War on Terrorism

Friday, May 16, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- May 16, 2008

Partnership helps Navajo prepare for emergencies
“It’s difficult to prepare for a disaster when you’ve been taught that you’re not even supposed to talk about such an eventuality. But the Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management and Work Force Development are teaming together to hire members of the community and train them to deal — on a community level — with potential disaster situations such as this past winter’s snow and mud emergencies. […] ‘We’re trying to move the Navajo Nation in a direction where they can be able to manage their own situations,’ from hazardous materials accident to bioterrorism, Jimson Joe, executive director of Emergency Management, said Wednesday.” (The Gallup Independent; Kathy Helms; 16May08) http://www.gallupindependent.com/2008/May/051508emergencies.html

Bioterror defenses in lobbying crunch
“The government’s program to defend the country against bioterrorism attacks has become embroiled in a lobbying war, as rival biotechnology companies seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts turn to influential K Street hired guns. The Bush administration’s $5.6 billion Project BioShield has come under heavy criticism in the wake of contracting problems that led to delays in the purchase of vaccines designed to protect against biological weapons.” (Politico; 15May08; Samuel Loewenberg) http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0508/10351.html

CDC biolab not ready after 2 1/2 years [
Atlanta, Georgia]
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's new maximum-security laboratories in
Atlanta were supposed to open in the fall of 2005. But the suite of Biosafety Level 4 labs — designed to contain the world's most dangerous germs — still haven't been certified as ready to operate. The $214 million building they're in was completed 2 1/2 years ago. CDC officials say nothing is amiss. But the delays have raised concerns about potential construction or design flaws in labs destined to handle smallpox and Ebola viruses.”
Atlanta Journal-Constitution; 15May08; Alison Young)

No clear terror threat in cyanide case [
“The FBI claims a Texas man told an informant he had a 25-gallon drum with enough cyanide inside to ‘kill a city.’ What he apparently didn't have was a plan to carry out an attack. Jeffrey Don Detrixhe, 38, of Higgins, Texas, was arrested this week in southeastern
Oklahoma on a complaint of possession or transfer of a chemical weapon following an FBI sting in which an informant claimed he saw Detrixhe bring home an approximately 4-foot tall drum with cyanide in it.” (Dallas News; 15May08; Jeff Latzke, Associated Press) http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/APStories/stories/D90MCSB00.html

Germany: clean-up of World War I poison-gas plant finished [Hallschlag]
“The clean-up of a former plant which made horrific German poison-gas shells used in the
First World War is complete after 20 years of work, an official told legislators Thursday. The Espagit factory in Hallschlag, Rhineland Palatinate state accidentally exploded in 1920 when an estimated 20,000 poison-gas shells were on the premises. The debris meant the site was an ecological disaster area for decades.” (The Earth Times; 15May08) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/205689,germany-clean-up-of-world-war-i-poison-gas-plant-finished.html

Exchangites hear incinerator update [Anniston
Army Depot, Alabama]
“On Aug. 9, 2003, the incinerator at the Anniston
Army Depot became operational and the number of chemical weapons stockpiled at the site has been dropping ever since. The goal of the men and women working for Westinghouse at the facility is to dispose of every chemical weapon before August of 2013. The company has been incentivized to finish before the treaty date, which is April 29 of 2012. We’re working hard to beat that date, said Bob Love of Westinghouse when he spoke to the Jacksonville Exchange Club on May 8.” (The Jacksonville News; 14May08; Jennifer Bacchus) http://www.jaxnews.com/news/2008/jn-localnews-0514-jbacchus-8e14m3607.htm

DEPOT: Problem shuts down chemical weapons incinerator [Hermiston,
“Incineration at the Umatilla Chemical Agent Depot Facility has been temporarily stopped as officials investigate why smoke filled part of a furnace area early today [May 14]. The incident happened at 7 a.m. in the furnace area of the liquid incinerator, where VX nerve agent was being burned for disposal, said depot spokesman Bruce Henrickson. No one was injured and there was no danger to the environment or the community, Henrickson said.” (Tri-City Herald; 14May08; Franny White) http://www.tri-cityherald.com/945/story/184016.html

Blocked pipes blamed for [Hermiston]
Oregon weapons depot smoke
“Blocked pipes have been blamed for smoke that filled a small area of an incinerator plant at the Umatilla Chemical Depot in Hermiston Wednesday. The depot is disposing of deadly VX nerve agent left over from the Cold War. It burned its stockpile of sarin nerve gas, even more deadly, earlier. Depot spokesman Bruce Henrickson said the smoke was in the furnace room of Incinerator No. 1 after some strainers became plugged, leading to an overheating in the pipe system. He said no chemical agent was released.” (Oregon Live; 14May08; Associated Press) http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-24/1210796047237480.xml&storylist=orlocal

High toxin levels found in groundwater at Mie Pref. plant
“The Yokkaichi municipal government inspected a local plant operated by leading chemical manufacturing firm Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd. on Thursday, after groundwater at the site was found to contain 500 times the acceptable levels of arsenic, and excessive amounts of other toxins. Harmful substances at concentrations greater than those approved by the central government were found by in each of the six observation wells tested by the Osaka-based firm at the Mie Prefecture plant, according to the municipal government. […] Meanwhile, Ishihara Sangyo announced Wednesday that it violated a chemical weapons law by producing the highly toxic chemical phosgene at the same manufacturing plant in 2005 and 2006, without reporting its activities to the central government.” (Yomiuri Shimbun; 16May08) http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/20080516TDY02301.htm

Computer held by [Abdullah] Khadr's sister contains al-Qaeda files, RCMP [Royal Canadian Mounted Police] say
“The RCMP say they have uncovered a treasure trove of al-Qaeda files from a
computer once held by Abdullah Khadr's sister, including ‘some sort of military operational plan to infiltrate Burma,’ according to court files seen by The Globe and Mail. In February, 2005, Zaynab Khadr left Pakistan to return to Canada, where she has never been arrested or charged with a crime. Still, the Mounties claim she left behind ‘two large metal containers’ in Pakistan that they searched once they were shipped to Canada on June 15, 2005. Court documents filed in one of her brother's cases show the Mounties say they found a hard drive that includes ‘material dealing with bomb making, ricin, techniques of assassination, chemicals, poisons, silencers, etc; incoming and outgoing e-mails of Zaynab Khadr.’” (Globe and Mail; 15May08; Colin Freeze) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080515.wkhadrzaynab15/BNStory/National/home

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.

No comments: