War on Terrorism

Monday, March 17, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- March 17, 2008

Brother: Man Blames Ricin for Illness
“A man who has been hospitalized since Valentine's Day with respiratory ailments and failing kidneys told his brother he believes he was contaminated by the deadly ricin poison found in his Las Vegas motel room. His younger brother, Erich Bergendorff, told The Associated Press that they spoke briefly on the telephone Sunday for the first time since the ricin was found, and said Roger claimed he had never had any intention of endangering anyone with the toxin. [Younger brother] Erich Bergendorff said his brother told him the ricin was easy to make. But he added that his brother, who was on a ventilator until last week, still had a hard time speaking clearly, so it was not clear whether Roger Bergendorff made it himself or watched someone else manufacture the powder.” (Associated Press; 17Mar08; Allison Hoffman) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jHS90ne-2-wjkHu_N158TrQ_wJpwD8VF21G00

CSC wins task order for CDC
Computer Sciences Corp. has won a task order from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to continue developing and supporting the National Electronic Disease Surveillance System Base System, the company said Monday. The system, which is part of a public health information network, electronically links surveillance activities to improve the ability to track and identify emerging infectious diseases and potential bioterrorism attacks, according to a release. The system is currently operational in 16 states.” (Los Angeles Business; 17Mar08; bizjournals.com) http://www.bizjournals.com/losangeles/stories/2008/03/17/daily3.html

U.S. denies bird flu sample allegations
“The United States on Sunday flatly denied allegations it was producing biological weapons from bird flu samples sent by Indonesia to the World Health Organization. A statement from Michael H. Anderson, Counselor for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, said: As a party to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, which entered into force on March 26, 1975, the U.S. has undertaken not to develop, produce, stockpile, or otherwise acquire or retain microbial or other biological agents or toxins of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective, and other peaceful purposes, as well as weapons and means of delivery.” (The Jakarta Post; 17Mar08) http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2008/03/16/us-denies-bird-flu-sample-allegations.html

Anthrax scare at city’s courthouse [Vallejo, California]
“Vallejo emergency officials combed the Vallejo courthouse for suspicious substances Friday after an anonymous caller said anthrax had been planted in the building,
police said. Numerous emergency teams - including Solano Sheriff's Department, Vallejo police, Vallejo fire and HazMat - responded to the alert and searched all public areas, private areas, workspaces, courtrooms and judges' chambers, Toynbee said. ‘No evidence of anthrax or anything suspicious was found,’ Toynbee said.” (Times-Herald; 15Mar08; Andrea Wolf)

Two decades on, war victims of Saddam Hussein’s gas attacks draw their last breath

“Across Iran thousands more cases are emerging each year because the effects of mustard gas poisoning can take a decade or two to surface. Although the war ended 18 years ago, at least 55,000 Iranians are now being treated. Another 40,000, mostly civilians, need help but lack documents proving that they are war victims. A million Iranian soldiers and civilians may have been exposed to chemical agents during the 1980-88 conflict.” (Times Online; 17Mar08; Martin Fletcher) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article3564198.ece

McCain Trip Comes During Iraq Milestones
“Sen. John McCain's trip to Iraq, which began Sunday in Baghdad, coincides with a number of milestones. The Iraq war, to which the probable Republican presidential nominee has linked his political future, will be five years old Thursday. Around that date, the U.S.
military is likely to suffer its 4,000th death in the war. And McCain's arrival Sunday coincided with the 20th anniversary of a horrific chemical weapons attack in northern Iraq... Elsewhere, Kurds in northern Iraq commemorated the anniversary of the chemical weapons attack in Halabja, near the Iranian border, with solemn observances. The streets were empty and heavily patrolled by Iraqi security forces.” (Associated Press; 16Mar08; Ryan Lenz)

Israel to hold largest-ever emergency drill in April
“In the face of a possible escalation with Syria and Iran's efforts to obtain a nuclear weapon, parts of the country will shut down next month in what
security officials say will be the largest emergency exercise in Israel's history. The drill, which is being organized by the newly-established National Emergency Authority, will take place over five days starting on Sunday, April 6. According to officials involved in the planning, sirens will blast throughout the country. The rescue services will drill mass evacuations from ‘hit zones’ - including mock chemical and biological attacks - and hospitals will drill their ability to provide medical treatment to thousands of wounded.” (Jerusalem Post; 17Mar08; Yaakov Katz) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1205420704459&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

SCWVS participates in Chemical Weapons Convention Conference
“A delegation from the Society for Chemical Weapons Victims Support (SCWVS), including four Iranian survivors of the chemical weapons attacks of the 1980s by Saddam's regime, will participate in the second review conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention. During the period of the conference, the SCWVS members will set up a photo exhibition in The Hague and Amsterdam addressing the consequences of the use of chemical weapons by Saddam Hussein's regime. The purpose of the exhibition is to raise awareness about the devastating effects of the use of such inhuman weapons.” (CASMII; 15Mar08; SCWVS Press Release)

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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