War on Terrorism

Saturday, March 28, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- March 27, 2009

Israel panel slams anthrax [sic] vaccine test on troops "
An expert panel has accused Israeli defense officials of 'grave ethical failures' in testing an experimental anthrax vaccine on hundreds of Israeli soldiers. Some of the more than 700 soldiers who took part in the experiment in the late 1990s have complained of headaches, dizziness and skin, respiratory and digestive problems that they say are related to the vaccine. […] The experiment came when Saddam Hussein controlled Iraq, and it was feared he was developing chemical and biological weapons that could hit Israel. During the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq launched repeated barrages of Scud missiles at Israel." (Associated Press; 26Mar09; Amy Teibel)

New nanogenerator may charge iPods and cell phones with a wave of the hand
"In research presented at the American Chemical Society's 237th National Meeting, scientists from Georgia describe technology that converts mechanical energy from body movements or even the flow of blood in the body into electric energy that can be used to power a broad range of electronic devices without using batteries. 'This research will have a major impact on defence technology […]' says lead researcher Zhong Lin Wang, […] To date, he says that there have been limited methods created to produce nanopower despite the growing need by the military and defence agencies for nanoscale sensing devices used to detect bioterror agents. The nanogenerator would be particularly […] useful to the military and police sampling air for potential bioterrorism attacks in the United States, Wang says." (Science Centric; 27Mar09; Source: American Chemical Society)

Local concerns over plan to cut bioterrorism funding [NY]
"Nassau County [NY] officials warned Friday that a $1.3 million cut in state bioterrorism funding will hurt the county's ability to respond to public health emergencies ranging from West Nile virus to hurricanes. The state will end all local funding for public health emergency preparedness and take over that function, according to Legis[lator] David Mejias (D-Farmingdale), chairman of the Committee on Health and Social Services.
However, the state has not indicated how it will take over those duties, and there will be no money for county workers to perform them, Mejias said." (Newsday; 27Mar09; William Murphy) http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny-literr2812592643mar27,0,2198224.story

Virginia is geared up in case of bio attack
"Larry Edwards remembers the first act of bioterrorism using salmonella bacteria in the United States better than most people. […] Edwards and more than a dozen other speakers from around the country were […] participating in the Virginia Agroterrorism Conference [Thursday]. Workshop topics included domestic terrorism threats, FBI response capabilities, food safety, animal health, plant protection and countermeasures for weapons of mass destruction. More than 130 people […] attended the conference to learn how the state would respond if an act of terrorism were to impact its food supply. […] 'We are very vulnerable to this kind of thing, much more so than most people realize,' said Edwards. Retail outlets are the last opportunity for protecting the public from tainted foods, Edwards said." (Daily Press; 27Mar09; Allison T. Williams) http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-local_iwterror_0327mar27,0,5067025.story

Deeper anthrax [sic] shots could cut side effects
"A study that appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association in October found that injecting the [B. anthracis] vaccine into a muscle rather than into the fat just under the skin greatly reduced side effects, including warmth, itching, redness, inflammation or nodules. […] Lt. Col. Patrick Garman, Deputy Director for Scientific Affairs at the Defense Department's Military Vaccine Agency [said] 'This is a normal result of intramuscular versus subcutaneous administration regardless of the medication or vaccine being delivered.' The study also found that people didn't need as many injections, and the military has adopted that recommendation, as well." (Army Times; 27Mar09; Kelly Kennedy) http://www.armytimes.com/news/2009/03/military_newanthrax_032609w/

Simulated anthrax [sic] attack to test crisis plan
"Sun City Grand [AZ] will be the site of a simulated anthrax [sic] attack this weekend to test the county's plan on dispensing medication during a large-scale crisis. The Maricopa County Department of Public Health's Office of Preparedness and Response is hosting the medication-dispensing drill, its second one so far. Working with the Sun City Grand retirement community, golf carts will be used to simulate residents driving through the site and receiving simulated medication. The simulation is meant to test the speed and accuracy of delivering aid during a public-health emergency to nearly 4 million residents in the county." (Arizona Central; 26Mar09; Source: Republic; Lily Leung) http://www.azcentral.com/community/westvalley/articles/2009/03/26/20090326gl-nwvanthrax0327.html

Lack of adequate records limits FDA
"Federal investigators found that many food companies don't comply with federal recordkeeping requirements, hobbling the Food and Drug Administration's ability to trace the source of food-borne illnesses quickly, a top government investigator told lawmakers Thursday.[…] The watchdog agency also tried to trace 40 items such as fresh tomatoes, whole milk, oatmeal and yogurt from retail stores to the farm where they were grown, but could do so for only five items.[…] The [Health and Human Services] inspector general [Daniel Levinson]'s survey raises questions about FDA enforcement and whether proposed legislation requiring food companies to keep even more records to help authorities trace food-poisoning outbreaks is practical." (Wall Street Journal; 26Mar09; Jane Zhang) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123810975105652717.html

Close out of chemical event at Blue Grass Army Depot [KY]
"Army officials report the closure of the chemical event stemming from the 2007 leak of the agent GB from a ton container stored at the depot. Toxic chemical crews working for the Blue Grass Chemical Activity have successfully completed the destruction and disposal of three ton containers which held approximately 160 gallons of the chemical agent. All wastes generated by the operation have been transported to contractor operated hazardous waste disposal facilities located outside of Kentucky."
(U.S. Chemical Materials Agency; 26Mar09; Richard Sloan)

Five Mass. companies get contracts for small business innovation research
"Five small businesses in eastern Massachusetts have received a total of $1.125 million from [the] EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] to commercialize innovative technologies that address pressing environmental problems. […] These research and development companies will address issues ranging from air pollution to water security. […] EIC Laboratories is developing a hand-held instrument to detect harmful contaminants in water supplies. These water analyzers will be able to immediately detect and identify unusual contamination from chemicals, such as chemical warfare agents, that might result from terrorist activities." (Environmental Protection Agency news release; 26Mar09) http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/0a39157c915ea25d85257585007c70b9?OpenDocument

Mirion [Technologies] to deliver dosimeters to Poland
"The Polish army has contracted Mirion Technologies Health Physics Division for radiological-measurement technologies. U.S. company Mirion has been awarded a contract to deliver its active tactical dosimeters and portable reader systems to the Polish army. Mirion says its dosimeter technology, widely deployed by NATO forces, measure a range of gamma and neutron dose rates for a soldier's exposure to radiological threats in the field." (United Press International; 26Mar09) http://www.upi.com/Security_Industry/2009/03/26/Mirion_to_deliver_dosimeters_to_Poland/UPI-13241238093542/

Gen. Richard Myers: U.S. enemies seek WMDs to end 'our way of life'
"Former top military commander Gen. Richard Myers tells Newsmax that America's enemies in the war on terror are 'ruthless' and 'relentless' and will not hesitate to use nuclear or biological weapons if they obtain them. 'They want to do away with our way of life,' Myers tells Newsmax TV's Ashley Martella. 'They could bring great harm to this country and our friends and allies.' Myers, who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from October 2001 until September 2005, tells Newsmax that the U.S.
focused too narrowly on tactical battles and failed to develop a long-rang strategy to battle terrorism." (Newsmax; 25Mar09; Jim Myers) http://www.newsmax.com/headlines/richard_myers_wmds/2009/03/25/196103.html

Harvard defense expert [Ashton Carter] aims to fight Pentagon cost overruns
"President Barack Obama's nominee to fix Pentagon purchasing problems vowed Thursday to root out cost overruns in major arms programs, fearing the $150 billion arms-procurement budget may be […] unaffordable. Ashton Carter, a physicist, international-security expert and Harvard University professor, told his Senate confirmation hearing he expected funding for big-ticket programs to be under 'increasing pressure in the future.' […] Asked in the hearing about the roughly $10 billion spent annually on missile defense, the Pentagon's largest single weapons development outlay, [Carter] said there were a lot of ways the United States could be attacked with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, not just those carried by a ballistic missile. 'I would say we have to have walls as well as a roof,' he added." (Reuters; 26Mar09; Jim Wolf)

Los Alamos [National Laboratory]'s security flaws exposed
"An Energy Department investigation has alleviated fears that a significant amount of plutonium was missing from a national laboratory, but it has also heightened concerns about flaws in the system for controlling the U.S. stockpile of weapons materials. The investigation began in February, shortly after a routine inventory […] found a plutonium shortage estimated at 2.2 pounds […] The confidential investigation concluded this week that statisticians at the lab had miscalculated the amount of plutonium at its facility and that none was actually missing.Although the finding eliminates the worst-case scenario […] it raises doubts about the lab's management at a time of growing concern about nuclear terrorism." (Lab Manager Magazine; 26Mar09)

IAEA: Nuclear Security Fund receives key financial support
"The UK is to double its contribution to the IAEA´s Nuclear Security Fund to £4 million (€4,33 million) from £2 million (€2,125 million) given in 2006. The Fund is a voluntary funding mechanism for Member States established to support the IAEA´s activities in nuclear security aimed at preventing, detecting and responding to nuclear terrorism. Speaking to an international audience of diplomats and scientists convened in London for a conference on nuclear energy and proliferation, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the move as part of the country´s Global Threat Reduction Programme (GTRP) aimed at improving nuclear security around the world."
(ISRIA; 27Mar09)

Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi sermon on Qatar TV: the Arabs must obtain, but not use, weapons of mass destruction
"Following are excerpts from a sermon by Sunni Islamic scholar Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi, which aired on Qatar TV on February 20, 2009. To view this MEMRI TV clip, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/2057.htm. Sheikh Yousuf Al-Qaradhawi: The Koran says 'prepare against them what force and steeds of war you can, to strike terror in the hearts of the enemies" […] 'if we had nuclear weapons, they would be afraid to attack us. A few days ago, a Muslim asked me if we were allowed to possess WMDs - nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. I said to him: 'Yes, we must possess such weapons, but not use them.'" (Middle East Media Research Institute; 26Mar09)

Germany readies 600 troops to guard NATO summit
"Germany is providing 600 soldiers to help protect next week's NATO summit, the [German] government said in a written parliamentary response disclosed Wednesday. Their duties would include providing first aid and helping guard the 3,500 delegates against potential attacks from atomic, biological or chemical weapons, the statement said. Some 15,000 German police will be on duty during the gathering from April 3-4 in the towns of Baden-Baden and Kehl in Germany and Strasbourg in France […]" (Journal of Turkish Weekly; 25Mar09) http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/68516/-germany-readies-600-troops-to-guard-nato-summit.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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