War on Terrorism

Monday, April 27, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News-April 27, 2009

Biological terrorism: recommended protection for first responders
"The approach to any potentially hazardous environment, including one with biological hazards, must be made with a plan that includes an assessment of hazard and exposure potential, respiratory protection needs, dermal protection needs, entry conditions, exit routes, and decontamination strategies. Plans involving a biological hazard should be based on relevant infectious disease or biological safety recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (e.g., http://emergency.cdc.gov/bioterrorism)." (Forensic Magazine; 27Apr09;
Source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)

OSU [Ohio State University] labs in Wooster [OH] to handle risky viruses
"Ohio State University plans to study organisms such [as] the bird-flu virus and ash borers at new high-security labs [Biosafety Level 3] on its agricultural research campus in Wooster [OH]. The $21.7 million laboratory complex would be the first of its kind in the state and would hold the second-highest federal security rating for laboratories that handle dangerous biological substances. The university said it had to turn down grant money in the past because it didn't have the facilities needed to safely conduct sensitive research. Construction on the complex is set to begin in September and should be complete by fall 2011." (Columbus Dispatch; 27Apr09; Doug Caruso; Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention )

Local firm a leader in food security field [MD]
"Food quality and safety are paramount issues today, and a Frederick [MD]-based company is a leader in that field. Microbiology International, located on Pegasus Court, has become the exclusive distributor for the R.A.P.I.D. LT Food Security System. […] Kevin Klink, co-CEO of Microbiology International [said] 'It takes the samples and makes them hot and cold, which allows a reaction to take place to replace the original DNA strand,' Klink said. The equipment provides zero tolerance when checking for any problems in food samples. 'It looks for listeria, salmonella, e-coli, campylobacter and more,' he said. The same equipment is used by the military to identify anthrax and other bioterrorism organisms, Klink said." (Frederick News Post; 25Apr09; Ed Waters, Jr.)

Hong Kong may provide answers to [swine flu] disease
"[W]ith the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico and the United States, Hong Kong suddenly finds the world looking to it for lessons on how to stop the spread of disease. 'Managing a (potential) pandemic can't be from the top down, it must be from the ground up,' said Lo, a former Hong Kong legislator representing the medical community. According to the World Health Organization, a public health emergency is an occurrence or imminent threat of illness or health conditions caused by bioterrorism, epidemic or pandemic disease, or highly fatal infectious agents or toxins that pose serious risk to a significant number of people. […] The communication channels have improved between China and Hong Kong, health officials said, as well as better surveillance of the disease. Every visitor who comes through Hong Kong International Airport now is scanned by infrared monitors and immediately isolated if suffering from a fever or respiratory illness." (CNN; 27Apr09; Kevin Voigt) http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/04/27/swine.flu.sars.asia/

Background: Looking at Israel's bio-defense program
"Biological warfare is considered by Israeli security officials to be one of the most dangerous forms of unconventional attacks, and an Israeli bio-defense program has taken shape in recent decades with the growing threat of bio-terrorism backed by rogue regimes. 'I will say that Israel has the best solution to this threat in the world,' Giora Eiland, former head of the National Security Council, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday. 'I can say with certainty that Israel has prepared a series of steps designed to deal with biological warfare.' Eiland said Israel had invested heavily in the field of bio-terrorism but added that the threat remained 'huge.' […] The bio-defense program Eiland alluded to was not always in place - it took the defense establishment decades to develop it." (Jerusalem Post; 26Apr09; Yaakov Lappin) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1239710795108&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

WHO [World Health Organization Dr. Keiji] Fukuda: no evidence swine flu is bioterrorism attack
"The World Health Organization said Sunday there is no evidence an outbreak of swine flu in Mexico represents an act of bioterrorism. 'There are no signs we are dealing with purposeful actions,' Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the WHO's temporary assistant director-general for Health Security and the Environment, said on a media call. Fukuda was responding to a question about U.S. President Barack Obama's recent visit to Mexico, where at least 81 people have died from severe pneumonia caused by the flu-like illness in Mexico, according to the WHO." (NASDAQ; 27Apr09; Katharina Bart) http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=200904261235dowjonesdjonline000047&title=who-fukudano-evidence-swine-flu-is-bioterrorism-attack

Annual CSEPP [Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program] drill Tuesday night at the Umatilla Chemical Depot [OR]
"The Umatilla Chemical Depot had its annual Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program […] [to] simulate a chemical accident on the Depot site to see how workers respond. At the beginning of the exercise, the room was quiet. Then once the staged accident happened, everyone jumped into action. Greg Mahall, the Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency, explained the exercise. He says, 'Inside the Depot today, we are simulating an accident involving 3 1-ton containers of mustard agent. There were injuries, leakage, fire, smoke.' The on-site accident was called in through a radio and emergency personnel had to act quickly." (KNDO-KNDU; 23Apr09)

India completes chemical weapons disposal; Iraq declares stockpile
"India has become the third nation to eliminate its known stockpile of chemical weapons, the organization that monitors adherence to the Chemical Weapons Convention announced last week. India on March 26 notified the Technical Secretariat to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons that it had completed operations, according to OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter. […] Albania and another nation that remains officially anonymous but is widely accepted to be South Korea have already disposed of their chemical arsenals." (Global Security Newswire; 27Apr09; Chris Schneidmiller) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20090427_8248.php

Bahamas joins Chemical Weapons Convention
"The Bahamas has become the 188th nation to join the international pact banning the production, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons, the treaty's monitoring agency announced yesterday. The Chemical Weapons Convention will enter into force 30 days after April 21, the date on which the island nation submitted its ratification document to the United Nations. Member nations are required to declare activities that could 'pose a risk to the object and purpose of the convention' and to allow inspections and other means of compliance verification by the Hague-based organization. The remaining holdout nations are Angola, Egypt, Israel, Myanmar, North Korea, Somalia and Syria." (Your Industry News; 27Apr09) http://www.yourindustrynews.com/bahamas+joins+chemical+weapons+convention_30731.html

Grappling with the dirty bomb threat
"President Barack Obama has turned his focus to stockpiles of dangerous chemical and radiological materials that remain at risk from being stolen by terror groups planning to make what is known as a dirty bomb. Much of it is in the former Soviet Union, but it is also being kept in other parts of the world by countries that have nuclear power plants or had plans to build a nuclear bomb, but abandoned them. American intelligence agencies believe a dirty bomb strike is almost inevitable in a major city within the next five years, and last month the British government conceded that such an attack was highly likely and could happen without warning at any time." (BBC News; 27Apr09; Humphrey Hawksley) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8014863.stm

First responders: to fight terror, cross-training needed
"If terrorists stage a large-scale strike on a major city, police, firefighters and other first responders may not simultaneously converge on the scene […] That is why first responders should be 'cross trained' to deal with emergency situations outside their purview, said Lt. Gregory Bennett, of the Middlesex County, N.J., sheriff's office. He spoke at the GovSec [Government Security] conference in Washington, D.C. The scene of a nuclear, chemical or biological attack would be chaotic, with emergency responders setting up shop everywhere in the city. Confusion would reign, and special units may be miles away from where they are needed, he said." (National Defense Magazine; May09; Stew Magnuson and Matthew Rusling) http://nationaldefensemagazine.org/archive/2009/May/Pages/FirstRespondersToFightTerror,Cross-TrainingNeeded.aspx

Prepare for emergencies
"When health services fail to provide timely and effective help, people suffer needlessly. Even a tiny investment can make a difference. It is vital for hospitals to ensure that essential services are available quickly during a disaster. […] Disasters and emergencies may occur in different forms like floods, earthquakes, terrorism and mass casualties in a major road traffic accident, blasts, biological warfare and nuclear attacks. Even mass food poisoning can be counted as a disaster. When disasters strike, aid agencies, communities, media, and the government focuses immediately on the victims. But if the focus on victims is to have real meaning, we must prioritise medical care." (Deccan Herald; 25Apr09; Source: Complete Wellbeing Magazine; Dr. Adash S. Rajpal) http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Apr252009/living20090424132171.asp

Officials: suspicious powder at [FL] courthouse not anthrax
A suspicious white powder found in an envelope at the Hillsborough County Courthouse this afternoon is not anthrax, Tampa [FL] Fire Rescue officials said.The powder fell out when a clerk opened the envelope. The substance hasn't been identified but is not considered to be hazardous, said Capt.Bill Wade. The clerk is undergoing medical tests. […] Sixty people work in the area but only the clerk who opened the envelope was considered at risk for exposure, Wade said." (Tampa Bay Online; 27Apr09) http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/apr/27/suspicious-white-powder-found-hillsborough-courtho/news-metro/

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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