War on Terrorism

Monday, October 13, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- October 13, 2008

Neither snow, nor rain, nor anthrax ...[U.S.]
“Important planning for responding to a future anthrax attack has quietly been under way since the last attacks seven years ago. A key part of this effort has been figuring out how best to deliver prophylactic antibiotics quickly to the people living in the city that is attacked. […] First, an attack must be detected, either by one of the BioWatch air monitors that have been placed in many cities or by finding symptoms of anthrax poisoning in a victim. Either way, this can take at least 12 to 30 hours. Next, an adequate supply of antibiotics must be sent from the Strategic National Stockpile (held at 12 sites around the country) to the affected city, ideally within 12 hours. Finally, the city must get the drugs out to its population. […] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has directed 72 major American cities to devise plans to distribute anthrax antibiotics to all their residents within 48 hours of receiving them. So far, few of these cities are able to meet that goal.”(
New York Times; 13Oct08; Lawrence Wein) http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/13/opinion/13wein.html?_r=1&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print

Texas offering $100 million in incentives to gain defense facility
“Gov. Rick Perry has joined with San Antonio
leaders in a unified effort to help sell the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the merits of placing its planned National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in the Alamo City.Texas is committing more than $100 million to the effort, including $56 million that the governor and other top state officials have pledged to secure through the legislative appropriations process in the upcoming session. Supporters of the NBAF project say it will establish a next-generation biological and agricultural defense facility to replace an aging animal disease research facility at Plum Island, N.Y. Experts at the proposed facility are expected to research high-risk biological threats and help protect the nation’s agriculture infrastructure and food supply against bioterrorism.” (Industry News; 13Oct08; source: BizJournals)

U.S. limits bird flu vaccine, fearing bioterror
“[The] United States […] bars U.S. exports of vaccines for avian bird flu and dozens of other viruses to five countries designated ‘state sponsors of
terrorism.’ […] Under this little-known policy, North Korea (at least until Saturday, when it was removed from the list), Iran, Cuba, Syria and Sudan may not get the vaccines unless they apply for special export licenses, which would be given or refused according to the discretion of the United States. Three of those nations - Iran, Cuba and Sudan - also are subject to a ban on all human pandemic influenza vaccines as part of a general U.S. embargo. The regulations […] have raised concerns within the medical and scientific communities. […] Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they were not even aware of the policies until contacted by the Associated Press last month and privately expressed alarm. […] U.S.
Commerce Assistant Secretary Christopher Wall declined to elaborate on the precise threat posed by vaccines for chickens infected with avian influenza, except to say there are ‘valid security concerns’ that they ‘do not fall into the wrong hands.’” (Associated Press; 12Oct08; Robin McDowell)

PharmAthene and Panacea Biotec Ltd. establish strategic alliance in biodefense and emerging infectious diseases [MD]
“PharmAthene, Inc.[MD] , a biodefense company developing medical countermeasures against biological and chemical threats, announced today that the Company has closed a strategic equity financing with Panacea Biotec Ltd.. […] Panacea Biotec's subsidiary has received 12-month warrants to purchase up to approximately 2.75 million additional shares of PharmAthene common stock at an exercise price of $5.10 per share.” (PR Newswire; 13Oct08; Stacy Jurchison; Source: PharmAthene) http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1586827/pharmathene_and_panacea_biotec_ltd_establish_strategic_alliance_in_biodefense/

HAPSITE chemical ID system a boost for Inficon; Department of Defense places $1.65M order
“Inficon’s chemical-identification system continued bringing in revenue for the company on Oct. 6. The firm, which develops and manufactures a variety of instruments, sensors, and software, announced on that day an order for its HAPSITE Chemical Identification System that extends an ongoing relationship with the Department of Defense. The order is worth $1.65 million. Inficon’s HAPSITE system is a portable product that provides on-site detection and analysis of toxic chemicals in air, soil, and water. The Defense Department uses the system to detect chemical-warfare agents and other toxic materials in the field.” (Central NY Business Journal; 10Oct08; Kevin Tampone) http://www.cnybj.com/index.php?id=396&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=9021&tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=1&cHash=5d47708690

White powder scares cost
law enforcement time, money
Firefighters and federal agents have responded to more than 30,000 incidents involving suspicious powders, liquids or chemicals since 2001 in what authorities say is the terrifying legacy of the anthrax attacks after 9/11. […] ‘A single incident can warrant a huge response,’ says Billy Hayes of Washington, D.C.'s fire department. ‘It gets very expensive, not to mention the inconvenience.[…] In just the past year, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service has responded to 2,893 incidents, many of which involved white powder, spokesman Douglas Bem says. The FBI, which is called when a threatening note is found or when it otherwise appears a crime may have been committed, looked into more than 900 biological incidents from January 2007 to August 2008, ‘the majority of those incidents being white powder letters,’ spokesman Richard Kolko says.” ABC News; 13Oct08; Mimi Hall)

CDC gives out $16.9M contract for influenza web system [VA]
“The CDC has given a $16.9 million contract to Virginia-based American Type Culture Collection to facilitate the creation of a Web-based system that will improve access to influenza viruses, test kits and other reagents for qualified laboratories. The CDC says that the system will help scientists examine possible pandemics in advance, as well as speed the development of diagnostic tests, antiviral drugs and vaccines.” (SmartBrief; 10Oct08)

Idaho unveils website to help Idahoans prepare for pandemic influenza
“The website, http://www.PANFLUidaho.org, was developed to provide resources and tools to help individuals, families, businesses, and governments to plan and prepare for an influenza pandemic. ‘We wanted to provide a reliable source of information for people in
Idaho about influenza pandemics - what happened during the three pandemics of the last century, what to expect during a pandemic, and most importantly, how to prepare for a future pandemic,’ says Barb Blakesley, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare's Pandemic Influenza Coordinator and Planner.” (Medical News Today; 12Oct08) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/125137.php

Countries lagging in flu pandemic plans, UN warns
“Most Asia-Pacific nations are making progress on avian flu control, but are lagging in plans to tackle the social and economic fallout of a human flu pandemic, a senior UN influenza specialist has warned. ‘In general, the situation is that countries are getting much more on top of the bird flu,’ senior UN System Influenza Coordinator (UNSIC), David Nabarro, told IRIN in Bangkok. ‘I'm impressed with progress, but I am saying a lot more needs to be done, particularly on multi-sectoral pandemic preparedness.’ UNSIC in the Asia-Pacific, collaborating with the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre and the Kenan Institute Asia, has released its first compilation of simulation exercises conducted by countries to prepare for a human influenza pandemic.” (Irin; 13Oct08) http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/IRIN/2a14617d7551103e94067d7f1ca83e2f.htm

The Biodefense Program in the Department of Public & International Affairs at George Mason University presents an evening with Major General Stephen V. Reeves, Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical & Biological Defense, Department of Defense

"The Future of Chemical & Biological Defense"

Thursday, October 23rd
Mason Hall D3 A&B
Fairfax Campus
George Mason University

Please consult the following Website for directions and a map to GMU's Fairfax campus: http://www.gmu.edu/welcome/Directions-to-GMU.html

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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