War on Terrorism

Monday, February 11, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- February 11, 2008

Healthy opportunity
“It’s halfway through the influenza season, and BioSense is on alert. Although the federal public health monitoring program is showing only mild flu activity across the United States this winter, BioSense is getting more attention as it prepares for a new contract. BioSense collects real-time data from hospitals and health providers nationwide to scan for early indications of disease outbreaks. The system feeds the analysis back to health care providers for
situational awareness of outbreaks, emerging new illnesses and bioterrorism events. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which have run BioSense since 2004, are expected to award a $100 million contract to integrate BioSense’s components into a more cohesive system, according to Input Inc. CDC is also signing up more hospitals and health care systems.” (Washington Technology, 11Feb08, Alice Lipowicz)

Portland [Maine] develops emergency medication plan
“If a
terrorist detonated [sic] an aerosol anthrax attack in Portland, city officials have lined up hundreds of volunteers and 14 distribution centers to dispense emergency antibiotics to 175,000 people within 48 hours. The planning program, called the Cities Readiness Initiative, is now being extended to South Portland and Biddeford as part of a national program to ensure population centers are able to respond to bio-terrorism or pandemic illness. The system is designed to be able to distribute medicine to the peak Portland population – anticipated to be during the day July 4 – within two days, which is the time it takes for a person who inhales anthrax [spores] to develop symptoms.” (MaineToday.com, 11Feb08, David Hench) http://news.mainetoday.com/updates/022110.html

military switching to new smallpox vaccine
“After vaccinating more than a million personnel with the old-fashioned type of smallpox vaccine grown on the skin of calves, the US
military is about to switch to a second-generation vaccine that's grown in laboratory cell cultures. The Department of Defense (DoD) announced last week that it was beginning the change from Dryvax, made by Wyeth, to ACAM2000, which is made by Acambis and was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last August. Air Force Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Loftus announced the change in a Jan 31 memo. ‘All Dryvax vials will expire on 29 February 2008 and logistics personnel will be required to destroy all unused vaccine,’ he wrote. DoD began administering the new vaccine on Feb 1, according to Cynthia Smith, a DoD spokeswoman in Washington. Since late 2002, DoD has vaccinated more than 1.4 million military and contractor personnel, Smith told CIDRAP News. The shots are mostly for people bound for areas where smallpox attacks are deemed possible—mainly the Middle East. Currently the department gives about 15,000 smallpox vaccinations per month, Smith reported.” (CIDRAP, 08Feb08) http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/smallpox/news/feb0808smallpox.html

Sun May Set on a Project That Monitored Biological-Weapons Research
“The Sunshine Project, an arms-control group that monitors biological-weapons research, much of it taking place at universities, has suspended its operations. The group has recently been something of a thorn in the side of some universities. Within the last year, the Sunshine Project has unearthed several instances of lax federal oversight of facilities that conduct research on biological agents. […] However, those successes have not translated into monetary support for the muckraking group, whose Web site lists directors in the United States and Germany but no other staff members. […] The Sunshine Project was thought to be the only nongovernmental organization solely dedicated to monitoring biological-weapon research at a national and international level.” (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 08Feb08, JJ Hermes) http://chronicle.com/daily/2008/02/1569n.htm

Chemical Weapons Convention Faces Challenges Despite Recent Achievements
“Earlier this year, the Republic of the Congo became the 183rd state party to join the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), which forbids the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer, and use of chemical weapons (CW). In addition, the Indian media recently reported that the Indian government had eliminated over 90 percent of its chemical weapons, suggesting the country should fulfill its requirement to eliminate all its CW by April 2009. While welcome, these developments should not obscure the continuing difficulties facing the CWC as its April
2008 review conference approaches.” (World Politics Review, 08Feb08, Richard Weitz)

Morocco hosts seminar on countering nuclear
“To demonstrate Morocco’s conviction that nuclear
terrorism is a global threat which requires close international co-operation, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a seminar on how to ‘guard against malicious acts involving the use of radioactive matter’ on February 5th-6th. More than one hundred international experts took part in the event. ‘The aim of the seminar is to review co-operation efforts to combat the use of nuclear materials by terrorists,’ Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Omar Hilale explained.” (Magharebia, 08Feb08, Sarah Touahri)

ElBaradei warns about extremist nuclear threat
“The United Nations' chief nuclear watchdog provided a singularly bleak vision of a world ‘in disarray’ Saturday, warning that the most imminent threat is not a new nation joining the nuclear club, but deadly material falling into the hands of extremists. […] He warned of the danger of nuclear material falling into the hands of extremist groups, nurtured on ‘anger, humiliation and desperation’ in the Middle East or elsewhere. He said the IAEA each year is handling 150 cases of illicit trafficking of nuclear material. Some material that is reported stolen is never recovered, he said, and conversely, ‘a lot of the material recovered has never been reported stolen.’” (Los Angeles Times, 10Feb08, Kim Murphy) http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran10feb10,1,1559352.story

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.

No comments: