Wednesday, February 25, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- February 25, 2009

ST-246(r) in combination with the smallpox vaccine acam2000(tm) confers protective immunity in primates
“Technologies, Inc., a company specializing in the development of pharmaceutical agents to fight biowarfare pathogens, today announced the results of a non-human primate study by the Southern Research Institute (SRI) that suggests that ST-246(r) can be used in combination with a well-known smallpox vaccine and may improve the safety profile of the vaccine. […] Pending immunological evaluations will shed further light on the overall impact of concomitant ST-246 administration on vaccine efficacy. This favorable initial primate data should spur further studies to investigate this drug/vaccine combination approach.” (MSNBC; 24Feb09; Source: Globe Newswire)

Warwick University [U.K.] step closer to anthrax [sic] cure
“Researchers at Warwick University have made a discovery that could lead to a cure for the deadly disease anthrax [sic]. They were studying a pathogen which attacks popular house plant African violets and found that there are similarities with the pathogen which causes anthrax [sic] in people. The researchers at the university in Gibbet Hill, Coventry, have found a way to stop the African violet pathogen in its tracks and believe the same method could be used to tackle the anthrax [sic] pathogen in people. […] Their findings are published in scientific journals Nature Chemical Biology and Chemical Communications.” (Coventry Telegraph; 25Feb09)

U.S., Russia plans to destroy chemical arms imperiled by [financial] crisis
“U.S. and Russian commitments to dismantle stockpiles of chemical weapons, which will cost taxpayers more than $20 billion, are challenged by the global economic slowdown, a top United Nations official said. […] The U.S. and Russia, which together own more than 90 percent of the world’s chemical weapons, have until April 2012 […]. Destruction costs are high because [….] ‘you don’t only destroy the chemical, you destroy the metal parts where the chemical was contained and you need to raze the facilities so that nothing which has been in touch with a chemical remains standing’ [said the head of the U.N.’s Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Rogelio Pfirter].” (Bloomberg News; 24Feb09; Jonathan Tirone)

Subs ready to prowl for dumped weapons
“The University of Hawaii’s [UH] two submersible craft will descend 900 to 2,000 feet to the ocean floor five miles south of Pearl Harbor starting next week to search for tons of chemical weapons [containers] that were dumped during and after World War II, the Army said. […] The submersibles Pisces IV and Pisces V will conduct 12 dives beginning Monday. UH researchers will take water and sediment samples to see if there are metals from the munitions or any residue of chemical agents, as well as […] observe the effects of more than 60 years on the containers. Included in the ordnance dump were 15,000 M70 115-pound mustard bombs, 1,100 M79 1,000-pound cyanogen chloride bombs and 20 M79 1,000-pound cyanide rounds.
The weapons are in waters up to 10,000 feet deep.” (Honolulu Advertiser; 25Feb09; William Cole)

Protective measures, response actions prepare law enforcement for WMD threats
“Recent reports show that a terrorist attack using such weapons [WMD’s] is likely by the end of 2013. In addition to manmade events, the potential for accidental chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) hazards also exists. […] The Law Enforcement Protective Measures (LEPM) and Law Enforcement Response Actions (LERA) courses, offered by the Center for Domestic Preparedness [CDP], provide instruction regarding WMD-related topics that include terrorist tactics and targeting, as well as hands-on training designed to show CBRNE-specific response skills. […] The CDP training center is located in Anniston, AL, and offers 39 courses designed for all emergency response disciplines […] [and] is fully funded by FEMA, a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” (Forensic Magazine; 25Feb09)

BioNeutral Group, Inc. redefining important multi-billion dollar markets [for chemical technology]
“BioNeutral Group, Inc. [NJ], a chemical technology-based Life Science company intends to commercialize one of the most important advances in disinfectants in the past two decades. BioNeutral has developed a family of disinfectants which have been described as unequaled in the known field of chemistry. […] Ygiene™ kills all bacteria, virus, fungi, mold and spores quickly and without exception […] including Anthrax [sic], Clostridium difficile and Black Mold. […] Product applications include industrial pollution, environmental contaminants, and protection against chemical weapons of mass destruction.” (Businesswire; 24Feb09)

India seaports security concern
“The devastating November attack on Mumbai […] could just as easily have eluded detection if they had been carrying a ‘dirty’ nuclear bomb. […] Beyond that kind of operation, containers pose a bigger problem. India’s Naval chief Admiral Suresh Mehta warned last week that ports lack adequate security measures, saying that 70-75 percent of global cargo is shipped in containers which could be successfully used by terrorist organizations to ship weapons of mass destruction or nuclear weapons into India. […] Sources in India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) have spoken about Indian fears that jihadi terror groups are looking to smuggle ‘loose nukes’ into countries such as India with lax security and anti-terror apparatus. India, the officials say, lacks a well-implemented action plan at the ports […]. Experience shows there is cause for concern.” (Asia Sentinel; 25Feb09; Siddharth Srivastava)

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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