War on Terrorism

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- December 3, 2008

Government recommends Kansas for biodefense lab
“The federal government has recommended a site in
Kansas for a new $450 million laboratory to study biological threats like anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease, congressional lawmakers and staff said today. The Department of Homeland Security’s choice of Manhattan, Kan., beat out intense competition from other sites in Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and Texas. […] Besides foot-and-mouth disease, researchers also would study African swine fever, Japanese encephalitis, Rift Valley fever and the Hendra and Nipah viruses. Other finalist sites were Flora, Miss.; Athens, Ga.; Butner, N.C.; and San Antonio.” (Boston Herald; 03Dec08; Source: Associated Press)

7 revolutions for global sustainability

“By the year 2050, the world population, estimated to top 9 billion, will require twice as much food as today, and water demand will double […]. Sustainability will rely on […] seven ‘revolutions,’ driving forces that will dictate global change […]. The seven revolutions include: population and demographics, resource management, Technology, information, economic integration, conflict and the challenge of governance. […] He [Erik Peterson, senior vice president, Center for Strategic and International Studies] said conflict, the sixth revolution, will be less between countries than within countries. He also said the lesson of 9/11 is that even ‘the most powerful military power in the world can be vulnerable. Terrorist groups have no return address.’ He said bioterrorism could be a significant danger.” (Delta Farm Press; 03Dec08; Ron Smith) http://deltafarmpress.com/news/global-sustainability-1203/

Biological weapons convention members meet
“Member nations to the Biological Weapons Convention are meeting this week in Geneva, the United Nations announced. The annual states parties session began yesterday and is scheduled to end Friday; it follows discussions that took place at an experts meeting in August. Participants will seek to develop a report that promotes movement in two particular areas: ‘National, regional and international measures to improve biosafety and biosecurity, including laboratory safety and security of pathogens and toxins’; and ‘Oversight, education, awareness raising and adoption and/or development of codes of conduct with the aim of preventing misuse in the context of advances in bioscience and biotechnology research with the potential of use for purposes prohibited by the convention.’” (Global Security Newswire; 02Dec08; Source: UN press releases) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20081202_1754.php

Iran blasts production of biological weapons by convention members
“Iranian ambassador to the UN Office in Geneva Alireza Moayyeri criticized cooperation on biological weapons among some members of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) with other countries. Speaking at the (BWC) member states annual meeting, Moayyeri emphasized on the necessity of international acceptance of the convention and called for curbing such relations which could lead to proliferation of biological weapons. […] According to the Iranian students’ news agency, he also pointed to the current process for implementation of the convention and said such a trend could not be employed instead of multilateral talks for organizing a legal binding document to strengthen the convention. The Iranian official also called for those countries which prevent such talks to obey the international community's demand for arrangement of the accord. The US is the major opponent against the negotiations.” (Fars News Agency; 03Dec08)

Chemical Ali’ [Hassan al-Majid] sentenced to hang
“Saddam Hussein's notorious cousin ‘Chemical Ali’ Hassan al-Majid received a second death sentence Tuesday, this time for crushing a Shiite uprising after Iraq's defeat in the 1991
Gulf War. Al-Majid, once among the most feared members of Saddam's regime, muttered ‘thanks be to God’ as chief judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa declared him guilty and imposed the sentence. The trial began in August 2007. Al-Majid already faces the gallows after being convicted last year for his role in the killing of tens of thousands of Kurds in the late 1980s — in which chemical weapons were used against civilians.” (Houston Chronicle; 02Dec08; Source: Associated Press)

Sarin leak found at Madison [KY] depot
Army officials detected a GB vapor leak Monday from an M55 rocket stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County [KY]. Inspectors discovered the leak during routine monitoring. The leak did not pose a threat, according to a news release from Blue Grass Chemical Activity, the agency that oversees chemical weapons storage at the depot.” (Lexington Herald Leader; 02Dec08) http://www.kentucky.com/178/story/612584.html

[UN Secretary-General] Ban calls for continued efforts to eliminate scourge of chemical weapons

“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today appealed for continued action to press ahead with disarmament efforts regarding chemical weapons, noting the positive steps that have already been taken towards eliminating the scourge. Addressing the 13th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention at The Hague, Netherlands, he said it was ‘encouraging’ that nearly half of the stockpiles of chemical agents declared by the six possessor States have been verifiably destroyed. ‘I call upon all possessor States to complete their destruction according to the required deadlines,’ he said in a message delivered by Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva.” (United Nations; 02Dec08) http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=29166&Cr=disarmament&Cr1=chemical+weapon

China urges chemical weapons owners to destroy stockpiles by 2012 deadline
“Countries which possess chemical weapons should do their utmost to comply with the 2012 deadline for the destruction of their chemical weapons, Chinese ambassador Zhang Jun said Tuesday at an annual meeting of the states parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in The Hague. Zhang, China's ambassador to the Netherlands and permanent representative to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), said that the speedy and complete destruction of chemical weapons within the time frame stipulated by the CWC is the fundamental objective of the convention.” (ISRIA; 03Dec08) http://www.isria.info/RESTRICTED/D/2008/DECEMBER_4/diplo_03december2008_62.htm

leadership planned to fight WMD terrorism [U.S.]
“President-elect Barack Obama plans to appoint a new White House official to coordinate efforts to prevent terrorists from obtaining nuclear or biological weapons, advisers say, giving the highest priority to thwarting a catastrophic attack that a bipartisan panel warns could come in the next five years. Naming a top deputy whose sole mission is to oversee the government's wide-ranging programs to stop such an attack would mark a significant break with the Bush administration, which in resisting such a post has maintained that US efforts to reduce nuclear stockpiles and safeguard deadly pathogens are adequate.” (
Boston Globe; 03Dec08; Brian Bender)

Mumbai attack swift, precise
“Like the Sept. 11 attacks in America, the Mumbai terrorist assault last week began with a hijacking. Islamic militants seized a private fishing boat at sea rather than commercial jetliners, according to U.S. counterterrorism officials. […] Could it happen here? U.S. officials say the answer, unfortunately, is yes. […] DHS [Department of
Homeland Security] announced a ‘small-vessel security strategy’ last April to focus on ports and coastal waterways, and it has held four regional small-vessel ‘security summits’ this year. […] Technology is improving for detecting radiological devices that might arrive at seaports. But defense is thin against bioterrorism, and almost nonexistent against seaborne gunmen of the sort that terrorized Mumbai.” (Denver Post; 02Dec08; David Ignatius)

Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom supports disarmament of weapons of mass-destruction
“Saudi ambassador to [the] Netherlands and permanent representative at the organization of banning chemical weapons Waleed al-Khureiji has reiterated the Kingdom's inalienable stand as regards disarmament of weapons of mass-destruction […]. […] He called on the international community to put pressure on Israel until it approves the agreement of banning chemical weapons and signs the treaty of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. He noted that Israel is the sole country in the Middle East which has failed to sign the treaty […].” (ISRIA; 03Dec08) http://www.isria.info/RESTRICTED/D/2008/DECEMBER_4/diplo_03december2008_11.htm

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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