War on Terrorism

Thursday, April 24, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 21, 2008

Bioterrorism experts speak at CCCD’s [McKinney, Texas] Central Park campus
“The anthrax attacks in 2001 gained much national attention but this particular bioterrorism attack was not the first in the United States. Years before in 1984, a group called the Rajneeshee Cult tainted local salad bars in
Oregon with salmonella in order to sway the outcome of a local election. Salmonella, even in doses as small as 15 to 20 cells, can wreak havoc on the human body and cause a large number of people to become ill very quickly. ‘That’s what makes a good bioterrorism agent an agent,’ said Janet Glowicz, Collin County epidemiologist. ‘It doesn’t take much to make many people sick.’ Glowicz and Eileen Prentice, who serves on the Collin County Bioterrorism Team, gave a presentation on bioterrorism to students at Collin County Community College’s Central Park Campus.” (McKinney Courier-Gazette; 20Apr08; Stefanie White) http://www.mckinneymessenger.com/articles/2008/04/20/mckinney_courier-gazette/news/rnews02.txt

Bioterrorism detection gets a boost
“Hospitals are likely to be the first line of defense against a bioterrorism scare if one were ever to occur. A slow trickle of exposed or infected patients could show up in the emergency department with a range of symptoms. Rapid and reliable detection of the bioterror agent is the key to combating it successfully. Hopkins researchers have made a great leap forward with the development of a new test for potentially dangerous bacteria.” (The Johns Hopkins News-Letter; 17Apr08; Barbara Ha) http://media.www.jhunewsletter.com/media/storage/paper932/news/2008/04/17/Science/Bioterrorism.Detection.Gets.A.Boost-3334305.shtml

Week In Review: Motel Room Contained Enough Ricin To Kill 522
“The man arrested Wednesday for possession of ricin, a poison considered to be a weapon of mass destruction, had enough of the illegal toxin inside his
Las Vegas motel room to kill about 522 people, authorities said. Roger Von Bergendorff, 57, was brought into U.S. Magistrate Peggy Leen's courtroom in a wheelchair on Wednesday to face charges that included possession of unregistered firearms, possession of firearms not identified by a serial number and possession of a biological toxin.” (Las Vegas Review Journal; 20Apr08) http://www.lvrj.com/news/17953724.html

Chemical Weapon Residue May Be Buried Under Neighborhoods [Orlando, Fla.]
Orange County's [Florida] troubles with old bombs are much worse than imagined. Channel 9 obtained a map from the Army Corps of Engineers late Friday afternoon showing a 3.5 square-mile part of east Orange County that could have been built on an old WWII bombing area. The area includes an interstate, a hospital, schools and thousands of houses. The question is, were any of those homes built on top of dangerous chemicals or bombs? Neighbors are concerned and understandably so. When bombs were found near the Lee Vista area, home values plunged. As kids went home for the weekend Friday, no one had heard the news that Chickasaw Elementary School will soon be tested with magnetometers that can detect half-century-old munitions deep in the soil.” (WFTV; 18Apr08) http://www.wftv.com/news/15924420/detail.html

Center Helps CBIRF [Chemical and Biological Incident Response Force] Keep US Safe
“Training on a regular basis on how to operate in a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive incident, helps keep CBIRF Marines and Sailors focused on saving lives in a contaminated area. Although they have responded to incidents like the ricin and anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill, realistic training in realistic environments is necessary to keep them from becoming complacent, said Cpl. Elizabeth Russell, field radio operator, Headquarters and Service Company, CBIRF. […] This training was all too real to CBIRF
Marines and Sailors. It was similar to a 1995 terrorist attack in Tokyo, Japan, when perpetrators released sarin gas on several lines of the metropolitan transient system. Because of this attack, CBIRF came into fruition in 1996.” (Military.com;
17Apr08) http://www.military.com/news/article/marine-corps-news/center-helps-cbirf-keep-us-safe.html?col=1186032366495

Lithuania to exchange chemical weapons information
“From April 7-18, Lithuania put forward a proposal to voluntarily exchange information on chemical weapons dumped at sea in The Hague at the Second Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention. Although the Chemical Weapons Convention is not applied to those chemical weapons which had been dumped at sea until 1985, Lithuania holds dumped chemical weapons an integral part of the disarmament problem and putting forward this proposal, Lithuania seeks to encourage countries to voluntarily exchange information regarding the issue. Lithuania invites Director-General of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Rogelio Pfirter to look for possibilities for the cooperation among countries, making use of the experience of this organisation.” (The Baltic Times;

Vietnam pledges efforts for chemical weapons-free world
“Vietnam will join other nations to fulfill the commitments to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in a bid to build a world free of chemical weapons and for the sake of global peace,
security and development. The Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the OPCW, Ambassador Ha Huy Thong, made the promise at the second special session of the OPCW to review the operation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) over the past fives years that convened in The Hague, the Netherlands, from April 7-18.” (Nhan Dan; 21Apr08) http://www.nhandan.com.vn/english/news/210408/domestic_v.htm

World shifts chemical disarmament focus onto rogue attackers
“The nightmare scenario of a mass-scale chemical attack by extremists and the panic which would ensue has created a new role for the body set up to rid the world of chemical weapons. Diplomats at the 10-day Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) review conference in The Hague this weekend adopted a new target deadline of 2012 for 183 member states to destroy their stockpiles. But while 12 countries have yet to sign up to the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention treaty or the mission's amended goals, including North Korea and Middle East heavyweights Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Syria they also gave the OPCW an expanded mandate.” (AFP; 20Apr08) http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hggQ5lL3XKXaYxT-Dq6iwHwmSZ1Q

NY tower plans found in rubbish
“A homeless man has found confidential blueprints for New York's new Freedom Tower dumped in a city rubbish bin. […] Mike Fleming handed the documents - marked ‘Secure Document – Confidential’ in to the New York Post newspaper. The blueprints reveal details of the new building's floor plans, along with the specifications of its concrete walls and its heating and ventilation systems. Steve Yang, an architect who spoke to the New York Post, said that the plans would have been helpful for a
terrorist planning an attack. ‘An expert in explosives, demolition or biological weapons certainly could glean enough here to develop a game plan,’ he said.” (BBC News; 18Apr08) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7355139.stm

Biggest Think [Book Review]
“[Professor at Columbia University Philip] Bobbitt contends that the world is in transition from nation states to ‘market states’ whose strategic reason for being ‘is the protection of civilians, not simply territory or national wealth or any particular dynasty, class, religion or ideology.’ This shift, he argues, has huge implications for counterterrorism, because future
terrorists -- particularly if they possess nuclear or biological weapons -- may threaten the legitimacy of the market state. ‘Almost every widely held idea we currently entertain about twenty-first century terrorism and its relationship to the Wars against Terror,’ he says, ‘is wrong.’” (Washington Post; 20Apr08; Daniel Byman) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/17/AR2008041703289.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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