War on Terrorism

Friday, February 13, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News-February 13, 2009

Department of Health and Human Services issues a presolicitation for acquisition of a smallpox antiviral
“SIGA Technologies, Inc., a company specializing in the development of pharmaceutical agents to fight biowarfare pathogens, today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a presolicitation to procure a smallpox antiviral drug that will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The request for proposal will seek to procure 1.7 million courses of treatment and may also seek offers to procure as many as 12 million courses. […] A request for proposal is expected to be released sometime around February 24th […].” (MSNBC; 11Feb09; Source: GlobeNewswire) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29136971/

Official [National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair]: Economic crisis tops list of US threats
“[…] Sounding more like an economist than the war-fighting Navy commander he once was, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told a Senate panel Thursday that if the [economic] crisis lasts more than two years, it could cause some nations’ governments to collapse. And a number of allies the United States depends on might no longer be able to afford to meet their own defense and humanitarian obligations, he said. […] The situation in Afghanistan […] has deteriorated […] [and] the government in Kabul […] has been unable to provide basic services and gainful employment. Blair said that erodes its legitimacy and increases the influence of warlords and the Taliban. […] Blair also warned of the growing availability of biological weapons, and said terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in East Africa are likely in the next year.” (Associated Press; 12Feb09; Pamela Hess) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ihAXPSJmjyAAP84YbLNw4suaPfNQD96A9OFG0

New antibacterial product launched to help hospitals fight bugs [and potentially anthrax]
“The healthcare supply industry’s ongoing battle to help wipe out bugs such as C. Diff and MRSA continues with the release of research into a new deterrent. Professor Mark Enright, health of microbiology at Imperial College London, has released the results of tests on a new antimicrobial technology – Cliniweave - which can be integrated into everything found within the hospital setting, from bedside tables to light switching and even air conditioning filters. […] It has been revealed to be effective against a number of the most prevalent and most harmful healthcare acquired infections, such as MRSA, C. Diff and E. coli and tests are now underway to test efficacy against other agents such as anthrax and SARA.” (Healthcare Equipment and Supply Magazine; 13Feb09; Jo Makosinski)

Emergent [Biosolutions] to sell [anthrax] vaccine in India
“Emergent BioSolutions of Rockville said its BioThrax anthrax vaccine is now allowed to be marketed and sold in India. Emergent said it signed a marketing deal with Biological E. Limited for India. ‘Today marks a pivotal milestone in Emergent's efforts to expand globally and further our mission of protecting life,’ Emergent chief executive Fuad El-Hibri said in a statement.” (Washington Post; 13Feb09; Sources: Associated Press and Bloomberg News) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/12/AR2009021203623.html

Contest uncovers bioweapons expert [Australia]
“University of Queensland science graduate Andrew Nguyen beat a Harvard University student to win the Coupland Competition, held to raise awareness of the potential misuse of biological knowledge. The competition was initiated by the Bioweapons Prevention Project of Geneva and asked participants to draft a letter to their faculty deans about the incorporation of a study of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention into the curriculum. Mr Nguyen said countries could potentially apply biological knowledge for malicious purposes without much scrutiny. He said the Coupland Competition was created to raise awareness worldwide about the grey areas that existed in the convention.” (Westside News; 13Feb09) http://westside-news.whereilive.com.au/news/story/contest-uncovers-bioweapons-expert/

[Commentary by Michael Krepon]: Outside view: getting to nuke zero
“Mohamed ElBaradei proposes a five-point plan to eliminate nuclear weapons. […] Four distinguished U.S. public servants -- Sam Nunn, George Shultz, William Perry and Henry Kissinger -- call for national leadership to eliminate nuclear weapons and near-term steps to help advance this goal. […] It is remarkable how unremarkable these calls for eliminating nuclear weapons have become. As before, they have elicited push-back from those who believe abolition is unrealistic and dangerous. […] But even the ‘more is better’ school of proliferation optimists is losing conviction with the challenges to deterrence orthodoxy posed by Pakistan, Iran and nuclear terrorism.” (United Press International; 12Feb09; Michael Krepon) http://www.upi.com/Emerging_Threats/2009/02/12/Outside_View_Getting_to_nuke_zero/UPI-18811234483750/

[U.S. Senators Bob] Casey, [Richard] Burr form new caucus on WMD terrorism
“U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) today announced the creation of a bipartisan caucus to focus on the serious threat to our national security posed by potential terrorist acts employing weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The Senate Caucus on WMD Terrorism will highlight the challenges posed by terrorist groups acquiring nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and provide a forum for the discussion of appropriate policy responses to prevent, prepare for, mitigate and respond to such attacks.” (From the office of Senator Casey; 12Feb09) http://casey.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=CA4673D9-D962-49E8-8C9D-EC76638E365F

San Jose's VMC [Valley Medical Center] emergency room reopens after chemical exposure scare [CA]
“In a bizarre event that began when two patients believed to be contaminated with a toxic chemical arrived at Valley Medical Center on Thursday, the South Bay's busiest emergency room shut down for five hours and a Cambrian Park neighborhood [was] evacuated as officials determined the source of the chemical. […] [At the home where the chemical was found], [t]wo pans with an unidentified chemical were on a table and the bedroom window was open. Officials later determined the chemical was hydrogen sulfide, a sewer gas by-product that is flammable and toxic in high concentrations. No one knows why the man had the chemical and have been unable to ask him because he remains unconscious at the hospital […].” (San Jose Mercury News; 12Feb09; Lisa Fernandez and Mark Gomez)

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.

No comments: