War on Terrorism

Monday, August 25, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- August 25, 2008

Biodefense campus [Ft. Detrick] tenants prepare security plans
“Officials at the new biodefense labs under construction at Fort Detrick are working on their own security plans as the
Army reviews its security procedures following revelations that the 2001 anthrax mailings may have been an inside job. […] Video surveillance and two-man rules, barring researchers from working in the labs alone, are among the security measures officials for both the Department of Homeland Security and NIAID said are either planned or are being considered for their labs. […] The Department of Homeland Security's National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center is scheduled to open next year […]” (Frederick News-Post; 25Aug08; Justin M. Palk)

FBI's Anthrax Analysis
“FBI Officials and scientific experts revealed more information about the scientific experiments used to study anthrax spores disseminated in 2001 mailings at a briefing held on Aug 18. The briefing aimed to ease speculation about the bureau's conclusions. […] Hassell says the experimental data need to be validated through a peer review process. He tells C&EN that the FBI has a publication plan, and the process is already under way. Speaking of the science, he adds, ‘We are hoping to get as much as we can into peer-reviewed journals.’” (Chemical & Engineering News; 25Aug08; Rochelle Bohaty) http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/86/i34/8634notw1.html

Jail inmate [Marc Harold Ramsey] charged in McCain office threat
“Tests showed the white powder wasn't anthrax or any other lethal substance, but authorities had not determined what it was. Prosecutors said Marc Harold Ramsey, 39, sent a letter to McCain's office in the south Denver suburb of Centennial reading, ‘If you are reading this, then you are already dead!’ The letter was signed Akeem Ramsey El, but the return address on the envelope had Ramsey's name and ‘Arapahoe County Detention Facility.’ […] The Secret Service — which provides protection to the candidates — said a separate scare triggered by a letter sent to a McCain campaign office in Manchester, N.H., was a false alarm.” (AP; 23Aug08) (Last article on page)

Fairway [Medical Technologies] awarded
Navy contract to help develop detection devices
“Fairway Medical Technologies Inc. has received a $900,000, three-year contract from the Department of the
Navy to apply its optoacoustic technology to the real-time detection of blood-borne pathogens and biological warfare agents under battlefield conditions. […] The research is intended to develop a rugged battlefield instrument capable of detecting chemical and biological agents such as anthrax, plague and smallpox with speed and accuracy, Glickman said.” (Houston Business Journal; 22Aug08; Monica Perin) http://sanantonio.bizjournals.com/houston/stories/2008/08/18/daily57.html

Weapons destruction deadline looks like a reality [Blue Grass Depot,
“Elected officials from Washington, D.C., on down to the local city and county levels gathered to hear reports from U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Sixth District, who toured the construction sites at the depot […] ‘We (he and McConnell) are both going to work very, very hard to see that it is achievable. That doesn’t mean it will happen, but I can assure you that we’re all going to work together.[…]’ The lawmakers declined to comment on two recent leaks of mustard gas at the depot, but Williams said they were minor and did not concern him.” (Richmond Register; 21Aug08; Ronica Shannon) http://www.richmondregister.com/homepage/local_story_234222136.html?keyword=leadpicturestory

[Vermilion County] County combines departments
“Already approved by the Vermilion County Board’s Personnel and Executive committees, the plan calls for combining the county’s
technology Services and the Danville/Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency into one unit. […] Saving money is of the utmost importance right now as the county faces running EMA without the benefit of funding from the Chemical Stockpile Elimination Program. The county received the funds because of the proximity of the U.S. Chemical Depot in Newport, Ind.” (Commercial News; 25Aug08; Brian L. Huchel) http://www.commercial-news.com/local/local_story_238114557.html

Padilla's Egyptian connection facing prison or trial
“Mohamed Hesham Youssef figures he'll rot in an Egyptian desert prison, a dual citizen detained without charge, unless he agrees to stand trial in the United States on charges of supporting al-Qaida. His one-time friend and Cairo roommate, Jose Padilla, and two other men were convicted last year in
Miami on terrorism charges. Youssef was critical to that case, even though he was thousands of miles away, because of FBI recordings of phone conversations between him and the other defendants. Prosecutors in the U.S. consider Youssef at worst a terrorist, at best a supporter of Islamic extremists. He's being held indefinitely at a prison in Al Kharga. […] He's accused in Miami of being a recruit for a North American cell that provided money, fighters and supplies to al-Qaida and other terror groups around the world. The most serious conspiracy charge carries a possible life sentence. […] Swartz, the lawyer for Hassoun, said Youssef could explain a great deal if he stood trial and could back up claims that the men were only trying to assist and defend Muslims suffering in war zones.” (Chicago Tribune; 22Aug08; Curt Anderson, AP) http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-padilla-egyptianconne,0,7693325.story

UK terror case ripples abroad
“The terror suspect, Binyam Mohammed, an Ethiopian resident of Britain, claims he was pressured into making a false confession after being subject to torture. […] He is accused of planning to set off a ‘dirty bomb’ containing radioactive material in the United States. He faces trial by military commission in Guantanamo Bay, where he has been since 2004, and could face the death penalty. […] The British government has been at odds with Washington for the past year over the Mohammed case. Even though he has never become a UK citizen, he has the right to live in Britain and London has asked for him to be returned to Britain, a request rejected by the Bush administration.” (The National; 24Aug08; Alan Philps)

Swiss engineers, a nuclear black market and the CIA
“The president of Switzerland stepped to a podium in Bern in May and read a statement confirming rumors that had swirled through the capital for months. The government, he acknowledged, had indeed destroyed a huge trove of
computer files and other material documenting the business dealings of a family of Swiss engineers suspected of helping smuggle nuclear technology to Libya and Iran. […] The Swiss president, Pascal Couchepin, took no questions. But he asserted that the files - which included an array of plans for nuclear arms and technologies, among them a highly sophisticated Pakistani bomb design - had been destroyed so that they would never fall into terrorist hands.” (International Herald Tribune; 25Aug08; William J. Broad and David E. Sanger) http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/08/25/europe/nuke.php

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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