War on Terrorism

Sunday, May 11, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- May 9, 2008

Hoffman Estates [Illinois] seeks volunteers for bioterrorism drill
“Hoffman Estates officials are looking for 2,000 to 3,000 volunteers next week to participate in a bioterrorism exercise in return for department store coupons and tickets to an indoor football game. The volunteers are needed for a large-scale drill, planned for Tuesday at the Sears Centre arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy., to test how medicine would be distributed to victims of a public-health emergency. […] During a large medical emergency, such as a terrorist biological attack, the Cook County Department of Public Health would need to dispense medication to those exposed to a disease, Christensen said. The goal of the drill is to test how long it takes to screen people and provide them with medication.” (Chicago Tribune; 07May08; Ken Manson)

Simulated Mass Dispensing Exercise [Lawrence Douglas County, Kansas]
“I [journalist Ronda Miller] received an email from the Lawrence Douglas County Health Department a couple of days ago asking for volunteers for a simulated mass dispensing exercise at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. It took place today from 11:00 a.m. until 1:30 P.M. […] I was there for approximately twenty minutes before receiving my pretend antibiotics (individual bags of M&M's which represented one perscription [sic] each for myself and my two children), an informational fact sheet about Anthrax, and information about Doxycycline - the oral tablet that would be given for such an illness. Thank you Douglas County and all of the volunteer professionals and citizens who helped put this practice system into play.” (Lawrence Journal World & News; 07May08; Ronda Miller) http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/at-random/2008/may/07/simulated-mass-dispensing-exercise/

Universal Detection
Technology Invited to Present Its BSM-2000 Anthrax Detection Technology At the IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers] International Conference On Technologies for Homeland Security
“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 will present the technology for its BSM-2000 airborne anthrax monitor in a poster session at the IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security. The conference is being held at the Westin Hotel in Waltham, Massachusetts on May 12-13.” (Prime News Wire; 07May08; Jacques Tizabi) http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=142106

Sequim [Wahington state], Battelle find way to expand utilities
“Battelle and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have run their
Marine Research Operations campus northeast of Sequim since the mid-1970s, raising annual contracts to $15 million last year. In labs along Sequim Bay, scientists conduct research on chemicals' effects on the environment, how mollusks can be used to detect bioterrorism and how algae can generate hydrogen fuel. […] Battelle has already brought in Peninsula College students to work with researchers on a range of environmental problems, Briggs added. […] The labs now have 80 people on staff.” (Peninsula Daily News; 06May08; Diane Urbani de la Paz)

DOR BioPharma Acquires Option for Third-Generation Anthrax Vaccine From Harvard University
“The option, which was obtained through negotiation with Harvard University's Office of
Technology Development, encompasses an issued U.S. patent that covers engineered variants of protective antigen (PA) developed in the Harvard Medical School laboratory of Dr. John Collier. PA is the principal determinant of protective immunity to anthrax and is being developed for second- and third-generation anthrax vaccines.” (Market Wire; 08May08) http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release.do?id=853801

NIH [National Institutes of Health] awards LIAI [La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology] major grant to test safety of new smallpox treatment
“The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology (LIAI) has received a $7.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to fund safety and effectiveness testing of an antibody treatment that quickly fights the smallpox virus. The treatment could be the nations first line of defense in protecting against a terrorist-originated smallpox outbreak and may eventually be stockpiled nationwide alongside the smallpox vaccine. […] LIAI scientist Shane Crotty, Ph.D., who developed the antibody treatment, said the NIH grant will fund pre-clinical testing of the work he and his research team started three years ago. In 2005, the researchers, studying blood samples from people who had received the smallpox vaccine, were able to isolate the anti-H3 antibody as an extremely potent fighter against smallpox. The scientists then proved its effectiveness by testing in mice.” (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News; 08May08; Bonnie Ward) http://www.genengnews.com/news/bnitem.aspx?name=35250240

Court of appeals to hear Locy arguments tomorrow
“On Friday, the U.S.
Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., will hear Toni Locy’s appeal of a contempt finding that could impose crippling fines on the former USA Today reporter. Former Army scientist Steven Hatfill first subpoenaed Locy as a witness in his Privacy Act suit against the government for naming him as a ‘person of interest’ in its investigation into the 2001 anthrax mailings that killed five people and left 17 others injured.~U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton informed Hatfill that he could not succeed on his claim without pinpointing specific sources within the government who released such information.~Hatfill subsequently subpoenaed five reporters to ascertain the identities of the anonymous sources that named him in news stories about the investigation. His efforts turned up three sources – including two of Locy’s – who voluntarily released the reporters from their promises of confidentiality.” (The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; 08May08; Matthew Pollack) http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=6740

Molecular diagnostics report: technologies, markets, and companies
“Research and Markets has announced the addition of the Jain PharmaBiotech report ‘Molecular Diagnostics - Technologies, Markets and Companies’ to their offering. This report describes and evaluates the molecular diagnostics technologies that will play an important role in practice of medicine, public health, pharmaceutical industry, forensics and biological warfare in the 21st century. This includes several polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based technologies, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), peptide nucleic acids (PNA), electrochemical detection of DNA, biochips, nanotechnology and proteomic technologies.” (Small Times; 07May08; Laura Wood)

Threat level low, but two sites on Maui might merit further cleanup
“According to new draft reports by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, an undetermined amount of unexploded munitions from practice bombing runs and target exercises remain in Maui County. Draft reports for four former target zones say a safety risk remains more than 60 years later, although the potential harm to the public appears to be fairly minimal. […] The members also detected ‘anomalies’ under the ground. Fifty soil samples were taken but revealed no dangerous toxins or metals.” (The Maui News; 08May08; Chris Hamilton) http://www.mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/503516.html?nav=10

700 mil. yen 'wasted' on disposal plan / Cabinet office focused on mechanized arms disposal in China against advice

“The government wasted at least 700 million yen on developing equipment that will never be used in the disposal of chemical weapons discarded in China by the Imperial Japanese
Army during World War Two, it has been learned. Already, in relation to the government-commissioned chemical arms disposal work, the former head of Pacific Consultants International, a major consultancy firm, was arrested in late April on suspicion of aggravated breach of trust over the misappropriation of funds given to the firm by the government. But it is now clear that at least 700 million yen from state coffers was wasted when the government office in charge of the work decided to scrap a plan to use machines to dig up the weapons in favor of a manual approach. This latest discovery highlights a further dubious aspect of the government-funded disposal work.” (The Yomiuri Shimbun; 08May08) http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20080508dy01.htm

Chinese, Japanese
leaders seek for new prospects for bilateral ties
“Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda held talks in Tokyo Wednesday to seek for new prospects for the two countries' strategic and mutually beneficial relations. Hu is on a five-day state visit to Japan, the first to the country by China's head of state in a decade. On national defense, proposed that the two countries strengthen high-level exchange of visits by defense departments of the two countries and expand multi-level exchanges and cooperation. […] The two
leaders also agreed to continue cooperation in facilitating the process of destroying chemical weapons abandoned by Japan in China at the end of World War Two, and on the issues of climate change, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and promoting regional cooperation in East Asia as well as support for Africa's development.” (People’s daily Online; 08May08; Xinhua) http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90776/90883/6406301.html

Crews deal with fake explosion in terror drill
[Whatcom County, Washington state] “The mood was jovial Tuesday afternoon as
military personnel moved ‘bloodied’ local high school students and dummies through a decontamination tent at the Northwest Washington Fair and Events Center. But officials say their experiences during the drill will come in handy if a major terrorist attack or natural disaster actually hits Whatcom County. […] Hundreds of troops from the U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army North joined state and local emergency responders dealing with a fake explosion of a tanker truck full of toxic chemicals, pretending it injured hundreds.” (The Bellingham Herald; 07May08; Caleb Heeringa) http://www.bellinghamherald.com/102/story/402462.html

36--Amendment of this Solicitation as Follows: this is 100% set aside for small business concerns.
“Department of the
Army Contracting Agency, North Region ACA, Aberdeen Proving Ground. This is a combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with the format in Subpart 12.6, and supplemented with additional information included in this notice. […] The Government contemplates award of a Firm-Fixed Price Contract. Description of Requirement: CLIN0001 1H x 2W Chemical Warfare Air Filter Unit (Bag in / Bag Out Housing), 1200cfm with the following
characteristics: 12 & 14 ga T304 Stainless steel construction with #2-B finish.” (Trading Markets; 06May08; Department of the Army) http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1513265/

Regional meeting on chemical weapons begins in Ecuador
“A regional meeting on chemical weapons non-proliferation attended by 19 Latin American and Caribbean countries started Tuesday in Ecuador's capital of Quito. Delegates from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPAQ) [OPCW] will also take part in the two-day meeting, the Ecuadorian foreign ministry said in a statement. Representatives will discuss efforts on dismantling and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to guarantee peace for the countries that do not own nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and prevent threats from countries with such weapons, it said.” (Mathaba News Agency; 08May08)

Padilla co-defendant challenges Indiana prison designation
“A man convicted along with one-time ‘dirty bomb’ suspect Jose Padilla of supporting al-Qaida wants a federal judge to block the government from sending him to a prison unit where his telephone calls, mail and visitors would be closely monitored. A lawyer for Kifah Wael Jayyousi, 46, claims the Communications Management Unit at the federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind., amounts to ‘cruel and unusual punishment’ and his inclusion in that unit is discriminatory because it is based partly on his Muslim faith and Arab ethnicity. Jayyousi wanted to do his time at a prison near his home in Detroit. But on April 30, he learned that he was going to the Indiana institution and that he would be placed in the special unit ‘to protect the safety, security and orderly operation of (prisons) facilities, and protect the public,’ court documents show. The unit's restrictions include live monitoring and recording of all phone calls unless they are with an inmate's lawyers. Calls must be made in English unless arrangements are made to have a government translator present, and all visits with family and friends are also monitored. Every piece of mail is reviewed.” (Chicago Tribune; 08May08; Curt Anderson) http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-sou-padilla-terrorch,0,4774033.story

Response teams train for disaster [Reno, Nevada]
“Members of two National Guard Civil Support Teams and the Reno Fire Department responded Monday to a report of a suspicious odor near Reno-Tahoe International Airport. It was a just a drill, but the reasons behind it were real. ‘We become familiar with how the other departments work, so we can respond to
terrorist attacks, natural disasters like earthquakes or a hazardous spill,’ said Sgt. Eulizes Montalvo, a member of the 95th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team from Hayward, Calif. Montalvo's team and the 92nd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team from Las Vegas are in Reno this week training with Reno's Hazardous Materials Response Team for chemical, biological, radiological, explosive and nuclear events. Operation Joint Support was staged Monday at the Nevada Air National Guard base near Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Similar training will occur Wednesday near the Stead Airport in north Reno.” (Reno Gazette-Journal; 06May08; Lenita Powers) http://www.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080506/NEWS04/805060350/1321/NEWS

Europe wary of US demand to scan shipping containers
“Europe's shipping and ports industry is anxiously awaiting the verdict of the United States on the feasibility of a massive increase in anti-terrorism scannning [sic] of shipping containers.~As the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) presents the results of three pilot projects to Congress on 8 May, the price tag of a full roll-out of the scheme looks increasingly unacceptable to European industry, which is backed in its opposition by the European Commission. […] The pilot projects involved 100% scanning of all containers bound for the US, using X-ray or gamma-ray imaging systems and radiation detection – an approach that is to be demanded by 2012 from all ports that ship containers to US territory. The US administration reported that one of the projects – in the UK port of Southampton – ‘seems to be successful.’” (European Voice; 08May08; Jim Brundsden)

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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