War on Terrorism

Friday, February 08, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- February 8, 2008

Third powder-filled package sent to Rocky Mount school [in North Carolina]
“School officials in Nash County can open mail only after students go home for the day because of three powder-filled packages recently sent to area schools. A principal at Pope Elementary School opened a letter containing a white powder on Wednesday, becoming the third Rocky Mount school to receive such a package in the past 10 days. Initial tests on all three powders found that they were nontoxic. Authorities said they are investigating possible links between the packages. Officials said school staff around the district now must open all mail in an isolated place after students leave for the day.” (Winston-Salem Journal, 07Feb08, AP) http://www.journalnow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=WSJ/MGArticle/WSJ_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173354517990

FGCU [Florida Gulf Coast University] researchers carry out war on biological weapons
“In 1918,
World War I was reaching its end as American soldiers joined their European allies in the trenches to defeat the Germans. While the war would be won, the battlefield conditions triggered the most deadly event in recorded history — the Spanish Flu. […] It is precisely situations like [this] why the U.S. Department of Defense gave $1.5 million to three Florida Gulf Coast University researchers and their staff to develop protection for soldiers against weaponized and incidental biological agents as they fight across the globe. Those developments can then be applied to the public, to protect everyone against disease. ‘You can trace the origins to the crowding on the battlefield,’ said FGCU chemist Jose Barreto, one of the three researchers.” (Naples News, 07Feb08, Brad Kane) http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2008/feb/07/fgcu-researchers-carry-out-war-biological-weapons/

‘T-ray’ breakthrough signals next generation of
security sensors
“A new generation of sensors for detecting explosives and poisons could be developed following new research into a type of radiation known as T-rays, published today (3 February) in Nature Photonics. The research shows that these T-rays, electromagnetic waves in the far infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum that have a wavelength 500 times longer than visible light, can be guided along the surface of a specially designed material, known as a metamaterial. Being able to control T-rays in this way is essential if this type of radiation is to be used in many real world applications. Researchers believe one of the areas with the most potential to use T-rays is security sensing and scanning, because many of the molecules in explosives and biological agents like anthrax strongly absorb this radiation.” (University of Bath, 03Feb08) http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2008/2/3/t-ray.html

U.S. may be backsliding on
security – Chertoff
“From weak border controls to the risk of chemical bombs, the United States could be backsliding on national
security since the Sept. 11 attacks, Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff said on Wednesday. […] He said the U.S. government has […] had difficulty tightening rules on tens of thousands of U.S. chemical plants to protect their stockpiles from terrorists. In October, his department softened regulations to keep dangerous materials out of the hands of terrorists after facing an industry outcry.” (Reuters UK, 07Feb08, Jason Szep) http://uk.reuters.com/article/oilRpt/idUKN0632385520080207?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

Radiation response network launched
“The Austria-based International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] announced the launch of a
nuclear emergency response network after pledges of assistance from four states. The IAEA announced that the response assistance network has become operational after Finland, Mexico, Sri Lanka and the United States pledged their support to the emergency response program. Officials say the RANET [Response Assistance Network] is an effort to address radiation incidents including dirty bomb threats among emergency situations with a global response designed to coordinate international assistance, the IAEA reported.” (UPI, 06Feb08) http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Emerging_Threats/Briefing/2008/02/06/radiation_response_network_launched/8670/

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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