War on Terrorism

Monday, March 24, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- March 24, 2008

Curveball: 'I Am Not To Blame' for U.S. War in Iraq
“The Iraqi defector known as ‘Curveball,’ whose fabricated stories about mobile biological weapons labs helped lead the U.S. to war in Iraq five years ago, says he is not to blame for the war and that he never said Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, according to a new report released this weekend in the German magazine Der Spiegel.” (ABC News; 24Mar08; Maddy Sauer)

SIGA Files Application Supporting Emergency Use Approval for ST-246
“SIGA Technologies, Inc., a company specializing in the development of pharmaceutical agents to fight biowarfare pathogens, announced today that it has submitted to the FDA an application to support an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of its drug ST-246, an orally active, smallpox antiviral, to treat individuals exposed to the smallpox virus in the event of an outbreak.” (Business Wire; 24Mar08) http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080324005326&newsLang=en

Defense Department will try out UB’s germ-killing BioBlower
“A device developed by two University at
Buffalo researchers to kill deadly airborne spores, viruses and bacteria is getting a second look from the Defense Department. A prototype of UB’s ‘BioBlower’ was among the technologies tested by the Defense Department during a four-week period last year, and the results confirmed the researchers’ original findings: The machine killed 99.9 percent of whatever biological agents were thrown at it, according to coinventor James F. Garvey, a professor in UB’s chemistry department.” (The Buffalo News; 22Mar08; Jay Rey) http://www.buffalonews.com/cityregion/story/305284.html

U.S. fears halt tours of Rogers' chocolate factory [in the District of Saanich in Victoria, BC]
“The factory has been a no-go zone for tour groups for 18 months in order to meet U.S. government bioterrorism regulations aimed at safeguarding the American food chain -- where a lot of Rogers' chocolates end up. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, the U.S. BioTerrorism Act requires that food manufacturing facilities that export to the U.S. limit access to outsiders, said Kate Phoenix, Rogers' vice-president of marketing and sales.” (The Province; 23Mar08; Katherine Dedyna)

Mission: Destruction
“Approximately 200 engineers have been working on plans for three buildings that will be a part of the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP). Designs for the munitions demilitarization building, control support building and supercritical water oxidation processing building are among the three structures with submitted designs. […] When operational, the facilities included in the destruction plant will be used to neutralize and render harmless the stockpile of chemical weapons that has been stored at the depot, some for as long as 60 years.” (The Richmond Register; 24Mar08; Ronica Shannon) http://www.richmondregister.com/localnews/local_story_084083351.html

Meet on dangers of chemical weapons
“A two-day workshop, organized by the National Committee for the Prohibition of Weapons (NCPW), with the aim to increase awareness on hazardous chemical weapons will get underway here from tomorrow at the Doha [Qatar] Marriot Hotel. Titled 'National awareness days and industry workshop on the chemical weapons convention and its implementation in Qatar,’ the workshop will involve around 120 participants from various government institutions, [the] private sector, universities and academia institutes.” (The Peninsula; 24Mar08) http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=March2008&file=Local_News2008032413922.xml

Curious case of the dead scientist and the bomb experiment
“A mysterious bomb-making experiment that ended with the accidental death of a government scientist has remained an official secret for more than five years, leaving his family in the dark about what went wrong. Terry Jupp, a scientist with the [UK] Ministry of Defence, was engulfed in flames during a joint Anglo-American counter-
terrorism project intended to discover more about al-Qaida's bomb-making capacities. The Guardian has established that Jupp was a member of a small team of British and US scientists making bombs from ingredients of the sort that terrorists could obtain. There is also evidence pointing to experiments to discover more about radiological dispersal devices - so-called dirty bombs - which use conventional explosives to scatter radioactive material.” (The Guardian; 24Mar08; Ian Cobain) http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2008/mar/24/defence

Versar, Johnson Control win piece of $10B contract
“A joint venture between Versar Inc. and Johnson Control Federal Systems has won part of an
Air Force contract worth as much as $10 billion. The companies will provide facilities and infrastructure support to the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency, which provides assistance with services such as emergency management, military-family housing and environmental restoration programs at Air Force facilities. […] Springfield-based Versar makes personal protective equipment for chemical and biological warfare defense programs and provides environmental compliance consulting services.” (Washington Business Journal; 24Mar08; Arjun Kashyap) http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2008/03/24/daily3.html

Evaluating Alternatives for Renewing TRIA in an Uncertain World

“Following the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) of 2002, which established a temporary federal terrorism-risk insurance program. The act provided a system of shared public and private payments for insured commercial property and casualty losses due to acts of terrorism. Congress amended TRIA in 2005 and extended the program at the end of 2007 for seven years without major changes in program structure. […] To inform the 2007 debate about whether and how TRIA should be extended, RAND Corporation researchers assessed options for modifying the program, including allowing the program to expire. Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches was challenging, because many difficult-to-analyze uncertainties underlie the analysis. For example, what would be the frequency and type of attack — conventional versus nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological (NBCR)?” (RAND Corporation; 24Mar08; Llyod Dixon et. al) http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9330/index1.html

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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