War on Terrorism

Friday, April 11, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 11, 2008

Use Data Capture Technology To Prepare For Emergencies
“The Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) is a federally funded pilot program introduced to help U.S. cities increase their capacity to deliver medicines and medical supplies during a large-scale public health emergency, such as a bioterrorism attack, flu pandemic, or nuclear accident. […] ‘We determined that working within the 48-hour time constraint would be impossible using paper-based methods to capture information from, store, and retrieve the forms,’ [Steve Mier, Chicago Department of Public Health’s director of administration] says. […] The solution devised by EKI comprises Datacap’s Taskmaster data capture software, Kodak and BÖWE BELL + HOWELL scanners, and an IBM FileNet enterprise content management (ECM) system.” (Enterprise Content Management News and Solutions; 09Apr08) http://www.ecmconnection.com/content/news/article.asp?DocID=%7BE0E27542-1FA3-4959-B807-E26566CC3BEF%7D&Bucket=Supplier+News&VNETCOOKIE=NO

Researchers Pursuing Nasal Anthrax Vaccine
American researchers have developed a nasal spray anthrax vaccine that provides protection against the potentially deadly bacterium, at least in mice. […] ‘This study is an early stage study,’ said one of the authors, Mingtao Zeng, an assistant professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. ‘It can be administered through the mucosa, and it generated an immune response and protected against anthrax. We're very excited about this.’ [… ]In an attempt to simplify the vaccine procedure, so it could be administered nasally and without the need for so many booster shots, the University of Rochester researchers ‘detoxified’ the lethal factor, creating what they called mutant lethal factor (mLF).” (US News & World Report; Serena Gordon; 10Apr08) http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/healthday/080410/researchers-pursuing-nasal-anthrax-vaccine.htm

Think you know the Health Department? [North Andover, Maryland]
“The department’s main focus right now is bioterrorism. North Andover is part of the region’s Bioterrorism/Public Health Coalition, and recently joined the Greater River Valley Medical Reserve Corps. […] When a resident contacts the Health Department with a food poisoning case, the department will call the person’s doctor and the state to see if there are other outbreaks.” (Wicked Local North Andover; 10Apr08; Sarah Wolfe)

Politicians fret over
military gear resold on eBay, Craigslist
“Controversy over reselling
military equipment is hardly new. In recent years, the same subcommittee determined that the Defense Department itself was selling top-grade chemical protective suits and items that could be used to make a biological warfare laboratory to the public. Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), the subcommittee's ranking member, said he was concerned that the military doesn't have a good enough system in place for keeping tabs on its inventory. […] Charles Beardall, the Department of Defense's deputy inspector general for investigations, said his agency has been actively investigating such sales since the early 1990s, and such investigations compose 20 percent of its caseload.” (Cnet News; 10Apr08; Anne Broache) http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9916239-7.html

Malaysia extends detention of five suspected Islamic militants
“Malaysia's government has extended the imprisonment without trial of five alleged Islamic militants, including a former
army captain accused of helping the Sept. 11 hijackers, a human rights group said Thursday. […] Yazid [Sufaat], a U.S.-trained biochemist, was arrested in late 2001 when he returned home from Afghanistan, where he was suspected of working on a biological and chemical weapons program. Security officials have said that Yazid, 44, described the program he was developing for al-Qaida as being in the ‘conceptual stages’ when their plans were interrupted by the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan.” (PR Inside; 10Apr08; Associated Press) http://www.pr-inside.com/malaysia-extends-detention-of-five-suspected-r529623.htm

Universal Detection
Technology Featured on Chinese Language Television Channel, LA18
“With the coming of the Chinese Olympics Games, Chinese authorities and companies have become very interested in cutting edge technologies for bioterrorism detection. UDTT has recently received purchase orders for five-agent bioterrorism detection kits and antimicrobial products from Kadinuo Science and
Technology in Beijing. […] There have been recent reports of terrorist activity in China. The Chinese Government has warned that terrorists pose the biggest risk to this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing. Officials say they foiled two plots, one to bring down an airliner, and another to disrupt the summer games. The Chinese government has also stepped up efforts in bio-security to ward off possible bio-terrorism during the coming Olympics.” (Market Wire; 10Apr08)

Watchdog Agency: Treaty to Eliminate Chemical Weapons ‘Is Succeeding’
“The agency responsible for implementing the international Chemical Weapons Convention has reported that steady progress is being made to eliminate global stockpiles of chemical weapons and the means to produce them, but warned that a dozen countries must still join the treaty -- including five in the Middle East -- before universal compliance can be assured. […] The Russian Federation has destroyed nearly a quarter of its declared stockpiles and expressed confidence it will achieve destruction of 45% by 2009. For its part, the United States of America has already destroyed half of its declared stockpile and is ahead of its second intermediate deadline. Another State Party is expected to complete destruction of its stockpiles in 2008, India by April 2009, and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya by 2011.” (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons; 08Apr08) http://www.opcw.org/rc2/index.html

Carbon Dioxide: Good for Something?
“For instance, CO2 could take the place of the poisonous gas phosgene in production of certain plastics, according to findings released this week at a meeting of the
American Chemical Society by Toshiyasu Sakakura of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan. [...] Sakakura and colleagues developed a new catalyst that efficiently converts CO2 and methanol into a plastic precursor whose synthesis currently requires phosgene. Phosgene, which is derived from petroleum, is particularly nasty. It was used as a chemical warfare agent in World War I.” (Discovery News; 10Apr08; Jessica Marshall) http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/04/10/carbon-dioxide-plastic.html

Guinea pigs tell a testing tale
“Chemical Warfare in Australia, published by the Australian Army History Collection and Australian
Military History Publications, focuses on personnel involved in the maintenance and testing of chemicals imported as a retaliatory plan against Japan. It documents the secrecy of production, storage, transportation and disposal of chemicals […] They [the personnel] were guinea pigs for mustard gas and had excruciating burns yet were ribbed for not getting their hands dirty. They were the Australian soldiers whose job it was to test chemical weapons in World War II and they were, until recently, the forgotten men of our war history. That is, until a Berowra resident stumbled across a document detailing the dumping of hazardous materials at sea. […] Some died from the toxic chemicals and many have related illnesses today.” (The Hornsby and Upper North Shore Advocate; 09Apr08; Julie Huffer) http://www.hornsbyadvocate.com.au/article/2008/04/09/2015_stepping_out.html

Tass [news agency] photo show on weapons destruction opens in the Hague
“A photo show of the Itar-Tass news agency on the destruction of chemical weapons in Russia opened on Thursday in the Hague. Representatives from 183 countries members [sic] of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), diplomats, politicians and reporters took part in a ceremony to unveil the photo show. It features 65 photos taken by Tass photographers especially for the exhibition at five Russian chemical weapons disposal sites.” (ITAR-TASS News Agency; 10Apr09) http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12569744&PageNum=0

Qatar’s role in weapons prohibition hailed
“The International Weapons Prohibition Organisation based in The Hague, Holland, has lauded Qatar for backing the Organisation and its role in promoting the cause of weapons prohibition within the country as well as abroad […] The Qatari ambassador to the Netherlands and the resident envoy to the Weapons Prohibition Committee met with Roheleo Berteer, head of the Weapons Prohibition Organisation.” (The Peninsula; 10Apr08) http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=April2008&file=Local_News2008041022837.xml

UAE calls for stronger international cooperation on non-restricted use of chemicals
“The United Arab Emirates has called on the international community to further boost cooperation on the use of chemicals for non-restricted purposes. […] The UAE calls were made on Wednesday by its Ambassador to the Netherlands Ali Thani Al Suwaidi who heads the UAE delegation to the Second Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention […].”
(Business Intelligence Middle East; 10Apr08)

Drug to protect against radiation
“A drug which may protect the body against damage from radiation has been developed by US scientists. It is hoped it could make radiotherapy safer for people with cancer and could also be used in the event of a ‘
dirty bomb’ or nuclear disaster. […] It switches on a biological mechanism that helps healthy cells survive blasts of radiation. […] Researchers developed the drug after looking at how some resistant cancer cells are able to withstand radiotherapy.” (BBC News; 10Apr08) http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7341336.stm

Kazakhstan's Scary Uranium Ambitions
“A few months ago a train headed from Kyrgyzstan to Iran was turned back at the Uzbek border after it was found to be carrying highly radioactive material. It had already traveled through southern Kazakhstan without the substance being detected at border checkpoints. […] Already a leading producer of uranium, Kazakhstan intends to dominate the market by 2010. And it aims to move from simply selling raw uranium to exporting nuclear fuel. Kazakhstan holds the second largest reserves of uranium in the world, behind Australia. […] Greenpeace and other environmental groups expressed concern about nuclear proliferation over the Westinghouse deal. They argued that it would jeopardize global
security as Kazakhstan may become unstable in the future and terrorists may get hold of the technology to make a dirty bomb.” (Business Week; 09Apr08; Abdujalil

Israel concludes largest civil defence drill
“Israel wound up its largest ever civil defence exercise on Thursday with a simulation of a chemical weapons attack on a hospital and claimed the five days of drills worked well. In the final drill a hospital in the northern city of Afula was evacuated during a simulated chemical weapons strike, a
military spokesman said. The home front manoeuvre was aimed at preparing Israel for possible attacks involving conventional weapons as well as missiles equipped with chemical or bacteriological warheads.”
(Agence France Presse; 10Apr08)

Syria Plans Emergency Drill amid Fears of War with Israel
“As Israel conducts a big civil-defense drill this week, Syria will hold an unprecedented exercise to test the readiness of the home front for a possible Israeli attack. The drill was announced on state-run Radio Damascus. […] The announcement said the drill will take place in all of Syria's provinces and will test the country's readiness and ability to handle natural disasters and other emergencies.” (Huliq; 09Apr08) http://www.huliq.com/56461/syria-plans-emergency-drill-amid-fears-war-israel

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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