy,’ the journal of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.” (United Press International (UPI) Security and Terrorism; 05Nov06; Shaun Waterman)

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