War on Terrorism

Saturday, May 24, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- May 23, 2008

CSU [Colorado State University] regional biocontainment lab first to start research [on the West Nile virus]
“The Rocky Mountain Regional Biocontainment Laboratory at Colorado State University has formally received ‘select agent’ research approval from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the first lab of its kind in the country to begin studying these highly regulated bioterrorism agents. The university is among the world's
leaders in researching West Nile virus, drug-resistant tuberculosis, yellow fever, dengue, hantavirus, plague, tularemia and other diseases. The new facility provides the university with improved and safer equipment to research ways to protect the United States from bioterrorism and emerging diseases such as avian influenza. Researchers will investigate and develop new treatments and vaccines to protect against these agents.” (High Plains Journal; 23May08) http://www.hpj.com/archives/2008/may08/may26/CSUregionalbiocontainmentla.cfm?title=CSU%20regional%20biocontainment%20lab%20first%20to%20start%20research

Evolva SA [Basel, Switzerland] Subsidiary Signs $22.8 Million Antibacterial Contract with US
Army Research Office, Builds Out US Operations
“Genetic Chemistry Inc. (
Palo Alto, [California] USA), a subsidiary of Evolva SA (Basel, Switzerland) announced today that it has signed a contract with the US Army Research Office (ARO), working in conjunction with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), to discover novel therapeutics against the gram negative bacterial pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei (a CDC [Center for Disease Control] category B bioterrorism agent that causes the disease melioidosis). Over the contract period funding could amount to $22.8 million.” (Fierce Biotech; 23May08) http://www.fiercebiotech.com/press-releases/evolva-sa-subsidiary-signs-22-8-million-antibacterial-contract-us-army-research-offic

CSWAB [Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger] Leverages Limitations on Open Detonation of Deadly WWII Munitions on Saipan [Mariana Islands]
“EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] Region 9 has agreed to prohibit open detonation of chemical, radiological, and biological munitions that might be found on Saipan, the largest island and capital of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), a chain of 15 tropical islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The prohibition is the direct result of intervention by concerned community members. The designated detonation area is located on Marpi Point, a public lands property on Saipan that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. CNMI plans to clear nearby tropical rain forest lands and grant them to over 500 indigenous individuals and families for new homesteads.” (Pacific Magazine; 22May08) http://www.pacificmagazine.net/news/2008/05/22/cswab-leverages-limitations-on-open-detonation-of-deadly-wwii-munitions-on-saipan

Milwaukee [Wisconsin] Prepared For A Bio-Terrorism Attack?
“The federal government is quietly monitoring the air in
Milwaukee for evidence of a bio-terrorism attack, but 12 News’ Kent Wainscott uncovered some holes in the government’s secret safety net, including late detection time, delayed response and a lack of funding for response initiatives.”
(WISN; 22May08; Kent Wainscott)

E. coli Outbreak in [North
Bergen] New Jersey?
“Over the course of two hours on a recent Friday, 20 people arrived, one by one, for emergency care at the Palisades Medical Center here. Each separately complained of various gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea and diarrhea. A coincidence? Or the harbinger of a brewing epidemic, potentially threatening a larger swath of the Garden State? Fortunately, the onslaught of patients was actually part of a disaster drill conducted by the medical facility that also involved the Hudson Regional Health Commission, the public health agency serving parts of Northern New Jersey. The purported scenario was an E. coli outbreak at a local restaurant, and the patients were actually volunteers from a nearby high school pretending to be ill. […] That early warning of developing threats to public health can give public health professionals a valuable head start in recognizing and managing disease spread and epidemic outbreaks, as well as possible bioterrorism, a surge in
criminal assaults and even tainted street drugs.” (Yahoo Finance; 22May08)

THV [News] Extra: Past, Present, and Future of Pine Bluff [Arkansas] Arsenal
“Big changes are coming to the Jefferson County communities of White Hall and Pine Bluff; some are even considering it an economic crisis. That's because more than 1,000 jobs are about to be cut at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. […] The deadly chemical weapons are what have grabbed the public's attention about the Pine Bluff Arsenal. Workers are on a mission to store and destroy them. They handle VX rockets and landmines. Just a pin drop of the chemical is deadly within minutes. The
Army also stored and destroyed GB rockets there.” (Today’s THV; 21May08; Melissa

Pueblo [Colorado] Chemical Depot builds new plant to neutralize chemical weapons
“East of Pueblo, construction is underway on a new multi-billion dollar processing plant at the Pueblo Chemical Depot. When completed the Department of Defense will use it to destroy 2,600 tons of chemical weapons currently stored in igloos at the depot. The project is expected to bring hundreds of new jobs to Pueblo.” (KOAA; 21May08; David Ortiviz) http://www.koaa.com/aaaa_top_stories/x1331637897

Nerve agent destruction passes 90 percent mark [Newport Chemical Depot,
“A billion-dollar project to destroy a deadly nerve agent stored in western
Indiana is entering its final stages now that workers have eliminated more than 90 percent of its cache of the Cold War-era chemical weapon. By late August, Army contractors expect to destroy the last of the 1,269 tons of VX nerve agent the Newport Chemical Depot once housed, said Jeff Brubaker, the Army's onsite manager.” (Chicago Tribune; 21May08; Rick Callahan)

Taming toxic waste
“Deleting e-mails and recycling newspapers are most people's biggest concerns when it comes to getting rid of waste. But what if you're a world
leader and have a stash of forbidden deadly chemicals on hand? Or what if terrorists suddenly swoop down and let loose with toxic nerve agents? Who you gonna call? Well, Queen's University [Ontario, Canada] researchers Stan Brown and Alexei Neverov, specialists in catalytic chemistry, may be just the pair. The two have developed a method for rapidly and safely destroying toxic agents, ranging from chemical weapons to pesticides.”
(CBC News; 22May08; Georgie Binks)

U.N. [United Nations] nuclear agency helping China minimize threat of '
dirty bomb' at Beijing Olympics
“The U.N. nuclear agency said Friday it is helping China minimize the threat of a
terrorist targeting the Beijing Olympics with a radiological ‘dirty bomb,’ although officials stressed they have no intelligence pointing to such an attack. Anita Nilsson, head of nuclear security for the Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency, said agency experts were assisting the Chinese authorities with simulated exercises designed to test their response.” (USA Today; 23May08; William J. Kole) http://www.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/2008-05-23-2920776148_x.htm

National Guard performs hazmat exercise at Coliseum [Bloomington](Illinois)
“U.S. Cellular Coliseum was the site of a practice session Wednesday, but the professionals weren’t using hockey sticks or footballs and wore very different kinds of protective gear. Twenty-two members of the Bartonville-based Illinois National Guard 5th Civil Support Team were being evaluated during a formal training exercise simulating a hazardous event at the Coliseum. Guardsmen were clad in hazardous materials suits, and an array of emergency trucks and trailers filled a lot northwest of the building. In Wednesday’s scenario, a ‘dissident group’ attacked people attending a volleyball match the night before, said Lt. Col. Larry Ritter, from U.S.
Army North in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.” (Pantagraph; 22May08; Greg Cima) http://www.pantagraph.com/articles/2008/05/22/news/doc48342ca5094f3713593696.txt

Response force trains for attacks [Mead, Nebraska]
“Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) attacks on United States soil require aid from specially trained national guard men and women. Special disaster training was administered last week on the National Guard's training ground near Mead. The men and women who respond to CBRNE attacks are validated members of the CBRNE enhanced response force package (CERFP).” (Bellevue
Leader; 21May08; DeManda Arkfeld)

China’s Nonproliferation Practices [Patricia McNerney, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, International Security and Nonproliferation]
“The Government of China has come to recognize that it has a fundamental
security interest in preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction. In many ways, it has demonstrated its interest in becoming a responsible nonproliferation partner. It is now a party to many international nonproliferation instruments, including the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), and is also a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the Zangger Committee. China has adopted export controls similar to the Australia Group control lists on chemical and biological related items, and has enacted missile-related export controls. And, the Government of China has approved a series of new laws and regulations designed to establish comprehensive national export control regulations.” (U.S. Department of State; 20May08) http://www.state.gov/t/isn/rls/rm/105084.htm

Al Qaeda now tougher to defeat: U.S. defense chief
“The United States' initial
military success against al Qaeda and other Islamist extremists has yielded a diffuse organization of independent elements that are now more difficult to defeat, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday. […] Gates also said the threat of those groups using chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or cyber weapons is growing.” (Reuters; 21May08; Kristin Roberts)

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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