War on Terrorism

Monday, April 14, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 14, 2008

Mock clinic tests officials' response to anthrax cases
“Dakota Meadows sure smiled a lot for a 14-year-old having seizures. ‘I thought it was going to be more like a pandemic broke out and it would be something like [the movie I Am Legend],’ the Johnston Middle School eighth-grader said after feigning illness Saturday during an emergency exercise on Des Moines' south side. Unlike the 2007 movie featuring Will Smith, Meadows wasn't the only one left standing. He and the rest of Boy Scout Troop 98 survived being ‘patients’ in a test to see how well health department officials would respond to an anthrax outbreak. Health officials created a mock clinic at McCombs Middle School with 83 patients to see how fast medication could be dispensed to people potentially exposed to the bacterium, which can cause a serious disease.” (Des Moines Register; 13Apr08; Tom Barton)

FGCU [Florida Gulf Coast University] receives $1.5M to continue biodefense program
“Florida Gulf Coast University got a major grant to continue one of the nation’s top biodefense programs. The program is geared towards protecting our troops against deadly chemicals like ricin and anthrax in the
war on terror. In four years, the university has received $3.5 million to develop new ways to destroy bio-threat toxins.” (WBBH; 11Apr08; Blake Burman)

Sen. Seeks Review of Md.
Army Lab Risks
“U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said Thursday she will seek a health and safety review of the Army's planned biodefense laboratory expansion at Fort Detrick [Frederick, Md.], an installation virtually surrounded by homes and businesses. ‘While we continue to build the
technology to keep us safe from new challenges and new threats from predators, we must also remember that public safety must be our top priority,’ Mikulski, D-Md., said in a statement.” (Associated Press; 11Apr08)

Universal Detection
Technology Receives Purchase Order for Anthrax Detection Kits From Israeli Security Firm
“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 purchase orders for its Anthrax kits from an Israeli security firm. The purchase order was placed by an Israeli security firm active in providing security solutions to clients all over Israel.” (Prime Newswire; 11Apr08) http://biz.yahoo.com/pz/080411/139938.html

Charge eyed against consultancy head over weapons disposal in China
“Prosecutors have decided to build a case against a former president of Pacific Consultants International and others on suspicion of causing damage to the consultancy firm PCI over a chemical weapons disposal project in China, according to sources familiar with the case. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office suspects the 71-year-old former head and others padded bills totaling 120 million yen in the name of outsourcing business from PCI, based in Tokyo, to other companies in fiscal 2004 and 2005, the sources said.” (Japan Times; 14Apr08) http://search.japantimes.co.jp/rss/nn20080414a3.html

Safe 'Green' Decontamination Method Detoxifies Nerve Agents In Chemical Weapons And Pesticides
“Research by two Queen's University 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 defence 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; 11Apr08) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080408132133.htm

Professor Develops Device for Chemical Identification
“A BYU chemistry professor has developed a device able to identify the chemical composition of a substance. The portable project, which Professor Milton Lee has worked on since fall 2002, was licensed to Utah-based company Torion Technologies Inc. in March. About the size of a briefcase, the device was originally intended for the
military, to be used in the field to detect chemical threats. Because of its nature, the U.S.
Department of State helped fund much of its progress.” (BYU News Net; 14Apr08; Autumn Buys) http://nn.byu.edu/story.cfm/68330

Decision delay on chemical plant claims may not be a bad thing
“The claims are part of an eight-year-old program initiated at the end of the Clinton administration to compensate workers who contracted cancer from working at nuclear weapons plants during the Cold War. The old Blockson plant processed phosphorous for soap and detergents. The plant also extracted uranium from the phosphorous for use in nuclear weapons. The board at one time was to make a decision on the petition, called a special cohort petition, in January. But that vote was delayed again last week when two board members raised questions about methods being used to determine whether cancer cases could be linked to chemical exposure at the Blockson plant, said an aide from Sen. Barack Obama's office who was at the board meeting in Tampa, Fla. But the board also permitted 91 Blockson claims that were previously denied to be recalculated.” (Chicago Sun-Times; 13Apr08; Sting Wire Reports) http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/892683,chemicalplant041308.article

Russian town is so toxic even the mayor wants it closed down
“Harsh winters, polluted air, crumbling apartment blocks – the residents of many Russian towns might feel that they have cause for complaint. But in Chapayevsk, a town of about 70,000 inhabitants in European Russia, the mayor himself has suggested a novel way of solving the town's problems – abandon it. You can hardly blame him – 96 per cent of all children there are deemed unhealthy. Chapayevsk, close to the Volga river and the city of Samara, is home to factories that produced chemical weapons for many years, and is blighted by air and soil pollution. According to the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta, at a round table meeting on the environment in Samara this week, the town's mayor, Nikolai Malakhov, said that resettling the town's residents would be an ‘ideal solution’ to Chapayevsk's problems.”(Independent; 13Apr08; Shaun Walker) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/europe/russian-town-is-so-toxic-even-the-mayor-wants-it-closed-down-808489.html

leader commends Military Chemical Unit
“Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh bestowed the Ho Chi Minh Order on the
Military Chemical Unit Saturday and asked the force to be ready to defend the nation against any threats that may emerge in the future. At a ceremony held to mark the 50th anniversary of the unit’s founding, General Secretary Manh analyzed the complicated developments in the world and the region and urged the force to advise the Central Military Party Committee and the Defense Ministry as to the best way to protect the nation against chemical weapons.” (Thanhnien News; 13Apr08)

Bacteria tails could protect against 'dirty' bomb
“A drug made out of Salmonella can protect mice and monkeys from high doses of radiation. It might help protect rescuers who have to enter a radioactive area after attack with a nuclear or
dirty bomb, and also cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. People die of radiation sickness when radiation kills cells lining the gut, as well as those in the bone marrow that gives rise to vital blood cells. The cells die because radiation activates the natural programme of cell death, apoptosis. Andrei Gudkov and colleagues at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, reasoned that turning off apoptosis could offer a way to combat radiation sickness, and one way to do that is by activating an immune signaling chemical called NF-B. Oddly, the flagella of benign Salmonella bacteria that normally live in the intestine can do this, as they like to keep the gut cells they nestle against alive.” (New Scientist; 11Apr08; Debora MacKenzie) http://www.newscientist.com/channel/health/dn13652-bacteria-tails-could-protect-against-dirty-bomb-.html?feedId=online-news_rss20

Report on terror drill highlights problems
“During a major
terrorism exercise last year in which mock ‘dirty bombs’ went off in two major U.S. cities and Guam, officials had problems working with radiation experts and relaying the extent of the damage to the public, according to a federal report released Thursday. U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials met in Oklahoma City on Thursday for a closed-door conference with state and local emergency responders to discuss the preliminary results of the October 2007 exercise.” (KATU, Associated Press; 11Apr08; Sean Murphy) http://www.katu.com/news/local/17547349.html

terrorists are using the internet to contact supporters
“Terror suspects held at one of Britain's most secure jails are secretly accessing the internet to contact their supporters. The discovery raises fears that some of the UK's most dangerous
terrorists could be plotting new attacks from inside prison. […] The jail's current prisoners include Abu Doha, who is accused of plotting to bomb Los Angeles Airport, and Dhiren Barot, who was jailed for life for planning terror attacks, including one using a radioactive ‘dirty’ bomb.” (Daily Mail; 13Apr08; Jason Lewis) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=559283&in_page_id=1766&ito=1490

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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