War on Terrorism

Thursday, April 10, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 9, 2008

U.S. Army Awards General Dynamics Contract for Biological Detection System Production and Support
“The U.S.
Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Acquisition Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., has awarded General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products a contract option worth approximately $43 million to produce and test Joint Biological Point Detection Systems (JBPDS).” (Carolina Newswire; 08Apr08) http://carolinanewswire.com/news/News.cgi?database=01news.db&command=viewone&id=2561&op=t

Commissioners to consider asking for study of Detrick lab expansion
“Frederick's commissioners will vote Thursday whether to ask Sen. Barbara Mikulski to support a National Research Council study of plans to expand biodefense labs at Fort Detrick. […] Gardner said the study would be both more informative and less confrontational than a lawsuit that had been proposed earlier. […] USAMRIID [U.S.
Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases] doesn't believe another study is necessary, [Caree Vander Linden, AMRIID’s spokeswoman] wrote. […] Last year, a NRC study of a proposed BSL-4 lab at Boston University found that a risk assessment for that lab wasn't based on sound and credible science. As a result of the NRC study, the National Institutes of Health, one of the lab's sponsors, are undertaking more reviews of the project, which will likely delay the lab's opening.” (Frederick News Post; 08Apr08; Justin M. Palk)

DoD [U.S. Department of Defense] funds development of anthrax vaccine patch
“Iomai Corp., a biotechnology company that specializes in needle-free vaccines, announced today that it will receive a grant from the US Department of Defense (DoD) to fund preclinical development of a patch-based anthrax vaccine. The 1-year grant to Iomai, based in Gaithersburg, Md., will be in the form of a $943,856 cost reimbursement from the US
Army Medical Research and Material Command, according to a press release from Iomai.” (Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy [CIDRAP]; 08Apr08; Lisa Schnirring) http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/bt/anthrax/news/apr0808anthrax.html

Israeli intel projects a one-month war with Syria
“Israel's intelligence community has concluded that the next war would involve missiles and H[e]zbullah, last at least a month and include Syria. The intelligence community has drafted a series of scenarios for Israel's emergency services to prepare for future war. The scenarios envisioned the next war as including massive missile and rocket salvos, some of them containing chemical weapons, on Israeli cities.” (World Tribune; 08Apr08) http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2008/me_israel0033_04_08.asp

Israel in the Crosshairs
security cabinet convened Wednesday, April 2, to examine the homeland's preparedness for war. It decided to redistribute the bio/chemical warfare masks a few months after they were called in. DEBKAfile's [Israeli website] military sources disclose intelligence data indicating the possibility that Syria may transfer to Hezbollah chemical or biological warheads known to have been developed for its war arsenal. […] A cursory perusal of Israel’s leading newspapers and Internet news sites does not reveal that it is about to move to a full war-footing, but that might just be part of the effort to deceive the militias poised in Lebanon and Gaza, as well as the military forces being massed in Syria.
The Syrians are still smarting from a recent Israeli attack on structures said to contain possible nuclear or other WMDs.” (Israel e News; 09Apr08; Alan Caruba)

Safe 'Green' Decontamination Method Detoxifies Nerve Agents In Chemical Weapons And Pesticides
“Research by two Queen's University [Ontario, Canada] scientists has resulted in an exciting new method for rapidly and safely destroying toxic agents such as chemical weapons and pesticides. […] Recently completed testing by an independent European defen[s]e corporation has shown the researchers’ method to be greater than 99 per cent effective when used on the deadly nerve agents Tabun, Soman and VX.” (Science Daily; 08Apr08; adapted from Queen’s University materials) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408132133.htm

Consultancy firm probed over shady deals tied to ODA projects
“Major consultancy firm Pacific Consultants International made payments totalling [sic] about 25 million yen to influential people in Costa Rice [sic] and other nations in the period 2000 to 2004, to enable it to carry out agricultural and other surveys for official development assistance projects, sources said Tuesday. Tokyo-based PCI was previously found to have misappropriated government funds earmarked for the disposal of chemical weapons left in China by the former Imperial Japanese
(Yomiuri Shimbun; 09Apr08)

CU [University of Colorado,
Boulder] wins chemical warfare grant
“The $1.2 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Defense Department's Defense Threat Reduction Agency asks CU researchers to develop breathable, thin-film membranes that can be used to make protective suits or building filtration systems that filter out harmful molecules, CU said Tuesday.”
(Denver Business Journal; 08Apr08)

Iraqi culture in the~firing line
“Filmmaking was hampered under Saddam's regime, and for some unexpected reasons. The UN trade embargo prevented the import of film stock because the chemicals used to develop it were classified as dual use: that is, the UN considered they could be used to produce chemical weapons.” (The Australian; 09Apr08; Michael Bodey) http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23508228-16947,00.html

UN [United Nations] chief calls for world free of chemical weapons
“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged on Monday Member States to work toward a world free of chemical weapons. […] He noted that, because of the Convention, some 27,000 tons of chemical weapon agents and 2.9 million chemical munitions and containers have been destroyed.” (People’s Daily, China; 08Apr08; Xinhua) http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90856/6388290.html

Destruction of chemical weapons top priority of convention, China says
“China said Tuesday that the complete destruction of chemical weapons within the deadline remains the top priority of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). [Cheng Jingye, head of the Chinese delegation] asked Japan to initiate as soon as possible the destruction process for chemical weapons it had abandoned in China. […] A new implementation roadmap has been worked out for the following five years.” (Window of China; 08Apr08; Wang Hongjiang) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-04/08/content_7941660.htm

Boost for chemical weapons treaty
“IRAQ and Lebanon will be the latest signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention at this week’s meeting in The Hague in The Netherlands, providing a significant boost to the United Nations’ (UN’s) most successful treaty.” (Business Day; 09Apr08; Hopewell Radebe)

Statement to the Second Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention [by Amb. Eric M. Javits, Head of the United States Delegation]
“I warmly welcome the Republic of the Congo, the newest member of the Convention, into our organization. Other states -- Iraq, Lebanon, Guinea Bissau, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas -- are on the verge of accession, and I urge them to take the final steps to join us as soon as possible. For those few states remaining outside the Convention, we must renew our efforts to urge ratification and accession. Unless and until our membership is truly universal, we will not fully meet the aims of the Convention. […] The destruction of chemical weapons is fundamental to the Convention. Those of us who possess chemical weapons have special responsibilities to secure these weapons, to declare them, and to destroy them under international monitoring. Destruction has not been as rapid as any of us would wish. Most possessors of chemical weapons were forced to seek extensions to their original 10-year deadline. But destruction is proceeding. Albania has completed its destruction. India and another State Party are nearing completion. The United States, with the second-largest stockpile in the world, has destroyed over 51 percent of its chemical weapons.” (U.S. Department of State; 07Apr08; Eric M. Javits) http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/rm/103312.htm

Radioactive substance stolen in Japan:
“A sealed metal container holding a small amount of iridium 192 was stolen on Monday from the office near Tokyo of a company that inspects industrial products,
police said. Iridium 192 is commonly used in cancer radiation treatment but it is also cited in scenarios by anti-terrorism investigators as an ingredient for a makeshift nuclear bomb. Police said they did not know the motive of whoever stole the substance from the office of Non-Destructive Inspection Co. Ltd in the Tokyo suburb of Ichihara.” (The Anatolian Times; 08Apr08; Associated Press) http://www.anatoliantimes.com/hbr2.asp?id=&s=int&a=080408072558.a65jti4h

EMS [emergency management system]: preparing for every disaster [Johannesburg, South Africa]
“Johannesburg's emergency management services (EMS) is leaving nothing to chance in preparing for the 2010 Fifa World Cup™, and is learning new lessons from the best in the field. […] Over 1,000 Johannesburg metro
police department (JMPD) officers have already been trained in level three first aid. Likewise, the City's healthcare services will be strengthened to create a link to the EMS. […] Although an expensive capability, the EMS has already trained 56 individuals in terrorism and biological warfare. Training is done with the assistance of United States expertise and the South African National Defence Force. Hazardous material technicians have also been added to the growing specialist base. “ (JoBurg; 08Apr08; Emily Visser)

Sirens wail in Israel as part of largest ever civil defen[s]e drill [an update]
“The drill, dubbed ‘Turning Point 2,’ began Monday and will include, among other scenarios, simulated missile attacks on towns in populated areas. Rescue services will simulate mass evacuation from hit zones - including those hit with chemical and biological weapons - and hospitals will practi[c]e treating thousands of casualties. […] ‘I believe an initial strike on Israel would see hundreds of missiles hit us ... all of Israel will be within range of Syrian and Hezbollah missiles,’ [Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure Benjamin Ben-Elizer] said.” (The Earth Times;

Fears of Iraq Becoming a
Terrorist Incubator Seem Overblown, French Say
“Judge Jean-Louis Bruguière, France’s senior counterterrorism magistrate at the time, later warned that Iraq was a ‘black hole sucking up all the elements located in Europe.’ Some of them were coming back to Europe, he added, and some of those were armed with chemical and biological weapons training. […] The logistical challenges and expense of reaching Iraq has been one deterrent, [French and other European intelligence and
law enforcement officials] said, particularly with Syria’s making episodic efforts to halt the use of its territory as a transit route. Compared with the thousands of European Muslims who joined the fight in Afghanistan in the 1990s through organized networks in Britain, the number of fighters going to Iraq has been extremely small, according to senior French intelligence officials.” (The New York Times; 08Apr08; Elaine Sciolino) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/08/world/europe/08terror.html?ref=europe

Homeland Security Secretary Michael] Chertoff urges constant vigilance
“Comparing Islamic radicalism to communism, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff warned Yale students Monday that the United States will have to be on guard against the threat of
terrorism for at least a generation. […] Chertoff wandered from the threat of the British empire against the young American confederacy to the power of a single rogue dissenter in the 21st century to kill thousands or even hundreds of thousands through the use of biological or chemical weapons. […] ‘I’ve laid out what some of you may think is a grim scenario about what we face in the world,’ he acknowledged. ‘On the one hand, the Cold War is gone… On the other hand, we have a much more disorderly set of threats, much more networked, much more widely distributed, much more difficult to deter and, unfortunately, much better enabled to carry out acts of violence.’” (Yale Daily News; 08Apr08; Thomas Kaplan)

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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