War on Terrorism

Friday, April 17, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 17, 2009

Complex systems analysis-a necessary tool for Homeland Security
"Understanding how complex systems perform is a vital component of homeland security. […] The Department of Homeland Security should develop Complex Systems Analysis Centers of Excellence. The Department directs three Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) [one of which is the] National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC). […] NBACC focuses on developing means to combat bioterrorism. Each center should be required to develop expertise in complex systems analysis and together form a consortium to serve as DHS's center of excellence on complex systems analysis." (Heritage Foundation; 16Apr09; James Jay Carafano and Richard Weitz) http://www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandSecurity/bg2261.cfm

Volunteers needed for emergency response drill in Rochester [NH]
"Hundreds of volunteers are needed on Saturday, May 16 to participate in a statewide emergency response drill. Northern Strafford County Health and Safety Council is working […] to test our region's ability to dispense medications to the general public during a public health or bioterrorism emergency. We need volunteers to assist staffing the POD [point of dispensation] and also several hundred to play the role of 'patients.' The time commitment for staff is approximately 7:30 am to 1:30 pm and for 'patients' is 10 am to 12:30 pm. No experience is required." (Foster's Daily Democrat; 16Apr09)

Health care cuts likely to hit Tompkins County [NY] hard
"At the Tompkins County Legislature's Health and Human Service committee Tuesday, department heads continued the trend of presenting good-news, bad-news situations after hearing what budgetary cuts will trickle down from the state budget. State cuts appear less harsh than originally anticipated, but the recently reported 10-percent decline in sales tax revenue is a larger dip than previously expected. […] The Tompkins County Health Department will realize about $140,000 in cuts, primarily because bioterrorism preparedness funding will expire later this year." (Ithaca Journal; 16Apr09; Tim Ashmore)

Scientists discover new chemical reaction for DNA production in bacteria and viruses

"A team of researchers has discovered a new chemical reaction for producing one of the four nucleotides, or building blocks, needed to build DNA. […] The chemical reaction discovered by the researchers uses an enzyme called flavin-dependent thymidylate synthase, or FDTS. The enzyme is coded by the thyX gene and has been found primarily in bacteria and viruses, including several human pathogens and biological warfare agents.
In the future, scientists may use this knowledge for the development of new antibacterial and antiviral drugs." (National Science Foundation;

Public wanted to help in anthrax [sic] attack drill [IN]
"Members of the public are invited to play victims during a scenario next week in Washington, Ind., simulating health department response in an anthrax [sic] attack. […] During the exercise, various health departments and emergency responders will play different roles distributing medication to the volunteers playing victims. 'The exercise will test participants' ability to respond to a scenario involving the intentional release of anthrax [sic] that would require a mass distribution of drugs to treat potentially thousands who might be exposed and could face death if not treated in a timely manner,' according to the release." (Courier Press; 16Apr09; Gavin Lesnick) http://www.courierpress.com/news/2009/apr/16/no-headline---16a03anthrax-brf/

OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] chief [Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter] calls for chemical weapons-free Middle East
"Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, director-general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), has called on Middle Eastern countries Egypt, Israel and Syria, which remain outside the Chemical Weapons Convention, to join the convention. 'We have made major progress, but we are still eight countries short. Among those are countries in the Middle East. As a region in deep conflict, there have been allegations that they have weapons of mass destruction. For the international community to be able to achieve its ultimate goal of freeing the world from the instruments of warfare, these countries need to join.'" (Today's Zaman; 17Apr09; Yonca Poyraz Do?an) http://www.todayszaman.com/tz-web/detaylar.do?load=detay&link=172675&bolum=100

Robotic task force: a two-robot bomb defusing, riot controlling, firefighting team
"Segway presented two robots at Robobusiness 2009 that can defuse dirty bombs, take on riots and fight fires-giving their operators comfortable distance from dangerous situations. […] The robot with the dirtier, and arguably more dangerous job description is an advanced explosive ordinance disposal unit. This bot, a collaboration between Segway Robotics and SRI International, allows a remote operator to defuse a bomb with surgical precision. […] 'Inevitably, there are going to be complex devices, like a dirty bomb or a chemical dispersal system, that are going to require an expert to technically deactivate the device, rather than just disrupt it,' says Thomas Low, director of the medical systems and devices program at SRI." (Popular Mechanics; 16Apr09; Erik Sofge) http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/robotics/4313799.html

Midland County [MI] Sheriff to train community
"To make sure citizens know what to do in disasters and emergencies, the Midland County [MI] Sheriff's Office is hosting community disaster preparation training. […] In emergencies, law enforcement officials, firefighters and paramedics are 'busy with whatever the catastrophe is,' [Sheriff Jerry Nielsen] said, adding the rest of the community might be left on its own for the first few hours or even days. […] The training will cover those topics, as well as crisis response, information on explosives, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear incidents, terrorism awareness and a desktop exercise. Trainers will discuss the hazards that exist in this community and continuing community partnerships." (Midland Daily News; 16Apr09; Kelly Dame) http://ourmidland.com/articles/2009/04/16/local_news/1720701.txt

WMD task force trains with Koreans in 'Key Resolve'
"The Combined Joint Task Force for the Elimination of Weapons of Mass Destruction [CJTF-E] helped reinforce the strategic United States-Republic of Korea [ROK] relationship during the annual combined training event, Key Resolve, March 9-19. During Key Resolve and the combined Field Training Exercise Foal Eagle, the CJTF-E and the ROK Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense Command demonstrated their war fighting capabilities against a simulated threat that had invaded and attacked Korea and other nations with hundreds of WMD." (Army News Service; 15Apr09; Aaron Carpenter)

shows ISU [Integrated Security Unit] still has Operation Silver work to do
"Better communication and keeping track of who is responsible for what when an incident happens were just two of the lessons learned during a massive 2010 [Olympic] Games readiness security exercise earlier this year. In all, more than 1,000 participants from 100 agencies took part in Exercise Silver, which ran from Feb. 9th to 13th. 'I think the overall message is that we still have some work to do,' said Cpl. Jen Allen, spokeswoman for the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit (ISU), which is responsible for security during next year's Olympics. […] Some of the simulations included […] A CBRN incident - that is an incident with weaponized or non-weaponized Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear materials that can cause great harm and pose significant threats in the hands of terrorists." (Pique News Magazine; 16Apr09; Claire Ogilvie)

MI5 [British domestic intelligence agency] set to recruit science chief
"MI5 is to appoint a chief scientific adviser, BBC News has learned. The role will involve working with senior intelligence staff to combat terrorism and support counter-intelligence operations. […] The UK government's chief scientific adviser, Professor John Beddington, told BBC News: […] '[T]he chief science adviser] has a role to frustrate terrorism to prevent espionage hurting the UK, protect our critical national infrastructure and to frustrate the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.' […] Dr Sally Leivesley, from security consultancy New Risk, told BBC News: 'The appointment of a chief scientific adviser is an acknowledgement of the emerging threat of chemical, biological and radiological attack by terrorists and also the security threat to computer systems,' she said." (BBC; 17Apr09; Pallub Ghosh) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8001825.stm

Work of [London] Met[ropolitan] Police's special unit makes it a magnet for bad publicity
"The central focus of several inquiries into the policing of the G20 protests will be the Territorial Support Group [TSG], the elite public order unit of the [London] Metropolitan Police. […] Because of the nature of their work […] TSG officers attract a large number of complaints. […] They are trained in working with dogs, use of shields, restraint techniques and forced entry. In recent years they have also been equipped to deal with a chemical attack or dirty bomb incident. They spend one day every five weeks in riot and crowd control training and are deployed in counter-terrorism raids and on operations to arrest the most violent criminals." (Times Online; 16Apr09; Sean O'Neill) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/G20/article6101900.ece

[European] Commission adopts new programme to fight terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
"[T]he European Commission has adopted a new three year programme to fight terrorism, trafficking and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The 2009-2011 Indicative Programme for the Instrument for Stability includes the first global counter-terrorism measures developed by the Commission together with experts from EU Member States. Key priorities are Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as the Sahel region in Africa. […] Links between terrorism and organized crime are addressed in areas such as drugs trafficking from Latin America to Western Africa, trafficking in small arms and light weapons, and illicit trafficking in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) materials." (ISRIA; 17Apr09) http://www.isria.info/en/17_April_2009_74.htm

U.S. and Kenya agree to install radiation detection equipment at the port of Mombasa
"The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) signed an agreement to work with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Kenya and other Kenyan agencies to install radiation detection equipment and associated infrastructure at the Port of Mombasa. NNSA will also train Kenyan government officials to use this equipment. 'The Port of Mombasa is a major cargo-container hub in Africa and a strategic transit point in the international maritime trading system,' said NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Ken Baker. 'NNSA appreciates the Republic of Kenya's partnership in our efforts to prevent the smuggling of nuclear and radiological materials.'" (National Nuclear Security Administration; 15Apr09) http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/news/2323.htm

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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