CIA’s loss of top spies ‘catastrophic,’ says agency veteran
“Only a few months ago, Sam Faddis was running a CIA unit charged with preventing terrorists from getting nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Today, only 50, the equivalent of a full colonel at the top of his game, he has quit. […] The [CIA Operations] directorate is losing ‘25 or 30 chiefs of station’ — the top CIA representative in a country or major city — ‘or their equivalent’ at headquarters, every six months, Faddis estimates. That’s out of an estimated thousand or fewer case officers — the men and women who recruit and manage spies — worldwide. ‘The effect in any time in history would be serious,’ Faddis says, ‘but at this time, when you’re trying to rebuild the agency from the cutbacks of the Clinton years, massively trying to catch up, at a time when you really need your most experienced people to run operations and mentor the new blood coming in, it’s catastrophic.’” (CQ Politics; 17Oct08; Jeff Stein)
At [Boston University] biolab forum, divides remain deep
“They announced the project in 2003, and BU scientists and officials had initially hoped to be studying the world's deadliest germs at the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at Boston University Medical Center by now. […] [But] after local activists and public interest groups filed a lawsuit in 2006, a federal judge found the original environmental study for the lab to be inadequate, and the state required BU to address the study's shortcomings [at a public meeting]. […] While the crowd of more than 300 shouted down panel members at several points, panel members grew frustrated that some in the community don't believe biological weapons won't be created at the lab. Panel chairman Adel Mahmoud of Princeton University reiterated that BU will not work on government classified projects there and that the development of biological weapons is unlawful. The lab's purpose ‘is to reduce damage of biological threats, or better yet, prevent them,’ he said. ‘I really, really plead with you to try to appreciate the definition of the two, because if we continue the same six years of debate we are not going to get anywhere.’” (Boston Globe; 19Oct08; Justin A. Rice) http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2008/10/19/at_biolab_forum_divides_remain_deep?mode=PF
Tamil Tigers launch gas attack [Sri Lanka]
“Troops and Tamil Tiger rebels were locked in intense fighting in northern Sri Lanka yesterday after government forces smashed through the ‘last major defences’ of the guerrillas, the military said. The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) launched ‘poisonous gas attacks’ to blunt the military offensive aimed at capturing the rebels' political capital of Kilinochchi, the defence ministry said in a statement. […] [The statement] said the Tigers ‘launched poisonous gas attacks’ on the troops. military sources said that the Tigers had used a type of tear gas commonly used during riot control. ‘However, troops withstood the chemical attack and beat off the terrorists,’ the ministry said.” (The Daily Star; 20Oct08; Source: AFP) http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=59520
Oil drilling could disrupt chemical weapons off N.J. coast
“The U.S. Army has admitted to dumping 64 million pounds of chemical weapons into U.S. waters from World War One until the early 1970s. Last month, Congress voted to open waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to oil and gas drilling - but only 50 or more miles out to sea and only if a state agrees to energy exploration off its shore. Beyond 100 miles, no state approval would be required. […] Chemical agents such as mustard gas, sarin gas, arsenic, cyanide and VX nerve gas were all dumped off the Atlantic Coast, raising questions about safety and the volatility of weapons in those dumpsites.” (The Press of Atlantic City; 19Oct08; Donna Weaver)
Anti-chemical bond [anti-chemical warfare system]
“UK terahertz technology specialist TeraView will play a key role in US government-backed plans for a new anti-chemical warfare system. Cambridge-based TeraView said it will supply its continuous wave (CW) terahertz detection platform to a chemical agent detection system being developed by US engineering giant Goodrich. The Goodrich system is a high-resolution spectrometer designed to identify chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals.” (The Engineer Online; 20Oct08) http://www.theengineer.co.uk/Articles/308446/Anti-chemical+bond.htm
Alta. [Alberta, Canada] 'prime location' for terrorists: experts
“Oil-and-gas rich Alberta has become a ‘prime location’ for terrorists looking to capitalize on shaky economic times in Canada and the United States, terrorism experts said at a national conference for emergency officials in Calgary during the weekend. ‘While Alberta might not be a first choice for mass-casualty attack terrorism, […] it certainly is a prime location for economic terrorism, because of the ability to disrupt the oil and gas industry,’ Mercedes Stephenson, a Calgary-based defence and security analyst, told reporters. Stephenson was speaking at a conference hosted for emergency first responders to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents. Her remarks come as the security of energy infrastructure is under scrutiny after two B.C.
[British Columbia] pipeline explosions last week.” (Calgary Herald; 20Oct08; Jamie Konarnicki) http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/national/story.html?id=7cfeec19-d5f2-415d-beba-761a5c94f70b
Arms convention course begins [Qatar]
“Qatar's Chief of Staff Major General H E Hamad bin Ali Al Attiyah opened a basic course for personnel of the National Authorities in Asia involved in the national implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) at the [Doha] Intercontinental Hotel yesterday. The opening ceremony was attended by members of the National Committee on the Prohibition of Arms (NCPA), Qatar Armed Force's top officers and the regional delegations. The five-day conference, being organised jointly by Qatar and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), aims to assist States Parties in the region to effectively comply with their obligations under the Convention, and is designed to increase national capacities for fulfilling the objectives set out in the Article VII action plan.” (The Peninsula; 20Oct08; Mohamed Saeed) http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=October2008&file=Local_News2008102011416.xml
Spain holds exercise to hone response to nuclear attack threat
“Spanish security services on Wednesday began staging a large-scale field exercise as part of a US-backed programme to prevent the use of radioactive materials by terrorists. More than 250 representatives from 17 nations are taking part in the three-day exercise, which includes the mock deactivation of a radioactive ‘dirty bomb’ and search for radioactive material, the interior ministry said in a statement. The goal is to ‘prepare to prevent a terrorist attack with nuclear or radioactive material by intervening and neutralising it, and protect the civilian population if needed.’ The exercise is being held at a police training centre in Avila, some 150 kilometres (90 miles) west of Madrid. It is part of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear terrorism which was launched by US President George W. Bush and then Russian President Vladimir Putin at a G8 summit in July 2006.” (Space Wars; 15Oct08; Source: AFP)
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
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
CNS ChemBio-WMD 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.