War on Terrorism

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- November 26, 2008

In [2001] anthrax probe, focus on [Steven J.] Hatfill relied on informants
“Authorities probing the deadly 2001 anthrax attacks fixed on now-cleared scientist Steven J. Hatfill primarily because confidential informants said they had talked with him about his purported involvement in Rhodesian bioweapons initiatives, according to court documents released yesterday. […] Mark A. Grannis, an attorney for Hatfill, [said] ‘[…] the affidavits released today cite sources whose names are unknown and whose credibility cannot be tested. Our repeated experience has been that people make wild accusations in secret, only to retract them under public questioning […].’ […] The main sworn statement, by FBI Special Agent Mark Morin, cites a tip from a confidential informant about Hatfill's alleged activities in Rhodesia in the late 1970s.” (Washington Post; 25Nov08; Carrie Johnson and Del Quentin Wilber) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wpdyn/content/article/2008/11/25/AR2008112502784.html?hpid=moreheadlines

First responders: flu shots administered [CA]
“Hundreds of San Luis Obispo County [CA] employees received a shot in the arm last Thursday as part of a mass vaccination drill […]. […]Vaccines were administered for three consecutive hours in the morning and for another three hours in the afternoon. […] Health emergencies that could require a mass vaccination of the public involve situations where a large number of people have been exposed to a disease or toxic agent — anthrax, smallpox, influenza or the plague — that could make them sick, according to Health Agency officials.” (Times Press Recorder; 26Nov08; TPR Staff) http://www.timespressrecorder.com/articles/2008/11/26/news/slocounty/news10.txt

Zimbabwe: anthrax hits the south
“Matabeleland North provincial medical director, Dr Gibson Mhlanga, confirmed the deaths of two people from anthrax, but a report in the official The Chronicle newspaper said six had died and over 200 cattle had been wiped out in the province's Dongamuzi area […]. The government dispatched its disaster management
Civil Protection Unit (CPU) to Lupane last week to work with the Veterinary Services Department to vaccinate affected cattle in a bid to contain the disease. Anthrax will further strain Zimbabwe's crumbling health delivery system, which has failed to contain a cholera outbreak […]. Medical officials in Lupane said the people who had succumbed to anthrax over the past week had eaten meat from infected cattle; several other villagers in the district have been hospitalised.” (Speroforum; 25Nov08; Source: IRIN)

Toxin suspect [Edward Bachner]’s lawyer explains household items [IL]
“Needles and syringes found in the home of a Lake in the Hills man accused of illegally having a lethal toxin were being used for his wife’s fourth round of in vitro fertilization, his lawyer says. Defense attorney James Marcus filed another motion Tuesday to have his client, Edward F. Bachner IV, freed on bond while awaiting trail after being denied Nov. 3. Court documents offer the defense’s explanation for a number of things that prosecutors used against Bachner to keep him in jail. For example, in addition to the ‘multiple needles and syringes’prosecutors said were uncovered when the FBI raided Bachner’s home June 30, they also found a manual that deals with the effective doses for poisoning people. Marcus said the book is a tool for authors of
crime novels so that they accurately portray the actions of their characters.” (Northwest Herald; 26Nov08; Sarah Sutschek) http://www.nwherald.com/articles/2008/11/26/news/local/doc492d2e79c6ad0116207309.txt

Argentina: curious toxins discovered
police arrested Mario Roberto Segovia, allegedly the largest supplier of ephedrine to Mexican drug cartels, and raided his home in Rosario, Argentina, on Nov. 24. Segovia is suspected of having sent more than 18,000 pounds of ephedrine to Mexico since September 2006, Argentine newspaper La Nacion reported. […] More important, Segovia was found to be in possession of 500 grams each of ricinine and aconitine. These substances are known toxins — ricinine is derived from the castor bean, as is the toxin ricin — and are lethal to humans in doses of just a few grams. Argentine police also suggested that Segovia may have connections to terrorist organizations.” (Stratfor; 26Nov08; Source: La Nacion) http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/20081125_argentina_curious_toxins_discovered

The legacy of chemical warfare [Iran/Iraq War]
“Set in a carefully tended park in the centre of the capital [Tehran], the new [war] museum — inspired by existing ones in Hiroshima and Ypres — will also serve as a centre for surviving victims of the war, especially for the thousands of Iranians who were injured in chemical warfare attacks unleashed by Saddam Hussein's forces. […] 60,000 Iranians [were] injured in chemical warfare attacks in what the Islamic Republic still calls the ‘imposed war’ or the ‘sacred defence.’ It was the first time since the
First World War that mustard gas was used and the first time ever that nerve agents such as Sarin and Tabun were employed. Iran complained bitterly that the raw materials were supplied to Iraq by western companies while the US and other governments ‘tilted’ towards Saddam and looked the other way […].” (The Guardian; 26Nov08; Ian Black) http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/26/iran-iraq-war

History Channel films [chemical weapons site] at Glenbrook [Australia]
“Although the connection might at first seem incongruous, the [Glenbrook] tunnel’s recently revealed history as a storage site for chemical weapons during World War II made it an ideal subject for the History Channel series, Cities of the Underworld. Presenter Don Wildman filmed segments for the episode earlier this month, […] interviewing two former RAAF [Royal Australian
Air Force] armourers at the old railway tunnel. Now used as a mushroom farm, the tunnel housed enough mustard gas to wipe out the population of Sydney during World War II.” (Blue Mountains Gazette; 26Nov08; Damien Madigan) http://bluemountains.yourguide.com.au/news/local/news/general/history-channel-films-at-glenbrook/1370458.aspx

Senegal hosts meet[ing] on risks of chemical attacks
“A meeting […] for the French-speaking countries in Africa [to] increase [the] capacity of African countries [to] face […] chemical attacks or accidents will be held from 27 to 28 November in Dakar […]. The meeting, which will be attended by eight French-speaking countries in Africa, including hosts Senegal, is being organised by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in partnership with the National Commission against nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, OPCW said.” (African Press Agency, 26Nov08)

On the trail with the nuke hunters [DC]
“President-elect Barack Obama takes the oath of office in 57 days. And security, of course, will be extremely tight. […] From the skies over Washington, a super-secret government team is training for the ultimate terrorist threat. […] CBS News rode along for an exclusive look at a drill aimed at finding stolen radioactive cesium - a potential ingredient for a dirty bomb. […] A spike on a radiation monitor signals the chopper is zeroing in on the radioactive source. […] But, in big cities like Washington, where millions of people will gather for January's presidential inauguration, nukes and dirty explosives laced with radiation could be difficult to detect. […] So far, the team has made radiation maps of the nation's top-two terror targets: Washington and New York.
Chicago is next.” (CBS11TV; 24Nov08; Bob Orr) http://cbs11tv.com/national/radiation.security.inauguration.2.873256.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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