War on Terrorism

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- January 23, 2008

Push still on for [Mississippi] health lab despite veto
Mississippi] Health officials are pushing for a new $25 million state Health Lab, despite Gov. Haley Barbour's vow to veto any bond legislation that fails to promote economic development. ‘The public health lab is an absolute disgrace to this state,’ said Dr. Luke Lampton of Magnolia, chairman of the state Board of Health. ‘Every year we delay building the lab places this state's public health in jeopardy.’ The lab, built in 1957, is so cramped that when the anthrax scare took place in 2001, lab workers had to set up a level three lab in a broom closet.” (Hattiesburg American, 23Jan08, Jerry Mitchell)

University [of
Minnesota] to open new lab to track animal diseases
“Hypothetically, a bird flu outbreak could hit
Minnesota. But if it does, the University [of Minnesota] would be ready to assist in stopping the spread. A $2.4 million laboratory opening on campus this week would serve as a staging ground for diagnostic work, should an epidemic of airborne or other viruses break out in Minnesota. The main purpose of the lab is to perform necropsies, which are autopsies on animals, University poultry pathologist Andre Ziegler said. The focus would be on diagnosing how animals died. […] Ziegler said this laboratory is important in terms of monitoring animal diseases.” (The Minnesota Daily, 23Jan08, Devin Henry)

Watchdog director calls to cancel NBAF [National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility] lab project
“A critic of a proposed $450 million federal bio-research lab that may come to Athens [
Georgia] called on the federal government Tuesday to cancel the project. Edward Hammond, U.S. Director of the Sunshine Project, a Texas-based watchdog group, told about 250 people at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education that NBAF's research will be far more dangerous than the Department of Homeland Security is letting on. […] Hammond disagreed with assertions from federal and University of Georgia officials that NBAF will include only zoonotic diseases, ones that are transmitted from animal to animal or animal to human, not ones that spread between humans.” (Online Athens, 22Jan08, Blake Aued) http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/012308/news_20080123063.shtml

[Pine Bluff] Arsenal commander seeks to replace 650 jobs after demilitarization
“Though the Pine Bluff [Arkansas] Arsenal’s current mission to demilitarize the chemical weapons stockpile will end no later than 2012, options are being explored to retain the approximate 650 jobs that would be vacant after the project is over, Col. William Barnett, commander of the arsenal, told the Pine Bluff Rotary Club on Tuesday. […] Barnett said that the main concern is finding a way to replace about 300 of the 650 federal government positions after the stockpile is eliminated. The other 350 jobs are contracted through Washington Demilitarization Co. […].”
(Pine Bluff Commercial, 23Jan08, Ezra Mann) http://www.pbcommercial.com/articles/2008/01/23/news/news2.txt

Export-import control over dual-use chemicals may ease
“Expect the proposed export-import control over dual use chemicals to be less rigorous. The government is planning to bring down the number of chemicals in the list that it drew up a couple of months ago for strict export-import control. The present thinking in the government is that legitimate trade of these commercially important chemicals should not suffer where we do not have an international obligation to restrict them. The ministry of external affairs and the ministry of chemicals had in November agreed to subject international trade in 24 products known as the Australian [sic] group of chemicals and many other items in the same class to greater scrutiny. […] Now, the take of various government departments is all these chemicals should not be subjected to rigorous licensing norms.” (The Economic Times; 22Jan08; Gireesh Chandra Prasad and G.
Ganapathy Subramaniam, TNN)

[Saeed] Jalili: Chemical weapons have no place in Iran's defense doctrine
“Iran's top nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said in Brussels on Wednesday that chemical weapons have no place in Iran's defense doctrine. ‘I assure you that the (chemical) weapons have no place in our defense doctrine,’ Jalili told Members of European Parliament (MEPs), while referring to Iran's refusal to use chemical weapons during the eight-year (1980-88) war imposed by former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein though 100,000 of its citizens fell victim to such weapons during Baathist regime's chemical attacks.” (IRNA, 23Jan08) http://www2.irna.com/en/news/view/line-22/0801232436191456.htm

Israel Begins Radiation Detection Efforts at Haifa Port

“The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC), and the Israel Port Company (IPC) announced today that initial operations of radiation detection equipment have commenced at Haifa Port, one of Israel's busiest seaports. The specialized equipment will help to detect smuggled or illicit shipments of nuclear and other radioactive materials that might move through this port.” (National Nuclear Security Administration,

Cell Phone Sensors Detect Radiation To Thwart Nuclear
“Researchers at Purdue University are working with the state of Indiana to develop a system that would use a network of cell phones to detect and track radiation to help prevent terrorist attacks with radiological ‘dirty bombs’ and nuclear weapons. Such a system could blanket the nation with millions of cell phones equipped with radiation sensors able to detect even light residues of radioactive material. Because cell phones already contain global positioning locators, the network of phones would serve as a tracking system, said physics professor Ephraim Fischbach. Fischbach is working with Jere Jenkins, director of Purdue's radiation laboratories within the School of Nuclear Engineering.” (Science Daily, 22Jan08) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080122154415.htm

IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] Publishes Advisory Guide to Address Nuclear Terror Threat
“The IAEA today released a reference manual that details how to prevent, detect, and respond to an incidence of nuclear
terrorism. Combating Illicit Trafficking in Nuclear and Other Radioactive Material serves as a how-to booklet on several topics related to criminal acts involving nuclear and radioactive material. The 150+ page text is intended for a broad audience, including law enforcement agencies, legislators, customs and border patrol personnel, intelligence officials, emergency response teams and users of nuclear technology.” (IAEA, 22Jan08) http://www.iaea.or.at/NewsCenter/News/2008/guideterrorthreat.html

National Response Framework Released
“The Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) today released the National Response Framework (NRF), successor to the National Response Plan. The NRF, which focuses on response and short-term recovery, articulates the doctrine, principles and architecture by which our nation prepares for and responds to all-hazard disasters across all levels of government and all sectors of communities. The NRF is responsive to repeated federal, state, local and private sector requests for a streamlined document that is less bureaucratic and more user-friendly. The NRF also focuses on preparedness and encourages a higher level of readiness across all jurisdictions.” (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 22Jan08) http://www.dhs.gov/xnews/releases/pr_1201030569827.shtm
Find the NRF Resource Center at http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nrf/

Colo[rado] checks investments for Iran ties

Leaders of the state’s [Colorado's] largest pension fund won't invest any new money in Iran's energy sector and have agreed to research the fund's current holdings for Iranian ties, Gov. Bill Ritter and other state officials announced Tuesday. […] The policy adopted by the Public Employees Retirement Association [PERA] was drafted with help from Rep. Joe Rice, who has been serving in Iraq and giving his advice by e-mail. However, it stops short of calling for mandatory divestment and it doesn't have the force of law. […] Under the policy, PERA will identify foreign companies that have invested more than $20 million in Iran's energy sector, those working with an agency identified by the United States as a terrorist organization or those working with any business that helps Iran acquire nuclear, chemical or biological weapons technology or military equipment. If PERA has holdings in those companies, staffers will push for more details about their investments in Iran, including whether they have tried to affect Iranian policies, and work with other groups, such as other pension funds, to pressure the companies to pull out of Iran.”
(Hemscott.com, 23Jan08, AP)

Terrorism News is prepared by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in order to bring timely and focused information to researchers and policymakers interested in the fields of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons nonproliferation and WMD terrorism.

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