War on Terrorism

Friday, January 23, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- January 23, 2009

Revisiting the anthrax attacks [through a new study]
“When anthrax was sent through the U.S. Postal Service in 2001, an overwhelming majority of postal workers elected not to be inoculated with the available vaccine because of confusion and distrust, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study. […] [L]ingering suspicion and uncertainty remain, say study authors, which could influence the public's reactions to future emergencies. […] The study was based on interviews and focus groups conducted with 65 postal workers in Trenton, N.J., New York and Washington, and published in the December 2008 issue of Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science.” (Red Orbit; 22Jan09; Source: Biosecurity and Bioterrorism magazine) http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1627194/revisiting_the_anthrax_attacks/

Small biotech [companies] falling ill [MD]
“While Maryland's largest and most successful biotech, MedImmune, proceeds at full speed on its expansion projects in the state, many of its smaller counterparts are struggling amid the recession. Numerous smaller biotechs, including Avalon Pharmaceuticals of Germantown and Novavax of Rockville, have announced layoffs. Venture capital, a significant source of funding for life sciences businesses, fell by 21 percent last year from 2007 to
$28 billion, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association.” (Gazette.net; 23Jan09; Kevin James Shay; Source: Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development) http://www.gazette.net/stories/01232009/businew173943_32472.shtml

11-county disaster drill coming to Wabash Middle School [IN]

“A Biohazard Preparedness District 3 disaster drill, which will include 11 counties in Indiana, is headed for Wabash County. The announcement was made by Bill Feldheiser, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) instructor for the Incident Command System (ICS), during this week's Wabash County Board of Health meeting. […] The drill is scheduled for POD [point of dissemination] set-up on April 28 and the actual drill will follow on April 29.” (Wabash Plain Dealer; 21Jan09; Sheila Rhoades) http://www.wabashplaindealer.com/articles/2009/01/22/local_news/local3.txt

Township [Moorestown, NJ] gets emergency [chemical detection] equipment
Moorestown recently got new equipment that will help the township's emergency responders identify hazardous or illegal substances. Thanks to help from the Department of Homeland Security's Commercial Equipment Direct Assistance Program (CEDAP), […] [Moorestown agencies] now have a tool that analyzes and identifies toxic chemicals/materials […] The tool, called the First Defender [can] identify unknown solid and liquid chemicals in the field, including […] chemical warfare agents (CWAs) […] The tool safeguards users against exposure by operating through glass or translucent plastic containers, and an integrated vial holder offers an alternative sampling method.” (South Jersey Local News; 21Jan09; JeannieGreenwood)

Did Israel use a banned weapon? [white phosphorous]
“A set of images of burning residue and white rocket trails are part of what Amnesty International calls ‘indisputable proof’ the Israeli military illegally used white phosphorous in Gaza. The smoke-producing and incendiary chemical is banned in civilian areas because of its intense heat and fumes […] The Israelis admit firing 200 white phosphorous shells, but deny breaking international law. […] The United Nations refugee agency says white phosphorous hit its warehouse in the city center.” (CBS News; 22Jan09; Allen Pizzey) http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/01/22/eveningnews/main4748346.shtml

Singapore opens facility to detect hazardous materials
“Singapore today opened a new border inspection facility at the Tuas Checkpoint that can detect hazardous materials such as chemical or biological agents brought into the republic. […] Touted by the Singapore authority as the first border facility of its kind in the world, […] the facility also has a decontamination unit for checkpoint officers to swiftly wash themselves down in the event of a chemical spill or a deliberate terrorist attack involving chemical or biological weapons. […] Deputy Prime Minister Wong [Kan Seng] said the terrorist threat had evolved in sophistication and with today's security climate plus the sheer volume of travelers entering the republic, the policing of Singapore borders had become more challenging and complex.” (Bernama; 20Jan09) http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsindex.php?id=384990

Kuwait purchases 5.4 million doses of emergency nuclear radiation drug from Nukepills.com
“Nukepills.com today announced the sale of 180,000 units (5.4 million doses) of ThyroShield potassium iodide to the Kuwait Ministry of Health. Worth approximately $1.4 million, the sale was brokered by Nukepills.com and signifies Kuwait's proactive course in protecting its citizens during a nuclear radiation emergency. ‘This sale is the first large-scale order of ThyroShield from a foreign government. We are currently working on additional potassium iodide orders from other countries in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. We hope the new U.S. administration follows Kuwait's lead and reinstitutes the potassium iodide distribution plan to protect its citizens,’ said Troy Jones, President of Nukepills.com.” (Red Orbit; 22Jan09; Source: Nukepills.com) http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1626863/kuwait_purchases_54_million_doses_of_emergency_nuclear_radiation_drug/

Initial tests show powder at Wall Street Journal wasn’t hazardous
“A suspicious white powder mailed to The Wall Street Journal's New York headquarters Wednesday that prompted a partial evacuation wasn't hazardous and was probably flour or a food-based substance, police officials said, citing preliminary tests. […] But the Federal Bureau of Investigation plans to examine the mailings, which it suspects may be linked to a powder mailing sent to Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz on Wednesday that bore the same postmark, of Knoxville, Tenn., a person familiar with the probe said.” (Wall Street Journal; 22Jan09; Shira Ovide) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123255608023802845.html

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.

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