War on Terrorism

Monday, May 12, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- May 12, 2008

Homeland security: The week ahead
“The national biodefense center, which will open shortly, provides a Level
4 laboratory in which research on the most dangerous and contagious diseases can be carried out. The center is likely to be one of the most controversial components of the U.S. biodefense effort, given how secret many of its activities are likely to be. Defensive research is legal under the international treaties that ban biological weapons, but secrecy can make it tough to reassure observers that research is really defensive. […] [On May 14th] the Senate
Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Paul Schneider, President Bush's pick to replace the long-departed Michael Jackson as deputy secretary of homeland security.” (United Press International; 12May08; Shaun Waterman) http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Emerging_Threats/Analysis/2008/05/12/homeland_security_the_week_ahead/9815/

La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology Receives $7.1 Million Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
“The La Jolla Institute for Allergy and 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 nation’s 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.” (Life Science Online; 08May08) http://www.lifescience-online.com/La_Jolla_Institute_for_Allergy_and_Immunology_Rece,9550.html?portalPage=Lifescience%20Today.News

Air force] Men who refused vaccine may get clear records
“A federal judge’s decision could lead to clearing the records of
military personnel who refused to take mandatory anthrax shots between 1999 and 2004. Judge James Robertson of the district court for the District of Columbia admonished the Air Force Board for the Correction of Military Records, which had rejected a petition by two former Connecticut Air National Guard officers for compensatory relief for back pay and lost promotions after they claim they were forced to resign for refusing the vaccine. The plaintiffs, Thomas Rempfer and the estate of the late Russell Dingle, based their appeal on a separate anthrax vaccine lawsuit.” (Air Force Times; 11May08; William H. McMichael) http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2008/05/airforce_anthrax_051008w/

Indian student in US jail to walk free
“A student from Andhra Pradesh, languishing in the Phelps County jail in United States for over 14 months after he walked into the University of Missouri-Rolla on February 27 last year, waiving a bag and shouting that he had a bomb and anthrax, could soon be a free man. [...] The Indian consulate at Chicago informed the state government that Sujith would be released in June as charges like felony, assault and
criminal action against him has been dropped.” (Hindustan Times; 12May08; Ashok Das) http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=157e11cb-34af-43a0-8e07-72d44364f2cf&&Headline=Indian+student+in+US+jail+to+walk+free

US Country Reports on
“Belgium continued to strengthen its response to the threat of terrorism, fashioning new institutions in its security services, improving internal coordination among antiterrorism offices, promulgating new laws to deal with
terrorism and money laundering more aggressively, and strengthening agencies that confront terrorist financing. […] Belgian emergency action plans have been reviewed and updated to prepare for and respond to potential attacks, including bioterrorism. On a local level, authorities have instituted drills of rapid alert systems, and reviewed critical infrastructure support and civil protection and medical assistance procedures.” (Journal of Turkish Weekly; 12May08) http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=55250

China launches 5-day chemical weapons training course [Beijing]
“A protection and assistance training course jointly sponsored by the Chinese government and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was inaugurated here on Monday. A Foreign Ministry press release said 25 students from 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific region were participating in the five days of training at the Chinese People's Liberation
Army (PLA) Institute of Chemical Defense. […] The training course will conclude on Friday, the press release announced.” (Window of China; 12May08; Sun Yunlong) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-05/12/content_8153418.htm

Amendments to chemical weapons laws approved [United Arab Emirates]
“The Cabinet Legislation Committee discussed and approved amendments to three federal laws at a meeting held here yesterday. […] Headed by Dr Hadif bin Juaan Al Dhahiri, Minister of
Justice, the committee has approved to amend federal law 13 for the year 2007, regarding the import and export regulations of commodities, federal law 40 for the year 2006 regarding banning the production, storage and usage of chemical weapons […].” (Khaleej Times; 12May08) http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2008/May/theuae_May418.xml&section=theuae

Recycled NASA [National Aeronautics & Space Administration] telescope to be used for bomb detection
“An astrophysicist has recycled parts from one of NASA's Compton Gamma Ray Observatory's old instruments for bomb detection. […] James Ryan, an astrophysicist at the University of
New Hampshire in Durham, recycled one of them to detect gamma rays emitted by radioactive substances, such as plutonium, uranium and caesium, which could be used in dirty bombs combining conventional explosives with radioactive material. The Compton device detects light emitted by electron scattering, caused by gamma rays hitting two layers in the instrument. These two detections allow a user to track the direction of the incoming rays. […] According to Ryan, using the device from a distance of 10 metres, he can pinpoint a source like caesium to within a third of a metre from side-to-side. ‘It'll work, but it's not optimal, given the fact it's so dated,’ said Nick Mascarenhas, a physicist at Sandia National Laboratory in Livermore, California, who is building his own directional radiation detector. ‘It's probably going to have limitations,’ he added.” (Malaysia Sun; 10May08) http://story.malaysiasun.com/index.php/ct/9/cid/89d96798a39564bd/id/357826/cs/1/

Antidote to lethal germ 'closer'
“With funding from the US government, researchers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York, and the United States
Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Maryland, have broken through a barrier towards developing an effective antidote against the most potent form of the toxin. The researchers have developed a protein that blocks the effects of the toxin by tricking it into not attacking cells in the body. Biologist Subramanyam Swaminathan, who led the research, told BBC News: ‘We anticipate at least four to five years before this can be turned into an approved drug.’” (BBC; 12May08; Angela Saini) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7395731.stm

Army Post Stages Mock Drill [Fort Campbell, Kentucky]
“Fort Campbell~staged a mock terrorist attack Thursday morning to give fire and emergency crews training for such an event. In the scenario, a car bomb containing weapons of mass destruction exploded. Dozens of people injured. […] They also had to be on the lookout for chemical and biological weapons. […] Outside
law enforcement and fire departments were invited to participate in the exercise. Fort Campbell emergency crews try to conduct anti-terrorism exercises at least once a year.” (News Channel 5; 08May08)

navy forms new special troop
“French President Nicolas Sarkozy Thursday announced the creation of a special
navy troop to take part in a number of overseas missions, according to local media. The troop will only have about 30 members to begin with. They will be experts on reconnaissance, mine clearance, electronic warfare, nuclear warfare and biological and chemical warfare.” (China View; 09May08; Du Guodong)

Country Reports on
Terrorism 2007: South and Central Asia Overview-III
“DOD held four Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) sessions with Tajikistani security forces to improve their capacity to conduct counterterrorism operations. The U.S. Embassy administered training which included chemical weapons response and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) detection training. These programs will help Tajikistan stop potential terrorists who may attempt to cross the Tajikistani border, and will enable Tajikistan to better control its borders. […] Tajikistan endorsed the joint U.S.-Russia co-chaired Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear
Terrorism. In November, it hosted a regional conference to discuss with its neighbors more effective cooperation to counter WMD proliferation.” (Journal of Turkish Weekly; 09May08)

US Country Reports on
“Macedonia passed legislation on nuclear security and terrorism, chemical weapons, and entered into bilateral law enforcement, security, and extradition agreements. […] The Government of Macedonia continued its close coordination with the United States on counterterrorism matters, which included intelligence sharing on potential terrorist groups operating in or transiting the country.” (Journal of Turkish Weekly;

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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