War on Terrorism

Monday, April 07, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 7, 2008

Cisco releases Cisco Open Platform for Safety and Security
“Cisco Systems Inc., announced last week the Cisco Open Platform for Safety and
Security, a technology platform designed to enable government agencies to protect assets, employees and citizens through a secure, intelligent, converged network. Cisco Open Platform for Safety and Security supports the growing needs of defense, civilian, public safety, state and local government agencies to focus on business continuity and force protection mission requirements to minimize risk and address the security needs of citizens. […] This emerging capability is critical to force protection, as Major General Stephen V. Reeves, USA Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical and Biological Defense, testified on March 12, 2008 before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats & Capabilities.” (Computer Technology Review; 07Apr08)

SIGA Technologies Inc. Takes Steps toward FDA Approval for its Lead Smallpox Antiviral
“SIGA Technologies Inc. announced it has launched an initiative to produce
DNA registration batches of its leading smallpox antiviral, ST-246. The company specializes in the development of pharmaceutical agents effective against biowarfare pathogens. For the past few months, the company has consulted with the FDA to choose its final chemical formulation for large-scale production, and has chosen the market image and packaging needed to commercialize the material.” (TransWorldNews; 04Apr08)

Man sickened by ricin seen as acting alone
“Authorities believe a man sickened by the deadly toxin ricin was a ‘lone wolf’ who manufactured the substance intending to do some kind of harm, an FBI agent said Thursday. Investigators believe Roger Bergendorff manufactured the ricin in the
Salt Lake City area, but they haven't been able to turn up any evidence of the location, agent Juan Becerra said. ‘This could be somebody mad about taxes or the fact that the transit bus didn't come — whatever the situation may be,’ said Becerra, an FBI spokesman in Salt Lake City. ‘All of a sudden you've got a potential full-blown public-safety hazard.’" (Denver Post; 04Apr08; Associated Press)

Integrating detection and identification of biothreat agents
“While recent incidents have garnered the public’s desire for increased surveillance of the food supply, one lingering perception in the food industry has been that consumers should address many safety issues with proper handling techniques. This perception has reaffirmed the decisions by government entities to limit developing food and water surveillance technologies, and focus greater attention and resources on monitoring aerosol biothreats. […] This article discusses recent advances in developing comprehensive monitoring systems that can detect in real time and identify conclusively a biothreat from a broad range of pathogens and toxins. Such advances have been addressing the need to monitor and protect public health and safety from an ever-growing list of
homeland security biothreats.” (Medical Device Link; 04Apr08; Colette A. Côté) http://www.devicelink.com/ivdt/archive/08/04/007.html

Training prepares officers for chemical attack
“Six local
law enforcement officers traveled to Alabama for training and returned to Burke County [North Carolina] with a better knowledge of chemical weapons of mass destruction. Lt. Tom Rhyne with the Burke County Sheriff's Office said the six officers are part of the State Medical Assistance Team. It's their job to help protect and assist medical responders during an emergency, Rhyne said. The training took place in Anniston, Ala., at the Center for Domestic Preparedness, a federal site under the Department of Homeland Security umbrella.” (Morganton News Herald; 07Apr08; Julie Chang)

AP Interview: N. Korea's chemical disarmament should be separated from nuclear issue
“Efforts to disarm North Korea of chemical weapons should be separated from negotiations to end its nuclear program, the head of the chemical weapons watchdog agency said Friday. Israel, Egypt and Syria also should separate the question of chemical weapons disarmament from the wider issues of Middle East peace, said Rogelio Pfirter, director general of the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW.” (Associated Press; 04Apr08) http://www.pr-inside.com/ap-interview-n-korea-s-chemical-disarmament-r520303.htm

New global push to scrap chemical weapons
“A treaty-verification body on Friday called on 12 nations, including Syria, Iraq and Israel, to join a landmark pact for destroying stockpiles of chemical weapons. The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons made the appeal ahead of a review conference next week. So far 183 countries have ratified the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention banning the use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons, but more states need to join.” (Mail & Guardian Online; 04Apr08)

Eliminating chemical weapons
“Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen believes the destruction of chemical weapons can and should be speeded up. His comments came on the eve of this week's meeting of the United Nations Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague. The 183 countries which have signed up to the Chemical Weapons Convention meet every five years in The Hague. The treaty is unique, not only in that it forbids a whole category of
weapons of mass destruction but also because it enforces intensive inspections to ensure that countries are not secretly manufacturing the chemical agents.” (Radio Netherlands; 07Apr08; Hans de Vreij)

Israel stages 5-day civil defence exercise
“Israel launched a 5-day civil defence exercise on Sunday that will include simulated chemical and biological attacks on the Jewish state. Israeli media have reported a rise in tension along Israel’s northern border with Syria in tandem with news of the civil defence drill. Israeli officials said there had been no unusual Syrian
military movements. ‘I want to make it crystal clear that this is an exercise, and nothing but a routine exercise,’ Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said at the start of Israel’s weekly cabinet meeting, adding, ‘The Syrians know this and I hope they are assimilating this.’” (Daily Times; 07Apr08)

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: