War on Terrorism

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- July 9, 2008

Infectious disease expert to speak Thursday [Steamboat Springs, CO]
“A nationally known expert on infectious disease will speak in Steamboat Springs on Thursday about the potential of a worldwide influenza pandemic. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, will give a speech titled ‘The Next Influenza Pandemic: A Harbinger of Things to Come?’ as part of the Seminars at Steamboat series.” (Steamboat Pilot & Today; 09July08; Zach Fridell) http://www.steamboatpilot.com/news/2008/jul/09/infectious_disease_expert_speak_thursday/

Is the U.S. Ready for Bio-Warfare?
“Anthrax. Smallpox… these words were commonplace following 9/11 as potential weapons of terror against the United States. Some experts believe a bioterrorist attack or pandemic outbreak could be inevitable. So how would the U.S. fight back against an infectious disease outbreak?”
(CBN News; 09July08; Erick Stakelbeck)

FDA [Food and Drug Administration] issues warning on Cipro [a common prescription for anthrax exposure], similar antibiotics
“The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered makers of flouroquinolone drugs - a potent class of antibiotics - to add a 'black box' warning to their products, which include Cipro, Levaquin, Floxin and other medications.” (Associated Press; 08Jul08; Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar) http://news.lp.findlaw.com/ap/o/1500/07-08-2008/20080708083502_12.html

Memorial physician and bioterrorism expert recently featured in national publication
“An article written by Michael Allswede, DO, program director, Memorial’s Emergency Medicine Residency and bioterrorism expert, is featured on the cover of the June 2008 issue of DomPrep Journal along with a candid photo of Memorial’s trauma team. Dr. Allswede’s article entitled, ‘Developing Competency for Medical Disaster Response Situations,’ highlights ways in which disaster preparedness can move from ‘haphazard’ to organized by establishing standards of performance.” (Daily American; 07July08) http://www.dailyamerican.com/articles/2008/07/07/news/news/news369.txt

Infections bug hospitals amid push for solution
“A conference in Melbourne has been told the state and federal governments are focussing on bird flu and bioterrorism while the death toll from so called ‘super bugs,’ such as ‘Golden Staph’ continues to rise. Resistant to antibiotics, the Superbugs have long resided in hospitals and have become increasingly nasty, with an estimated two thousand Australians contracting Hospital Acquired Infections annually.” (World News
Australia; 07July08)

AVMA [American Veterinary Medical Association] Adds Disaster Preparedness Info to Website
“The American Veterinary Medical Assn. has added articles highlighting disaster preparedness and response to its AVMA Collections. Articles include the veterinarian’s role in preparedness and response, biosecurity and bioterrorism preparedness, search-and-rescue dogs and preparedness and response policy.” (Veterinary Practice News; 07July08) http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-breaking-news/2008/07/07/avma-adds-disaster-preparedness-info-to-website.aspx

Trial postponed for
Utah man [Thomas Tholen] in ricin case
Utah man accused of failing to report that deadly ricin was being made in his basement is working out a plea bargain with federal prosecutors. A federal judge postponed a Monday trial for Thomas Tholen, 54, after his defense attorney filed court papers saying a plea agreement was at hand.”
(Salt Lake Tribune; 08July08; Associated Press)

New York Times] Limited Hangout on SERE [Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape] Torture & U.S. Biological Warfare
“A 'limited hangout' is spy jargon for a favorite and frequently used gimmick of the clandestine professionals. When their veil of secrecy is shredded and they can no longer rely on a phony cover story to misinform the public, they resort to admitting - sometimes even volunteering - some of the truth while still managing to withhold the key and damaging facts in the case. […] The U.S. chemical and biological warfare program after
World War Two was one of the most expensive and secretive campaigns ever undertaken by the U.S. government, comparable to the Manhattan Project. The NYT article makes much over the production of ‘false confessions’ to the use of biological weapons by the U.S. during the Korean War. But there is an alternate, studied case demonstrating that the execrable and illegal use of such weapons occurred.” (The Public Record; 07July08; J. Valtin)

Jury in conspiracy to murder trial given option of majority verdict
“The jury in the trial of a Clare woman and an Egyptian alleged hitman accused of conspiring to murder her partner and his sons has been given the option of returning a majority verdict. 45-year-old Sharon Collins of Kildysart Road in Ennis and 52-year-old Essam Eid from
Las Vegas both deny conspiring to murder PJ Howard and his sons Niall and Robert in 2006. Following a break from deliberations this afternoon, the jury forewoman asked to see Paypal records relating to the purchase over the internet of caster beans, which the court has heard are used in the making of the lethal poison ricin. The jury also asked for the recipe for ricin.” (Belfast Telegraph; 08July08)

Army Depot workers [Utah] file new round of lawsuits against EG&G [Edgerton, Germeshausen, and Grier]
“Just months after agreeing to a $4.2 million settlement with workers who claimed they were cheated out of overtime pay, the contractor in charge of the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility has been hit with a new round of lawsuits alleging abusive labor practices.” (The Salt Lake Tribune; 09July08; Matthew D. LaPlante)

Senators Oppose Plan to Transport Chemical Weapons
“Lawmakers from both parties are challenging a Pentagon plan to study whether to transport deadly chemical weapons across state lines to speed their destruction. Advertisement The plan outlines one of several options the Pentagon is considering as it struggles to meet a congressional deadline to destroy the chemical weapons by 2017. Members of Congress and watchdog groups say the plan exposes the public to unnecessary risks and violates a 2005 law making it illegal for the Department of Defense to study the possibility of transporting chemical weapons across state lines.” (Today’s THV; 08July08; Robert Bell)

Defense Secretary Gates Comments on Chemical Weapons
“Defense Secretary Robert Gates has wrapped up a two-day visit to Northwest
military bases. During a stop at Fort Lewis Tuesday, Gates was asked about ongoing efforts to destroy cold war era chemical weapons. Specifically he was asked about reports that the Department of Defense may consider shipping chemical weapons across state lines to be destroyed.” (OPB News; 08July08; Austin Jenkins)

America, Iraq and poison gas
“Around a hundred years ago, theorists of war imagined that armed conflict would be transformed by the use of chemical weapons, poisonous gases, toxins and self-reproducing biological agents, dropped from the sky not only on soldiers but also on vast, unprotected civilian populations. Many strategists believed that the first systematic use of industrialized chemical weapons in the First World War was an indication of the way conflicts would be conducted in future. It did not turn out like that.”
(Times Online; 09July08; Kenneth Anderson) http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/the_tls/article4302201.ece

Feature-Iran's Chemical Ali survivors still bear scars
“High in remote Kurdish mountains, Iranian villagers still nurse ravaged eyes and lungs, 20 years after Iraqi poison gas attacks that went mostly ignored by world powers then siding with Saddam Hussein against Iran. That perceived hypocrisy continues to rankle in the Islamic Republic, now accused by the West of seeking nuclear weapons.” (Reuters; 09July08; Alistair Lyon)

FG [Federal Government of Nigeria] Backs Non-proliferation of WMD
“The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to the chemical weapons convention, adding that total destruction and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction was the key to global peace and security. Nigerian Ambassador to the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands and country's Permanent Representative to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Mrs Nimota Akanbi, said this at the 53rd session of the Executive Council of the organisation in the Hague.” (This Day Online; 08July08)

Universal Detection
Technology Receives Contract to Provide Radiation Detection Equipment for the 2008 Beijing Olympics
“Universal Detection
Technology, a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and other infectious health threats and provider of counter-terrorism consulting and training services, reported today that it has received a contract to provide radiation detection equipment for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The devices are capable of detecting Gamma and Neutron Radiation and are designed to provide portal protection.” (CNN Money; 07July08) http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/marketwire/0413428.htm

Chip sized dirty bomb detector on the anvil
“American researchers are working on lab-on-a-chip technologies that will facilitate the detection of the kind and amounts of radiation people at any particular area have received after being exposed to a dirty bomb just by testing their saliva or urine samples.” (Thaindian News; 08July08) http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/india-news/chip-sized-dirty-bomb-detector-on-the-anvil_10069051.html

Puffer fish suspect had $5 million policy on wife
“A Lake in the Hills man arrested last week on illegal possession of a deadly puffer fish toxin stood to make $5 million from his wife's insurance policy. An additional terrorism rider meant he'd get more money if she was killed by a
terrorist act, according to new details revealed in federal court Monday as a judge held the man without bond. Edward Bachner, 35, was charged last week with posing as a doctor online and ordering tetrodotoxin. The statute he was charged under applies to both biological weapons and toxins. Tetrodotoxin is a poison extracted from puffer fish that is 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide.” (Chicago Sun Times; 08July08; Natasha Korecki) http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/1044168,CST-NWS-toxin08.article

Panel to review, revise Wisconsin disaster laws
“A new panel of state lawmakers, relief workers and emergency directors will start meeting this month to streamline Wisconsin's disaster statutes and clarify how the Legislature should work if a crisis forces it to meet outside Madison. Wisconsin's emergency statutes haven't undergone a comprehensive review since the late 1980s, said Randi Milsap, a state Department of
Military Affairs attorney.” (Chicago Tribune; 08July08; Todd Richmond)

Emerging Threats
“One recurring question that has been at the forefront of most intelligence agencies since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by al-Qaida on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon just 1 mile outside Washington concerns the ongoing efforts by
terrorist groups to acquire weapons of mass destruction: chemical, biological and mostly nuclear. Each of the NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) weapons comes with a certain advantage and disadvantage -- for the terrorist, that is.” (UPI; 07July08; Claude Salhani) http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2008/07/07/Analysis_Will_terrorists_go_nuclear/UPI-21581215440567/

G8 Declaration on Political Issues
“We are determined to make every effort to overcome the danger of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their delivery means and to prevent acquisition of WMD by
terrorists, by upholding, strengthening and universalizing all relevant multilateral non-proliferation and disarmament instruments.” (White House; 08July08) http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/07/20080708-10.html

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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