War on Terrorism

Friday, January 09, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- January 9, 2009

New bioterrorism lab to open next month in Lawrenceville [PA]
“Allegheny County's new state-of-the-art laboratory to test for bioterrorism materials like anthrax, plague and botulism, as well as a host of other infectious diseases, could open early next month, Dr. Bruce Dixon said at this week's county Board of Health meeting. Dr. Dixon, executive director of the county Health Department, said the commissioning of the $5.6 million laboratory in Lawrenceville, originally proposed in 2002, is expected to begin at the end of the month. […] Commissioning of the lab entails testing the facility to certify it as part of the federal Laboratory Response Network.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 09Jan09) http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09009/940634-53.stm

Nose-spray vaccine against botulism beneficial in first tests
“A preclinical study found a new nasal spray vaccine to provide complete protection against a major botulism toxin, according to a study published today in the nature journal Gene Therapy. […] Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) have been designated Category A bioterrorism agents that pose a high risk to national security because they are deadly, easily prepared and could conceivably be spread by inhalation. Researchers are working to design a botulism vaccine that adds a second layer of immune protection against exposure to BoNTs. […] Standard vaccines, given by injection, prepare only the blood-based immune system to fight a given disease. Secondly, the hope is that a new, well-defined subunit vaccine will enable authorities to provide an effective vaccine without having to mass-produce the actual toxin, the hazardous first step in the manufacture of the current, stockpiled vaccine.” (RedOrbit; 08Jan08; Source: Gene Therapy) http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1620388/nosespray_vaccine_against_botulism_beneficial_in_first_tests/

The Obamamobile: new presidential limo is unveiled - and it can withstand rocket and chemical attacks
“This is the top-security armoured limousine which has been custom built to be Barack Obama's presidential car.[…] his Secret Service agents have already been familiarising themselves with the machine they call 'The Beast', built by General Motors in Detroit and based on a Cadillac chassis. The company refuses to give precise details of how it will perform its primary purpose - protecting the president. But bulletproof glass and armour plating are standard throughout and the car is hermetically-sealed to withstand chemical weapons.” (Mail on Sunday; 09Jan09; Paul Thompson and Liz Hazelton) http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1109082/The-Obamamobile-New-presidential-limo-unveiled--withstand-rocket-chemical-attacks.html

Gay bars: [ricin] threats won't scare patrons
“Owners of gay bars in Seattle say they are taking precautions after receiving letters threatening to poison their patrons. But most told the Seattle Times they do not expect business to suffer. […] ‘Please be prepared to announce the deaths of approximately 55 individuals all of whom were patrons of the following establishments on a Saturday in January,’ [the letter] said. Ricin, a chemical found in castor beans, can be lethal in its pure form if eaten or inhaled. The FBI and Seattle police are investigating the letters.” (United Press International; 08Jan09) http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/01/08/Gay_bars_Threats_wont_scare_patrons/UPI-97971231447150/

Obama hears parting advice as power shifts
“As he played host to his successor and three predecessors […], President Bush offered their collective support. […]Vice President Dick Cheney […] urged Mr. Obama not to jettison the policies he and Mr. Bush enacted to fight terrorism. […] And Kenneth Wainstein, the homeland security adviser, […] gave his own summation of the fight against weapons of mass destruction […], outlining all that he said the Bush administration had done to prevent a cataclysmic attack through nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. He urged Mr. Obama’s administration to follow the Bush lead in this area. […] All this advice, public and private, is being well received by Mr. Obama’s advisers, who have uniformly praised the outgoing Bush team for going out of its way to be helpful.” (The New York Times; 09Jan09; Peter Baker) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/us/politics/08web-baker.html

US counterterrorism calendar includes key dates for terrorists
“The US National Counterterrorism Center on Wednesday released its annual calendar, featuring terrorist incidents, bad guys with bounties on their heads, deadly chemical agents and terrorist organizations. […] The technical pages of the online calendar run alphabetically and include sections on anthrax, biological threats, chemical agents, radicalization, Ramadan -- the Muslim holy month of fasting -- sarin and toxic industrial chemicals.The Al-Qaeda terrorist network features prominently in both versions of the calendar, as does its founder Osama bin Laden, who tops a list of wanted terrorists. The calendar can be viewed or downloaded on www.nctc.gov.” (Agence France-Presse; 08Jan09) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g0bDvNt_Mv-VbI3c_FrRuh2Bg5Jw

Vets sue over Cold War-era experiments
“Six veterans who say they were exposed to dangerous chemicals, germs and mind-altering drugs during Cold War-era experiments filed a federal lawsuit against the CIA, Department of Defense and other agencies Wednesday. The veterans say they volunteered for military experiments as part of a wide-ranging program started in the 1950s to test nerve agents, biological weapons and mind-control techniques, but were not properly informed of the nature of the experiments. They blame the experiments for poor health and are demanding the government provide their health care.They also want the court to rule that the program was illegal because its administrators failed to get their consent.” (Military.com; 08Jan09;Source: Associated Press)

Suspicious package left on front steps of Jackson County [FL] courthouse
“Authorities are continuing to investigate the contents of the white powder residue left at the Jackson County Courthouse this morning. They say someone left the suspicious substance along with an American flag and a bible on the front steps. […] Authorities immediately evacuated everyone out of the building and into the streets and then secured the whole area .[…] The bay county haz-mat team arrived around 1:00 and removed the items. Then authorities declared it safe for employees to return to work. Officials say the precautions were inconvenient, but necessary.”(WJHG News; 09Jan09; Vanessa Nguyen) http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/37304844.html

White powder puts U.S. embassy in Dominican capital on alert
“United States embassy personnel in the Dominican capital [Santo Domingo] were under alert for one hour yesterday, after a white power was detected in a package deposited in its post office, newspaper El Caribe reports. The dust, sent immediately to Washington for analysis, was detected [during] a routine check of letters and packages in the diplomatic mission’s post office […] United States Embassy press attaché David Searby said there was no evacuation, although the [usual] protocol was applied […].” (Dominican Today; 07Jan09; Source: El Caribe) http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2009/1/7/30653/White-powder-puts-US-embassy-in-Dominican-capital-on-alert

Anti-Terrorism Council says 12 Philpost [Philippine Postal] employees negative of anthrax on first swabbing
“Twelve Philippine Postal Corporation (Philpost) employees were quarantined and tested negative for anthrax virus, but the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) said they would wait for the result of further tests to finally clear them. […] Twelve Philpost employees were quarantined following reports that the United States Embassy in Manila received mail suspected to be laced with the anthrax bacteria.” (Philippine News Agency;

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. http://cns.miis.edu/cbw/index.htm

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