Tea bag terror: protests causing scares, evacuations at Congressional offices
"A recent email to hundreds of thousands of conservatives exhorted them to 'Send a Tea Bag to Washington, D.C. for $1.' Other activists have organized local efforts to mail tea bags to the offices of their members of Congress. It's all part of the […] anti-tax 'tea party' movement […] But now one of their symbolic protests is drawing attention for the wrong reasons. Local reports indicate that the practice of mailing actual tea bags to legislators has repeatedly raised security concerns, and sometimes forced the evacuation of congressional offices in anthrax [sic]-like scares." (Huffington Post; 14Apr09; Source: Chicago Tribune) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/14/tea-bag-terror-protests-c_n_186596.html
"The U.S. Department of Defense [DOD], for example, has evolved its strategy from Cold War plans involving the former Soviet Union, to one, it explains in a 2003 report, that is 'tailored to 21st century adversaries including terrorism. […] The DOD analysis went on to define those threats as 'asymmetric warfare,' which includes drug-trafficking, terrorism and biological warfare and that 'the threats of the future are unlikely to look like the threats of the past.' Imaging technology will play a large and vital role in dealing with these threats to all of us around the world. In this issue of Advanced Imaging, our Defense and Security Special Section takes a look at some of the ways our industry is helping."
(Advanced Imaging Pro; 14Apr09; Barry Hochfelder)
Immunovaccine Technologies collaborates with Defence Research & Development Canada to strengthen Canada's ability to deal with biological threats
"ImmunoVaccine Technologies Inc. (IVT), a vaccine development company, has announced the signing of a 3-year research agreement with Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC). The research collaboration involves the preclinical application of IVT's DepoVax (TM) vaccine formulation to anthrax [sic] antigens to explore new methods to prevent, prepare for, and respond to biological threats. […] Dr. Marc Mansour, vice president of R&D at IVT [said] 'Because our DepoVax(TM) formulation creates a long-lasting immune response and comes in a dry format that is easily reconstituted, it is well suited for the development of an effective anti-anthrax vaccine.'"
(Red Orbit; 14Apr09)
Istanbul [Turkey] to host anti-chemical-weapons workshop
"The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, or OPCW, will hold a workshop in Istanbul [Turkey] on April 16 and 17 on the Chemical Weapons Convention. The Turkish Foreign Ministry stated yesterday that the main objectives of the workshop were to promote awareness of the convention, its universality and its effective implementation among states in the region and neighboring countries." (Hurriyet; 14Apr09).
Hamilton Sundstrand awarded U.S. Department of Defense contract for chemical detection equipment
"The U.S. Department of Defense Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD) has awarded Hamilton Sundstrand an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract to provide up to 156 Chemical Biological Mass Spectrometer II (CBMS II) devices. Hamilton Sundstrand is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. Hamilton Sundstrand's CBMS II is a fully militarized, mass spectrometer-based system capable of detecting chemical warfare agents from reconnaissance vehicles without the need for reagents or other consumables. The contract for 156 chemical detection systems is valued at nearly $40 million." (PR Newswire/First Call; 14Apr09) http://news.prnewswire.com/DisplayReleaseContent.aspx?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-14-2009/0005005746&EDATE=
Investigators: expired antidotes update
"The Action News Investigators have learned that the City of Detroit officials have delivered new drugs to its EMS [Emergency Medical Service] units. The nerve agent antidotes can save lives during a terrorist attack. Action News Investigator Heather Catallo broke the story last week about Detroit ambulances carrying around antidotes that were more than 2 years expired. After Heather's report aired, the Fire Department ordered new drugs, and they were put on all of the ambulances over the weekend." (WXYZ; 13Apr09; Reed Heather)
Ukraine says 3 tried to sell bomb material
"The metal cylinder supposedly contained eight pounds of plutonium 239, a highly dangerous radioactive material that could be used in a nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb. The price: $10 million, sought by three Ukrainian men, officials said Tuesday. The men did not make a sale, the officials said, but were arrested […] Still, while the plot was foiled, it underscored longstanding concerns that unsecured radioactive material in the former Soviet Union might fall into the wrong hands. […] [I]t had turned out that the radioactive material was not plutonium 239. A preliminary analysis indicated that the material was most likely americium, […] [which] could be deployed in a dirty bomb but not in a nuclear weapon." (New York Times; 14Apr09; Clifford J. Levy) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/15/world/europe/15ukraine.html?ref=global-home
Members of Edison [NJ] F.D. [Fire Department] participate in safety course
"Six members of the Edison Fire Department [NJ] recently completed Homeland Security Training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, Ala., a facility that is operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). [They] attended the five-day course along with first responders from around the country, in an effort to learn how to respond to real-world incidents involving chemical, biological, explosive, radiological and other hazardous materials. Edison's firefighters participated in training exercises that involved all of the above." (GM News; 15Apr09; Dan Newman) http://ems.gmnews.com/news/2009/0415/front_page/027.html
Voters can go online to see [U.S.] House [of Representatives] earmark requests
"How much money do Arizona's representatives hope to bring home for 2010? The answer is more than $4 billion for local projects. Now, because of a new House [of Representatives] rule, constituents can see those requests.
[…] Six of Arizona's eight House members are seeking funds in the 2010 budget. […] All five Arizona Democrats asked for money for local projects.Rep. Ed Pastor, who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, which approves earmarks, is asking for more than $600 million. His projects include $114 million for protective equipment for medical first responders to shield them from chemical or biological weapons during a terrorist attack." (Arizona Central; 14Apr09; Erin Kelly) http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/2009/04/14/20090414az-earmarks.html
White House announcement: Andrew C. Weber, nominee for Assistant to the Secretary of Defense (Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs), Department of Defense
"Andrew Weber is currently an adviser for threat reduction policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he is responsible for Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction initiatives to reduce the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. He is also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University […] He was previously a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State […] Weber has an MS from Georgetown University and a BA from Cornell University." (The White House; 14Apr09) http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Obama-Announces-More-Key-Administration-Posts-4/14/09/
India warns of women terrorists as elections near
"As India's April 16 general elections approach, Army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor has warned that women terrorists are being trained across the border. New Delhi has said on several occasions that terrorists are being trained at camps inside Pakistan and along the border with Afghanistan. 'We have information that women are being trained on the other side to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir,' Kapoor told reporters here April 14.[…] Since the 1999 Kargil war, the Army has acquired weapons and equipment, including a variety of UAVs for surveillance, remote-control sensors set up along the border, bunker-busting rifles, hand-held sensors that can detect human movement up to 2.5 kilometers away, and gear to protect soldiers from nuclear, chemical and biological weapons." (Defense News; 14Apr09; Vivek Raghuvanshi) http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=4038384&c=ASI&s=TOP
Israeli army to train for impending war
"Israel is set to mobilize its army and hold the largest military exercise in its history to psych up the public for the breaking out of war. The head of Israel's Department for Population at the Home Front Command Colonel Hilik Sofer said the extensive exercise would be conducted in less than two months on June 2. […] 'In wartime there will be insufficient Magen David Adom, rescue and chemical and biological warfare units. Even if we call up the reserves of the Home Front Command, we will have to rely on the population itself,' Sofer told Haaretz. […] One of the missions of the nationwide military drill is to convince the public that in the event of a war the entire country would 'become a front without warning.'"
(Press TV; 15Apr09; Source: Haaretz)
RAE Systems [Inc.] ships wireless gas and radiation detection order to Middle East
"RAE Systems Inc., a leader in producing innovative sensor solutions to serve industrial, energy, environmental and government safety markets worldwide, has delivered 10 custom-configured AreaRAE Wireless gas-detection Rapid Deployment Kits with wireless, LifeShirt Personnel Management Systems and 100 GammaRAE 2R radiation detectors to a Kuwaiti government unit involved in homeland defense, disaster management and HazMat response in the Persian Gulf. The keys to selecting AreaRAE Rapid Deployment chemical and radiological threat detection kits were the all-in-one detection capabilities […]" (Market Wire; 14Apr09) http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Rae-Systems-NYSE-Alternext-US-RAE-973993.html
Threatening letter sent to [TX] school a hoax
White powder found in a threatening letter that was sent to the [Grandfield, TX] school district superintendent here turned out to be harmless, but it triggered an emergency quarantine of some school and emergency workers, officials said. The substance inside the correspondence was baby powder, superintendent Ed Turlington said. […] [Sherrif Bobby Whittington] said he will meet with homeland security officials […] to discuss how such emergencies can be better handled in rural areas of the state. 'There was a hole that got identified because of this,' Whittington said."
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.