War on Terrorism

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- June 18, 2008

Universal Detection Technology Invited to Discussions With the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate
“Universal Detection
Technology, a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and a provider of counter terrorism training and solutions, announced today that it has been invited for discussions with the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate. The one on one meeting comes following several meetings between UDTT and officials from the DHS at trade shows and conferences.” (CNN Money; 18June08) http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/0408079.htm

Art in a Time of Terror: Acclaimed Art Professor Steve Kurtz on How He Became a ‘Bioterrorism’ Suspect After His Wife Died in Her Sleep
“In his first broadcast interview, Steve Kurtz discusses the bizarre case of how he became the focus of an
FBI bioterrorism investigation. On May 11, 2004, his wife Hope Kurtz tragically died in her sleep. When he called 911 for help, a nightmare that would last for the next four years began to unfold. The police became suspicious of his art supplies and harmless bacteria cultures that he was using for an antiwar project about the public health impact of germ warfare programs. His home was raided by the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and Homeland Security. His belongings, his cat, and even his wife’s body were seized.” (Democracy Now; 16June08) http://i3.democracynow.org/2008/6/16/art_in_a_time_of_terror

Effective health messages may yield vaccine compliance among ER workers
“[…] In a new study published this month in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism, researchers from the Center for Preparedness Research and Planning and the Department of Public Health at Temple University found that by addressing ER workers' fears and concerns, they could craft persuasive messages to convince ER workers to get vaccinated. ‘In the wake of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, the government tried to implement a program to vaccinate 500,000 healthcare workers against the smallpox virus, which theoretically could be used in a bioterror attack,’ said lead researcher Sarah Bass, Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of public health at Temple's College of Health Professions. ‘But it was left to each state to run the program, and each did so differently. As a result, less than 40,000 ER workers nationwide were vaccinated.’” (EurekAlert; 18June08; Renee Cree) http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-06/tu-ehm061108.php

Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing
“The invention provides for a full-length cloned cDNA copy of the RNA genome of a predominant norovirus strain (Genogroup II.4) designated MD145-12 that was associated with human gastrointestinal illness. The noroviruses, which were formerly known as ‘Norwalk-lik’ viruses are estimated to cause 23 million cases of acute gastroenteritis in the USA each year. The virus has been designated into category B of the CDC biodefense- related priority pathogens because it can be used as an agent of bioterrorism.” (Trading Markets; 18June08) http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1694572/

Scientific lab keeps us safe [
New Mexico]
“Working quietly behind the scenes to keep New Mexicans safe is the
New Mexico Department of Health's Scientific Lab in Albuquerque. Dave Mills, director of the Department of Health Scientific Lab, said the work of the scientists in the lab have a positive effect on the lives of every New Mexican. ‘We test the milk and water supply, track food-borne illnesses, test for infectious diseases and help law enforcement by providing breathalyzer trainings,’ Mills said. ‘We are also ready to evaluate any chemical or biological threats in the state.’” (Las Cruces Sun News; 18Jun08; Chris J. Minnick)

Test-Vets Deserve Care [Editorial]
“It's bad enough that the Department of Defense and the Veterans Affairs Administration oppose legislation intended to guarantee health care and benefits for veterans exposed to Cold War-era chemical and germ tests. It's insult to injury, however, when Pentagon officials could not be bothered to testify in person to the House Veterans Affairs subcommittee on disability assistance this past week, in order to voice their objections to pending legislation. A written statement from Michael L. Dominguez, a principal deputy undersecretary of defense, said ‘DOD opposes this legislation. The scientific evidence does not support’ it.” (Red Orbit; 16June08; Deseret News) http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1434741/testvets_deserve_care/

VIASPACE Subsidiary Robotic Detection Proposal Competitively Selected by
“VIASPACE Inc. subsidiary Ionfinity has been notified that its Phase II proposal entitled ‘Advanced Robotic Detection of Chemical Agents, Toxic Industrial Gases, and IEDs for Force Health Protection’ submitted to the
Army Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program, has been competitively selected for negotiation and possible contract award. Phase II STTR projects are for two years and up to $750,000 in funding.
Ionfinity expects to enter into contract negotiations with the Army shortly.’” (Epicos; 17June08; PR Newswire) http://www.epicos.com/epicos/portal/media-type/html/user/anon/page/default.psml/js_panename/News+Information+Article+View;jsessionid=25F7216244940EB18B5D684DC08F1D8F.tomcat1?articleid=106579&showfull=false

Texas man faces life if convicted
“A 38-year-old Texas man has been charged with possessing cyanide and trying to sell it to an
FBI informant, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Jeffrey Don Detrixhe, 38, of Higgins, was indicted Tuesday on two counts of prohibition against chemical weapons and one count of an unlawful user or addict of a controlled substance in possession of firearms.” (Houston Chronicle; 17June08; AP) http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/5842943.html

Gas, gas, quick boys [article on detector development at Massachusetts Institute of
“Sarin is to be feared because it is invisible, odourless and 500 times more deadly than cyanide. However, other gases (not least cyanide itself) could be used instead. What is needed is a cheap way of detecting such gases and, having raised the alarm, of identifying which gas is involved so that anyone who has succumbed can be treated. And that is what a team of chemical engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, led by Michael Strano (pictured on the left), think they have created. Not only can their new sensor tell between chemical agents, it can detect them at previously unattainable concentrations—as low as 25 parts in a trillion.”
(The Economist; 18June08; Donna Coveney)

Are we ready? Simulated chemical attack tests response [Otsego County, Michigan]
“The voice from Otsego County [Michigan] 9-1-1 Central Dispatch came crackling through at 1000 hours with a message over the scanner beginning and ending with ‘THIS IS AN EXERCISE.’ The message, for emergency responders, was all part of a disaster drill informing them of a
terrorist incident in which the nerve gas Sarin had been released during preparations for a concert at the Otsego County Fairgrounds.” (Gaylord Herald Times; 18June08; Michael Jones) http://www.gaylordheraldtimes.com/articles/2008/06/18/news/top_stories/doc48590511789aa161728186.txt

Chemical warfare leaving several incapacitated for life
“A chemical warfare is being waged on opposition supports domiciled in the farming areas of Zimbabwe. Zanu PF’s youth militia, aided by war veterans are now resorting to the use of highly toxic herbicides to injuries inflicted on victims. To date, doctors say at least 12 people including a nine year old girl had her buttocks laced with Tactic Cattle Spray a dipping chemical and Paraquat. This is to exacerbate pain as well as increase the chances of fatality. A visit Tuesday to one of the private health care set up by missionary doctors in Harare revealed a grim picture of Robert Mugabe’s desperation to stay in power.” (Afrik.com; 18June08; Bruce Sibanda) http://en.afrik.com/article13874.html

Chemical weapons on Baltic Sea floor won't impact North Stream project
“The chemical weapons used in previous wars, buried on the floor of the Baltic Sea, will not impact the laying of a gas pipeline from Russia to Europe, said Viktor Kholstov, the deputy head of the Russian Federal Industry Agency. […] Environmentalists and politicians in some Baltic countries earlier expressed fears that the project to lay a gas pipeline from Russia to Europe on the floor of the Baltic Sea, North Stream, was not environmentally safe for several reasons, including the stockpiles of ammunition and chemical weapons buried on the floor of the Baltic Sea after
World War Two.” (Biznes; 17June08; Interfax-Central Europe) http://biznes.onet.pl/7,1771258,wiadomosci.html

OPCW to prevent chemical weapons from falling to
“The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will not cease to exist after the whole reported stock of chemical weapons in the world will have been destroyed by 2012, OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter told a press conference at the Itar-Tass headquarters here on Wednesday. According to him, the OPCW will focus on encouraging those 11 countries, which have not joined the Chemical Weapons Convention yet, to join the Convention.” (ITAR-TASS; 18June08) http://www.itar-tass.com/eng/level2.html?NewsID=12789086&PageNum=0

Bees 'could track chemical weapons'
“Bees could be used to find chemical weapons - if government funding was increased to stop their decline, Norwich MP Ian Gibson told the Commons yesterday. The Pentagon had been looking for several years at how bees can detect chemicals and this was something that could be replicated in the UK, he added.” (EDP24; 18June08; Chris Fisher)

Dirty Bomb Disaster Drill Held Across the State [West Virginia]
“Emergency crews across the country started participating in a drill Tuesday morning. The test was to help prepare for possible
terrorist attacks on Washington D.C. The massive evacuation would cause an influx of people into the Mountain State [West Virginia].” (CBS 59; 17June08; Jessica Lilly) http://www.cbs59.com/story.cfm?func=viewstory&storyid=40140

[French President Nicholas] Sarkozy Will Deepen NATO Ties, Citing Terror Threat
“France will rejoin NATO's military command and strengthen defense ties with European partners as part of a 15-year plan for the armed forces that identifies terrorism as the biggest threat to national security. The terrorist treat is ‘here, real,’ and terrorists may use chemical, biological or radiation-based weapons in the future, Sarkozy said. The armed forces will get more equipment to protect against these threats, he said.” (Bloomberg; 17June08; Francois de Beaupuy) http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=aBu_XNOO0XHA&refer=europe

Preacher Abu Qatada freed from jail
“Qatada, once described as ‘Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe’ left Long Lartin prison in Worcestershire at around 8.20pm on Tuesday. The 47-year-old was released after he won his fight against deportation from Britain. Qatada was driven out of the prison at speed in a silver Peugeot people-carrier. He was hidden from view under a blanket on the back seat. His release follows a court ruling in April banning ministers from extraditing him to Jordan. He has been convicted in his absence in the Middle East of involvement with terror attacks in 1998, and of plotting to plant bombs on the Millennium.” (UK Press; 17June08; The Press Association) http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jymcV2z98InM3K0b4HDh4faXrPqw

Government thwarted on terror detentions
“The first arrests were made in December 2001 when 12 men were detained under immigration laws pending deportation to their own countries. Their cases were considered by the Special Immigration Appeal Commission (SIAC) with a Special Advocate appointed to examine evidence from security sources which the detainees themselves were banned from hearing It was accepted that there were no grounds to put them on trial in this country and that they could face torture if they returned to their home country. They were detained indefinitely in Belmarsh prison in South East London.”
(Telegraph; 18June08; Duncan Gardham)

Terry Waite blasts anti-terror methods
“The way the US and Britain are tackling
terrorism is entirely wrong, former Lebanon hostage Terry Waite said in London this week. ‘It is entirely wrong to incarcerate people when they don’t even know what they are imprisoned for,’ he said, in a criticism of the British government’s top secret trials in which neither the accused nor the lawyers are told the exact charges or details of the alleged evidence.” (OneWorld.net; 18June08; Daniel Nelson) http://uk.oneworld.net/article/view/160694/1/

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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