War on Terrorism

Thursday, September 11, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- September 10, 2008

XOMA [Ltd.] awarded $65 Million biodefense contract by NIAID [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] to advance drug candidates against botulism toxins into clinical trials “XOMA Ltd. today announced that it was awarded a $65 million multiple year contract from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support XOMA's ongoing development of drug candidates towards clinical trials in the treatment of botulism poisoning, a potentially deadly muscle paralyzing disease. The contract is the third that NIAID has awarded to XOMA for the development of botulinum antitoxins and brings the program's total to nearly $100 million.” (Globe Newswire; 09Sep08)

N[uclear]-deal could mother pharma innovations
“[…] the conclusion of the controversial nuclear deal with the US could spell a new era for India’s bio-
technology and pharmaceutical companies. The deal is expected to open up access to critical genetic products and bio-materials, besides the latest technology to deal with them. This could help Indian laboratories boost research and companies discover new drugs, develop vaccines or create lucrative patents. […] ‘The same genetic product is used for making some vaccines as well as anthrax. A well defined dual use technology trade protocol would help import of such products by India’s bio-medical companies,’ [Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairman and managing director of Biocon] said, referring to items whose trade was restricted because of fears that civilian material could be diverted for military use.” (Hindustan Times; 09Sep08; Gaurav Choudhury & Suprotip

Chemical warfare left its legacy
“More than 60 years after the last shots were fired in anger in the Pacific War Australian authorities admit that wartime clandestine activities at the Marrangaroo defence establishment on the outskirts of Lithgow were so secret that they are still not 100 per cent certain of what went on there or what sinister mysteries were left behind. […] Recently the Mercury revealed that defence authorities were moving to finally determine what was left behind at Marrangaroo and to decontaminate the site. At the weekend the
Army and its civilian agents moved a step further in this process with briefing sessions […] On Friday the authorities met with NSW [New South Wales] Fire Brigade personnel from Lithgow and Sydney, Rural Fire Service, police (including anti terrorism officers), ambulance, Lithgow Hospital, Council and the Sydney West Area Health Service Counter Disaster Unit. On Saturday there was another session for Marrangaroo residents.” (Lithgow Mercury; 09Sep08; Len Ashworth)

National survey shows lack of preparedness for a dirty bomb attack
“The Radiological Threat Awareness Coalition (R-TAC) today released a national survey on
homeland security preparedness, showing that at least 81% of those polled said the threat of a ‘dirty bomb’ is serious, yet less than one third (32%) feel prepared for a terrorist attack. The national survey of public sentiment finds that a majority of likely voters would not know what to do in the event of a ‘dirty bomb’ attack, and have not taken steps to make themselves more prepared.” (PR Newswire; 09Sep08; Source: R-TAC)

Bulgaria casts doubt on London ‘poisoned umbrella’ killing
“Bulgaria is closing its probe into a Cold War killing, the murder of dissident Georgi Markov in London, but an investigator said no evidence existed to back up the theory that he was stabbed with a poison-tipped umbrella. Under Bulgarian law, the 30-year statute of limitations on the case expires on Thursday, the anniversary of Markov's death, but Sofia will continue to work with British
police on their investigation into the case. […] British police are still eager to solve the murder. Bulgaria's closure of the case coincides with the release of communist-era secret police files by Bulgarian daily Dnevnik on Monday that identified Markov's suspected assassin as agent code-named ‘Picadilly.’ The files show how the agent underwent ‘special training’ from Bulgaria's notorious secret police, Darzhavna Sigurnost, and received two medals, several free holidays and $30,000 (17,000 pounds) after Markov's death, Dnevnik said. The files, which Dnevnik said were incomplete, unveiled that Markov's case was discussed with the KGB in Moscow. In the archives, Dnevnik said it had also found a secret agreement between Sofia and Moscow signed in 1972, under which the KGB was due to provide fast-acting poisons and devices for their delivery to the Bulgarian intelligence.” (Reuters; 08Sep08; Anna Mudeva)

In WMD report, U.S. gets a C [by the Partnership for a Secure America]
“The bipartisan Partnership for a Secure America gave the United States an overall grade of C. The government received in total three D's, eight C's and seven B's in areas such as sustaining support of foreign scientists and governments, integrating programs to prevent nuclear
terrorism and strengthening multilateral law enforcement efforts. The group urged the next president to appoint a cabinet-level White House coordinator with the authority to direct counterproliferation plans, programs and funding ‘from day one.’ The panel was co-chaired by Lee H. Hamilton (D), former congressman and vice chairman of the 9/11 Commission, and Warren Rudman (R), former senator and co-chairman of a 2001 blue-ribbon commission on terrorism.” (Washington Post; 09Sep08; Spencer S. Hsu) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/08/AR2008090802644.html?hpid=sec-nation

2 Vermilion County [Indiana] departments to merge following loss of funds
“In August, the last drum of deadly VX nerve agent stored at the Newport Chemical Depot just across the state line in Newport, Ind., was finally destroyed. Eliminating the VX meant eliminating the danger it posed to Indiana and Illinois residents, including people in southeastern Vermilion County, but it also meant the elimination of federal funds that were sent for years to the Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency to ensure that the agency and its volunteers were prepared to respond to a nerve-gas accident. Vermilion County has responded to the financial loss by merging the emergency management agency with the county's information
technology department, a move county officials said will save money while joining two functions that are natural partners. The loss in federal funds of about $200,000 – money that was used for equipment, training, personnel and more – took effect last month.” (News-Gazette; 09Sep08; Tracy Moss) http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2008/09/09/2_vermilion_county_departments_to_merge_following_loss_of_funds

Hampton University [Hampton, Virginia] named biochemical attack resource site
“The Hampton Health District is facilitating a biochemical dispensing exercise from noon to 4 p.m., Sept. 19 at Hampton University. The purpose is to equip HU as a quick dispensing center (QDC) in the event of a biochemical attack in the city. […] In July and August, the Hampton Health District facilitated training drills that mocked the function of a QDC. Faculty from the university's schools of pharmacy and nursing, health physical education and recreation (HPER) departments, the HU Health Center and College of Education and Continuing studies participated, acting as patients and QDC officials.” (NBC; 09Sep08; Source: Hampton University)

NYPD transformed since Sept. 11 attacks with more surveillance, technology
“The largest
police department in the United States, with about 37,000 officers, has spent tens of millions of dollars - much it from federal grants - on an array of high-tech security measures designed to thwart threats potentially more daunting than another attack on a downtown skyscraper. It's also assigned 1,000 officers to counterterrorism duty, including 10 detectives posted around the globe who collect and share intelligence. […] David Cohen, a former CIA official brought aboard after Sept. 11 to head the NYPD's intelligence division, said the department has identified more than a dozen serious plots against the city in the past seven years. These were either interrupted or abandoned, including some that haven't become public, he said.” (Associated Press; 09Sep08; Tom Hays) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gLsqRicyXSSpdbiMfPWbvQ3VW6bQD933EM880

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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