War on Terrorism

Monday, June 01, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- June 1, 2009

$45 million granted for infectious disease research at [University of California at Irvine]
"UC Irvine's award of $45 million for infectious disease research is a breath of fresh air for Alan Barbour, director of the recipient program, the Pacific-Southwest Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research (PSW RCE) at UCI. The contribution is the largest renewal grant the campus has ever received. [...] There are currently 10 other institutions in the United States designated as Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Disease similar to the PSW RCE at UCI. Grants distributed to these institutions are allocated by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). To receive a grant, Barbour explained that an extensive application process is involved. In the process of earning this particular grant, 700 pages of applications material involving detailed descriptions of the research to be conducted in 30 individual labs had to be completed. [...] Diseases studied by the institution are among those listed by the federal government as diseases of high priority. Since this includes responding to bioterrorism threats and infectious disease emergencies, there is flexibility in what the institution researches with its efforts focused on issues requiring urgent attention." (New University; 01Jun09; Tiffany Liu)

UPMC [University of Pittsburgh Medical Center] researcher's book explores eradication of smallpox
"In a new book slated for release tomorrow, Dr. [D.A.] Henderson, who, as head of the World Health Organization's smallpox eradication unit, led the global effort to eliminate the disease 30 years ago, is now opening up about the personal challenges he faced in the 1960s and '70s. Dr. Henderson will discuss his book Thursday at 5 p.m. in the J. W. Connolly Ballroom at the University of Pittsburgh in Oakland. A professor at Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health, Dr. Henderson planned the release of his book to coincide with the May opening of the UPMC Center for Global Health, center Director Joanne Russell said. [...] His book, 'Smallpox: The Death of a Disease,' is significantly more 'personal' than anything Dr. Henderson has written about the smallpox eradication process before, he said Friday. In the book, Dr. Henderson said he describes bureaucratic and governmental obstructions that threatened to extinguish global efforts to permanently wipe out the disease." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 01Jun09; Victor Zapana and Martine Powers) http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09152/974138-44.stm

Amateurs use Google Earth to uncover [North Korean President] Kim's sinister secrets
"A set of images - 'North Korea Uncovered', released by Curtis Melvin, a keen American amateur - includes a tantalising view of the site where the North Koreans detonated a nuclear device last week that diplomatic sources say may have been based on a Chinese design. Melvin's satellite map of the country, collated from Google Earth, reveals palaces, labour camps, mass graves and the entrance to the subterranean test base in the remote northeast of the country. [...] The mappers are confident that they have identified the Vinalon complex, a plant connected with hideous chemical warfare experiments." (Times, U.K.; 31May09; Michael Sheridan) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article6396012.ece

A history of violence on the antiabortion fringe [butyric acid]
"Clinics and clinic workers were subject to vandalism, bombings and death threats through the 1980s, but it was not until March 1993 that the United States saw the first known political slaying of an abortion provider. [...] In response, Congress passed the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, which President Clinton signed in May 1994. The law outlawed 'force, threat of force or physical obstruction' to patients and clinic workers. [...] Less lethal tactics have included the release of foul-smelling butyric acid at clinics. In 2001, when the nation was gripped with fear stemming from legitimate anthrax threats [sic], more than 500 clinics received letters with fake anthrax [spores], according to NARAL Pro-Choice America." (Los Angeles Times; 01Jun09; Richard Fausset) http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-na-abortion-violence1-2009jun01,0,1335069.story

ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asia] leaders gather for summit with South Korea
"Southeast Asian leaders are gathered in South Korea's southern island of Jeju for a two-day summit with South Korea's President, Lee Myung Bak, on Monday. This is part of the president's 'New Asia Initiative', which is aimed at bringing South Korea and the ASEAN grouping closer as they celebrate 20 years of partnership. [...] The summit at Jeju Island comes amid growing concerns over North Korea's nuclear threat. To ensure leaders are safe, South Korea has deployed a set of anti-aircraft guns and a special anti-chemical warfare vehicle at the meeting venue." (Channel News Asia; 01Jun09; Lim Yun Suk) http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/eastasia/view/433153/1/.html

[Deputy Defense Minister Matan] Vilna'i: Israelis must ready for missile attack [by participating in an air raid drill]
"Israel is facing a 'real live missile threat' from surrounding Arab countries and needs to be prepared for possible missile attacks at a moment's notice, Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna'i told The Jerusalem Post Saturday, ahead of the nationwide emergency drill that begins on Sunday. [...] The largest civil-defense exercise since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Turning Point 3, will begin on Sunday and last until Thursday. The highlight will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, when air-raid sirens will sound nationwide. Citizens are asked during the siren to enter nearby bomb shelters and protective rooms. [...] Israel, he said, would continue to drill its civil defense forces as well as the public. He said that plans were already in place to hold a similar drill in the summer of 2010. [...] On Sunday, the Home Front Command will unveil a new rapid-alert technology that it plans to begin using to warn civilians of incoming enemy missiles via cell phones. Cell phone users will receive text messages that will warn of an incoming missile and its estimated fall site. 'Most Israelis have cell phones and this is a fast and easy way to warn people of an incoming missile,' a defense official explained." (Jerusalem Post; 30May09; Yaakov Katz)

No nukes for militias: Egypt cleric [Grand Mufti 'Ali Goma'a]
"Egypt's top government-appointed Muslim leader said on Sunday the use of weapons of mass destruction by armed groups or individuals against non-Muslim states is not religiously sanctioned. According to the state news agency, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa's fatwa, or religious edict, came in response to reports that some groups have sanctioned the use of weapons of mass destruction against non-Muslim nations. It is not clear who these groups were and what countries they were referring to. Goma said those edicts were 'false...and a slander of religion.' [...] In his fatwa, Gomaa said it is legitimate for Muslim nations to have nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons as a deterrent, and only the leaders of those countries have the right to decide when to use them. The use of these weapons by groups against non-Muslim nations would violate Islamic teachings, he said, because it would harm Muslims living in those nations, noncombatants, and neighboring countries who are not involved." (Khaleej Times; 01Jun09; Source: AP) http://www.khaleejtimes.com/darticlen.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2009/June/middleeast_June5.xml&section=middleeast&col=

Terrorist use [of nuclear weapons] feared
"Korea's second nuclear test, followed by a renunciation of the 1953 armistice agreements, and more missile firings, is the latest red flag on a dark nuclear horizon. Nuclear terrorism, unthinkable during the Cold War, has become the most immediate fear of the experts. [...] Korea is just one of the nuclear nightmares haunting the world stage. Pakistan, in the throes of near civil war, is feverishly adding to its nuclear arsenal of 80 to 100 weapons. Roedad Khan, the former head of the Pakistani civil service who has turned pundit, wrote: 'These are critical days in Pakistan. There is no steady hand on the tiller of government. [...] I shall not be surprised at any event that may happen. [...] If the nation doesn't wake up, we will all go down like the Titanic. History will remember both that [President Asif Ali] Zardari failed to hear the warning bells and the politicians failed to ring them loudly enough.' Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Mike Mullen says he is satisfied that Pakistan's nukes are under a goofproof, [sic] guaranteed-not-to-fail system and that warheads and their missile-delivery vehicles are stored in separate places in different parts of a country of 175 million Muslims. But no U.S. officer has been allowed to see any of the storage sites." (Washington Times; 01Jun09; Arnaud de Borchgrave) http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/01/terrorist-use-feared/

Simulation helps agencies hone disaster response [Wausau and Marathon County, WI]
"After a controversy in recent weeks surrounding local governments' abilities to respond to disasters, Wausau and Marathon County appear to be better prepared. [...] Marathon County Emergency Management and Wausau police and firefighters held a mock disaster Friday afternoon at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau. The simulation also involved Aspirus Wausau and Saint Clare's hospitals, and members of local hazardous materials teams, bomb squads and other local fire and police departments. In the scenario, a supposedly disgruntled student detonated a bomb and released the poison ricin, injuring and killing bystanders. [...] The mock disaster was the culmination of more than a year of work, with help from Pre-Emergency Planning in Poynette, the county's training consultant, said Bryan Hilts, Wausau's deputy police chief. Friday's event built on those more theoretical exercises, which highlighted weaknesses, including incompatible radio equipment." (Wausau Daily Herald; 30May09; Amy Olson)

International pressure on Puerto Rico to stop monkey breeding farm
"Animal protection organizations across the world have launched a campaign calling on the government of Puerto Rico to stop the construction of a major monkey farm following reports that the monkeys will be supplied to the international research industry; in particular the USA. It is understood that the farm in Guayama City will be established using macaques (Macaca fascicularis) from the island of Mauritius. [...] The common fate of many primates in the research industry is to be used in toxicity testing which involves the forced ingestion, inhalation or injection of potentially lethal and poisonous chemicals. After sometimes years of this type of abuse, the animals are then killed. There are also concerns that these monkeys may be destined for federal programs on chemical and biological warfare. In the past, the government of India banned the export of rhesus macaques after learning of the radiation experiments that they were being subjected to in the USA." (Caribbean Net News; 01Jun09) http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/news-16815--21-21--.html

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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