War on Terrorism

Monday, June 02, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- June 2, 2008

NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization] Training Course: Amman – June 10 to 30, 2008
“The International forum on biosecurity will be held in Amman (Jordan) under the title ‘Confronting Biological Threats: Biosecurity, Biological Weapons Nonproliferation, and Regional Cooperative Mechanisms.’ This forum will take place in Amman, Jordan on October 27 – 29, 2008. The event brings together academic experts and practitioners from governments, inter-governmental organizations, academic institutions,
civil society and the private sector.” (Arab Institute for Security Studies; 02Jun08)

Cancer Scientists Lament Funding
“Leading U.S. cancer scientists say that five years of flat federal funding of cancer research is threatening to undo major strides made against the disease. […] ‘I'd like to say I'm an optimist,’ said Dr. Niederhuber, ‘but we're not the only pothole that is desperately in need of resources.’ Potential threats posed by bioterrorism and national disasters have competed for discretionary funds that might have been used for disease-fighting pursuits.” (Wall Street Journal; 31May08; Marilyn

Changes will cut counties’ bioterror funds [Ohio]
“Funding to each county’s board of health for the ability to plan for a pandemic comes from the State Department. But this fall will see a reduction in the amount of money the counties are receiving. ‘We’ll lose staff we’ve trained to plan for and respond’ to threats, said Matthew Stefanak, Mahoning County District Board of Health commissioner. […] Educating the public hasn’t been part of the health board’s response to bioterrorism. When a situation arises, the public would be notified of the actions they are supposed to take. […] After the
terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, bioterrorism funding increased nationally. But now it is starting to decline. Funding was as high as $32 million, but it has decreased to $19 million for the state of Ohio, Wagner said.” (Vindy.com; 02Jun08; Alison Kemp) http://www.vindy.com/news/2008/jun/02/changes-will-cut-counties8217-bioterror-funds/

Cangene Makes Substantial Product Delivery on U.S. Government Botulism Antitoxin Contract
“Cangene Corporation today announces that it has made a substantial delivery of heptavalent botulism antitoxin (‘BAT’) under the contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (‘BARDA’) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.” (Pharma Live; 29May08)

Debate Over Facility’s Fate Rages On [New York]
“Concern in Congress over the transfer of research on live foot-and-mouth virus from the Plum Island Animal Disease Center to one of five mainland sites competing for a new agro-terrorism research facility might work in the East End’s favor, according to Representative Tim Bishop. ‘The ideal outcome for the East End of Long Island is that Plum Island remain a [Biosafety Level 3] facility, conducting its current research,’ he said. ‘I believe we should keep that kind of research on an island as mandated under current law.’ […] Last Thursday, the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the potential move. Representatives of the Government Accountability Office were critical of the research that the Department of
Homeland Security used to determine that moving such research to the mainland would not increase the risk of an outbreak.” (Thye East Hampton Star; 29May08; Jennifer Landes) http://www.easthamptonstar.com/dnn/Home/News/PlumIsland/tabid/5628/Default.aspx

Anthrax kills two people in India; 20 ill [Koraput, Orissa]
“At least two people and dozens of cattle have died of anthrax in India's eastern state of Orissa while more than 20 people have fallen ill, a news report said Monday. […] Earlier, 16 people contracted the disease after eating meat of affected cattle in another village, and a 41-year-old man died May 15 Roy said. ‘We have sent a mobile health team to the region,’ Roy was quoted as saying. ‘The doctors are treating the affected people.’
Five villagers had died of the disease in the same state in February. Anthrax is endemic in 18 of Orissa's 30 districts. It kills dozens of people in the state every year.” (The Earth Times; 02Jun08) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/209434,anthrax-kills-two-people-in-india-20-ill.html

Wildlife vaccination drive in West Bengal to prevent anthrax outbreak
“Amid fears of anthrax spreading in West Bengal, the state forest department Monday said a vaccination drive had begun and wildlife was being closely monitored to prevent an outbreak of the disease. […] Around 7,000 anthrax vaccines have already reached the Jaldapara Wild Life Sanctuary, where a vaccination programme began last week. 'We are maintaining hygiene and sanitation in the forest belts including Buxa, Gorumara, Jaldapara and Chapramari in the north. We are also monitoring the livestock, with the help of West Bengal Animal Resource Development (ARD) department to prevent any infection in the forests,' he said.” (Bombay News; 02Jun08)

No major epidemic outbreak in quake zones [Xinhua]
“As of Thursday midnight, no cases of major epidemics or emergent public health incidence have been reported in the quake zones jolted by the 8.0-magnitude earthquake on May 12, the health ministry said on Friday. […] Health Minister Chen Zhu on Friday continued to urge all-out efforts for disease prevention in the quake-hit areas. Inoculation against Hepatitis A, epidemic encephalitis B on people vulnerable to infectious diseases must be completed before June 15, Chen said, adding vaccines for rabies, anthrax, typhoid and another four infectious diseases should be stored in case of emergency.” (China View; 30May08; Du Guodong) http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-05/30/content_8285646.htm

Man faces jail for campaign of anti-semitism
“A man bombarded Jewish community
leaders and institutions with sickening hate mail in the aftermath of the September terrorist attacks. […] The 31-year-old Bangladeshi cut photographs out from newspapers and annotated the figures with the word 'Jew.’ Many of the letters contained anti-Western comments and threats against the Jewish community. One of his letters to the London-based Jewish Chronicle contained a white powder. The powder was sent away for testing and later found to be harmless.” (The Portsmouth News; 30May08; Simon Jones) http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/Man-faces-jail-for-campaign.4135928.jp

Researchers' complaints ignored over anthrax vaccine problems
“Despite the enormous investments in developing an anthrax vaccine, senior employees at the Israel Institute for Biological Research have warned that there are problems with the product. However, institute director Dr. Avigdor Shafferman ignored their claims, and demoted one of the complainants, a senior manager. The Biological Research Institute, one of the most secret institutions in Israel, employs 350 persons and operates with nearly no external supervision. In terms of administration, the institute answers to the Prime Minister's Office, while physical and field security are handled by Malmab - the body responsible for security in the defense establishment at large.” (Haaretz; 01Jun08; Yossi Melman) http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/988801.html

Shock over war poisons find [Powys County, Wales]
“Bottles containing the TNT ingredient pyrrhic acid and mustard gas, once used for chemical warfare, were found at the old Manledd School at Van, near Llanidloes. A controlled explosion was carried out to deal with the chemicals, which had been stored in the building for 40 years.” (The Shropshire Star; 02Jun08)

Prosecutors to build case against PCI officials as tax-evasion case
“Earlier this month, Masayoshi Taga, 62, a former president of PCI, admitted he used the illegally earned public money to bribe high-ranking Southeast Asian government officials as a way of expediting PCI's lobbying for Japanese ODA projects, the sources said. Taga was served a fresh arrest warrant in mid-May on suspicion of swindling the Japanese government out of 140 million yen by overcharging for a fiscal 2004 government-awarded project aimed at disposing of chemical weapons abandoned by the former Imperial Japanese
Army in China at the end of World War Two.” (TMC Net; 30May08; Kyodo News) http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/-prosecutors-build-case-against-pci-officials-as-tax-/2008/05/30/3473884.htm

Federation Council to Ratify Deal on Russian-Italian Cooperation in Chemical Weapons Disposal
“The Russian Federation Council will consider a bill ratifying an agreement between the Russian and Italian governments on cooperation in the disposal of Russian chemical weapons. ‘This agreement stipulates terms and conditions of the parties' interaction and imposes obligations on Italy on providing non- repayable assistance to Russia in disposing of its chemical weapons arsenals,’ Valentin Zavadnikov, the head of the Federation Council industrial policy committee, told Interfax. The volume of the non-repayable assistance on Italy's part will be worth 360 million euro, Zavadnikov said. This sum is equivalent to the planned investment in the design and construction of chemical weapons disposal facilities near the community of Pochep in the Bryansk region.” (Red Orbit; 29May08) http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1408793/federation_council_to_ratify_deal_on_russianitalian_cooperation_in_chemical/

Chemical arms: Watchdog wants states to reveal WWII dumps [in Baltic Sea]
“Europe's top rights watchdog has urged the United Kingdom, United States and NATO to reveal locations of chemical munitions dumped in the Baltic Sea after
World War Two. The Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has called for them to immediately declassify information on the locations of sites where chemical munitions were dumped when the war ended. A resolution adopted by the body on Thursday calls for information to allow a detailed study of the current condition of these chemical weapons, and the risk they pose to the marine environment.” (ADN Kronos International; 31May08) http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=1.0.2210414400

The Black Death: An Intimate History of the Plague by John Hatcher
“The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. It struck in the mid-1340s, and killed about half the population of Europe within four years. The death toll worldwide is put at 75m. It had momentous social and economic effects. […] It is thought to have started in central Asia, but its cause remains mysterious. Precisely what disease it was and how it spread are also uncertain. It used to be identified as bubonic plague, which is carried by the fleas on rats, but that is now disputed, and there are theories that it was some kind of anthrax or maybe an Ebola-like virus.” (Times Online; 01Jun08; John Carey) http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/non-fiction/article4028806.ece

Last British Guantanamo inmate has been charged - report
“The last remaining British resident held in the US prison camp of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba has been charged with
terrorism by a US military tribunal, the BBC reported Friday. Binyam Mohamed, 29, who denies the charge, claimed that he was repeatedly tortured by interrogators in Morocco […] It was understood that he had been charged with conspiring to commit terrorist offences in the US, including plotting to plant a so-called dirty bomb to spread radiation.” (The Earth Times; 30May08) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/209133,last-british-guantanamo-inmate-has-been-charged--report.html

IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] briefs on nuclear terror threats
“Joseph Krol, NNSA [U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration] associate administrator for emergency operations, briefed officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency Friday in Vienna, Austria, on the threat posed by nuclear
terrorism, the NNSA reported. Krol addressed strategies for responding to threats and ways to counter nuclear terrorism, including deploying radioactive detection technologies, among other security measures. ‘NNSA has a world-class nuclear emergency response capability and is willing to support the efforts of other nations,’ Krol said in a statement.” (Middle East Times; 30May08; United Press International) http://www.metimes.com/Security/2008/05/30/iaea_briefs_on_nuclear_terror_threats/c272/

Curb nuclear weapons, group [Nuclear Threat Initiative] urges
“A growing number of prominent Republicans and Democrats, dismayed by what they charge has been a lapse in U.S.
leadership under President Bush, are urging his successor to jump start efforts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. […] ‘The threat is clear and present,’ said former Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., a leading voice for revitalizing arms control and non-proliferation efforts, in an interview. ‘The same process that builds legitimate nuclear fuel . . . can build a nuclear weapon.’ […] The pending expansion of nuclear power generation also will increase the production of nuclear fuel and waste, raising the risk of nuclear terrorism, experts warned.”
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 01Jun08; Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy

Advances In C. Difficile [Clostridium difficile] Research
“New research into the toxins, virulence, spread and prevention of the superbug Clostridium difficile is reported in the June special issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. […] Clostridium difficile is found in the environment but is most common in hospitals. It can cause a serious hospital-acquired infection when antibiotics are used as they upset the balance of the normal gut flora, allowing C. difficile to grow and produce toxins. It is carried in the guts of 3% of healthy humans but carriage rates in hospital patients tend to be much higher and elderly people in hospitals, being treated with antibiotics are most at risk of developing infection. […] The potential for a 'designer' probiotic for C. difficile is discussed.” (Science Daily; 02Jun08) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080602075851.htm

Fusion Centers May Strengthen Emergency Management
“In the
law enforcement and intelligence arena, the push has been to get various agencies effectively sharing information and working in tighter coordination - something they didn't always do before 9/11. This led to the creation of what the law enforcement community calls the ‘fusion center.’ Though most think of homeland security intelligence functions when they think of the fusion center, the concept has always included an all-hazards approach […] ‘The concept of the fusion center is to give the federal government and the states an opportunity to share information and intelligence, and that's not limited to terrorism,’ [Andrew] Lluberes said.” (Government Technology; 30May08; Blake Harris) http://www.govtech.com/gt/365393?topic=117680

Cincinnati tests water-supply warning system for U.S. use
“Water utilities would get earlier warning of viruses, bacteria or chemicals that could be introduced into drinking-water systems by terrorists under a test monitoring program set for expansion beyond Cincinnati. The pilot program ordered by the U.S. Department of
Homeland Security in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attack uses continuous monitoring of public water for contaminants that could sicken or kill millions of people. Some utilities do only spot checks for such germs, pesticides or radioactive materials. […] The agency and the Greater Cincinnati Water Works began the $11 million test project in 2006, and it took about a year and a half to install the equipment, including sensors placed in the water-distribution system at strategic points to feed information to computers for analysis.” (The Columbus Dispatch; 31May08; Lisa Cornwell)

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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