Bird flu as biological weapon ‘nutty’ idea, says [Robert] Gates
“United States Defense Secretary Robert Gates has denied allegations by Indonesia's Health Minister Siti Fadilah Supari that his country is developing biological weapons from bird flu strains found in Indonesia. ‘I think it's the nuttiest idea I've ever heard,’ Gates said Monday after addressing his speech to the Indonesian Council on World Affairs at the Four Seasons Hotel, South Jakarta.” (The Jakarta Post, 25Feb08)
CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] Uses CIBER-Built Solution to Alert Public Health Officials and Public Health Departments
“CIBER, Inc. has successfully designed, built, and implemented a service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based software application called CDC Alerting Service (CDCAS) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDCAS reliably, securely, and quickly alerts public health officials and public health organizations of disease outbreaks, bio terrorism events, and other public health events using a wide range of personal communication devices, such as domestic and international phones, satellite phones, e-mail, text messages, faxes, and pagers. As a result, CDC has an efficient, cost-effective method to ensure that public health officials are alerted to significant situations, regardless of their geographic location or preferred method of communication.” (CNNMoney.com, 25Feb08, PR Newswire) http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/prnewswire/CLM038A25022008-1.htm
Living With Danger, and Wondering How to Live Without It
“The employees pull up to the gate, show their identification cards to the armed security guards and continue on. They drive past wooded stretches and open fields, past the occasional frolicking deer, and park before buildings of almost requisite ugliness. Shift time. Save for those stockpiles of chemical warfare agent on the grounds, the Newport Chemical Depot [in Indiana] could be any other industrial plant. But here they are, steel containers of viscous fluid the color of straw and as lethal as almost anything on earth.” (New York Times, 25Feb08, Dan Barry) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/25/us/25land.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2&ref=us
Underwater blasts put environment at risk: expert
“Canada could be on the brink of an ‘ecological nightmare’ as chemicals and explosives from submerged military boneyards seep into the water, says a retired U.S. navy bomb disposal expert. Jim Barton, a senior technician with the U.S. navy's explosive ordnance disposal unit between 1975 and 1999, says the clock is ticking to clean up hundreds of thousands of discarded weapons from the floors of Canada's lakes, rivers and ocean areas. […] Some have suggested ties between military dump sites off the East Coast -- where Canada disposed of thousands of chemical […] weapons after the Second World War -- and cancer rates in the Atlantic provinces, although there's no conclusive link.” (CTV.ca, 25Feb08, The Canadian Press) http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080225/underwater_blasts_080225/20080225?hub=SciTech
U.S. and Estonia Cooperate to Prevent Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Material
“The United States and Estonia announced today their agreement to coordinate efforts to prevent nuclear smuggling by installing radiation detection equipment at multiple border crossings in Estonia. The agreement expands on similar U.S.-Estonian cooperation.
The Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been working with the Estonian Tax and Customs Board over the past several years to maintain previously installed radiation detection equipment. The agreement between NNSA and the Estonian Tax and Customs Board will allow NNSA to install new, improved radiation detection and integrated communications equipment at multiple border crossings, airports and seaports in Estonia, as well as to provide related training on the use of this equipment.” (National Nuclear Security Administration, 25Feb08) http://www.nnsa.doe.gov/docs/newsreleases/2008/PR_2008-02-25_NA-08-11.htm
US installs bomb scanners at port
“The United States government has installed scanning equipment at a Hampshire [U.K.] container port to monitor shipments bound for its shores. The hi-tech equipment at Southampton Port scans lorries and containers for radioactive materials that could form part of a bomb. The data is then sent back to the US as part of its counter-terrorism measures. Southampton is the UK's first port to trial the American Secure Freight Initiative (SFI) system. It is also being tested at Port Qasim in Pakistan and Puerto Cortez in Honduras.” (BBC News, 25Feb08) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/hampshire/7262484.stm
CNS ChemBio-WMD 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.
Information on assessment center exercises was helpful during the production of this blog.