War on Terrorism

Friday, May 29, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- May 29, 2009

EPA green lights first antimicrobial pesticide against anthrax [bacteria]
"The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the first registration, or license, of an antimicrobial pesticide product to deactivate anthrax spores on hard surfaces. 'Peridox with the Electrostatic Decontamination System' can decontaminate buildings, structures, vehicles, ships, aircraft, personal protective equipment, and other items infected with anthrax spores. Its use is limited to dry, precleaned, hard, nonporous surfaces. [...] The use of anthrax-related products will be limited to federal on-scene coordinators, the U.S. military, and persons trained and certified competent by the manufacturer. Peridox is the first pesticide registered to deactivate anthrax spores. EPA previously issued crisis exemptions allowing use of unregistered antimicrobial chemicals to clean buildings and any contents contaminated with anthrax spores." (Environmental Protection Agency; 28May09) http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/9a07a5468a7c4905852575c40058d538?OpenDocument

[Japanese] Court rejects appeal by chemical victims
Japan's top court rejected two appeals for compensation for Chinese people killed or injured by chemical weapons abandoned by Japanese soldiers at the end of World War II, reports said. A total of 22 Chinese plaintiffs had filed appeals with the Supreme Court in two separate suits seeking damages from the Japanese government for their sufferings caused by the poisonous gas munitions left behind by the Imperial Japanese Army in China. But the top court ruled against the Chinese victims of chemical weapons and their family members, denying the responsibilities of the Japanese government, Kyodo News reported on Tuesday." (Macau Daily Times; 28May09)

VN plea for more aid for Agent Orange victims
"The Viet Nam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) has called on all people with a conscience to support a lawsuit demanding justice for Vietnamese victims of the toxic chemical. Speaking at a press conference in Ha Noi yesterday, VAVA President Nguyen Van Rinh urged stronger spiritual and material support for the victims. He praised the results of the International Peoples' Tribunal of Conscience, held in Paris on May 15-16, which found that the US government and chemical companies should take responsibility for the chemical warfare that destroyed a part of the natural environment and vegetation in Viet Nam and affected 4.8 million people. [...] Viet Nam veteran and US Congressman Eni F H Faleomavaega has admitted that Agent Orange was a dark mark that needed much more focused efforts to solve its impact. Faleomavaega expressed his viewpoint in an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the threshold of a hearing on efforts being made to address the continuing impacts of AO/dioxin in Viet Nam. The event is scheduled to be held in Washington DC on June 4 by the Subcommittee on the Asia, Pacific and Global Environment of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, of which Faleomavaega is Chairman." (Viet Nam News; 28May09)

Making progress at the Blue Grass Army Depot [KY]
"Kentuckians got some good news recently regarding the deadly chemical weapons stored by the Department of Defense at the Blue Grass Army Depot. A recent report from the department announced progress toward their disposal and a path forward for complete elimination. [...] After many years, the department has finally acknowledged the priority of this project to safely dispose of these weapons. Proof of this is seen in its latest budget request to complete this important project. Due to the 2017 deadline Congress enacted, the department has finally agreed to a long-term, five-year budget plan that is robustly funded. [...] While the Blue Grass Army Depot project is still in its construction phase, the Obama administration requested $545 million for the Blue Grass Army Depot and Pueblo Depot [CO] to dispose of these weapons in its 2010 budget. This is the highest request for this project in history. Just five years ago, the request was for only $33 million." (Courier-Journal; 29May09; Mitch McConnell and Ben Chandler) http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090529/OPINION04/905290308/Making+progress+at+the+Blue+Grass+Army+Depot

Pine Bluff Arsenal [AK] looks to end of chemical weapons disposal, decommissioning of incinerator
"The Pine Bluff Arsenal is in the final years of disposing of chemical weapons stored at the site. Incineration of mustard gas [is] scheduled to be complete in November 2011. Once the chemical weapons are gone, the arsenal will need another 2 1/2 years to decommission the incinerator and related facilities. [...] Project General Manager David Reber says he's having talks with arsenal officials about how the disposal facility can be used when the chemical weapons mission is complete. One suggestion is to convert the site to an oil refinery." (WREG, Memphis; 29May09; Source: AP) http://www.wreg.com/sns-ap-ar--pbarsenal,0,426161.story

Exercise tests post's readiness, interagency coordination [Fort Leavenworth, KS]
"Fort Leavenworth emergency responders joined forces with civilian emergency services to test their readiness and interagency coordination during the 2009 Antiterrorism/Force Protection/Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive Exercise May 27 at Riverside Apartments. In the exercise scenario, a terrorist armed with a chemical agent took several hostages at Riverside Apartments, and responders had to secure the site and treat and decontaminate casualties. [...] According to the Directorate of Plans, Training and Mobilization, the purpose of the exercise was to evaluate the fort's AT/FP/CBRNE program and ability to prepare, mitigate, respond and recover from an incident." (Fort Leavenworth Lamp; 28May09; Will King) http://www.ftleavenworthlamp.com/articles/2009/05/28/news/news3.txt

Copter to buzz region during radiation test [Albany, NY]
"A low-flying helicopter equipped to test for radiation will zoom over the Capital Region in early June as part of a disaster preparedness exercise. [...] 'Empire 09' is a three-day exercise to test the abilities of more than 500 local, state and federal first responders in the event that a 'dirty bomb,' [...] is used in the Albany area. A silver and black Bell 412 helicopter will fly out of Albany International Airport over downtown Albany, the Hudson River, and western Rensselaer County from June 1-5 as part of the routine." (Times-Union; 29May09; Humberto Martinez)

White powder Bayer Aspirin samples sent through mail concern officials
"Health officials are concerned that a mass mailing from Bayer Aspirin Company might prompt concern from people about suspicious white powder. Bayer sent 178,000 envelopes to households across the United States between May 20 and today containing a sample of its new product, called Bayer Aspirin Crystals. The aspirin is in a white crystalline form. The mailing has prompted federal agencies to warn local emergency management agencies of the possibility of calls from people worried about white powder spilling from their mail." (Erie Times-News; 29May09; Kara Murphy) http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090529/NEWS02/305299892/-1/NEIGHBORS

Powder prompts building evacuation [Parole, MD]
"Four state employees had to be decontaminated yesterday morning after a letter containing a white powder was opened inside an administrative court office in Parole, authorities said. State police investigators eventually determined the substance was baking powder, but only after officers evacuated several businesses on Commerce Drive, and firefighters escorted the four workers into a special decontamination vehicle to strip down to their underwear and wash themselves. [...] Fire department officials determined that four of the 10 employees assigned to the office may have been exposed to the powder. [...] State police said they do not believe this incident was related to another suspicious letter opened Tuesday in Hagerstown. [...] Hagerstown Police Sgt. Paul J. Kifer told The Associated Press that it appears that Tuesday's letter also came from a prison." (Capital Gazette; 28May09; Scott Daugherty and Lisa Beisel) http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/for/2009/05/28-24/Powder-prompts-building-evacuation.html

Crawley man pleads guilty to 34 Gatwick bomb hoaxes and threats
"A noise protester is today facing years in jail after pleading guilty to sending a series of bomb hoaxes and threats to Gatwick Airport. Gary John Collins, 57, committed the offences during a five-year period from October 2003 to October last year. He pleaded guilty to 34 counts of communicating false information when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court. [...] Prosecutor Amy Packham said: 'All the charges relate to Gatwick Airport either as bomb hoaxes or sending substances marked as anthrax or bio-material.' Full details of the case were not opened by the prosecution, but Sussex Police said later that Collins sent more than 80 letters during his terror campaign." (The Argus; 29May09) http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/4405957.Crawley_man_pleads_guilty_to_34_Gatwick_bomb_hoaxes_and_threats/

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: