War on Terrorism

Friday, March 21, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- March 21, 2008

Attorneys argue anthrax libel case filed against New York Times
“A former
Army scientist once identified as a "person of interest" in the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks shouldn't be considered a public figure in his libel lawsuit against The New York Times, his lawyer argued Friday before a federal appeals court. Steven J. Hatfill said a series of columns in The Times falsely implicated him as the culprit in the anthrax deaths. No one has been charged.” (Associated Press; 21Mar08; Michael Felberbaum) http://www.dailypress.com/news/local/virginia/dp-va--anthrax-hatfill0321mar21,0,7625415.story

[Washington] University [St. Louis] tests disaster readiness with faux anthrax attack
“[Washington] University administrators, St. Louis Department of Health officials and more than 200 campus volunteers collaborated in a public health drill Tuesday that simulated the distribution of medication at Mallinckrodt [Student Center] in the event of a
terrorist anthrax attack, and tested the University's emergency text-message system. ‘We have protocols in place for a public health event, but we've never tried them and we haven't trained a lot of people,’ said Mark Bagby, the University emergency coordinator. ‘We came up with a very simplistic protocol [for responders to follow].’" (Student Life; 21Mar08; Dan Woznica) http://media.www.studlife.com/media/storage/paper337/news/2008/03/19/News/University.Tests.Disaster.Readiness.With.Faux.Anthrax.Attack-3274863.shtml

Ricin Cop Tests for Castor Derivative
police officer who went to a motel room where ricin was later found has tested positive for trace amounts of a substance that can be derived from the poison's source, authorities said Thursday. The male officer has shown no signs of illness or symptoms of ricin poisoning, officials familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the ongoing investigation into the discovery of the vials of ricin and the raw material, castor beans, in the motel room.” (Associated Press; 20Mar08; Ken Ritter) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jHS90ne-2-wjkHu_N158TrQ_wJpwD8VHI5BO0

Universal Detection
Technology Receives First Purchase Order for Bioterrorism Detection Devices From China
“Universal Detection
Technology, […] a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and other infectious health threats and provider of counter-terrorism consulting and training services, announced today that it has received a purchase order from its Chinese distributor for bioterrorism detection kits. ‘We are very pleased to have received our first purchase order for these products from China. This is obviously a very large market and like any other has security concerns, relating to threat of Biological Weapons and Toxins and we are glad to be providing our solutions in countering these threats,’ said Jacques Tizabi, CEO of Universal Detection Technology.” (CNN Money;

PharmAthene clinches vaccine deal worth up to $40M
“PharmAthene Inc. said Thursday it had agreed to acquire a line of biodefense vaccines from Avecia Biologics Ltd., a contract manufacturer based in the United Kingdom, in a deal potentially worth $40 million. […] The Annapolis company will pay $10 million in cash when the deal closes and another $10 million a year after that. An additional $20 million could change hands in the form of milestone payments for government contracts and sales royalties.” (Baltimore Business Journal; 20Mar08; Robert J.

The Dutch experiment with a biosecurity code of conduct
“The code, which was published by KNAW [Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences] as A Code of Conduct for Biosecurity in the Netherlands, covers six main issues: raising awareness; research and publication policy; accountability and oversight; internal and external communication; accessibility; and shipment and transport. It is somewhat more wide-ranging than the IAP [InterAcademy Panel] statement but makes clear that individual organizations are responsible for tailoring ‘the practical implementation of the code of conduct to the needs of their institution.’ Moreover, it suggests that organizations monitor compliance with the code internally. Though the system would not require a central supervisory body, the report suggests that a national biosecurity center could help coordinate activities.” (The Bulletin Online; 20Mar08; Malcolm Dando) http://www.thebulletin.org/columns/malcolm-dando/20080320.html

Nerve agent set for destruction at Umatilla [
Oregon] depot
“Workers today began moving more than 32,300, 155-mm VX-filled artillery shells from Umatilla Chemical Depot bunkers to the incinerator site for destruction. Within a few days, workers at the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility will begin destroying the shells, which each contain about six pounds of VX, a lethal nerve agent.” (Tri-City Herald; 20Mar08; Mary Hopkin) http://www.tri-cityherald.com/945/story/133622.html

Turkey praised by UN [sic] chemical weapons watchdog boss
“The Head of a United Nations weapons watchdog [sic] expressed gratitude for Turkey's efforts for the global endeavor to prohibit chemical weapons, saying the country ‘contributed to both [the] world's and its own security not only by joining the convention but also by actively implementing it. I am utterly pleased with Turkish efforts in this area and I hope that other countries in the region would find an inspiration in Turkey,’ said Rogelio Pfirter, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).” (The New Anatolian; 20Mar08) http://www.thenewanatolian.com/tna-31707.html

Terrorism: 200 groups to contend with “Britain faces a ‘serious and sustained threat from violent extremists claiming to act in the name of Islam,’
the strategy says. ‘At any one time the
police and security and intelligence agencies are contending with around 30 plots, 200 groups or networks and 2,000 individuals who are judged to pose a terrorist threat.’ Many of these networks and individuals ‘share an ambition to cause mass casualties without warning. Some are willing to use suicide attacks and have aspirations to use chemical, biological and radiological weapons.’” (Telegraph; 20Mar08) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2008/03/19/nterror719.xml

Trashed blueprints give 'key' to anti-terror unit
“Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day says he's launched a probe to find out how blueprints for a new
military counter-terrorism unit ended up in a downtown Ottawa garbage can. The probe was launched after the discovery of blueprints containing sensitive details on the unit. A military analyst says he's been told the matter is not being considered a security breach because the plans were part of a rejected draft for a new building, which will be the home of the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit at CFB [Canadian Forces Base] Trenton [Ontario].” (CTV; 20Mar08)

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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