War on Terrorism

Monday, March 30, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- March 30, 2009

The shadowy world of bioweapons
"Anthrax War, a documentary by Bob Coen about the anthrax attacks in the U.S. […] When award-winning filmmaker Bob Coen began an investigation of the links between the world's biological-weapons labs, he took a journey to the dark side that would return him to his own roots - and expose the alarming possibility that a lethal new worldwide arms race has already begun. Anthrax War, a documentary directed and co-written by Coen, has its world premiere tonight at 10 p.m. on CBC Newsworld's The Passionate Eye." (Toronto Star; 29Mar09; Olivia Ward)

SLO [San Luis Obispo]?county [CA] roundup
"The [San Luis Obispo] county's public health laboratory has gained a license to diagnose specimens that might be used for bioterrorism. Since March 1, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California's state emergency preparedness office have recognized the local lab as 'a fully functional confirmatory laboratory, capable of accepting and confirming the multiple agents of bioterrorism, such as anthrax,' [sic] according to Dr. James Beebe, lab director." (San Luis Obispo Tribune; 28Mar09; Bob Cuddy) http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/story/666412.html

Agricultural agents wage war on bugs, plants and disease
"Ten days ago, Newark [airport inspection] agents announced they discovered a plant bug never before seen in the U.S. Botanists don't know if it is a killer, because, like most of the estimated 30 million insect species on the planet, it has never been studied. Drug and anti-terrorism agents get the glory, but agricultural agents are on the front line against an equally frightening threat to the economic and environmental safety of the country: Foreign species, be they plants, bugs or disease. […] Every day, inspectors in Newark intercept on average more than 100 bugs, according to customs reports. About once a month, they come across a species never before seen in the U.S." (Star-Ledger; 29Mar09; Judy Peet) http://www.nj.com/newark/index.ssf/2009/03/agricultural_agents_wage_war_o.html

Hawaii working on list of who gets shots first in flu pandemic
"State health officials want the public's views on deciding who should get vaccinated - and who should not - against the next flu pandemic that reaches the Islands. So far, a wide-ranging advisory group […] will help determine who will be inoculated first and who will have to face the pandemic unarmed, at least until more vaccine can be manufactured and shipped to Hawaii. […] There is no way to stockpile vaccine for an unknown virus that has yet to arrive. […] So it could take months before federal officials isolate the virus, create a vaccine for it and send it to Hawaii." (Honolulu Advertiser; 29Mar09; Dan Nasako)

Former inspector warns of bioterrorism, outbreaks
"A retired food inspector is warning lax meat import rules leave Canada vulnerable to bioterrorism and outbreaks of dangerous bacteria such as Listeria. […] The report says the problems begin at the border. The CFIA [Canadian Food Inspection Agency] pre-clears U.S. meat imports before they enter Canada. The agency tells American exporters at least three days ahead of time if their shipments will be checked. The report says this could allow 'unsavoury' exporters to dump unsafe meats into Canada, and it is an ideal means to smuggle contraband across the border or carry out acts of bioterrorism." (Metro News; 30Mar09; Source: Canadian Press)

New technology helping protect San Diego [CA] Bay
"The Joint Harbor Operations Center -- or JHOC -- was activated a couple of years ago. The JHOC has a room described as a high-tech arena where protection of the bay is paramount. […] Once limited to the military, new underwater robotics are being used as well. 'The increase in our capability has been exponential after 9/11,' said Capt. Don Claypool of Harbor Police. […] More technology is on the way as San Diego will join the ports of Seattle, Los Angeles and Long Beach in a pilot program designed to detect radiological devices, or so-called dirty bombs." (10News; 27Mar09) http://www.10news.com/news/19032716/detail.html

Radioactive devices continue to go astray: report
"Seventy-five radioactive devices used in Canadian medicine and industry went astray in recent years - almost one-third of them dangerous enough to cause people harm, newly released figures show. A Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission report says 24 radioactive items classified as 'moderate-risk' or 'high-risk' were lost or stolen from 2005 through the end of last year. Security officials have tried to improve tracking of such devices, used for everything from measuring soil moisture to irradiating blood, out of concern they could be used for malicious purposes including terrorist attacks. […] The report says many of the two dozen devices of greatest concern from the four-year period were lost in transit or happened to be in vehicles targeted by thieves." (Canadian Press; 29Mar09) http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gXktszmmXD1NbF8dmJbGAjuCKI9A

Canada contributes to multilateral effort to prevent nuclear terrorism
"The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada will contribute million [sic] to strengthen nuclear security in countries of the former Soviet Union through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Nuclear Security Fund (NSF). This contribution-Canada's third to the NSF-will complement the nuclear security improvements made previously. 'Nuclear terrorism is a global threat that demands a global response,' said Minister Cannon." (ISRIA; 29Mar09)

How they [the U.S. House of Representatives] voted
"Here is how […] members of Congress [U.S. House of Representatives […] voted from March 20 to 26: […] The House approved the Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act (H.R. 730), sponsored by Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-CA, to develop a nuclear forensics program in the Department of Homeland Security that will enable investigators to identify the source of materials used by terrorists in a dirty bomb or nuclear weapon. […] 402 yeas to 16 nays." (Chicago Post-Tribune; 29Mar09; Source: Target News Service) http://www.post-trib.com/news/1501288,votechart.article

A.F. [Air Force] fails to account for WMD equipment
"After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the Air Force decided to quickly buy millions of dollars' worth of equipment to help protect its bases from weapons of mass destruction. The trouble is, most Air Force emergency responders were never trained how to use much of the equipment, which ranged from monitors to detect chemical weapons to special, tight-fitting air purifying respirators for security forces. And that's just the beginning of many Keystone Kops-style foul-ups with the gear designed to help protect against biological, chemical and radiological attack, according to a once-classified Air Force Audit Agency report obtained by the Deseret News through a Freedom of Information Act request." (Deseret News; 28Mar09; Lee Davidson) http://deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,705293849,00.html

UK terrorism document says strategy will target al-Qaida
"The British government will tackle the threat of terrorism through the relentless pursuit of terrorists and disruption of their plots, according to a document released by the Home office. The Home Office laid out a comprehensive strategy, under the name 'CONTEST,' 'to reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from international terrorism,' in the report. The threat from al-Qaida […] represent[s] the biggest current challenge to the UK, according to the document. It also looks at how to prepare for attacks from chemical, biological, radiological, explosive and nuclear materials. The threat is different today, with a 'wide-ranging religious and political agenda and religious justification' found to justify terrorist acts, it says." (Jerusalem Post; 30Mar09; Johnny Paul) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1238354475945&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

U.S. Senator [John Kerry, D-MA] seeks to ratify nuclear test ban pact
"The chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry, said on Friday he had begun laying the groundwork for Senate ratification of a global pact banning nuclear tests. The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was rejected by the Senate a decade ago. President Barack Obama said during his campaign that he would seek to get it ratified. But ratification is up to the Senate, where two-thirds approval is required. […] Kerry said his committee would hold hearings on the treaty. A vote by the full Senate is unlikely before next year, the Massachusetts Democrat said." (Edmonton Journal; 27Mar09; Source: Reuters) http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/senator+seeks+ratify+nuclear+test+pact/1436856/story.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.

No comments: