War on Terrorism

Friday, October 23, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News, October 23, 2009

Lugar legislation included in final Defense Authorization Bill
"U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar [R-IN] welcomed the inclusion of language similar to the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Improvement Act of 2009 into the final National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 that will soon be considered by both the House of Representatives and Senate. […] Under the conference report, Nunn-Lugar would have more flexibility to meet unexpected threats or in locations around the world in which certain laws would bar the use of such funds. The Defense Department would have authority to spend up to 10 percent of annual Nunn-Lugar program funds […] to meet these urgent threats where certain laws unnecessarily prevent the United States from addressing proliferation challenges under the Nunn-Lugar program. […] The final bill also includes an increase of $20 million over the amount requested for Nunn-Lugar in fiscal year 2010 for a total of $424.1 million. This important increase in funding will permit Nunn-Lugar to take on new tasks in new countries, principally in the area of biological threat reduction." (American Chronicle; 22Oct09)

Clinton cites nuke worry; panel fears bio attack
"Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday warned of dire consequences from the spread of nuclear weapons, while a special U.S. panel asserted that the more worrisome and urgent threat is terrorists attacking the United States or its allies with biological weapons. […] Clinton cited a range of troubling trends abroad, including a failure to stop North Korea from developing a nuclear bomb and weakness in the United Nations agency that is responsible for monitoring nuclear programs worldwide. 'Unless these trends are reversed - and reversed soon - we will find ourselves in a world with a steadily growing number of nuclear-armed states and an increasing likelihood of terrorists getting their hands on nuclear weapons,' Clinton said. Separately […] the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism, said the U.S. was making better progress in regard to the nuclear threat than it was preparing for possible bioterrorism. 'The nation's level of preparedness for dealing with the threat of bioterrorism remains far lower than that of the nuclear threat,' the commission said. […] The government needs to move more aggressively to address the threat of bioterrorism, and that the threat is misunderstood by many. 'Unlike nuclear weapons, which require highly advanced technology, massive infrastructure, and rare materials that can be closely monitored and secured, biological weapons materials occur naturally, require no significant infrastructure to produce and can be found in nearly every part of the world,' the commission said. 'As technology advances, the ability to prevent biological attacks diminishes.' The commission lauded the White House's National Security Council for creating a bioweapons prevention strategy, which the panel said was the first of its kind." (Associated Press; 21Oct09; Robert Burns) http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hw-uWV0hQkJdwsd5BXKYKQvUQ8ZgD9BFNEDG0

Seasonal flu drill held in locations across Bucks County [PA]
"Thousands of free flu shots were given all day Saturday across Bucks County, as part of its fourth annual Pandemic Flu drill. Lines of people waiting for the free shots even wrapped around one Bucks County school. […] Today's Pandemic Flu drill serves two purposes. First, it's a way for the county to vaccinate the masses. Second, it's a way for [Bucks] County Emergency Management to practice the vaccination process they say would be necessary in the event of bioterrorism. […] The Bucks County Health Department and Emergency Management agency are working out the kinks […] in case there's ever a situation that requires mass vaccinations." (WFMZ Channel 69; 17Oct09)

Disaster drill preps responders [IN]
"Canadian National Railway
Police inspector Mike Landini […was] on hand for a coordinated disaster drill among several hospitals and local emergency departments at the Kennedy Avenue railroad tracks early Saturday morning. […] The cold and wet were the only real threat to the students, who volunteered to play crash victims during the event. […] Once ushered off a bus, the 'injured' were hustled into one group. […] There's an important reason behind it, said Chuck Hedinger, St. Margaret Mercy's head of security and a former Hammond Police officer. 'People react differently, and those who're in shock often walk away from the accident, not knowing where they are. We group them together first so that we can get a head count,' Hedinger said. Once all the kids were accounted for, emergency personnel from Schererville, Dyer, and Lansing, Ill., jumped into action. […] 'In the age of cell phones, hysterical parents would undoubtedly start showing up,' Hedinger said. 'By using Omni, which is part of St. Margaret Mercy, we can send the kids to one place not unlike our (on-site) command center for the parents to pick them up.' Saturday's exercise was not just for Police, fire and ambulance services, said Schererville Fire Chief Joe Kruzan. […] Every aspect of the county's Bioterrorism-Disaster Response team was contacted, all the way down to the ham radio operators who would step in if all other communication outlets failed." (Post Tribune; 16Oct09; Michelle L. Quinn) http://www.post-trib.com/news/1831294,svdisaster1018.article

JPL [Jet Propulsion Laboratory] develops high-speed test to improve pathogen decontamination [sic] [Pasadena, CA]
"A chemist [Adrian Ponce] at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has developed a technology intended to rapidly assess any presence of microbial life on a spacecraft. This new method may also help the military test for disease-causing bacteria, such as a causative agent for anthrax, and may also be useful in the medical, pharmaceutical and other fields. […] The new technology works by looking for dipicolinic acid - a major component of endospores and evidence of endospore growth - by first applying terbium to a dime-sized area. Terbium is a chemical element used to generate the color green on television screens. That area is then illuminated under an ultraviolet lamp. Within minutes, one can see through a microscope aided by a digital camera whether live endospores are present. That's because they will literally glow: The terbium will show the endospores as bright green spots. […] The technology has piqued the interest of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The federal agency is funding development of a portable instrument based on Ponce's research that could quickly check for decontamination of pathogens after a biological attack. […] James Anthony, chemical and biological research and development program manager at the Dept. of Homeland Security, […] added that the technology could also be used in bio-containment facilities that have regularly scheduled decontamination requirements and rapidly reactivate important bio-defense research facilities." (NASA; 19Oct09) http://www.nasa.gov/topics/technology/features/endospore20091019.html

BU [Boston University] biosafety lab ignites critiques [MA]
"Boston University's (BU) recently-constructed Biosafety Level-4 (BSL-4) laboratory has raised concerns among local residents and academics who question the new building's ability to facilitate the safe study of dangerous pathogens that have no known cure. […] The BU […] National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) […] is designed to allow researchers to study infectious and often life-threatening diseases and pathogens, including smallpox [virus], Ebola [virus] and anthrax [bacteria]. The American Biological Safety Association gives labs with a level-4 designation permission to work with 'dangerous and exotic agents that pose a high individual risk of aerosol-transmitted laboratory infections, agents which cause severe to fatal disease in humans.' […] Located on BU's medical campus in Boston's densely populated South End, the lab has led many community members to fear for their safety. There are 50,000 residents within one mile of the site. 'They are working with pathogens for which there is no known cure, which could potentially be turned into biological weapons,' Vicky Steinitz, co-coordinator of the Greater Boston Committee of the Coalition to Stop the BioTerror Lab [sic], told the Daily. 'In theory, these are biodefense labs. But to learn how to cure against these weapons, you essentially have to weaponize them.' NEIDL officials have assured the public that bioweapons research is illegal and they will not engage in research related to biological weaponry. […] NEIDL is proceeding with safety and training exercises using non-live agents to test the lab's standard operating procedures." (Tufts Daily; 20Oct09; Gabrielle Hernandez)

Area agencies take part in terror[ism] event drill [Laconia, NH]
"On Saturday, the New Hampshire Department Human Services asked all health regions to respond to a training scenario where there was a deliberate terrorist release of the biological agent anthrax [bacteria]. […] This training exercise required the Tilton point-of-distribution site at the Winnisquam Regional High School open Saturday morning for all residents of Tilton, Franklin, Northfield, Sanbornton, Hill, Danbury, Andover, Bristol, Alexandria, and Bridgewater. […] In this scenario the goal was to dispense antidote medicine to 200 role players in one hour in order to test the dispensing system and incident command system that would be needed to control such an event. The training exercise involved anthrax [bacteria which] was dispersed from a train moving through the southern part of the State. […] The Winnisquam Middle School Point of distribution site was opened at 11 a.m. and when the hour was over, the team achieved the goals of the exercise successfully." (Citizen of Laconia; 19Oct09) http://www.citizen.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091019/GJNEWS02/710199884/-1/CITNEWS

County emergency workers put to the test while training [Sarasota, FL]
"Sarasota County emergency workers say this is the closest that training has ever come to real life. It puts emergency crews through situations like terror[ist] attacks and flu outbreaks. Friday they were conducting a small pox simulation, but Sarasota County emergency responders were trying to save this man's life even though they're not in an ambulance and the patient isn't even real. The medical dummy is giving a very real simulation, as it breathes and even talks. […] Just like a real situation, the crews aren't told what they are up against. They're just told to treat a patient in trouble. In this case, it was an unusual disease and they didn't get it right. 'What you're actually dealing with is small pox [virus]. If you take a biological weapon from point A to point B, then you would contaminate the entire hospital. […] That's why they […] are training, so they'll get it right in real life. […] 'Not only can we provide them online training and in the classrooms, but we can show them how it is in real life and before they actually see it out in the streets,' says Capt. Donnie McBrayer with the Sarasota County Fire Department." (WWSB Channel 7; 16Oct09)

Questions raised about Human Genome Science's anthrax vaccine
"A report prepared for a Food and Drug Administration panel scheduled to consider approval of Human Genome Sciences Inc.'s experimental anthrax drug questions whether it works better in humans than existing treatments. […] In the report, questions are raised about the drug's efficacy in humans, specifically because most of the testing was done using animals. The only human trials involved safety of the drug, not its effectiveness at warding off anthrax illness. The report also raises questions about how much more effective ABthrax is than current antimicrobials. 'The combination efficacy studies demonstrated very high efficacies (nearly 100%) of levofloxacin in NZW rabbits and ciprofloxacin in cynomolgus monkeys respectively,' the report said. […] 'When given in combination with antimicrobials, the efficacy of the combination was high, but the efficacy of antimicrobials alone was also high, raising the question whether the animal model adequately reflects the finding from patients with inhalational anthrax whose response to antimicrobials approximates the 55% seen during the 2001 spread of anthrax spores in the mail,' the report said. While ABthrax has not yet received regulatory approval, the Department of Homeland Security has already decided that a stockpile of it is worth having. Human Genome Sciences has begun delivering 20,000 doses of the drug to the Strategic National Stockpile for emergency use in an anthrax [causing] bioterrorist event." (Washington Business Journal; 23Oct09; Jeff Clabaugh) http://washington.bizjournals.com/washington/stories/2009/10/19/daily116.html

United Nations and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia work to strengthen barriers against biological weapons
"The Biological Weapons Convention Implementation Support Unit (ISU) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will jointly host a workshop on the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) in Riyadh on 20 and 21 October 2009. The workshop will be held in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh, and will be opened by His Highness Prince Dr. Torki bin Muhammad bin Saud Al-Kabir, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Relations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Participants will include officials and technical experts from a range of government agencies […] in Saudi Arabia and the other Member States of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). […] The workshop will discuss the biological weapons threat, especially as it relates to the Gulf region, and examine the risks to human, animal and plant health, food safety and economic stability. It will consider the response of the international community to the biological weapons threat, focusing on the BWC as well as Security Council Resolution 1540. Participants will discuss approaches to effective national implementation of the BWC. […] The workshop will also examine recent scientific and technological developments relevant to the biological weapons threat, and discuss options for effective oversight of science and technology." (UN Office at Geneva; 15Oct09) http://www.unog.ch/unog/website/news_media.nsf/%28httpNewsByYear_en%

Mercury capturing filter system begins operation at chemical weapons disposal facility [Stockton, UT]
"Workers at the Tooele Chemical Agenct Disposal Facility (TOCDF) today began using a new $33million filtering system designed to safely capture mercury from furnace exhaust gas streams generated while processing mustard agent filled munitions contaminated with elevated levels of mercury. The massive filtering units […] were added to the exisiting Pollution Abatement System (PAS) because some of the mustard agent-filled munitions stored at Deseret Chemical Depot are contaminated with elevated amounts of mercury. The new PAS Filtration System (PFS) user sulfur-impregnated carbon fliters to capture mercury in furnace exhausts. To maximum safety of the workers, community and environment, mercury-monitoring systems ensure the carbon filters are working properly and complement other emission monitoring equipment." (U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency; 14Oct09)

ANCDF [Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility] operations curtailed for maintenance activities [AL]
"Operations at Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal Facility (ANCDF) have been temporarily curtailed while Westinghouse Annistion maintenance teams work in an Explosion Containment Room (ERC) to remove a 4.2 inch mustard-filled mortar after a small flame was encountered when removing components from it yesterday. According to ANCDF officials, this occurred at 2 p.m. during routine disposal operations while robotic equipment in a specially designed blast containment room, with concrete walls 2 feet thick, was being used to remove the mortar fuse and burster. A flame was detected where the equipment grips the fuse and burster to rotate and remove them. The small flame lasted approximately 10-15 seconds. There was no explosion […or] damage to ANCDF processing equipment […] and no one was injured." (U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency; 21Oct09)

Libya requests another extension to chemical-weapon disarmament deadline
"Libya is again requesting additional time to destroy its stockpile of chemical warfare materials, an international nonproliferation organization said recently. The northern African country has submitted a request for an extension of intermediate and final deadlines for the destruction of its Category 1 chemical weapons. […] Libya's stockpile consists of roughly 25 metric tons of sulfur mustard stored in bulk containers, along with two chemical-weapon precursor materials, according to Jonathan Tucker, a senior fellow with the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. […] The Libyan request for more time 'suggests things are not going well with its CW destruction program,' Tucker told Global Security Newswire. The application was not a surprise, Tucker said. […] The proposed new final deadline for completing destruction of the Libyan chemical weapons stockpile is still within the overall time limit of April 29, 2012, set by the convention, according to Tucker. The delay might have been caused in part by Libya's decision in June 2007 to cancel a a contract with the United States under which it would have received a high-temperature incinerator to destroy its chemical warfare materials, he said. There were several possible reasons for the Libyan pullout, including disagreement over the terms of the contract and the amount of U.S. financial assistance, according to […] Tucker. […] 'If the Libyans had gone forward with the incinerator project, their CW destruction program would probably be on schedule today,' Tucker said." (Global Security Newswire; 21Oct09; Martin Matishak) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091021_9068.php

Lithuania's representatives to the UN discussed issues of sea-dumped chemical weapons
"On 15 October, permanent representative of Lithuania to the United Nations Dalius Cekuolis and permanent representative of Lithuania to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Vaidotas Verba met with United Nations High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Sergio de Queiroz Duarte. During the meeting, Lithuania's representatives informed S.Duarte about the seminar on the issues of chemical weapons dumped at sea that is organised by Lithuania on 16 October. Ambassador V.Verba drew S.Duarte's attention to the constantly increasing anxiety regarding the ecological, health, security and economic consequences of the sea-dumped chemical weapons, a goal of preventing the threat of terrorism, highlighted the necessity to strengthen international and regional cooperation on this issue and to voluntarily exchange information, experience and technologies in this area. […] Representatives from the United Nations Office for the Disarmament Affairs, experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the UN General Assembly Committee on Disarmament and International Security and representatives from nongovernmental organizations will take part in the meeting. Ambassador V.Verba emphasized that in 2010 Lithuania was going to present a resolution on sea-dumped chemical weapons at the UN First Committee of the General Assembly." (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania; 16Oct09)

Mock disaster in Bethesda tests region's readiness [MD]
"The National Naval Medical Center staged a Halloween haunted house a bit early this year with its simulated building collapse and mass casualties on Thursday. […] The fifth annual Collaborative Multi-Agency Exercise [CMAX] was conducted on Navy Med's Bethesda campus in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, Suburban Hospital and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. CMAX is intended to test the region's disaster readiness and response capabilities, and includes drills at other locations in the Washington, D.C., area. About 5,000 emergency workers were slated to take part in CMAX, including the 75 volunteer victims from Navy Med and Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. [...] Wednessday's drill […] was the first CMAX exercise that took place indoors. Chris Gillette, Navy Med's command emergency manager, said the drill was designed to test emergency responders' ability to navigate cramped spaces with patients and deal with hazardous materials. The exercise also marked the first time that the county's Maryland Task Force One participated in the exercise." (The Gazette; 21Oct09; Andrew Ujifusa) http://www.gazette.net/stories/10212009/bethnew204132_32521.shtml

OPCW Director-General [Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter] meets UN Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] and addresses First Committee of the General Assembly
"OPCW Director General, Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, visited the United Nations in New York on 15 and 16 October 2009 where he met with UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki-moon and addressed the First Committee of the General Assembly. The Director-General also held meetings with States not party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). […] The Director-General furthermore stressed the importance of effective domestic implementation of the Convention and its efficacy in the context of anti-terrorism; recalled in this context OPCW's cooperation with the relevant UN bodies; and highlighted the OPCW's role in promoting peaceful uses of chemistry." (OPCW; 20Oct09) http://www.opcw.org/news/news/article/opcw-director-general-meets-un-secretary-general-and-addresses-first-committee-of-the-general-assemb/

Nuclear emergency response test planned for Callaway [MO]
"Federal inspectors will be watching when a two-day readiness exercise is conducted this week at the Callaway Nuclear Power Plant at Reform. The exercise will involve Ameren UE's Callaway Nuclear Power Plant, the state of Missouri, and emergency management representatives of the counties of Callaway, Montgomery, Osage, and Gasconade. Observing the two-day drills on Tuesday and Wednesday will be representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region VII, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The exercise will require the activation of emergency facilities for the state of Missouri, the Callaway County Emergency Operations Center, and emergency facilities in the counties of Montgomery, Osage and Gasconade. Activities of the state, counties and local governments will be observed and evaluated by the FEMA Region VII Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program. The Callaway Nuclear Power Plant on-site performance will be observed and evaluated by the NRC. The exercise is a biennial requirement to test the adequacy of the radiological emergency preparedness and response plans. […] Federal officials say the evaluated exercise provides reasonable assurance that the appropriate protective measures can be taken on-site and off-site in the event of a radiological emergency." (Fulton Sun; 19Oct09; Don Norfleet) http://www.fultonsun.com/articles/2009/10/19/news/129news03.txt

WMD symposium [at George Washington University's
Homeland Security Policy Institute] [Washington D.C.]
"The George Washington University's
Homeland Security Policy Institute and Elliott School of International Affairs hosted an in-depth discussion [Wednesday, October 21, 2009] with former Senators Bob Graham [D-FL] and Jim Talent [R-MO] Chair and Vice Chair of the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation & Terrorism, as they presented the Commission's interim progress report. […] The Commission assessed the nation's current activities, initiatives, and programs aimed at preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism while providing a clear, comprehensive strategy with concrete recommendations to achieve this crucial goal. […] During its second year of activity, the Commission is working to improve understanding of its findings - and to turn those concrete recommendations into actions." (George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute; 21Oct09) http://www.gwumc.edu/hspi/events/WMDPRFresource.cfm

Ohio [National] Guard teams with Israeli forces during joint exercise
"U.S. Navy warships set anchor in the Mediterranean Sea on the coast of Israel as Israeli Defense Forces, joined by more than 1,000 U.S. service members, prepared for a simulated missile attack against the capital city. Joint training exercise Juniper Cobra 10 […] is designed to improve combined Israeli-U.S. missile defense operations, and this year the Ohio Army National Guard has a new role. Nine Soldiers from the Ohio Army National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force will join about 1,000 Soldiers from the 357th Air & Missile Defense Detachment out of Kaiserslautern, Germany, and U.S. European Command. […] Said Maj. Kevin Meislin, the National Guard Bureau operations officer, 'This is the first year the National Guard will really have boots on the ground for operations.' The Ohioans have been observing and participating in training with the Israeli Home Front Command [HFC] Search and Rescue School, Unit Training Branch. The HFC is similar to the National Guard in structure and mission. It is comprised mainly of reservists and serves the people of Israel through disaster relief, nuclear, biological and chemical operations, search and rescue, and supporting the Israeli Defense Force. […] Meislin said, 'The CERF [Central Emergency Response Force] is very important to the HFC because they are exact counterparts. They are just really into saving lives no matter where it is, and so are we, so it's a good fit.' […] The initial training included HFC displays of troop and vehicle decontamination lines and both U.S. and Israeli NBC [nuclear, biological, chemical] detection equipment and procedures. All of the tasks, both U.S. and Israeli methods, will be performed by the joint force during the exercise." (Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System; 22Oct09; Spc Zachary R. Fehrman)

Police, firefighters to demonstrate new equipment [Springfield, MO]
"The Springfield Fire and
Police departments and other agencies will demonstrate the latest equipment purchased through grants from the Department of Homeland Security from 10 a.m. to 1:30 pm on Wednesday at the Springfield E-Plex at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds. […] The equipment gives the departments the ability to handle a wide variety of incidents that range from simple hazardous materials spills to complex terrorism incidents and is used on a routine basis by the departments. The latest in communication, bomb, chemical, radiological and other equipment will be on display for elected officials, media and the general public. A meeting of the RHSOC [Regional Homeland Security Oversight Committee] will begin at 2 p.m. and is open to the public." (Springfield News Leader; 20Oct09)

Missouri National Guard's 7th Civil Support Team trains with civilian authorities
"The Missouri National Guard's 7th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team joined with local civilian authorities Thursday as part of an exercise at a home just south of Columbia. The focus of the training for the Fort Leonard Wood unit was twofold. First, the team wanted to support and work with the fire department,
Police department, HAZMAT [Hazardous Materials] team, SWAT [Special Weapons And Tactics] team, FBI and bomb squad from Columbia. […] The second goal wasn't the usual test to see how well the team could search for and identify possible chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or weapons of mass destruction threats, but rather, how well the team would respond if one of its members went down with an injury. […] 'We kind of thought outside of the box today,' said [Sgt. 1st Class Timothy] Uptegrove, the 7th's decontamination section noncommissioned officer in charge. 'We're normally dealing with the technical, HAZMAT-kind-of stuff and we wanted to try something a little different on these guys – a scenario that they don't train on every day, but one that is very important. We have to be able to sustain the ability to extract one of our own team members should something go wrong.'" (Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System; 20Oct09; Matthew J. Wilson)

Naval station sets drill for Wednesday [Everett, WA]
"All the sound and fury at the waterfront Wednesday is part of a planned drill. The naval station and the Everett Fire Department plan to practice responding to a potential chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological terrorist attack. Beginning about 9:30 a.m., there will be plumes of smoke, explosions and people pretending to cough, wheeze and have chemical burns. The drill is scheduled to last through the day and end with a mock news conference. The exercise should help military and civilian personnel practice dealing with a potentially complex emergency, said Naval Station Everett spokeswoman Kristin Ching. Emergency responders will […] also get a chance to test new equipment the naval station received this year designed to protect emergency responders, detect harmful substances and decontaminate victims. The new equipment is designed for use by both the military and the local community. […] The exercise is part of the Department of Defense anti-terrorism program called Guardian." (Herald Net; 20Oct09; Debra Smith)

[North Dakota National] Guard holds emergency training
"In the mock, unannounced incident Tuesday, [...some 22 members of the North Dakota National Guard 81st Civil Support team] are being watched for their readiness to work with local emergency agencies. The real test comes later this week in another exercise where they will be rated by the Army North Fifth team from San Antonio. Col. Larry Shireley commands the specially trained unit, based at Bismarck's Fraine Barracks. […] Shireley said the special Guard team is evaluated every 18 months. The Bismarck Fire Department was the first to respond for the simulated disaster, and quickly called in the special Guard team. 'This explosion appeared to be a radiological agent,' Shireley said. The incident is relayed to the Bismarck Fire Department incident commander. Team members estimate how far the substance could spread. […Shirley] said in real incident […] the public also would be warned about what do if the material went air-borne. […] The Civil Support Team is specially trained to work with radiological agents, chemical and biological agents. It is equipped with a mobile laboratory to help them test chemical on-site." (Bismarck Tribune; 21Oct09; Leann Eckroth) http://www.bismarcktribune.com/news/local/article_709d7be6-bdbf-11de-a755-001cc4c002e0.html

Foolproof security for CWG [Common Wealth Games] unveiled
"Delhi will have exclusive lanes for vehicles, four-layered security checks at venues, experts to battle chemical or biological weapons as well as helicopter surveillance during the 2010 Commonwealth Games (CWG), Delhi
Police announced Monday. […] The exclusive lanes would run all over the city, connecting the event venues, hotels, games village, practice venues and other important places. […] 'Along the routes there will be anti-sabotage teams, Quick Response Teams (QRT), commandos, ambulances, uniformed personnel and snipers on rooftops. Buses carrying athletes will have armed personnel... besides armed escort vehicles,' [said Special Commissioner Neeraj] Kumar. […] 'Delhi has successfully organized various international meets. […] Not only [for the] Games but we are looking at the security of the city holistically. We are working in close coordination with various agencies. We have a foolproof security plan in place,' [Delhi Police Commissioner Y.S. Dadwal said]. The Police have also taken elaborate security measures at the Games venue and the Games village. The security apparatus at the village would include three-meter perimeter wall along with 1.5 metre iron grills, CCTV surveillance, Quick Response Teams and teams to battle chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear explosives. […] People entering the village will be cheked by door frame metal detectors and hand held metal detectors as well as X-ray scanners. They would also have bar-coded passes and IDs. […] 'Even inside the stadium there will be adequate security arrangement. Heli-borne assault teams will be deployed to thwart terrorists,' Kumar added." (Mangalorean; 20Oct09)

Pakistan remains the geographic crossroads for terrorism [and weapons of mass destruction]: US [Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism]
"If increasingly bold attacks on well guarded targets in Pakistan remain unchecked, it could help Al Qaeda develop and use a biological weapon or a nuclear device against the US or its allies, a Congressional Commission has warned. 'Pakistan remains the geographic crossroads for terrorism and weapons of mass destruction,' the bipartisan Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism said in a World at Risk report Thursday. 'Fear of continued turmoil in Pakistan reinforces the commission's concerns that the country could be an unwitting source of a terrorist attack on the United States - possibly with weapons of mass destruction,' it said. 'Increasingly bold attacks on well guarded military,
Police, and UN targets indicate that the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other militant groups within Pakistan are a growing threat,' it said, warning about Al Qaeda developing and using a biological weapon or a nuclear device. 'The current trends, if left unchecked, will increase the odds that Al Qaeda will successfully develop and use a biological weapon or a nuclear device against the United States or its allies.' The report focused on ways the US could strengthen the non-proliferation regime, improve international cooperation, […] develop more effective policies to eliminate terrorist havens in Pakistan, and galvanize allies to stop the Iranian and North Korean nuclear weapons programmes." (Thaindian News; 22Oct09; Arun Kumar; Source: Indo-Asian News Service) http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/south-asia/pakistan-remains-the-geographic-crossroads-for-terrorism-us_100264296.html

No comments: