War on Terrorism

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 22, 2009

Glouco [Gloucester County, NJ] will hold bioterrorism drill
"Gloucester County [NJ] officials will hold a full-scale exercise Friday to test emergency response plans for bioterrorism. The exercise, to start at 8 a.m. at the county's Government Services Building in Clayton, will test procedures to provide antibiotics during a public health emergency, officials said. At 10 a.m., more than 100 volunteers are to gather at Gloucester County College in Deptford, where mock drugs will be administered to 'victims.'" (Courier Post; 22Apr09)

News from the journals of the American Society For Microbiology
"New research from Denmark suggests a promising method using air samples to continuously monitor broiler flocks for the presence of the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter. The findings are reported in the April 2009 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology. […] A new highly sensitive method may offer early diagnosis of dengue virus infection by detecting the viral components, such as RNA. The researchers from Gen-Probe Incorporated, San Diego, California and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Fort Collins, Colorado report their findings in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. […] A new experimental Ebola vaccine is one step closer to realization, having proven its ability to protect against lethal infections in animal models. The researchers report their findings in the April 2009 issue of the Journal of Virology." (Medical News Today; 22Apr09) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146937.php

NSF [National Science Foundation] funds enzyme study for possible cures of infectious disease
"An Auburn University professor has received a $424,000 National Science Foundation grant for research in the fight against infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, anthrax, and staph infections. Evert Duin, an assistant professor of biochemistry in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, is focusing his research on the different steps that biological cells use in making a group of lipids, called isoprenoids. These are fatty substances that are essential for the survival of all organisms including humans. 'The human race is losing its battle against infective bacterial diseases and we are facing new threats from bioterrorism,' Duin said." (Occupational Health and Safety; 22Apr09) http://ohsonline.com/articles/2009/04/22/nsf-funds-enzyme-study-for-possible-cures-of-infectious-disease.aspx

Elusys [Therapeutics, Inc.]'s anthrax anti-toxin, Anthim(TM), enters second phase I clinical study
"Elusys Therapeutics, Inc. (Elusys), a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing antibody-based therapies for the treatment of life-threatening infectious diseases, announced the initiation of a second Phase I human safety trial of Anthim(TM), a high-affinity humanized and deimmunized monoclonal antibody targeting the anthrax toxin protective antigen. […] Dr. Posillico added, 'Death from the effects of anthrax toxin can occur in a few days if patients are not treated quickly. We are very excited about Anthim because the results of all of our studies show that treatment with Anthim has the potential to provide significant therapeutic benefit for people infected with anthrax in a bioterrorism emergency.'" (Medical News Today; 21Apr09)

IOP [Institute of Politics] Fellow frank about bio-threats
"Nations should take further steps to guard against the spread of disease in the event of a future biological weapons attack or contagious outbreak, Institute of Politics Fellow Howard A. Zucker said yesterday. The remarks by the former assistant director-general of the World Health Organization came in the midst of a talk about the often neglected relationship between the health of a nation and its security at the Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs yesterday. Zucker struck a frank note about the impending possibility of international health threats." (Harvard Crimson; 21Apr09; Eric L. Michel) http://www.thecrimson.com/article.aspx?ref=527780

Fort Detrick [MD] disease samples may be missing
"Army criminal investigators are looking into the possibility that disease samples are missing from biolabs at Fort Detrick. […] Chad Jones, spokesman for Fort Meade, said CID [Criminal Investigation Division] is investigating the possibility of missing virus samples from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases [USAMRIID]. He said the only other detail he could provide is that the investigation is ongoing. CID is responsible for investigating crimes where the Army is, or may be, a party of interest, according to the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command website. USAMRIID is the Army's top biodefense lab, where researchers study pathogens including Ebola, anthrax and plague." (Frederick News; 22Apr09; Justin M. Palk)

Turkish police arrest 15 al-Qaida suspects
"Turkish police arrested 15 people suspected of ties to al-Qaida after being warned they were planning to attack foreign targets, officials said. Arrests were made in several provinces following warnings from U.S. intelligence officials and Interpol that al-Qaida was developing attacks on foreign targets, and that followers were being trained to use biological weapons, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported Tuesday. Turkish authorities accused al-Qaida followers of planning the 2003 attacks that targeted two synagogues, the British Consulate and HSBC Bank in Istanbul, killing 63 people. In 2007, seven people were sentenced to life in prison for the attacks." (United Press International; 21Apr09) http://www.upiasia.com/Top_News/2009/04/21/Turkish-police-arrest-15-al-Qaida-suspects/UPI-64241240321879/

Kuwait backs global bodies against chemical weapons
"Kuwait affirmed here Tuesday that it supports all international organizations in its efforts to counter the use of chemical weapons against any state. This affirmation came after the meeting between Assistant Undersecretary for the Kuwaiti Ministry of Defense Jasser Al-Jasser and General Director of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Rogelio Pfirter. Al-Jasser, who is also the official in charge of dialogue with OPCW, said that the affirmation came to clear Kuwait's stance regarding the issue of using chemical weapons." (Arab Times; 21Apr09)

Disposable sensors detect radiation threats
"Sicel Technologies [DC] announces that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Gentag to create the world's first passive (no battery), disposable, wireless Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) sensor to detect radiation threats in shipping containers using modified cell phone technology. The patented technology is a combination of Sicel Technologies' medical radiation sensor technology and Gentag's wireless sensor platform. The technologies can be integrated with standard LF, HF or UHF RFID technologies or Radar Responsive Sensor Tags, allowing the miniature radiation sensors to be read from distances ranging from one inch to12 miles. Sicel's expertise in manufacturing FDA-cleared radiation sensors, combined with Gentag's platform technology, will allow the companies to develop and produce a low-cost threat detection solution." (Product Design and Development; 22Apr09) http://www.pddnet.com/scripts/ShowPR.asp?RID=27126&CommonCount=0

DRS Technologies [Inc.] receives a $32 million order to provide its joint service transportable decontamination systems, small scale
"DRS Technologies, Inc. [NJ] announced today that it received a $32 million order from Natick Contracting Division, Natick, MA to provide Joint Service Transportable Decontamination Systems, Small Scale (JSTDS-SS). The order is part of a current five-year $84 million contract with the Chemical & Biological Defense Joint Program Executive Office in Falls Church, VA. […] The JSTDS-SS consists of an applicator and accessories that will be used to support […] decontamination […] [of] fixed facilities that have been exposed to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) warfare agents/contamination and toxic industrial materials." (Defence Professionals; 22Apr09) http://www.defpro.com/news/details/6925/

CBIRF [Chemical Biological Incident Response Force]'s chem lab on wheels
"Chemical Biological Incident Response Force, II Marine Expeditionary Force Marines and Sailors have a life-saving mission as emergency responders. This requires a lot of different disciplines, one of which is organic to CBIRF. 'The mobile laboratory is an analytical suite on a mobile platform,' said Dr. Erick Swartz, who is the resident scientist here. 'It is designed to analyze gases but more specifically, liquids and solids that give off a gas.' […] Being able to recognize the contaminants in a contaminated area, identification and detection platoon (IDP) Marines are imperative to CBIRF's mission. Only Marines with IDP can operate the mobile laboratory and go through extensive training on its usage." (Marine Corp News; 21Apr09)

Pirates attack! protect our ports!
"The recent pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia should serve as a reminder that our nation's ships remain vulnerable. […] However, while increased security on board ships is crucial, the battle to secure our nation's shipping must not stop there. […] Every day, more than 32,000 cargo containers pass through U.S. ports. The Department of Homeland Security's Container Security Initiative claims to thoroughly screen as many as 86% of these containers at their points of origin through a series of X-ray and gamma ray machines and radiation detection devices. […] Emergency preparedness planners are concerned that terrorists might smuggle a chemical or even nuclear weapon into the U.S. inside a cargo-shipping container." (American Enterprise Institute; 20Apr09; Jessica Leval and Andrew Mener) http://www.aei.org/publications/filter.all,pubID.29739/pub_detail.asp

Crimean parliament vetoes US naval exercise in Black Sea
"The parliament of the Ukrainian province of Crimea on Wednesday voted against allowing planned US naval manoeuvres in the Black Sea, the Interfax news agency reported. […] The US-financed 'Sea Breeze' exercises have been held every summer since 1997, with US and Ukrainian naval and marine forces the main participants. A majority of Crimea's residents oppose the yearly air, land, and sea operations believing they constitute a first step towards making Ukraine a member of NATO. […] Around 20 NATO officials [would] be on hand to observe the Ukrainian crews as they practise […] defences against nuclear, chemical and biological weapons attack, a Ukrainian navy spokesman said." (Top News; 22Apr09; Source: Interfax; Mohit Joshi)

Nuclear energy can aid global energy security, conference says
"Energy ministers and officials from 66 nations participated in three-day conference, hosted by China and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which ended Wednesday. […] Fluctuating oil prices and growing energy demands have triggered renewed interest in nuclear energy, despite the still existing risks of the technology, the conference concluded. […] However, outgoing IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei voiced concerns over the safety situation in some countries that operated outdated nuclear facilities, had bad operators or insufficient supervision. Safety standards had to be globally binding, ElBaradei said, and needed to be more effective in countering the threat of nuclear terrorism." (Top News; 22Apr09; Mohit Joshi)

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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