War on Terrorism

Friday, July 18, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- July 16, 2008

Turkey shocked by allegations in Ergenekon indictment
“The indictment against the shadowy Ergenekon group went to court Monday (July 14th), following a 13-month-long investigation. […] The indictment claims Ergenekon has tried to develop chemical and biological warfare and was behind drug trafficking in Turkey.” (Southeast European Times; 16Jul08; Ayhan Simsek)

Vietnam suspects anthrax in mass food poisoning
“Health authorities in communist Vietnam suspect the bacterial livestock disease anthrax caused an outbreak of food poisoning in the country's far north […] Hundreds of people fell ill, and at least one person died, after eating beef in a village in Meo Vac district in the mountainous Ha Giang province near the Chinese border” (France 24; 16Jul08) http://www.france24.com/en/20080716-vietnam-suspects-anthrax-mass-food-poisoning

Update on USAMRIID [U.S.
Army Medical Research and Materiel Command] biodefence project
“Integrated BioTherapeutics has received a five-year NIH research grant to develop human antibody therapeutics against staphylococcal enterotoxin B, a bacterial-derived toxin from Staphylococcus aureus. The project is a continuation of a biodefense-related project initiated by USAMRIID, an organization of the US
Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, in September 2006 using AbD Serotec's custom monoclonal antibody services IBT will use a selection of Hucal-based antibodies originally generated by AbD Serotec against staphylococcal eneterotoxin B in in vitro and in vivo experiments […]” (Laboratory Talk; 16Jul08) http://www.laboratorytalk.com/news/aib/aib117.html

Hizbullah Gears Up For War, [Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert Asks for UN Help
“Arab reports indicate that Hizbullah is preparing to arm its rockets with chemical warheads and to build extensive fortifications. Defense Minister Ehud Barak blames the Syrians […] Adding further weight to Defense Minister Barak's declaration is an article in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyasa, which reported Monday that Hizbullah has acquired chemicals needed to make weapons such as nerve gas or mustard gas from North Korean suppliers.” (Arutz Sheva; 14Jul08; Nissan Ratzlav-Katz & Pinchas Sanderson)

Sarin that leaked Friday should have been destroyed
“The sarin nerve agent that leaked at the Blue Grass
Army Depot on Friday should have been destroyed two months ago, under a plan approved in January. But the agency responsible for neutralizing the agent has not even started constructing the facility for the destruction. […] ‘Literally, we are moving as fast as we can,’ said Richard Sloan, spokesman for the depot. ‘It may look like a turtle in the middle of a race, but we are moving as fast as safety dictates.’ […] Sloan said the leak wasn't a danger to the community or the environment, and the igloo will remain under continuous filtration to ensure that vapor doesn't leak into the atmosphere.” (Lexington Herald-Leader; 15Jul08; Ashlee Clark) http://www.kentucky.com/178/story/461070.html

8-inch shells being moved for disposal at Umatilla
“Workers at the Umatilla Chemical Depot storage have begun moving 8-inch VX-filled artillery shells to the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility. Last month, workers at the facility finished destroying the last of more than 32,000, 155mm VX-filled artillery shells. Now, the plant machinery has been reconfigured to start work on the 8-inch diameter shells. ‘The work is moving along fairly quickly,’ said Jim Hackett, an
Army public affairs officer at the depot. All of the VX stockpile should be destroyed by early 2009, barring any unforeseen delays, he said.” (Tri City Herald; 16Jul08; Mary Hopkins) http://www.tri-cityherald.com/901/story/241045.html

Army recycles PackBots to sniff out chemicals
“The U.S.
military has been working on a new use for old PackBots that will save soldiers time and aggravation, though not replace them completely, when it comes to chemical warfare. With new Foster-Miller Talon and 510 PackBot models being introduced, the old PackBot models will be rotated out of use in combat. […] The new/old PackBot, called a Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Unmanned Ground Vehicle or CUGV for short, will be ready for field use this fall, according to the U.S. Army. It's been fitted with a lightweight chemical detector to sense nerve gas, among other things.” (C Net News; 15Jul08; Candace Lombardi) http://news.cnet.com/8301-17912_3-9991461-72.html

FADC [Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee]: Hand out gas masks immediately
“Israeli civilians are unprepared for nonconventional attacks, warned prominent members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tuesday afternoon, blasting the defense establishment for ignoring calls to fix the situation. […] Committee chairman MK Tzahi Hanegbi (Kadima) and MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud), chairman of the Subcomittee for Readiness, held a press conference during which they called on the government to begin immediate distribution of gas masks to the public. […] Hanegbi was more cautious, arguing that the risk of chemical attack was low, but adding that ‘even unlikely scenarios could occur, and thus we must urgently act to hand out the masks.’” (The Jerusalem Post; 15Jul08; Rebecca Anna Stoil) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1215330981793&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

JR in
terrorist attack exercise
“More than 200 staff from Oxfordshire emergency crews took part in a
terrorist training exercise yesterday in which nerve gas was released on a coach on the M40. Although those taking part were not dealing with a real-life incident, managers said lessons were learned from the largest exercise of its kind to take place at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital. Emergency crews worked alongside staff at the hospital in Exercise Orpheus II, which was overseen by the Government's Health Protection Agency.”
(Oxford Mail; 16Jul08; Andrew French)

Government: [Government Accountability Office] Report says it's taking too long to secure radioactive material
“The government is taking too long to secure radioactive materials across the country that could get into
terrorists' hands, according to a government report. […] Experts believe such an attack would be contained to a small area but could have significant psychological impact and have serious economic consequences because of cleanup problems. […] In a probe last year that set up a bogus company, investigators said they were able to obtain a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that allowed them to buy enough radioactive material for a small dirty bomb.” (Chicago Tribune; 15Jul08; Eileen Sullivan) http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/sns-ap-dirty-bomb-materials,0,1174417.story

ICx Technologies Wins $2.5 Million Contract for identiFINDER Radiation Detectors for the 2008 Beijing Olympics
“a developer of advanced sensor technologies for
homeland security, force protection and commercial applications, announced today that it has won $2.5 million in contracts to supply identiFINDERs to the Government of China […] IdentiFINDERs are handheld, radioisotope identification devices (RIID). Every identiFINDER is able to rapidly locate, accurately measure and precisely identify sources or contaminations from gamma and neutron radiation. The units are able to differentiate between dangerous radioactive materials, medical and naturally occurring radioisotopes, such as bananas.” (Trading Markets; 15Jul08; Vicki Contavespi) http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1759052/

Homeland Security Office fighting to keep nukes out [of the U.S.]
“The Senate
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing on domestic defenses against nuclear attacks. Chairman Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) said that nuclear detection architecture, the responsibility of the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), is of great importance because it prevents nuclear terrorism before it can happen. […] Charles Gallaway, deputy director of the DNDO, said the measured three-step approach applied to three layers (threats overseas, at the border, and within the country), helped the U.S. become safer from nuclear attacks now than it was three years ago.” (Talk Radio News Service; 16Jul08) http://talkradionews.com/2008/07/homeland-security-office-fighting-to-keep-nukes-out/

Report says
terrorists can smuggle nuclear materials into U.S.
“Three years and $5 billion later, federal authorities have failed to effectively block terrorists from smuggling nuclear materials into the United States, according to a report by congressional investigators. David Maurer, an acting director at the Government Accountability Office, is scheduled to testify today before the Senate
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the three-year-old Domestic Nuclear Detection Office lacks an ‘over-arching strategic plan’ to prevent nuclear material from being smuggled into the country. […] ‘If a terrorist or rogue state somehow gains possession of a nuclear device and intends to use it against the United States, we are in big trouble,’ [Bob] Nesbit [a member of the Defense Science Board] said in prepared testimony given to the committee.” (The News-Times; 16Jul08; Peter Urban) http://www.newstimes.com/ci_9893850?source=most_emailed

Scientists to confer on global catastrophic risks
“A group of scientists from around the world will hold a first of its kind conference Thursday on global catastrophic risks, according to media report Wednesday. They will discuss what should be done to prevent these risks from becoming realities that could lead to the end of human life on Earth as we know it.” (China Daily; 16Jul08) http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2008-07/16/content_6851931.htm

MPs [Members of Parliament] inquiry into UK's non-proliferation strategy
“The Foreign Affairs Committee announced Tuesday it was launching an inquiry into the British govt's non proliferation strategy. […] The Committee will consider the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. It will also consider the role of ballistic missiles.”
(Mathaba; 16Jul08)

Parliament to get N-shield soon
“Highly placed sources have revealed that the joint parliamentary committee on security has recommended protection from nuclear and biological weapons for Parliament House. […] A state-of-the-art air filtration equipment — which can counter chemicals unleashed in a nuclear, biological or a chemical weapons attack — will be installed.”(The Economic Times; 15Jul08) http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/PoliticsNation/Parliament_to_get_N-shield_soon/articleshow/3235416.cms

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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