War on Terrorism

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- November 12, 2008

Newspapers seek unsealing of anthrax search records
“A federal court today will consider two newspapers’ request to release documents related to the 2001 ‘Amerithrax’ investigations. The New York Times on September 4 asked U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth for access to warrants and supporting materials related to searches of property owned or used by Dr. Bruce E. Ivins, Dr. Stephen J. Hatfill, and Hatfill’s former girlfriend. The Los Angeles Times joined in the request on September 9. The newspapers noted that the 2001 anthrax investigation was one of the most complex and far-reaching criminal probes in American history. They argued that ‘the public has a qualified right of access to these court records, and no proper basis exists for continuing to keep the Warrant Materials under seal, particularly given the public’s knowledge that these three individuals were subject to scrutiny by the Amerithrax investigators.’” (The Reporters’ Committee for Freedom of the Press; 12Nov08)

Vic [Victoria, Australia] ill-equipped for biosecurity threat
“Victorian authorities would struggle to cope with a major biosecurity threat like horse flu, a report shows. An Auditor-General's report found the state may not have the capacity to sustain a response to a major or prolonged livestock disease outbreak. The weakness was exposed by last year's equine influenza (EI) emergency affecting NSW [New South Wales] and Queensland. Even though the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI) stopped the disease from spreading to Victoria, their resources ran thin, Auditor-General Des Pearson said. ‘The major issue identified in the EI outbreak was that resources were considerably stretched,’ Mr Pearson said in the report, tabled Wednesday in state parliament. ‘This raises concern about DPI's capacity and capability to sustain their response in a prolonged or large outbreak.’” (Brisbane Times; 12Nov08) http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/vic-illequipped-for-biosecurity-threat-20081112-5nod.html#

Sentencing again delayed in Las Vegas ricin case [Bergendorff]
“Sentencing has been postponed again for an unemployed graphic designer who pleaded guilty to possessing toxic ricin in Las Vegas. U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones cited an unspecified scheduling conflict Monday as he ordered Roger Bergendorff's sentencing postponed from Nov. 12 to Nov. 17. It was the third postponement since the 57-year-old Bergendorff pleaded guilty Aug. 4 to possession of a biological toxin and weapons charges. He's expected to be sentenced to 3 years, 1 month in federal prison.” (Las Vegas Sun; 10Nov08; Source: Associated Press) http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/nov/10/sentencing-again-delayed-in-las-vegas-ricin-case/

Russia to spend $4.7 billion on CW disposal through 2011
“Russia plans to spend more than $4.7 billion on chemical weapons disposal operations from 2009 to 2011, Interfax reported yesterday. Russia has opened disposal sites at four out of seven planned locations: Maradykovsky in the Kirov Region, Gorny in the Saratov Region, Kambarka in Udmurtia and Leonidovka in the Penza Region. Operations at Gorny are complete. As of Nov. 1, Russia had eliminated 11,747 metric tons of chemical warfare material from its declared 40,000-metric-ton stockpile, Interfax reported.” (Global Security Newswire; 11Nov08; Source: Interfax) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20081111_2727.php

Japan's doomsday cult guru [Asahara] seeks retrial
“Lawyers for the Japanese doomsday cult leader on death row for ordering a deadly nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 have requested a retrial, a court official said Tuesday. Shoko Asahara, 53, was arrested at a commune near Mount Fuji two months after the Aum sect released Nazi-invented sarin gas in rush-hour Tokyo subway trains, killing 12 people and injuring thousands. […] The move does not automatically delay his execution but local media noted there have been few cases of condemned inmates being hanged while seeking retrial.” (Channel News Asia; 11Nov08; Source: Agence France-Presse)

Law on toxic materials in offing [Uganda]
“The [Ugandan] government is drafting a law to control the importation, manufacture and use of toxic chemicals in industries, the gender and social development minister [Syda Bbumba] has said. […] The law, which takes off next year, is in line with the adoption of the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which Uganda is a signatory, Bbumba added. […] Bbumba was yesterday speaking at the opening of the sixth regional meeting of national authorities of state parties to the chemical weapons convention in Africa. […] Mirjam Blaak, Uganda's deputy head of mission to the Benelux, warned that criminals could start to use chemicals if there are no laws to control the use of chemicals on the continent. The summit was organised by the Netherlands-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the Government of Uganda.” (AllAfrica.com; 11Nov08; Raymond Baguma; Source: New Vision) http://allafrica.com/stories/200811120697.html

Stiff penalties vs. possession of chemical weapons sought [Philippines]
“Life imprisonment and/or a P10-million [Philippine peso] fine await those making, storing and using chemical weapons, once a bill in the House of Representatives is passed into law. House Bill 5091 covers the development, production, stockpiling, retention, transfer and use of chemical weapons intended for mass destruction. [Rep. Belma] Cabilao said the Philippines, a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention, has the duty to enact legislation that would implement the provisions of the Convention and further provide for penal measures to enforce these provisions. ‘The State should never, under any circumstances develop, produce, stockpile, retain, transfer or use chemical weapons,’ Cabilao said.” (GMA News; 12Nov08; Source: Congress of the Philippines) http://www.gmanews.tv/story/132894/Stiff-penalties-vs-possession-of-chemical-weapons-sought

Students get anti-terrorism lessons in Bushey [U.K.]
“Six students have been brought face-to-face with counter-terrorism and chemical warfare detection technology by a Bushey-based business. Airport x-ray technology used to swiftly detect explosives was cunningly demonstrated […] [as well as] mobile detectors for chemical and biological weapons which have been used by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. […] Mal Maginnis, president of Smiths Detection’s military and emergency response arm, […] said: […] ‘Our systems are developed here in Bushey and are deployed all over the world, protecting people from chemical and biological attacks. We need a constant supply of talented people to deliver that technology.’” (Watford Observer; 12Nov08; Filip Hnizdo) http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/3841155.Students_get_anti_terrorism_lessons/

Washington [DC] hospital center installs Defentect radiation detection pilot as part of its commitment to advanced emergency preparedness
“[Washington] Hospital Center is preparing for the unthinkable, but very real possibility of a radiological event in the nation's capital.Defentect's solution will monitor for the ingress of radiologically contaminated patients as well as the illicit egress of on-premise radiological materials used to treat patients. […] [Defentect] DM3(TM) proprietary software is sensor agnostic and can be tied to a variety of threat sensors, including chemical, biological, nuclear and explosives. ‘We're extending our preparedness to anticipate a high risk radiological situation,’ said Susan E. Eckert, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Nursing Readiness, Washington Hospital Center.” Red Orbit; 11Nov08; Source: Business Wire)

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.

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