War on Terrorism

Friday, September 05, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- September 5, 2008

Isolation Measures for Controlling Epidemics
“[…] the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Stimson's Global Health Security Program are convening a workshop on ‘social distancing’ techniques such as quarantines. […] The panel discussion is set for 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 pm, Wednesday, 10 September at the Henry L. Stimson Center Conference Room, 12th floor, 1111 19th Street, NW, Washington, DC.” (Medical News Today; 04Sep08) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/120217.php

Emergent BioSolutions wins $24.3M to fight anthrax
“Emergent BioSolutions Inc. has won a contract worth $24.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to research an experimental drug to fight anthrax. […] The bulk of the money, $20 million, would be used to complete the first phase of human testing for the antibody-based drug, which is designed to treat people who have already been exposed to anthrax. It has been tested in mice, rats and rabbits, and now must be tested in humans, first to see if it is safe, and then to see if it works.The grant will only underwrite the first phase of that testing, though it will also cover costs from making more of the drug for the trials.” (Washington Business Journal; 03Sep08; Mara Lee) http://sanantonio.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2008/09/01/daily28.html

Navy Awards Contract to Develop Biosensors for Blood Pathogens and Warfare Threats
“Fairway Medical Technologies, Inc. has received a $900,000, 3-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. This grant is part of a larger, $3 million project led by Prof. Randolph Glickman, Principal Investigator from the University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio. The grant, entitled ‘Rapid identification of pathogenic agents in biological samples using pulsed laser optoacoustic spectroscopy with targeted nanoparticle contrast agents,’ will be carried out as a collaborative project between UTHSC, Fairway Medical Technologies and the Naval Health Research Center Detachment Directed Energy Bioeffects Laboratory at Brooks City-Base.” (Nano Werk; 04Sep08) http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=7097.php

SIGA Technologies Awarded $55 Million by Federal Government to Develop Broader Applications for Its Lead Drug Candidate ST-246
“SIGA Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:SIGA), a company specializing in the development of pharmaceutical agents to fight bio-warfare pathogens, today announced that it has been awarded a contract of $55 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and The Office of the Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA), within the Department of Health and Human Services, to support development of additional formulations and smallpox-related indications for ST-246, SIGA's lead drug candidate. ST-246 is a potent, non-toxic inhibitor of orthopoxviruses that is in advanced development efforts to obtain regulatory approval.” (Globe Newswire; 03Sep08)

Researchers uncover Ebola cell-invasion strategy
“University of
Texas Medical Branch [UTMB] at Galveston researchers have discovered a key biochemical link in the process by which the Ebola Zaire virus infects cells - a critical step to finding a way to treat the deadly disease produced by the virus. […] The UTMB group tied Ebola's cellular invasion mechanism to a series of biochemical reactions called the phophoinositide-3 kinase pathway (named for an enzyme found in the cell membrane). By activating the PI3 kinase pathway, they found, an Ebola virus particle tricks the cell into drawing it into a bubble-like compartment known as an endosome, which is pulled, together with the virus, into the cell. Then - at a critical point - the virus bursts free from the endosome and begins to reproduce itself. However, if the PI3 kinase pathway is shut down - as the UTMB team did with a drug designed for that purpose - Ebola virus particles can't escape from the endosome, and the disease process comes to a halt.” (Science Centric; 04Sep08)

3 million hours, no injuries [Blue Grass Chemical Depot construction Site, Kentucky]
“Destroying the chemical weapons stockpile at the Blue Grass
Army Depot will be a dangerous task, but those working to build the destruction facility are playing it safe, and have for more than 3 million hours. [without work related injuries] […] Bechtel Parsons was chosen by the Department of Defense’s Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program to be responsible for designing, building, systemizing, testing, operating and closing the facility that will be used to destroy the weapons stored at the depot.” (Richmond Register; 03Sep08; Ronica Shannon) http://www.richmondregister.com/localnews/local_story_247082043.html

Nord Stream [pipeline] construction to retreat from Sweden, near Poland
“Last year, after controversy arose around the pipeline's crossing the disputed Polish-Danish territory, and Warsaw's being uncompromising adversary of the pipeline, another way was chosen — to the north of Bornholm. The new option of pipeline construction was also massively criticized. This time, it was attacked by environmentalists who brought to notice its being unsafe for navigation and environment, arguing that disposals of chemical weapons were located north of Bornholm. This time, it was decided to return to the south option, laying it, however, round all the disputed locations. […] ‘The bypass of the known locations where conventional and chemical weapons had been disposed of was the priority in our choosing the route.’ Soil sample tests analyzed in laboratories of the Danish Hydraulic Institute (DHI) and Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (VERIFIN) proved the new S-Route to be safer for environment.” (Regnum; 05Sep08) http://www.regnum.ru/english/1050778.html

Terror suspect [Aafia Siddiqui] misses Brooklyn court date
“The Pakistani MIT graduate accused of firing two shots at an
Army captain while being detained on suspicion of terrorist activities in Afghanistan failed to show up for her arraignment in federal court in Manhattan yesterday due to poor health, her attorney said. The attorney for Aafia Siddiqui, 36, said her client, who is suffering from a gunshot wound, isn't well enough to come to court. Elizabeth M. Fink asked that Siddiqui be arraigned at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where she is being housed, and hospitalized. […] According to a criminal complaint, on July 17, Siddiqui was apprehended outside a government building in central Afghanistan's Ghazni province after police found documents in her purse listing directions on how to make explosives and chemical weapons, along with a list of several American landmarks.” (Newsday; 05Sep08; Daniel Edwards) http://www.newsday.com/news/local/newyork/ny-nyterr055830052sep05,0,1191282.story

Iraq to open Saddam abuse museum at Abu Ghraib
“The notorious Abu Ghraib prison is getting a facelift: work to reopen the facility and construct a museum documenting Saddam Hussein's crimes — but not the abuses committed there by U.S. guards. […] Former inmates have told of chemical and biological weapons experiments on prisoners, and the execution of hundreds in the 1990s as part of a campaign by Saddam's son, Qusai, to ease crowding.” (Associated Press; Bushra Juhi) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gkx-3oYeFwuWKCusr2jrojs98w8wD93041SG0

Secrets of 'sexed-up' WMD dossier must be told, watchdog orders ministers
“Ministers were under mounting pressure last night to publish secret details about the 'sexed-up' dossier on Iraq that helped take Britain to war. The Information Commissioner ordered civil servants to release undisclosed emails and memos about a draft of the dossier which supposedly set out the threat posed by Saddam Hussein. […] He said it was clearly in the public interest to know what alterations to the dossier were proposed in the days before it was published. This was because the undisclosed material could provide 'evidence that the dossier was deliberately manipulated in order to present an exaggerated case for
military action'. […] The dossier was published by the then Prime Minister to set out the Government's case for the war, which began in March 2003. It claimed the Iraqi dictator was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction […] [and] that Saddam could launch devastating chemical and biological attacks within 45 minutes of ordering a strike.” (Daily Mail; 05Sep08; Ian Drury) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1052352/Watchdog-rejects-No-10s-plea-sexed-WMD-dossier-secret.html

Briefing on the History of Libya’s WMD Effort and Dismantlement Program and Libya’s Renunciation of
“[Ambassador Dell Dailey said] ‘Coming off of the state sponsor Terrorism list is a pretty powerful tool. And both with the Libyans and with the North Koreans, it was a request on their part for us to extend this if they went through the appropriate WMD and nuclear and denuclearization process. It is a model for other countries to use […] They’ve been off the list since June 2006. And in that timeframe, there’s been some very close cooperation in virtually all the areas of counterterrorism across the national aspect: diplomatic, military, intelligence services, economics. So it’s been a good move. […].’ [Additionally, Assistant Secretary Paula DeSutter mentioned] ‘there were many cases where Libya took us to facilities that we could have never known about. And so that level of demonstration – in fact, on the biological weapons issues, we said, okay, we are now convinced that […] while there was an early program that [i]s terminating, how are we going to be sure that you’re not going to pursue that in the future? It’s very difficult to verify. And their answer was, oh, get U.S. companies to come in co-production with us and then you’ll know everything that we’re doing – a little bit of a misunderstanding about how much U.S. companies report to us.’” (U.S. Department of State;

New 'chemical radar' among national security innovations in ACS [American Chemical Society] podcast
“[…] the American Chemical Society (ACS) has issued a new podcast describing an array of technologies to help assure personal safety and national security. The podcast is the sixth episode in ACS's acclaimed Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions series. […] One segment, for instance, focuses on scientific advances toward early detection of bioterrorism attacks with biological threats that the National Institutes of Health calls Category A agents. […] [discussing the radar] ‘Instead of using radio waves to see distant bombers and battleships, these new technologies use laser beams to detect atmospheric chemical weapons.’ The
technology could be useful for detecting nerve agents drifting into an area in a suspicious-looking cloud and distinguishing them from chemically similar but harmless pesticides that might have been sprayed on a farm field […].” (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News; 04Sep08; Charmayne Marsh, Eureka Alert)

Battelle wins pair of
Air Force chem-bio deals
“Battelle Memorial Institute has won two
Air Force contracts totaling
$16.5 million to assist in developing procedures to respond to chemical exposure and chemical weapons attacks. Under a $9.5 million contract, Battelle will develop effective methods for measuring chemical agents and toxic industrial chemicals and materials and their effect on humans […] the company will be responsible for sharing procedures and methodologies developed as part of the project with public health organizations. Under a
$7 million contract, the company will establish procedures for chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear attack response and related emergency response training, DOD said. The company also will develop techniques for associated risk assessment, mitigation and management.” (Washington
technology; 05Sep08; William Welsh) http://www.washingtontechnology.com/online/1_1/33446-1.html

[Syrian President Bashar] Assad's charm offensive [Editorial]
“Yesterday [02Sep08], French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrived in Damascus on the first visit by a Western leader to Syria […] since February 2005. He is joined there today by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa for a summit meeting […] The summit also comes after news that another round of indirect talks between Israel and Syria is set to begin on Sunday. […] According to
military Intelligence's head of research, [Brigadier General] Yossi Baidatz, as of June 2007, Syria was ‘accelerating military acquisition.’ In late 2006, the US State Department's […] John C. Rood, testified that Syria was engaged in research and development for an offensive biological warfare program.” (Jerusalem Post; 03Sep08)

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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