War on Terrorism

Friday, October 24, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- October 24, 2008

Homeland Security lab like biodefense battleship
“The Department of
Homeland Security's new laboratory building, […] resembles a battleship being readied for war against biological weapons. […] The $143 million National Biodefense and Analysis Countermeasures Center, […] with 50,000 square feet of high-security lab space, is part of a biodefense campus taking shape at Fort Detrick, already home to the military's top germ research facility. […] When it opens next spring, the Homeland Security lab and its 140 scientists and technicians will give the government new tools for predicting biological attacks and identifying perpetrators of ‘bio-crimes.’ It will provide the FBI with a forensic capability it lacked after the 2001 anthrax mailings, which killed five people.” (Hometown Annapolis; 23Oct08) http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2008/10_23-21/REG

Disease notification heads for standardization
“State epidemiologists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are on their way to creating a national standard list of health conditions that public health authorities should be notified about. The working list has 68 diseases such as typhoid, AIDS, E. coli infection and anthrax. Now the epidemiologists, through their association, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, and the CDC are working to specify the point at which notification of a disease should occur and what information should be supplied for each disease. For example, reports of animal rabies should include the species of animal. For some other diseases, the patient’s nationality might be valuable information. […] Work is finished for about half the diseases on the list.” (Global Health IT; 23Oct08; Nancy Ferris) http://www.govhealthit.com/online/news/350640-1.html

Minn. [MN] prison hospital receives white powder
Minnesota Health Department is testing some suspicious white powder that was sent to a federal prison hospital in Rochester. The Federal Medical Center received an envelope with the powder Thursday morning, prompting a response from the Fire Department's hazardous materials team. The envelope was received in the center's mailroom, and no inmates came in contact with the substance, said prison spokesman Dan Cansino.” (West Central Tribune; 23Oct08; Source: Associated Press)

Biosafety laboratories: Congress investigates perimeter security
“BSL-4 labs handle the world’s most dangerous agents and diseases. In fact, of the four BSL designations, only BSL-4 labs can work with agents for which no cure or treatment exists. GAO was asked to perform a systematic security assessment of key perimeter security controls at the nation’s five operational BSL-4 labs. […] While three labs [of the five total] had all or nearly all of the key security controls GAO assessed--features such as perimeter barriers, roving armed guard patrols, and magnetometers in use at lab entrances--two labs demonstrated a significant lack of these controls. […] Although the presence of the security controls GAO assessed does not automatically ensure a secure perimeter, having most controls provides increased assurance that a strong perimeter security system is in place and reduces the likelihood of unauthorized intrusion.” (Canada Free Press; 24Oct08; Jim Kouri) http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/5780

Mail warns financial institutions of ‘payback’
“Threatening letters containing a suspicious white powder mailed to three U.S. financial institutions warn ‘it's payback time,’ according to a text released by the FBI on Thursday. More than 50 letters, with identical or similar threatening language, were sent to Chase Bank offices, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision, the FBI said. ‘Steal tens of thousands of people's money and not expect repercussions (sic). It's payback time. What you just breathed in will kill you within 10 days. Thank (redacted) and the FDIC for your demise,’ said the text posted on the FBI Web site. […] All the letters were mailed from the city in the Texas panhandle, the FBI said.” (Reuters; 23Oct08; JoAnne Allen)

9/11 commission heads: U.S. 'vulnerable' to terrorist attack
“Today, almost seven years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the threat of a new, major terrorist attack on the United States is ‘still very real,’ and the country is ‘still dangerously vulnerable,’ according to a new bi-partisan, independent report that will be released on Wednesday. Authored by former members of the federal government's 9/11 Commission and independent experts, the report by the Partnership for a Secure America evaluates progress made by the Bush administration to safeguard the United States against weapons of mass destruction. It gives the administration an overall grade of ‘C’ for its efforts to prevent nuclear
Terrorism, chemical Terrorism and biological Terrorism.” (NBC San Diego; 23Oct08) http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/green/9_11_Commission_Heads__U_S___Vulnerable__to_Terrorist_Attack.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.

1 comment:

Frank Keegan said...


Self (inflicted) defense can up risk
By The Baltimore Examiner Newspaper
- 11/23/08

Two clear facts shine from the clouded mystery of anthrax attacks on America and our government’s tenuous claim seven years later of closing the case with the suicide of a suspect.
Fact No. 1: Government warnings about anthrax being a weapon of mass destruction were false. Somebody dispersed the most lethal strain our tax dollars can produce — weapons-grade or near enough — via the U.S. Postal Service, exposing tens of millions of people, yet managed to infect 22. Five died. But from anthrax vaccination, at least 21 died and thousands reported a wide range of illnesses.

Fact No. 2: If FBI accusations against their prime suspect in the 2001 attack are true, it means billions of dollars taxpayers invested on the premise of prevention actually increased the risk.

When senior biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins died from an overdose of Tylenol 3 after being identified as sole suspect, our central
government declared the crime solved.

However, co-workers at the U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Frederick say the actions attributed to Ivins over the time the government claims are scientifically impossible.

This is going to be another never-healing wound in America’s body of unsolved mysteries.

But mystery should not distract us from the truth. Our government’s response to bioweapons is raising the danger level from them.

Think it through, citizens. The very vaccination program intended to thwart anthrax apparently sickened and killed more people than an actual mass attack.

After the 2001 attack, our government hurled $41 billion at bioterror with no real coordination or study. High-level labs multiplied threefold. A dozen agencies exponentially increased the number of facilities and workers handling pathogens. Now we have more than 15,000 potential Bruce Ivins.

Meanwhile, our leaders provided no adequate increase in oversight, coordination, training, security, surveillance, testing, background checks or psychological screening.

Statistically, something going horribly wrong now approaches sure thing. That is not just a threat to residents of Frederick, Bethesda and other communities. It is, as the spread of anthrax spores proved, a threat to the whole world.

We learned in 2001 the actual danger from anthrax was lower than vaccine.

But these biohazard labs grow a lot more dangerous pathogens than anthrax. The next one to get out could kill millions.

President Bush must immediately halt programs until we can impose coordinated oversight, then assess security and capacity needs.

We must not let self-defense become self-inflicted catastrophe.

Link to GAO reports
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-08-108T High-Containment Biosafety Laboratories
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-333R Issues Associated with Expansion

Read the vaccine series
http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com/local/crime/Scientific_impossibility.html Scientific impossibility
http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com/local/112008anthraxpart2.html Sickening results
http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com/local/112008anthrax.html Costly program
http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com/local/112008anthraxletter.html Pentagon responds