War on Terrorism

Friday, July 18, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- July 18, 2008

forensic guy from the FBI [Transcript from Discussion of 2001 ‘Amerithrax Attacks’]
“Dr Bruce Budowle has been in the FBI for over 20 years, heading one of its
forensic laboratories. He looks back to the mysterious and still unsolved case of the anthrax envelopes which followed 9/11 […] Dr Budowle has come to Australia's Bond University to share techniques and learn from Professor Angela van Daal's use of genetics to profile human features […]” (ABC Radio National; 17Jul08)

Former Western [Pennsylvanian] legislator to enter jail Aug. 1

“Former State Rep. Jeff Habay will report to jail Aug. 1 to serve concurrent sentences for conflict of interest and a bizarre fake anthrax threat. […] the state Supreme Court has denied Habay's appeal of his 2006 no-contest pleas to charges that he falsely claimed to have received a powder-filled envelope from a political opponent. Habay was sentenced to four to eight months in jail in the anthrax case.” (Philadelphia Inquirer; 17Jul08; AP) http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20080717_Former_Western_Pa__legislator_to_enter_jail_Aug__1.html

GAO Notes Mixed Progress on Biosurveillance
“The department has not yet identified what capabilities the National Biosurveillance Integration Center (NBIC) should possess to be considered fully operational […] although DHS is upgrading capabilities for the new center, it will not fully train new personnel using the NBIC information
technology system until April 2009 […] Current detectors require 10-34 hours to identify a biological attack from an agent such as anthrax. The new systems finally developed with the DHS Science and technology Directorate would cut that time down to 4-6 hours.” (HS Today; 17Jul08; Mickey McCarter) http://hstoday.us/content/view/4292/128/

Disaster planning money reduced [Washington State]
“Federal money used to help local and state public health agencies plan for disasters is being cut by $3.7 million in Washington, with cuts to Snohomish County and four other northwest Washington counties estimated at $200,000. The regional planning program for Snohomish, Island, Skagit, Whatcom and San Juan counties is losing 21 percent of the federal money […] A national push for public health agencies to plan for emergencies came in the wake of the 2001
terrorist attacks and panic over bioterrorism after anthrax-contaminated letters were sent through the mail. In response, local and state public health agencies received $1.1 billion in federal money to help prepare for future emergencies.” (Herald Net; 18Jul08; Sharon Salyer)

Tracking produce proves complex
“More than six weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about a salmonella outbreak in
New Mexico and Texas connected to raw tomatoes. Since then, the agency has expanded the warning nationwide and added jalapeno and serrano peppers. More than 1,100 people have fallen ill since April, but not a single contaminated tomato or pepper has been found.” (Los Angeles Times; 17July08; Annys Shin) http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-salmonella18-2008jul18,0,983085.story

Bomb Squad Blows Up Highly Explosive Acid Found In Walnut Hill [Florida]
“The quart size bottle of picric acid was found in a barn on a farm in the 7800 block of Highway 97, less than a half mile from Ernest Ward Middle School. The bomb squad was called to the scene, and the Walnut Hill Volunteer
Fire Department responded about 1:45. […] Besides wartime bomb making, picric was once used diluted as an antiseptic and as a treatment for burns, malaria, herpes and smallpox. It was once also synthesized into a non-explosive insecticide called chloropicrin. Chloropicrin was also used by the Germans and British as a chemical warfare agent during World War Two.” (North Escambia; 17Jul08; William)

Poisonous cylinders made safe [Dublin]
“Cylinders of a highly volatile poisonous liquid were disposed of safely in South Dublin today with the help of US environment experts. The seven containers of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) were successfully chemically neutralised without the use of any explosives. […] The cylinders had been stored at the pest control company Rentokil and were moved to the county council owned compound at Grange Castle, Co Dublin for the neutralization.” (Evening Herald; 17Jul08; Sarah Neville) http://www.herald.ie/national-news/poisonous-cylinders-made-safe-1434861.html

Hidden Newnes Forest storage has added to
military puzzle
“Earlier this week the Lithgow Mercury published a feature based on interviews conducted by the Illawarra Mercury with ex servicemen now living in the Illawarra region who had worked on secret chemical warfare stockpiles at Marrangaroo and Glenbrook during
World War Two. The chemicals included mustard gas imported from America and Britain in contravention of the Geneva Convention to be used in any last ditch defence effort should Australia be invaded. […] There was no way of knowing exactly what was in the drums in the forest but it clearly wasn’t someone’s stash of home brew.” (Lithgow Mercury; 17Jul08; Len Ashworth) http://lithgow.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/hidden-newnes-forest-storage-has-added-to-military-puzzle/813140.aspx

Live in Azalea Park [
Orlando, Florida]? Learn about cleanup
Army Corps of Engineers will have a community meeting at 6:30 p.m. today [17Jul08] at the Engelwood Neighborhood Center […] The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the investigation into possible contamination left behind in the Azalea Park neighborhood from the former Orlando Army Airfield Toxic Gas and Decontamination Yard.” (Orlando Sentinel; 17Jul08; Rich McKay & Wes Smith) http://www.orlandosentinel.com/services/newspaper/printedition/thursday/orange/orl-orgovwatch17_108jul17,0,857491.story

Meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group on
“OPCW Director-General Rogelio Pfirter opened the meeting by recalling the recommendations of the Second Review Conference on the OPCW’s response to terrorism. He highlighted the importance of implementing Article X of the Chemical Weapons Convention (Assistance and Protection Against Chemical Weapons) and stressed the value of the OPCW’s existing cooperation with the EU. […] He said information exchange in the fight against terrorism across borders has improved, greater attention is paid to the protection of EU infrastructures, and that the European Arrest Warrant has facilitated the procedures of extradition.” (OPCW News; 15Jul08; Johan de

Emergency responders get dirty bomb training [Carlsbad, New Mexico]
“There were bodies and belligerents all over the place Thursday afternoon in a field near the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center. […] It was all part of a ‘dirty bomb’ exercise involving the Texas National Guard Civil Support Team. Some members of
New Mexico's support team were also present. […] Thursday's training session was divided into two parts. Members of the Carlsbad Fire Department were the first to arrive on scene, but they were eventually backed up by the National Guard.
Smoke poured from a burned out vehicle. Volunteers who played the parts of victims all had detailed maps and timelines for the mock scenario. Some were assigned to be victims from the get-go, while others played the parts of tourists or ‘walking worried.’” (Current Argus; 18Jul08; Kyle Marksteiner)

Homeland Security Secretary Michael] Chertoff: European terrorists trying to enter US
terrorists are trying to enter the United States with European Union passports, and there is no guarantee officials will catch them every time, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday. […] Chertoff and other intelligence officials have delivered similar warnings before, and he offered no new information about specific threats or an imminent attack. Chertoff reiterated his concern that terrorists could sneak radiological material into the country on small boats or private aircraft.” (AP; 18Jul08; Eileen Sullivan)

UH [University of Hawaii] chosen to help make travel safer
“The U.S. Department of
Homeland Security has tapped the University of Hawaii to be one of 11 institutions to serve for the next six years as ‘an incubator of technology’ in the area of maritime security issues, according to a visiting federal official. Retired Rear Adm. Jay Cohen, Homeland Security Department undersecretary for science and technology, told the Star-Bulletin yesterday that the UH's Center of Excellence for Maritime, Island and Port Security will be under the College of Engineering and will receive a grant ranging from $1.5 million to $2 million annually.” (Star Bulletin; 16July08; Gregg K. Kakesako) http://starbulletin.com/2008/07/16/news/story11.html

Advanced Life Sciences and UK Ministry of Defence announce collaboration
“Advanced Life Sciences Holdings has announced that the UK's Defence Science and
technology Laboratory will evaluate the developmental compound ALS-886 as a treatment for chemically induced lung injury. […] Michael Flavin, chairman and CEO of Advanced Life Sciences, said: ‘Dstl is internationally recognized for its ability to evaluate new therapeutic countermeasures that combat chemical and biological warfare agents, and we are very excited to partner with them to develop ALS-886 for potential procurement as a medical countermeasure.” (Trading Markets; 18July08) http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1768368/

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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