War on Terrorism

Saturday, November 15, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- November 14, 2008

Drive-by flu shots [Las Vegas, Nevada]
“With a record 140 million flu vaccinations expected to be administered this year in the U.S., hospitals and health clinics from Norwood, Mass., to Randolph County, Ala., have started offering drive-by shootings, using concern about the regular old flu to help prep for outbreaks of potentially far graver diseases like avian flu and anthrax. The curbside care is simple: you pull up, read about the risks and sign a consent form, then bare your bicep and get a shot--all without leaving the driver's seat. In October in Lynchburg, Va., the Central Virginia Health District's first drive-by clinic served 300 patients in 3 1/2 hours. That's less than 45 seconds per vaccination (and no time cooped up in a room with possible germ spreaders). But critics say that the process is dangerous and that the last place you want to be if something goes wrong is speeding down the highway. […] Still, Dr. Kerry Gateley, Central Virginia's health director, says doctors' offices dole out the shots almost as quickly. The biggest risk, he adds, may be that some drivers get woozy after the shot.” (Time; 13Nov08; Laura Fitzpatrick) http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1858892,00.html

Disease laboratory prepares for germs [Columbia,
“Scientists at the University of
Missouri won’t have to wait much longer to study infectious diseases such as anthrax, rabbit fever, West Nile virus and Q fever. Campus officials will dedicate MU’s Regional Biocontainment Laboratory on Saturday, though the official opening won’t be for another couple of months, said George Stewart, chairman of MU’s Department of Veterinary Pathology. […] MU received $13.4 million for the lab, MU spokesman Christian Basi said, and contributed about $4.6 million to complete construction, said Deborah Anderson, associate director of the Regional Biocontainment Lab. Laboratories designated Level 3 - a reference to its security status - house ‘significant’ airborne infectious pathogens for which there are vaccines or treatments, Stewart said.” (Columbia Tribune; 13Nov08; Jenna Youngs) http://www.columbiatribune.com/2008/Nov/20081113News006.asp

Joint exercise responds to 'anthrax' discovery [North Platte, Nebraska]
“At approximately 2:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, members of the North Platte
Fire Department Hazardous Materials team and the 72nd Civil Support National Guard unit out of Lincoln responded to an anthrax discovery at a local college dorm. Or, at least, that was the training scenario. […] The scenario entailed a missing persons report and the possible presence of an unknown chemical inside the fire station, which was set up as a mock university dormitory. Firefighters discovered suspicious materials and made a methodical search of the area along side members of the 72nd. After donning complete hazmat gear, the teams began monitoring the air for suspicious chemicals as they slowly searched the area […].” (North Platte Telegraph; 13Nov08; Mark Young) http://www.nptelegraph.com/articles/2008/11/13/news/50001069.txt

More than just flu shots at clinic [Rapid City, South Dakota]
“The city's mass vaccination clinic also provided volunteers and health professionals with training for the day that thousands could need medical aid in a future disaster. Fighting a public health menace, today and tomorrow, was the two-pronged purpose of the second annual clinic. It is part of South Dakota's Child Influenza Immunization Initiative. […] If the community ever needed mass inoculations or medications because of an epidemic, pandemic, natural disaster, chemical warfare or bioterrorism, the emergency point-of-dispensing system used at the mass clinic could be expanded to vaccinate 100,000 people over a 48-hour period, Kirchgesler said. ‘We've planned for 5,000 to 6,000 students. If we were to exceed that, we do have access to an additional 2,000 units of vaccine,’ [Rapid City Department of Fire & Emergency Services Capt. Mark Kirchgesler] said. […] Sioux Falls has had such two clinics, and other communities are planning theirs, he [Kirchgesler] said. ‘There's a plan throughout the state.’” (Rapid City Journal; 13Nov08; Jomay Steen) http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/articles/2008/11/13/news/local/doc491bc3354c273346533058.txt

Army: EPA's polluted site designation for Ft. Detrick [Maryland] area unnecessary
Army says it is unnecessary for the federal Environmental Protection Agency to add to a list of the nation's most polluted places an old Fort Detrick dump site that has tainted private wells and yielded live pathogens from biodefense labs. […] Fort Detrick is home to the military's biological warfare defense program. Workers there dumped industrial chemicals and biological wastes in unlined trenches at Area B from the 1940s through the 1960s, before such practices were outlawed. […] In 2004, the Army finished removing about 3,500 tons of contaminated soil, drums, laboratory vials and cylinders from four trenches at Area B, but lacked funding to clean up the ground water. Since then, contamination levels in the ground water have fallen sharply, installation spokesman Chuck Gordon said in April. During that operation, workers found small vials of live pathogens including E. coli and the microbes that cause pneumonia, tuberculosis and the livestock disease brucellosis. They also found a non-pathogenic form of anthrax.” (Baltimore Sun; 12Nov08; Source: AP) http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-army1112,0,619484.story

Leak detected at depot [Blue Grass
Army Depot, Kentucky]
“A leak was detected Thursday in a M55 rocket holding the nerve agent GB at the Blue Grass
Army Depot, officials said. The leak comes a day after crews began neutralizing 157 gallons of GB, also known as sarin, in a plan called Operation Swift Solution. Thursday's leak was unrelated to the neutralizing plan, which will destroy sarin that is stored in three steel ton containers at the depot. […] The low-level sarin vapor that was detected was confined to the tube and didn't seep into the igloo in which the rockets are kept, said Richard Sloan, spokesman for Blue Grass Chemical Activity, the agency that oversees chemical weapons at the depot. The rocket will be overpacked in a leak-proof container and stored in another igloo containing similar GB munitions in the next few days, Sloan said.” (Lexington Herald-Leader; 13Nov08; Ashlee Clark) http://www.kentucky.com/181/story/591243.html

The things he [the author] carried [through airport security]
“Because the TSA’s security regimen seems to be mainly thing-based—most of its 44,500 airport officers are assigned to truffle through carry-on bags for things like guns, bombs, three-ounce tubes of anthrax, Crest toothpaste, nail clippers, Snapple, and so on—I focused my efforts on bringing bad things through security in many different airports, primarily my home airport, Washington’s Reagan National, the one situated approximately 17 feet from the Pentagon, but also in
Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Chicago, and at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport […] During one secondary inspection […] I was wearing under my shirt […] a ‘Beerbelly,’ a neoprene sling that holds a polyurethane bladder and drinking tube. […] [which] contained two cans’ worth of Bud Light at the time of the inspection. It went undetected.” (Atlantic; Nov08; Jeffrey Goldberg) http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200811/airport-security

Strike anywhere at al-Qaida
“On Monday, the
New York Times revealed that in the spring of 2004, Donald Rumsfeld, then the US secretary of defence, signed a secret order providing the US military with a mandate and fast-track approvals mechanism to launch raids against al-Qaida terrorists in countries outside the ‘conflict zones’ of Iraq and Afghanistan. […] The number of special forces operations launched by the US military against al-Qaida targets under the new authority appears not to have been that high: the number of such raids not previously publicly disclosed was less than a dozen. […] [I] n a speech in the British Parliament on October 31, Michael Chertoff, the US homeland security secretary, argued: ‘[…] There are areas of the world that are ungoverned or ungovernable but nevertheless technically within the sovereignty of boundaries. Does that mean we simply have to allow terrorists to operate there, in kind of badlands, where they can plan, they can set up laboratories, they can experiment with chemical weapons and with biological weapons?’ […] The Obama administration is likely to reiterate these arguments in order to keep every option on the table in the hunt for Bin Laden.” (Guardian; 12Nov08; Paul Cruickshank) http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2008/nov/12/barack-obama-al-qaida

Joy to the world: holiday cards for 'any soldier'
“This holiday season, Americans can send soldiers and wounded troops greeting cards — even if they don’t know their names. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the anthrax attacks, the Pentagon required that mail addressed to ‘any soldier’ be returned to the sender, leaving Americans without a way to send mail to soldiers whose names they didn’t know. […] But for a second year, an American Red Cross program is allowing the public to send holiday greeting cards that aren’t addressed to a particular soldier. The cards will be screened, sorted and distributed to
military hospitals and bases nationally and overseas in time for the holidays. […] To speed delivery, mailers should not send care packages, money or any inserts, including glitter. […] In a voluntary effort, the mail service provider Pitney Bowes Inc. will screen the cards for hazardous material, and the Red Cross will sort through the cards to ensure the contents are appropriate.” (Associated Press; 12Nov08; Christine Simmons) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gaaFaQDRe6yR7RES41omQtzXtCAwD94D977O0

EDA [European Defence Agency] hosts a chemical, biological and radiological agents exercise [Namur, Belgium]
“The European Defence Agency hosts an exercise on how to deal better with the effects of Chemical, Biological and Radiological or Nuclear (CBRN) agents, in Jambes, Namur, from 11 to 13 November, bringing together about 100 experts from its participating Member States. […] Having worked for two years to develop procedures and practices, they are now being put into practice at a high level headquarters based exercise.
military experts from across the European Union are gathered to refine these procedures and to exchange ideas on the best way to address an attack of this nature. Although primarily focused on deployed operations, the exercise takes the opportunity to share ideas on homeland defence from different European institutions and other agencies. Representatives from NATO are also sharing their experiences and ensuring that their work goes hand in hand with that the European Defence Agency.” (European Defence Agency News; 12Nov08)

Five passports are lost in the post every day by Home Office raising fears they're falling into
criminal hands
“Figures uncovered by the Liberal Democrats reveal that between 2001 and 2007, government officials lost 12,200 passports in the post. Since February 2004, when the Identity and Passport Service - a Home Office agency - ditched Royal Mail and awarded a multi-million-pound contract to a courier service to deliver the documents, 3,000 have gone missing. […] Blank passports are particularly desirable to fraudsters as they can be used to create an entirely new identity, and used to open bank accounts, obtain thousands of pounds in credit and access public services. But security experts have also warned that if the documents fell into the hands of terrorists and other criminals, they would yield a host of technological secrets and allow fraudsters to produce their own versions. […] Dhiren Barot, an al-Qaeda chief convicted of plotting to kill thousands of Londoners with a radioactive 'dirty bomb', was issued with nine British passports - two using false identities and seven in his own name before his arrest in August 2004.” (Daily Mail; 12Nov08; Ian Drury) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1085160/FIVE-passports-lost-post-day-Home-Office-raising-fears-theyre-falling-criminal-hands.html

3 Pa. [Pennsylvania] courthouses receive anthrax scare letters
“Identical letters sent to three Pennsylvania county courthouses this week mentioned anthrax but did not contain the poisonous substance. The letters were received in Jefferson and Pike counties on Tuesday and Schuylkill County on Wednesday, said Reggie Wade, spokesman for U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Philadelphia. […] Wade said there have been about 19,000 incidents in which unknown substances, threats or anthrax references have been sent through the mail since fatal anthrax mailings targeted media organizations and Congress in October 2001. All have been false alarms or hoaxes.” (Fulton County News; 13Nov08; Source: AP) http://www.fultoncountynews.com/news/2008/1113/church_news/111.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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