War on Terrorism

Friday, August 22, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- August 22, 2008

North Carolina wants out, but [San Antonio] still pushing for bio-defense lab
“[…] while elected officials in
North Carolina recently notified federal officials of their opposition to having the facility built in Butner (one of the finalist sites) due to unanswered environmental concerns, Texas political officials continue to push hard for their entry — a Texas Research Park site located just west of San Antonio. Local leaders contend that the Alamo City, which already is home to a high-risk bio lab, has the expertise and experience to safely support the proposed DHS facility.” (San Antonio Business Journal; 22Aug08; W. Scott Bailey and Catherine

Universal Detection
Technology [UDT] Comments on Reports of ‘White Powder’ Scare at McCain's Denver Headquarters [Manchester, New Hampshire]
“John McCain's headquarters in suburban
Denver were evacuated on Thursday after a worker opened a threatening letter and discovered white powder inside. A McCain spokesman told the Associated Press that a similar letter was sent to a McCain office in Manchester, N.H. He did not know if it also contained a powder. Linda Watson, a spokeswoman for Sky Ridge Medical Center in suburban Centennial, Co., said four workers from the office drove themselves to the hospital. She said they underwent decontamination procedures, but showed no signs or symptoms of exposure to a toxic substance.” (Market Watch; 22Aug08; UDT) http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/universal-detection-Technology -comments-reports/story.aspx?guid=%7BBFBE8C5F-924D-490D-B883-69F51D3855FC%7D&dist=hppr

New hazardous materials notification in place [Granite City, Illinois]
“The Emergency Management Agency has added new software to relay information about incidents to the 40-member Hazardous Response Team scattered across Madison County. Agency Coordinator Larry Ringering said the new system allows the county to send specifics in e-mail messages and cell phones to members, who then respond whether they can head to the scene. That real-time response feature, Ringering said, allows the county to figure out how many team members are en route to a scene.” (Granite City Press Record; 22Aug08; Chris Coates) http://granitecitypress-record.stltoday.com/articles/2008/08/22/news/sj2tn20080822-0820cvj-hazmat0000.ii1.txt

Colorado State: Animal Diseases and Traceability
“One possible way to combat spread of contagious diseases is through animal traceability. Ability to rapidly identify locations where an animal has been affects the ability to isolate, trace, and arrest spread of the disease. Animal traceability systems are rapidly developing throughout the world, and the U.S. is behind many other countries in this development. Efforts to develop animal ID systems in the U.S. were launched prior to the initial BSE [bovine spongiform encephalopathy] discovery, but they gained considerable momentum afterwards. […] The objective of this study was to determine the economic implications of improvements in animal ID systems on a hypothetical FMD [Foot & Mouth Disorder] outbreak in southwest Kansas. Specifically, a disease spread model was used to determine the probable spread of a hypothetical FMD outbreak. Results from the disease spread model were integrated into an economic framework to determine the economic impacts. […] In general, as traceability levels were increased, consumer and producer losses associated with a FMD outbreak become smaller.” (Cattle Network; 22Aug08; Dustin Pendell, Colorado State University)

Military Suspending Activities at Labs
“The U.S.
Military has suspended some activities at bio-research labs following the suicide of a Fort Detrick scientist. Officials say the measure is part of an effort to review safety rules for handling some of the world's most deadly germs and toxins. Investigators say doctor Bruce Ivins worked with anthrax during his employment at Fort Detrick.” (Your 4 State; 22Aug08; Angelique Gonzalez)

Critics say monitors sniffing
Denver air don't make us safe
“Every night and day, monitors placed on rooftops across
Denver are sniffing the air for biological weapons, including anthrax, the plague and smallpox. […] The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not say how many monitors have been placed in Denver or where they are located. Filters are collected at least once a day from the monitors and the samples are analyzed at the state lab in Lowry. The samples are tested for six dangerous pathogens that could pose a health threat if aerosolized and released to the environment. […]Denver is one of 30 cities participating in the pilot program since it began in 2003. […] The BioWatch program was largely criticized this summer by some of the participating states and in a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Among other things, critics say it takes too long, up to 36 hours, for labs to get test results. In an actual bio-attack, that would be too late for some people.” (9 News Colorado; 22Aug08; Deborah Sherman)

FDA Unleashes Mass Irradiation of Spinach, Lettuce and Other Vegetables
“The FDA has announced that beginning today, spinach and lettuce sold across the United States may now be secretly irradiated before it reaches grocery store shelves. What's ‘secret’ about it? The FDA previously decided that irradiation warning stickers would not be required on any food items because it would be ‘too confusing to consumers.’ […] Radiation, of course, destroys delicate phytochemicals in plants -- the very phytochemicals protecting consumers against cancer, heart disease, high cholesterol, inflammation and other diseases. Microwaving broccoli, for example, destroys up to 98% of its anti-cancer nutrients.” (Natural News; 22Aug08; Mike Adams) http://www.naturalnews.com/023945.html

Rapid Test for Pathogens Developed By K-State [Kansas] Researchers Could Be Used to Detect Diseases Used By Bioterrorists
“Traditionally, it takes days and multiple lab workers to screen a sample of soil, water or feces for just one pathogen. Additional time is then needed to look for resistance to antibiotics. The new test developed at K-State simultaneously looks for multiple diseases and antibiotic resistance, reducing the time it takes from sampling to diagnosis to about
24 hours. […] So far they can detect as many as 557 genes, making it possible for them to screen for 40 different species of bacteria, 1,200 serotypes of Salmonella, five common serotypes of E. coli, and resistance to the 45 most common antibiotics used to treat human and animal illnesses caused by these pathogens.” (eMedia World; 21Aug08; Kansas State University)

Army research on invisibility not science fiction
“Dr. Richard Hammond, a theoretical physicist who works in Optical Physics and Imaging Science at the U.S.
Army's Research Office, participated in a blogger's roundtable to discuss the developments in the field of negative index materials research and meta materials. Developing research in these areas is making light reflect in ways it never has before - with extraordinary effect. […] ‘If you're out on the battlefield and you see a cloud coming, or you suspect there might be an aerosol chemical or biological warfare being used against you, it's very difficult to quickly detect what the material is,’ said Hammond. With the new meta materials being developed, however, the ability exists to see things smaller than the wavelength of light - something that has never been done before, according to Hammond. Utilizing meta materials in the creation of a new lens may allow Soldiers to be able to see pathogens and viruses that are currently impossible to detect with any visual device.” (US Army News; 21Aug08; Lindy Kyzer) http://www.army.mil/-news/2008/08/21/11813-army-research-on-invisibility-not-science-fiction/

Chilling E-Mail Details 'Dangerous' Triple Murder Case [Riverside County, California]

“The Riverside County Sheriff's department is looking into possible connections between a triple murder in 1981 and murder-suicide in 2005 that claimed six lives. […] Three people were murdered execution style in a Rancho Mirage home on July 1st, 1981. There were never any arrests. The victims included Cabazon Indian Vice Chairman Fred Alvarez. Family members say he was going to blow the whistle on a business partnership between defense contractor Wackenhut Services and the Cabazon Indians to build machine guns and biological weapons for Central American countries.”
(KESQ; 20Aug08; Nathan Baca)

India getting ready to face biological war from terrorists
“India Friday released its biological disaster management guidelines with a focus on preparing for biological warfare from terrorists using bacteria and viruses. The guidelines also emphasise developing a medical network to handle critical situations. […] The guidelines also speak of establishing an early warning system and coordination between public health medical care and intelligence agencies to prevent bio-
terrorism. NDMA Vice-chairman N.C. Vij, a retired Army chief, said besides bio-terrorism, the guidelines also focus on several problems like bird flu, plague and other such pandemics.” (Bombay News; 22Aug08)

McConnell and Chandler visit
Army Depot
“The destruction of the chemical weapons at the Blue Grass
Army Depot has loomed over the heads of Sen. Mitch McConnell and Congressman Ben Chandler since both men entered office. Now well into their political careers, the Kentucky lawmakers said Thursday they are pleased with the progress of the construction of a facility that will destroy the chemical weapons. McConnell, R-Ky., and Chandler, D-Ky., who last year successfully pushed for a 2017 deadline of the weapons disposal, addressed the public after a tour of the depot’s Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant.”
(Lexington Herald-Leader; 22Aug08; Ashlee Clark) http://www.kentucky.com/211/story/497763.html

Army reports small sodium hydroxide spills on depot roadway [Umatilla Chemical Depot, Oregon]
“A tanker truck delivering sodium hydroxide (NaOH) to the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (UMCDF) accidentally spilled a small amount of the caustic solution on a paved depot roadway. Sodium hydroxide or ‘lye’ is a common industrial chemical used in soap, laundering, and oven and drain cleaners. At the UMCDF, it’s used to neutralize acid gases in the UMCDF Pollution Abatement System (PAS) and to decontaminate demilitarization machines. Depot personnel trained in dealing with hazardous materials spills responded promptly. They remediated two small spills, each about two feet in diameter and less than a gallon each.” (U.S.
Army Chemical Materials Agency; 21Aug08; Bruce Hendrickson)

Depot detects trace of mustard chemical agent vapor during routine storage area monitoring [Umatilla Chemical Depot, Oregon]
“A depot chemical operations monitoring crew detected trace amounts of HD mustard chemical agent vapor today inside a depot storage structure that houses bulk containers. The trace of mustard chemical agent vapor was detected during routine monitoring. The vapor is likely due to a leaking bulk container or ‘ton container.’ There is no danger to the public or environment. The storage structure, commonly called an ‘igloo,’ has a passive filtration system that prevents chemical agent vapor from escaping outside the structure.” (U.S.
Army Chemical Materials Agency; 21Aug08)

VIASPACE Subsidiary's $750,000
Army Contract for Robotic Detection of Chemical Warfare Agents and Explosives Featured in Defense News
“VIASPACE Inc. […] subsidiary Ionfinity has been awarded a $750,000 Phase II contract for its proposal entitled ‘Advanced Robotic Detection of Chemical Agents, Toxic Industrial Gases, and Improvised Explosive Devices (IED)s for Force Health Protection’ submitted to the
Army Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. […] Ionfinity's goal is to complete the process -- sampling, ionizing, analyzing -- in about six seconds. Ionfinity expects to have completed field demonstrations and be ready to begin production in about two years.” (Your Defense News; 21Aug08; PRnewswire)

Residents demand execution of Chemical Ali
“Residents in northern Sulaimaniya province sent a letter to the Iraqi government calling for the execution of ‘Chemical Ali’ and others for war crimes. […]Residents also called on the Iraqi government to compensate family members of the Anfal victims. Iraqi authorities in February said Majid would hang ‘in a matter of days.’ He allegedly suffered a heart attack in April due to a hunger strike and was returned to a U.S.
detention facility.” (Middle East Times; 22Aug08; United Press

British court backs claim by Guantanamo detainee
“A British court yesterday said that a terror suspect being held at Guantanamo Bay had a credible argument that the United States had illegally spirited him away to Morocco and that he was tortured there. […] Because the American government would not turn over the information, the British government had an obligation to turn over potentially exculpatory material in its files, the court ruled. […] Mohamed, 30, a British resident before his arrest, told British intelligent agents in April 2002, that he had seen instructions on a website on how to make a bomb. ‘Part of the instructions included adding bleach to uranium 238 in a bucket and rotating it around one's head for 45 minutes,’ Mohamed told the agents, according to the court's judgment. Mohamed said he had concluded that the instructions were a ‘joke.’ […] Mohamed faces a trial by an American
Military commission on several charges of conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism, including the detonation of a ‘dirty bomb.’” (Boston Globe; 22Aug08; Raymond Bonner, NYT) http://www.boston.com/news/world/europe/articles/2008/08/22/british_court_backs_claim_by_guantanamo_detainee/

Press ‘one’ for nuclear attack
“According to China Radio International the Academy of
Military Medical Sciences in Beijing has opened a 24 hour hotline ‘providing advice and technical support in the event of attacks by nuclear, biological or chemical weapons.’” (Shanghai ist; 23Aug08) http://shanghaiist.com/2008/08/23/press_one_for_nuclear_attack.php

Proposed FBI guidelines allow investigation sans suspicion
“Attorney General Michael Mukasey has agreed to postpone implementation of new FBI guidelines, after four Democratic senators raised concerns in a letter Wednesday about proposed changes that they say could permit the FBI to launch investigations of American citizens without any individualized basis for suspicion. The letter, signed by Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), concerned a draft of the Attorney General's Guidelines governing criminal and intelligence inquiries by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The draft itself has not been made public, though The New York Times reports that the guidelines could be released next month.” (Ars Technica; 22Aug08; Julian Sanchez) http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080822-proposed-fbi-guidelines-allow-investigation-sans-suspicion.html

Gains with Russia feared as casualty
“Washington officials shouldn’t let anger over Russia’s occupation of Georgia spoil nearly a generation of cooperation on programs to destroy Cold War-era stockpiles of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons scattered across Russia and its former republics, experts cautioned. ‘The temptation has certainly been in the past – especially from Congress – to lash out at these kind of cooperative programs under the mistaken perception that these are favors to Russia,’ said Laura Holgate, senior vice president for Russia-new independent states programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative. The main program was created by Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and then-Sen. Sam Nunn, D-Ga., 16 years ago and has deactivated, destroyed or locked up thousands of warheads and hundreds of bombers, vials of anthrax and other germs that can be used in warfare, and facilities that made chemical weapons.” (Jouranl Gazette; 21Aug08; Sylvia A. Smith) http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080821/NEWS03/808210429/1002/LOCAL

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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