War on Terrorism

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- July 14, 2008

Iran denied using African monkeys for ‘secretive’ laboratory test
“An Iranian lab denied that Iran was using monkeys for biological weapons experiments, saying that the monkeys purchased from Africa were used for testing the safety of polio vaccines, Iran's English-language satellite channel Press TV reported Saturday. […] Abdolhossein Dalimi-Asl, head of the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute said that these monkeys have been purchased from a Tanzanian dealer for testing the safety of polio vaccines and the weight of such subjects is determined based on the World Health Organization guidelines. The Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute has been buying monkeys from Tanzania for scientific purposes since 1971, he added.” (Trend News; 13Jul08) http://news.trendaz.com/?show=news&newsid=1245991&lang=EN

[Vice President] Cheney Thought He Had Lethal Anthrax Dose [in October, 2001]
“Vice President Dick Cheney was convinced that he had been subjected to a lethal dose of anthrax, according to a new book. […] Jane Mayer, who authored ‘The Dark Side, The Inside Story of How the
War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals,’ that the scare contributed to Cheney's insistence on hard-line tactics for fighting terror. […] On Oct. 18, 2001, a White House alarm went off indicating that sensors had detected dangerous levels of radioactive, chemical or biological agents. According to Mayer, anyone who had entered the White House situation room, including Cheney, had been exposed.” (ABC News; 14Jul08; Mark Mooney)

'Masters of Disaster' Rule Out Anthrax in Hate Mail [Okaloosa County,
“The yellow tape went up and the employees of Destin attorney Kevin Helmich were quarantined -- all for Johnson & Johnson's baby powder. The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Okaloosa County EMS, Destin
Fire Control District and the Hazardous Materials Technicians of Okaloosa County Special Operations Unit responded to a call from 4481 Legendary Drive on Wednesday morning. Office administrator Kelly Helmstetter was opening the mail as usual, when the unexpected happened. Battalion chief David Messerschmidt told The Log that when Helmstetter opened the letter -- with a pregnant coworker standing in the doorway -- white powder fell all over her dress.” (Red Orbit; 12Jul08; Jennifer Rich) http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1474900/masters_of_disaster_rule_out_anthrax_in_hate_mail/

Judge rejects leniency request for Moyer [
Peoria, Illinois]
“A federal judge looked a Pekin woman square in the face Friday and told her she was out of chances after twice violating her probation for writing a threatening letter to President Bush two years ago. U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm flatly rejected a request for leniency and instead doubled what federal prosecutors sought to punish Jessica A. Moyer. […] Moyer wrote a letter in March 2005 to the president at the Pekin Public Library. In that letter, she criticized the country's involvement in the war and called the president several names. She then wrote: ‘Your time is almost through. Yes, that's right. That's a threat. I have enclosed some anthrax and I hope it is enough to kill you and if it is not, I can send someone to shoot you or something. You are not safe.’“ (Journal Star; 11Jul08; Andy Kravetz) http://www.pjstar.com/news/x875598203/Judge-rejects-leniency-request-for-Moyer

Gregg County [Texas] gets bioterrorism preparedness grant
“Gregg County commissioners on Monday accepted a more than $63,000 state grant to help ensure the county is prepared in the event of bioterrorism.”
(Longview News Journal; 14Jul08; Randy Ross) http://www.news-journal.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/07/15/07152008_gregg_comish.html

New 'Scrubber' Speeds Removal Of Powerful Anthrax Clean-up Agent
“Researchers in
New Jersey report discovery of a fast, efficient method for removing a powerful pesticide used to sterilize buildings and equipment following anthrax attacks. Their chemical ‘scrubber’ removes 99 percent of the pesticide following fumigation and could pave the way for its broader use in anthrax clean-up efforts, the scientists say. […] Bielski and Joyce documented the effectiveness of their removal method in experiments with an empty office trailer filled with air containing methyl bromide.” (Science Daily; 14Jul08) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080714094453.htm

‘Powder mystery put to rest [Dodoma]
“The National Assembly yesterday clarified that at no point was the powder found in parliament building linked to witchcraft rituals. Deputy Speaker, Ms Anna Makinda said yesterday that the Speaker, Mr Samuel Sitta has been dismayed by some people and the media that blew the matter out of context. […] ‘it was decided that the matter be put to rest after it was discovered that the powder was not harmful to human beings,’ she said.” (Daily New Online; 12Jul08; Kilasa Mtambalike)

Biological weapons 'greatest terror threat to UK'
“The Institute for Public Policy Research's (IPPR) national
security commission, which is co-chaired by Lord Ashdown and Lord Robertson, is not due to reveal its initial findings until its interim report in October. […] Mr Kearns explained the real danger was not potentially-devastating technologies being acquired by terrorist groups but by individuals. ‘This is going to be a century-long thing, we're not talking about specific terrorist groups [we're talking about]... lone weirdoes with expertise - people who have very high-level knowledge skills and access to the right materials who could use it for devastating purposes,’ he continued.” (In The News; 11Jul08) http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/science/biological-weapons-greatest-terror-threat-uk-$1231187.htm

Another Nerve Gas Leak At Blue Grass
Army Depot [Kentucky]
“For those living near an
Army depot where deadly chemicals are stored, ‘leak’ is the one word they never want to hear. Officials at Blue Grass Army Depot have confirmed that Sarin, an extremely toxic nerve agent, has been found leaking from a storage igloo, the same storage facility where another Sarin leak was discovered last August. The Army says that igloo has been continually filtered and monitored since the initial leak and poses no risk to the public.” (WKYT; 12Jul08; Denny Trease) http://www.wkyt.com/news/headlines/24752259.html

Poison Perfume and Dead Presidents
“‘A court
forensic expert said Wednesday that former Chilean President Eduardo Frei Montalva was assassinated in January 1982,’ according to McClatchyDC.com. Medical officials had long asserted that infection after a simple hernia operation was the cause of death. Turns out ‘that a combination of toxins, including mustard gas, gradually administered to the former president ultimately killed him.’ […] The finger points to Eugenio Berrios, described as Chilean dictator ‘Augosoto Pinochet's Mad Scientist,’ and the regime's resident expert on lethal chemicals.” (Wired; 12Jul08; David Hambling) http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/07/dead-presidents.html

Fabric Blocks Radiation, Chemical, Biological Hazards
“Ronald DeMeo places a radioactive wafer about the size of a silver dollar on his desk and waves a handheld Geiger counter over it. The machine chatters wildly, the numbers on the readout spin upward and visitors instinctively lean back. But when the
Coral Gables doctor covers the disc, which is designed for materials testing and quite safe, with a thin piece of fabric, the numbers dive and the noise from the Geiger dips to a low growl. […] The patented fabric -- just slightly thicker than denim -- is embedded with metal particles and other compounds capable of blocking X-rays, low-energy gamma rays and other types of nuclear emission that might be found anywhere from a doctor's office to the site of a dirty bomb blast.” (Red Orbit; 14Jul08; Jim Wyss of The Miami Herald) http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/1476735/fabric_blocks_radiation_chemical_biological_hazards/

Iran’s missile-rattling ups the ante
“Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (U.S.
Army, ret.), former deputy commanding general of U.S. Army Forces Pacific and current co-chairman of the Iran Policy Committee (IPC), tells me. ‘They are currently fine-tuning their systems to include perfecting command-and-control, launching, tracking, trajectory, those kinds of things. They’ve yet to perfect putting a warhead on the Shahab, but they’re working toward full-capability, including nuclear, biological, and chemical.’ Dr. Jill Dekker, a bio-warfare expert and consultant to NATO, agrees. ‘Both Iran and Syria possess highly advanced chemical and biological weapons programs,’ says Dekker. ‘Syria’s chem program is more advanced than Iran’s, but both countries’ bio-programs have benefited from former Soviet labs and more recently from North Korea. And Iran has a very advanced bio program, which is highly imbedded in their pharmaceutical industry.’” (Canadian Free Press; 13Jul08; W. Thomas Smith Jr.)

Mediterranean union wants to rid Mideast of WMD
leaders of 43 nations from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa have launched a Union for the Mediterranean, a brainchild of French President Nicolas Sarkozy that aims to improve cooperation in the region with practical projects that parallel efforts toward Mideast peace. […] Nearly all of the 43 nations sent a president or prime minister to the summit. […] In a final declaration, Israel, Syria and the Palestinians along with countries across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa agreed to ‘pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction.’ The summit declaration also condemned ‘terrorism in all its forms’ and announced six major projects, from a common university and easier travel visas for students to depolluting the Mediterranean sea and promoting solar power.” (Associated Press; 14Jul08; Angela Charlton) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iAkOZStYXZmgvjv2pwHJenHcOCwAD91TGD600

Security beefed up in Beijing to ensure safe Olympics
“With the Olympics just around the corner, final preparations are under way here and in surrounding areas to deal with possible threats, including
terrorism. […] To ‘mobilize the enthusiasm of the masses in maintaining public security, as well as to control and eliminate hidden dangers to the Olympic Games,’ residents who report substantial information on major threats from July 10 to October 31 would get rewards of 10,000 yuan (US$1,460) to 500,000 yuan. […] The firefighters could be called on to help deal with terrorists who used nuclear or chemical weapons and explosives, he said. The bureau had also organized 46 counter-terrorist drills in Olympic venues and subway stations, he noted.” (China Daily; 14Jul08)

‘Kuwait ready to tackle N[uclear]-radiation in case of war’
“Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Emergency Technique Dr Khaled Al-Sahlawi says the ministry has enough active iodine to ward off the harmful effects of radiation leakage into the country within the first 72 hours. Al-Sahlawi affirmed the ministry has various units in charge of several stages of prevention and cure in case of biological and chemical warfare.” (Arab Times; 13Jul08; Dhuha Barqawi)

'Serious' video games aid training for real world emergencies
“This 'virtual' crisis, used in training for emergency services workers, is part of a so-called ‘serious game’, an emerging niche in the video game industry. The game ‘Triage Training’, developed in Coventry, central England, by a subsidiary of the Blitz Game group is aiming to be as realistic as possible. […] It is cheaper to do training in the virtual world. […] They plan to test the British capital's readiness in response to a dirty bomb explosion. ‘On the plus side, it's very much cheaper and cost-effective to do the training in the virtual world,’ Wortley said, noting that shutting an entire city centre down in real life would cause chaos.” (Macau Daily Times; 13Jul08; Lucie Godeau of AFP)

City [
San Francisco, California] at risk seeks security funds
“An aerosol anthrax attack in downtown San Francisco that could expose 330,000 people, killing 99 percent of those who are untreated. […]A 10-kiloton nuclear warhead dropped on a major city in the Bay Area, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths and the evacuation of 500,000 people. Each horrific outcome is being considered by local officials, according to Vicki Hennessey, acting executive director of the
San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, the agency in charge of overseeing The City’s emergency plans as well as the regional effort to secure and spend federal Homeland Security dollars earmarked for urban cities. In May, the region submitted to the federal government its wish list of $112 million worth of emergency preparation needs — from personnel to equipment — and is expected to hear how much funding it received this summer. “ (Examiner; 14Jul08; Will Reisman) http://www.examiner.com/a-1486315~City_at_risk_seeks_security_funds.html

Terrorism is hard [Book Review of Risk: The Science and Politics of Fear]
“His second move is somewhat more protracted, involving an interesting discussion of the Aum Shinrikyo ‘doomsday’ cult in Japan. Here was an organization that had an extraordinary amount of money at its disposal, several well-equipped labs and as many as 100 highly-trained scientists, working full-time, dedicated exclusively to the task of figuring out how to inflict mass casualties upon the Japanese population, in an attempt to provoke an apocalyptic war. Nevertheless, over the course of 17 different attacks, using a range of biological and chemical weapons, they never managed to kill more than a few dozen people. The most ‘successful’ was the 1995 sarin nerve gas attack in the Tokyo subway, which killed 12 people and severely injured another 42. Many people found this attack terrifying, yet for Gardner, it was also strangely reassuring. After all, it would be difficult to imagine circumstances more propitious for the success of a
terrorist plot […] Yet they came nowhere near accomplishing their ends.” (The Ottawa Citizen; 12Jul08; Joseph Heath)

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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