War on Terrorism

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- August 20, 2008

F.B.I. Details Anthrax Case, but Doubts Remain
“At a two-hour briefing for reporters, Dr. Majidi was joined by seven other leading scientists from inside and outside the bureau. They discussed in intricate detail the halting scientific path that led them from two main samples of anthrax used in the 2001 attacks, to four genetic mutations unique to the samples, to 100 scientists in the United States who had access to that particular strain, and ultimately to Dr. Ivins. […] F.B.I. officials disclosed that they first obtained a sample of a unique strain of anthrax from Dr. Ivins in 2002, one that could have led them back to the strain used in the 2001 attacks. But the bureau destroyed the sample because Dr. Ivins did not follow protocol in the way it was submitted, making it more difficult to use in court.” (New York Times; 19Aug08; Eric Lichtblau and Nicholas Wade) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/19/us/19anthrax.html?_r=1&fta=y&oref=slogin#

Threatening letter, powder mailed to SD candidate
“Republican Senate candidate Joel Dykstra was not at his Sioux Falls office when his staff opened the letter Tuesday and called 911.
Fire Rescue Division Chief Jim Sideras says early tests indicate baby powder. It was sent elsewhere for more analysis.” (Associated Press; 19Aug08; Dennis Gale)

Molecular detection
“[…] Oxford Nanopore Technologies is trying to revolutionise molecular detection and analysis. The company is developing techniques using nanopores as biosensors. It has already demonstrated that it can read the four bases (C, G, A and T) of a single DNA molecule without having to use amplification and tagging, as happens in current methods.” (The Engineer Online; 19Aug08; Max Glaskin) http://www.theengineer.co.uk/Articles/307585/Molecular+detection+.htm

Granville [County,
North Carolina] resists bio facility
“Overwhelming public opposition to the construction of a federal research facility in Granville County has all but officially ruled out the chance of the facility coming to the state. Butner is one of five locations on the short list of potential sites for the construction of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. There were originally 17 sites up for consideration. However, elected officials doubt that Butner remains on the list as anything more than a token possibility. ‘In the early going it had the highest score, but that was based in part on local support, which I think has now changed pretty dramatically,’ [said U.S. Rep. Brad Miller, D-N.C.]” (The Daily Tar Heel; 19Aug08; Ariel Zirulnick) http://media.www.dailytarheel.com/media/storage/paper885/news/2008/08/19/StateNational/Granville.Resists.Bio.Facility-3399955.shtml

zNose® Detects Sarin and Mustard Gas at Part Per Trillion Level
“Electronic Sensor Technology (EST), a leading provider of innovative
homeland security and environmental solutions, announces excellent results of real nerve agent testing in China.[…] This is the first time the zNose® has actually measured real nerve agents, simulants were used in prior testing. Sarin and Mustard Gas were detected at very low concentrations levels. The minimum detection level (MDL) for Sarin is 85 parts per trillion (ppt) and the MDL for Mustard Gas is 100 ppt. These levels are well below the concentrations that begin to cause effects in an exposed population.” (Business Wire; 19Aug08) http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080819005470&newsLang=en

Meeting on Chemical Weapons Convention in Colombo
“The Secretary of the Industrial Development Ministry R.V.D.Piyatilleke said that Sri Lanka had been picked for the summit upon considering its commitment and the role it has played towards the prevention and prohibition of chemical weapons and their use. […]The Regional Meeting in Colombo on the Convention will review the progress of the Asian countries for the period of 2007-2008.” (Lanka Times; 20Aug08) http://www.lankatimes.com/fullstory.php?id=11880

Court overturns Briton's cocaine conspiracy conviction
“A federal appeals court ordered a new trial Monday for a Briton sentenced to life in prison for taking part in a cocaine conspiracy that began with a bizarre plot to set up a sale of radioactive bomb-making material. Christopher J. Benbow was snared in a 2004 sting by the
Drug Enforcement Administration in which authorities said he tried to arrange a deal for 1,000 kilograms of cocaine. Court documents say his purpose was to raise more than $200 million in cash for the black-market purchase of 9 kilograms of strontium 90.” (The Telegraph; 18Aug08; Walter Putnam, AP) http://www.macon.com/220/story/435869.html

Georgia chaos halts nuclear security effort
“A team from the US Nuclear Security Administration was providing Georgian authorities with radiation equipment and training at key border crossings and the Batumi airport on the country's Black Sea coast when Russia invaded two weeks ago. The advisers were forced to flee the country within days, according to a spokesman from the Department of Energy. The program is part of a series of US-led international ‘threat reduction’ projects in Georgia - totaling nearly $50 million - to improve the security of nuclear research facilities and prevent the spread of radioactive materials[…]”
(Boston Globe; 19Aug08; Bryan Bender)

British 'cyber groomer' jailed for recruiting UK's youngest terrorist
“Aabid Khan, who was possibly plotting to attack the Queen, was a ‘key player’ in radicalising others. […] Twice-married Khan, 23, a former fast food restaurant worker, of Otley Road, Undercliffe, Bradford, West Yorkshire, was found guilty of three count of possessing articles for a purpose connected with
terrorism. His cousin and ‘right-hand man’, post office night sorter Muhammad, also 23, from nearby Hanover Square, Manningham, who got 10 years, was convicted of three possession charges and one of making a record of information likely to be useful in terrorism. […] There were also various handbooks including one on explosives. Another, on poisons, contained a recipe for ricin and encouragement for ‘brothers’ to experiment on ‘kuffar’ (non-believers).”
(This is London; 19Aug08)

General Dynamics Awarded Contract for Stryker Mobile Gun Systems
“The U.S.
Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command has awarded General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), a contract for the production of 62 Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS) variant vehicles. The contract has a total potential value of $326.5 million including initial funding of $145 million. […] In addition to the MGS [Mobile Gun System], Stryker vehicle configurations include: the nuclear, biological and chemical detection vehicle[…]” (Trading Markets; 20Aug08; General Dynamics Land Systems) http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/1836727/

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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