War on Terrorism

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- November 19, 2008

[U.S.] Official [Thomas Fingar]: Terrorism, water shortages likely
“The number of terrorist attacks will likely decline by 2025 but they will be more deadly, a top U.S. intelligence officer predicted Tuesday, citing projections from a report on global trends to be made public this week. Al-Qaida's reputation for violence against Muslims will hurt its ability to recruit, but a bulge in the number of young people in the Middle East means it will have a larger pool to recruit from, said Thomas Fingar, deputy director of national intelligence, […] [who also noted] increasingly lethal conventional weapons and the possibility that biological weapons will get into terrorists hands. Fingar was citing projections contained in the report, Global Trends 2025, to be released Thursday. The fourth of its kind since 1997, the report is meant to help presidential administrations think strategically […].” (Associated Press; 18Nov08; Pamela Hess) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iWra334WQqQlGMmqHFyPpDZ79C7wD94HKD480

Doctors, EMTs trained to respond to chemical, biological weapons [FL]
“The bus that previously carried Patti Labelle and Greg Allman to their concert appearances is parked in
Gainesville this week on a much less glamorous but potentially more vital mission.[…] The 1999 bus is now owned by the Emergency Medicine Learning and Resource Center. With the specialized gear that the Orlando firm has installed, the bus is now a $3.5 million rolling classroom. […] Eric Dotten, clinical programs coordinator for the center, said he brought the bus to Gainesville under a $450,000 contract with the Florida Department of Health. The contract calls for the bus to visit the entire state over several months. ‘We're are providing training on how to deal with what may be the next weapons of mass destruction, things like ricin and small pox that could be used in biological warfare,’ Dotten said.” (The Gainesville Sun; 19Nov08; Karen Voyles)

Antibiotics hit guts longer than thought
“A new study reveals that a common antibiotic [cipro] disrupts normal bacterial levels in the digestive tract of healthy adults for longer than previously thought. Six months later, in fact, some beneficial types of bacteria were still wiped out or remained at levels lower than before the drugs were taken. ‘You don't want to be giving readers the impression that we shouldn't be using antibiotics (when needed),’ said Dr. David Relman, senior author of the study, which was published Tuesday in the journal PLoS Biology. ‘But […] we do overuse antibiotics.’ Dr. Relman, an infectious-diseases specialist at Stanford University and the Veteran Affairs Hospital at Palo Alto, Calif., conducted the study with a team of colleagues. Funding for the work came from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.” (The Canadian Press; 19Nov08; Helen Branswell) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081119.wantibiotics1119/BNStory/Science/home

Man [Bergendorff] gets prison in ricin case
“An unemployed graphic designer was sentenced Monday to three and one-half years in federal prison for possessing enough of the deadly toxin ricin to kill hundreds of people. […] U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones told Bergendorff that he needed to understand the severity of
crime as he imposed a sentence five months longer than what prosecutors recommended. […] The sentencing brought an end to a dramatic saga that raised fears Bergendorff had poisoned himself while plotting a biological attack on tourists or unsuspecting gamblers in Las Vegas, home to nearly 138,000 hotel rooms. (The Salt Lake Tribune; 17Nov08; Oskar Garcia; Source:
Associated Press)

DOD releases summary of chemical ‘demilitarization’
[the following is an excerpt from a DoD press release] “Chem-Demil-ACWA (Chemical Demilitarization-Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives) –The SAR [Selected Acquisition Report] was submitted to reflect schedule delays of greater than six months. Specifically, the Pueblo ‘Begin Operations’ milestone slipped 23 months from January 2015 to December 2016, and the Blue Grass ‘Begin Operations’ milestone slipped 49 months from January 2017 to February 2021. DoD is currently evaluating the cost impacts of these schedule slips. […] Specifically, the Pine Bluff Explosive Destruction System (PBEDS) Complete Operations milestone slipped 34 months from December 2008 to October 2011, pending the ongoing
technology selection process. There were no cost changes.” (Department of Defense; 17Nov08)

More security for US-bound private planes
“Closing what he called the last major vulnerability for bringing a weapon of mass destruction into the U.S.,
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff announced new rules for screening passengers and crew members on private aircraft bound for America. Starting in about a month, at least one hour before takeoff general aviation pilots will have to submit the names and other information about every person on board a flight to the U.S. The goal is to keep terrorists from using a private plane to smuggle a dirty bomb or nuclear weapon into the U.S. and detonate the weapon over a major city. Requiring that information be sent one hour before takeoff gives officials more time to screen passengers and crew against intelligence databases that list suspected terrorists. Private aircraft have not undergone the intense screening given to U.S.-bound cargo and commercial flights, leaving general aviation flights vulnerable, Chertoff said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.” (Yahoo News; 17Nov08; Eileen Sullivan; Source: Associated Press) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081117/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/aviation_security

NYPD opens new counterterrorism nerve center
“The setting could pass for a high-tech trading floor: men […] studying a steady stream of video and data on floor-to-ceiling monitors. […] The tenants — counterterrorism officers with the
New York Police Department — have transformed the space into the new nerve center for an ambitious plan to protect lower Manhattan from terrorist threats. The center quietly began operating earlier this month, the first phase of a $100 million project sparked by the Sept. 11 attack that destroyed the World Trade Center. […] The command center eventually will also receive data from devices designed to detect any radiological and biological threats posed by cars and trucks crossing through the neighborhood on Canal Street or entering the 16 bridges and four tunnels serving Manhattan. About a million vehicles drive onto the island every day.” (Associated Press; 19Nov08; Tom Hays) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h49OPk_I2Q6PaaLCyyqGw4MCAHnQD94HICEG0

New report calls nuclear
Terrorism serious risk
“A new report says the world still faces a serious risk that terrorists could obtain a nuclear bomb and urges President-elect Barack Obama to make reducing that risk a top priority of U.S. security policy and diplomacy. The new report, called ‘Securing the Bomb 2008,’ says major progress has been made to reduce the danger of nuclear
Terrorism. The report warns, however, there are still major gaps in these efforts and says the risk of terrorists acquiring a nuclear weapon remains unacceptably high. […] The report details a series of events around the world in recent years it says highlights the risk of poor security at nuclear installations. [Report author and Harvard] Professor Bunn says the Obama administration should appoint a senior White House official, with direct access to the President, to supervise all efforts focused on preventing nuclear Terrorism. (Voice of America; 19Nov08; Meredith Buel) http://voanews.com/english/2008-11-19-voa1.cfm

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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