War on Terrorism

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- June 9, 2008

Minnesota Man Pleads Guilty to Anthrax Hoax
“An envelope was sent containing a white powder purporting to be anthrax to an Internal Revenue Service facility in
Kansas City, Missouri. […] Jonathan Kenneth Joyner, 21, of Appleton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs on Wednesday, June 4, 2008, to the charge contained in a Feb. 7, 2008, federal indictment. […] On June 22, 2007, Joyner mailed an envelope to the IRS Fraud Detection Center in Kansas City containing the white powder (later determined to be baby talcum powder) with a letter that stated, in part, ‘Anthrax Breath Deep Pig Ha Ha Ha Ha.’
The letter was opened by an IRS employee on June 27, 2007.” (Kansas City Info Zine; 07Jun08) http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/28774/

[Bucks County, Pennsylvania] County conducts anthrax drill
“And preliminary reports say the county passed. With the cooperation of the commissioners and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bucks County Health Department and the Emergency Management team Saturday conducted an inhalation anthrax exposure scenario at Maple Point Middle School in Middletown to measure Bucks' crisis response.[…] Roughly 300 volunteers of various ages, races and gender, who included members of the county's medical reserve corps and La Salle University nursing students, acted as heads of households to get pills for their families.” (Bucks County Courier Times; 08Jun08; Rachel Canelli) http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/111-06082008-1545927.html

Postal center [Scarborough,
Maine] plans biohazard drill
“The U.S. Postal Service distribution center in Scarborough will test emergency responses to anthrax in a biohazard exercise with local, state and federal agencies on Tuesday. Postal Service Way will be closed during the drill, which begins at 6 p.m. and ends around 9:30 p.m.” (Maine Today; 09Jun08)

Boeing Reveals Sub-Tracking ScanEagle Study
“Boeing, Insitu and the U.S.
Navy are studying a variant of the ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that could be air-dropped from a P-8A or other aircraft to detect and stealthily track submarines over many hours. […] Other [ScanEagle Compressed Carriage] SECC/Dominator-related ScanEagle follow-on’s already announced include a biological combat assessment system to collect data on biological hazards, as well as identify and assess hostile threats. The system is designed to monitor sites suspected of containing weapons of mass destruction, and to locate, track and collect biological warfare agents released into the air during air strikes.” (Aviation Week; 09Jun08) http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story.jsp?id=news/SCAN060908.xml&headline=Boeing%20Reveals%20Sub-Tracking%20ScanEagle%20Study&channel=defense

Tomato salmonella scare stirs [Food & Drug Administration] FDA's critics
“As Texas and the nation grapple with a major outbreak of potentially deadly salmonella poisoning from tomatoes, critics of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are blasting the agency for sluggishness in ensuring the safety of America's food supply. […] The current outbreak, believed to be linked to raw tomatoes of unknown origin, has affected 56 people in Texas — 14 in Harris County, five in Brazoria County and two each in Fort Bend and Galveston counties. Thirty-six
New Mexico residents and 34 elsewhere in the country also became ill.” (Houston Chronicle; 07Jun08; Allan Turner) http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/headline/nation/5824138.html

The great public health mashup
“Every day, epidemiologists and researchers at
South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control run dozens of specialized software programs and laboratory systems to detect the early warning signs of infectious disease outbreaks. But their analyses might be more accurate if they could solve a problem common to distributed workgroups: an inability to get applications and reporting systems to share data. In the health care arena, a lack of standards can lead to higher costs, slower research and a greater risk of pandemics, public health officials say. ‘We have so many systems in this agency, and they are not talking to each other,’ said Jared Shoultz, director of the department’s Division of Public Health Informatics. ‘Public health is working toward data standards and unified data models, but we aren’t there yet.’” (Government Health Hit; 09Jun08; David Raths) http://www.govhealthit.com/blogs/ghitnotebook/350415-1.html

AVI BioPharma to Present at the 6th Annual Biodefense Vaccines and Therapeutics Meeting
“AVI's Senior Vice President of Strategic Alliances, will make the opening presentation of the Pre-Conference Symposium to the 6th Annual Biodefense Vaccines & Therapeutics Meeting to be held June 9-11, 2008 in Washington, D.C. The Symposium is titled ‘Developments in Biodefense Vaccines & Therapeutics’ and Dr. Iversen's presentation is ‘Multiple Phosphorodiamidate Morpholino Oligomer Approaches to Developing Antiviral Therapeutics.’ This is an invitation-only meeting at which Dr. Iversen will principally outline AVI's progress on the development of its therapeutic drugs against agents on the bioterrorism list, in particular Ebola, Marburg and Dengue viruses.” (The Earth Times; 09Jun08; AVI

Greening most serious citrus disease
“The disease, which slowly weakens and kills all types of citrus trees, causes fruit to become lopsided and taste bitter, making it unusable. Fruit does not develop the desired color, hence the greening name. There is no known cure for the disease, which is on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s select list of threats to plants and wildlife regulated by the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act. The disease does not harm people. The scientific name for citrus greening — huanglongbing — means ‘yellow shoot’ which describes the symptom of a bright yellow shoot that commonly occurs on a sector of infected trees. It is a serious disease of citrus because it affects all citrus cultivars and causes decline of trees.” (South East Farm Press; 09Jun08; Paul L. Hollis) http://southeastfarmpress.com/news/citrus-greening-0609/

Anthrax as a biological weapon
“For centuries, anthrax has caused disease in animals and, uncommonly, serious illness in humans throughout the world […] Research on anthrax as a biological weapon began more than 80 years ago […] Today, while at least 17 nations are believed to have offensive biological weapons programs, it is uncertain how many are working with anthrax. Iraq has acknowledged producing and weaponizing anthrax.” (C Health; 07Jun08; Michael E. Pezim)

Anthrax outbreak reported in south Kyrgyzstan, two dead
“An anthrax outbreak has hit south Kyrgyzstan, where two people are reported to have died of the disease and six others hospitalized with similar symptoms, health officials in the Central Asian state said on Monday. […] Health officials said the victims may have contracted the disease when they slaughtered a horse for its meat in late May.” (RIA Novosti; 09Jun08) http://en.rian.ru/world/20080609/109575426.html

Jewish Israeli children send love messages to Lebanese children [written on munitions] [Graphic photos]
“July 20, 2006 -- WMR reported that the Israeli
military was using poison gas on villages in south Lebanon. According to a former U.S. weapons expert who served in Iraq, the artillery shell in a photo taken in Lebanon (below) is a chemical weapon delivery device. It is being handled by an Israeli Defense Force soldier and Hebrew lettering can be clearly seen on the armored vehicle. Another chemical weapons shell of the same type can be seen lying on the ground to the right. It is not known what type of chemical is in the chemical canister, however, gas dropped by the Israelis in villages in southern Lebanon has resulted in severe vomiting among the civilian population.” (Pakistan Daily; 07Jun08) http://www.daily.pk/world/middle-east/83-middle-east/4312-jewish-children-send-love-messages-to-lebanese-children.html

Iran protests to UN over Israeli threat
“Contrary to the baseless allegations fabricated by the Zionist regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran has unambiguously and vehemently rejected and opposed all kinds of weapons of mass destruction, including the nuclear weapons. As a State Party to Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Islamic Republic of Iran has on many occasions officially declared that weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, as the most inhumane weapons, have no place in the defense doctrine of the country.” (Tehran Times; 09Jun08)

EU hopes for changes in U.S. cargo-scanning law
“The European Union is hopeful that a new U.S. president will relax a law that will require foreign ports to scan every container headed to the United States from 2012, an EU executive said on Monday. […] ‘This is not the way to introduce unilateral measures ... it suggests indirectly that there is 100 percent
security but it can create a false sense of security which is not the case.’ He said the 100 percent scanning requirement could not identify biological or chemical weapons and would create trade bottlenecks as well as require massive investment in technology and people.” (Guardian; 09Jun08; Reuters)

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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