War on Terrorism

Saturday, October 31, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News, October 30, 2009

Lawmakers delay vote on biosecurity bill, wait for administration input
"A key U.S. Senate committee yesterday delayed the vote on legislation aimed at strengthening security at the country's biological research facilities. The Homeland Security and Government Affairs put off for at least a week the mark-up of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2009 to allow the Obama administration additional time to comment on the bill, said panel Chairman Joseph Lieberman (I-CT.). The legislation […] would require the Homeland Security Department to issue security regulations for laboratories. It would divide the government's list of select agents and toxins into three tiers, compelling facilities that handle the eight to 10 most harmful pathogens to institute the highest security. The measure also calls for a national strategy for dispensing medical countermeasures to the public before and after a biological attack. […] The bill would affect some 400 U.S. research facilities and the nearly 15,000 individuals authorized to handle deadly pathogens." (Global Security Newswire; 29Oct09; Martin Matishak) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091029_3988.php

DHS [Department of Homeland Security] proposes guidance for anthrax [sic] responders
"In conjunction with an interagency task force, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano today announced new proposed guidance for protecting the health of emergency responders during an anthrax attack [sic] on a major U.S. city. 'Protecting our first responders during terrorist attacks is critical to our nation's security,' said Secretary Napolitano. […] 'It is essential that all responders have the appropriate protections available to them to be able to operate while minimizing exposure to these lethal threats,' said Assistant Secretary for Health Affairs and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Alexander Garza. 'This proposed guidance will help keep responders healthy and safe while remaining consistent with operational realities.' The proposed guidance recommends protective measures such as personal protective equipment and decontamination and hygiene procedures for first responders, public health and medical professionals, skilled support personnel, essential workers in critical infrastructure sectors, certain federal and private sector employees, and volunteers." (U.S. Department of Homeland Security; 27Oct09) http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1256666711528.shtm

Kent State named biosafety training school [OH]
"Kent State University has been named the nation's second designated training facility for biosafety and biocontainment professionals. The university's designation was conferred by the National Institutes of Health's National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program, making Kent the second facility in the country to receive that designation. As such, the university's Biosafety Training Lab becomes a continuing education training site to prepare biosafety and biocontainment professionals to meet the needs of the biomedical, emerging disease and civilian biodefense research communities." (United Press International; 26Oct09) http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2009/10/26/Kent-State-named-biosafety-training-school/UPI-99551256581995/

AgCenter [agriculture chemistry] lab joins group testing food [LA]
"A state agricultural chemistry lab has become part of a network of food-testing labs, created for quick response to contaminated food emergencies. The laboratory, a joint endeavor between the state agriculture department and the LSU AgCenter, is the third in Louisiana to join the Food Emergency Response Network, or FERN, a news release stated. FERN is a network of federal, state and local food-testing labs that will allow officials faster results on potential biological, chemical or radiological food contamination. The agricultural chemistry lab on LSU's campus, already had the capability to analyze food for bacterial and chemical contamination, but new equipment purchased through an emergency preparedness grant will allow the lab to analyze a larger number of samples more rapidly during food safety emergencies." (Advocate Capitol News Bureau; 30Oct09 ) http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/67432037.html

Other nations fear Hendra virus, conference told
"Overseas researchers were investing in Hendra virus research, despite it occurring only in Australia, because of fears it may be used in biological warfare. […] Dr [Peter] Reid, who was the veterinarian involved in the first known Hendra outbreak that claimed the life of horse trainer Vic Rail in 1994, said the virus and its relative, the Nipah virus, were so lethal that the US considered it a homeland security threat. 'Americans see it as a potential bioterrorism weapon that's why (the department of) Homeland Security are funding research into viruses in bats,' Dr Reid said. 'There is no effective treatment or vaccine for Hendra or Nipah and the mortality rate is high.' […] Hendra, so far, is only known to be transmitted from bats to horses and from horses to humans. There have been no bat-to-human or human-to-human transmissions. […] Dr Reid warned against complacency […and] said it was his gut feeling that the virus was becoming more contagious, with more outbreaks in the past four years. […] QHC [Quality Health Care] president Debbie Dekker said simple biosecurity measures such as wearing safety glasses, gloves, rubber boots and a mask would prevent infection." (News Australia; 29Oct09; Source: Australian Associated Press) http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,26276700-29277,00.html

Harvard researchers drank coffee tainted with sodium azide [MA]
"According to the Boston Herald, researchers at the Harvard University pathology department drank coffee tainted with sodium azide. […] The toxin was identified weeks after the incident, in which a combination of six doctors and students all came down with the same symptoms immediately after drinking coffee made from the tainted coffee pot. […] The researchers went to the hospital for treatment, and were later released; one stayed overnight. Harvard University did not officially release the news about the tainted coffee to the public, but an internal school memo was but out on Friday, confirming that the coffee machine did have sodium azide, a chemical preservative commonly used in lab settings. The question now is, where the lab workers poisoned, or was this a case of mistaken tainted coffee? […] Although the Harvard University lab workers have all recovered, the potential long-term effects of sodium azide include damage to the heart and brain." (San Francisco Examiner; 25Oct09; Brenna Coleman) http://www.examiner.com/x-9907-DC-Coffee--Tea-Examiner~y2009m10d25-Harvard-researchers-drank-coffee-tainted-with-sodium-azide

Iraqi Supreme Court: 460 foreign companies sold chemical weapons to [former Iraqi president] Saddam [Hussein]
"Four-hundred and sixty foreign companies sold chemical weapons to Saddam Hussein's ousted Iraqi regime, yet the current Iraqi government-despite vowing to pursue those companies has filed no lawsuits in court against them, says Goran Adham, chief prosecutor in Iraq's Supreme Criminal Court. The companies are American, Russian, German, Dutch, Japanese, Indian, Greek, and other nationalities, stated Adham. […] 'The Iraqi government is delinquent in questioning those companies that sold chemical weapons to the Baath Regime,' says Mohammad Ahmed, head of the Martyrs, Victims and Political Prisoners Committee in Iraqi Parliament." (Kurdish Globe; 25Oct09)

Destruction plant [used for chemical agents stored at the Blue Grass Army depot] taking shape [Richmond, KY]
"The complex that will destroy the 523 tons of chemical agents stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot began taking shape in mid-September as workers began erecting the steel framework for two of its 11 buildings. Soon after the Defense Department's explosives safety board approved design of the plant's blast containment building earlier in the summer, contractor Bechtel Parsons Bluegrass began putting structural steel in place for it, as well as the controls and support building, according to Jeff Brubaker, site manager for the Army's Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternative (ACWA) program. The containment building must be blast proof, because that is where explosives and propellants will be separated from the chemical warheads. Work also is under way on the tanks that will store water for the complex's firefighting service, he said. […] Now that construction has begun to accelerate, the site manager said the media and local officials will be given monthly briefings in addition to the quarterly updates given to the Chemical Destruction Chemical Advisory Board." (Richmond Register; 26Oct09; Bill Robinson) http://www.richmondregister.com/localnews/local_story_299083010.html

Reuse plan proposed for Ind[iana] chemical depot
"A plan that proposes to open up much of the Army's Newport Chemical Depot in western Indiana to business development could soon be sent to military officials. The depot that for decades produced and stored a deadly nerve agent is scheduled to close in the next couple years and is winding down operations after VX stockpile destruction was completed in 2008. The depot reuse board made up of 5 Vermillion County residents is recommending that nearly 3,500 acres be set aside for potential development, along with 2,400 acres for natural areas and parkland and 1,200 acres for agriculture. The board expects to vote on the plan Nov. 19." (WSJV Fox 28; 29Oct09; Source: AP) http://www.fox28.com/Global/story.asp?S=11406784

[Nord Stream natural gas] pipeline renews debate on sea-dumped chemical weapons
"Concern over sea-dumped chemical weapons such as the mustards that washed up in Wales is growing, particularly in the Baltic Sea - the site of the dumping of 40,000 tonnes of surplus and seized chemical weapons in the years following World War II and the proposed site of the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline connecting Russia and Germany. […] Vaidotas Verba, Lithuania's ambassador to the Netherlands and to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, hopes to spread awareness of this sea-borne hazard and build momentum for a draft resolution to be presented at the U.N. General Assembly next fall. 'The full extent of chemical weapons dumping will never be known due to inadequate or destroyed records,' Verba told a room of officials and experts at the Washington offices of the environmental non-profit Global Green USA Monday. In addition to the Baltic, abandoned chemical weapons have been dumped in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the North and Mediterranean seas, as well as off the coast of Australia and the Hawaiian island of Oahu, he said. The Nord Stream project has refocused attention on this issue. The Helsinki Commission […] determined that the best way to deal with these materials on the sea floor is to identify where they are and leave them alone. But laying the two parallel 122-cm Nord Stream pipelines would run a strong risk of disrupting at least a few dumpsites, despite the construction company's continuing efforts to lay a route that avoids known sites and its disposal, currently underway, of unexploded ordnances in the pipeline's path." (Inner Press Service; 20Oct09; Matthew Berger)

Paint [coating for military vehicles] to thwart chemical [weapons] attack
"Scientists are planning to develop a paint coating for military vehicles which would soak up a chemical warfare agent and then decontaminate itself. The technology could protect those operating in or around a vehicle after a chemical attack. It would be adapted from strippable coatings currently used to provide temporary camouflage for vehicles. The development work is being carried out by the UK's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL). Dr Steven Mitchell, from DSTL's headquarters at Porton Down in Wiltshire, said the next generation of coatings could be engineered to absorb chemical warfare agents. […] 'Ultimately, what we'd like to create is a coating that changes colour to indicate it's been contaminated, decontaminates itself, then returns to the original colour when it's clean,' said Dr Mitchell, acting team leader for hazard management and decontamination at DSTL. […] Strippable - or peelable - coatings are used when a new camouflage is required, changing a vehicle's colour from green to, for example, 'light stone' in order to blend with desert terrain. But even if something is not visible from far away, it may reveal itself by reflecting sunlight; the paint can also alter the vehicle's glint signature helping conceal it from hostile troops." (British Broadcasting Corporation; 26Oct09; Paul Rincon) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8321657.stm

Boston Dynamics introduces bipedal robot PETMAN [used to test chemical protection clothing by the U.S Army]
"Engineering and robotics design company Boston Dynamics has produced a new anthropomorphic human robot. The new bipedal robot will be used to test chemical protection clothing used by the U.S. Army. According to a Boston Dynamics release, the robot will have the shape and size of a standard human, making it the first anthropomorphic robot that moves dynamically like a real person. […] PETMAN will balance itself and move freely. It will be able to walk, crawl and do a variety of suit-stressing activities during exposure to chemical warfare agents." (My Fox Boston; 27Oct09) http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/boston-dynamics-introduces-bipedal-robot-petman

Israel's first secure ER [emergency room] protects patients from chemical warfare
"The Rambam Hospital in Haifa dedicated this week a new $14 million emergency facility that provides protection from missiles and chemical weapons that Israel believes may be in Hizbullah's possession. […] The new emergency room is the first stage of a plan that includes the establishment of a secure underground hospital for 1,730 patients, a children's hospital and facilities for cancer care and for cardiac treatment, and a tower for clinical research. Government sources provided one quarter of the construction costs, and private donors and organizations provided the remainder. The new emergency room complex, when completed, will be more than three times larger than the previous facility, covering three-quarters of an acre with the ability to treat 60 patients simultaneously, according to Rambam Health Care Campus director Prof. Rafi Beyar." (Arutz Sheva; 27Oct09; Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu)

[Bradford] University highlights spray fears [West Yorkshire, England]
"Research by Bradford University has highlighted the dangers of incapacitating chemical weapons and the widespread misuse of riot control agents. A report by the Bradford Non-Lethal Weapons Research Project (BNLWRP), based at the university, has highlighted the inability of the international control regime, established under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to regulate incapacitants effectively. The report, Dangerous Ambiguities, warns of the devastating consequences for human rights, peace and security if it is not addressed. It identifies an incident seven years ago today when Russian security forces employed a secret incapacitating chemical weapon in their attempt to free 800 hostages in a Moscow theatre taken by armed Chechen fighters. More than 120 hostages were killed by the incapacitant. […] The university has said despite reports of further Russian research and use of incapacitants, the international community has refused to address the dangers of the development and proliferation of such weapons. The BNLWRP report identifies incapacitant research of concern in China, the Czech Republic and the United States, as well as interest shown in such agents by France, the UK, NATO and the European Defence Agency." (Telegraph and Argus; 29Oct09; James Rush) http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/4701481.University_highlights_spray_fears

Arcadia hospital takes a practice run at disaster [CA]
"Dozens of nurses, hospital administrators, volunteers and decontamination specialists gathered at Methodist Hospital on Thursday morning to practice their responses to a dirty bomb detonation. The drill imagined a scenario in which terrorists explode a bomb with radioactive material at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, exposing hundreds of victims to radiation. 'We want to be prepared, because if there's a terrorist attack or a disaster, the hospital is a first responder,' said George Diaz, the hospital's safety officer. […] Workers practiced attending to 200 victims in a cordoned-off area outside. The victims were played by a group of about 50 high school students from nearby Rio Hondo Preparatory School. Each student was dropped off in front of a decontamination trailer where they were doused in a cold shower by workers in decontamination suits. Afterward, a specialist checked each victim's radiation level with a Geiger counter. Then the victims were greeted, registered, and sorted to color-coded mats that told workers the severity of each person's medical condition." (Pasadena Star News; 22Oct09; Alfred Lee)

Warwick accident tests disaster response [NY]
"On Oct. 10, there […] was a mock exercise and a community disaster drill, designed to test the ability of St. Anthony Community Hospital and other first responders to deal with […radiological] emergencies. […] 'This was a two-phase drill' […] said Joie Ogrodnick, R.N., emergency room nurse manager and emergency preparedness coordinator for St. Anthony Community Hospital. 'There was water decontamination at the site and another for a victim that arrived at the hospital.' […] During Phase 2, the mock explosion at Sanfordville School, all victims were brought to the front of the hospital. They were then triaged on arrival and set to appropriate treatment areas based on their triage tag and secondary assessment. Ogrodnick said a coordinated response is critical when an emergency has the potential to affect the entire region. She added that it is important to provide mutual aid and to test skills, plans and communication systems to see what works and to fix what doesn't. […] St. Anthony Community Hospital had previously offered radiological training to participating agencies in January." (Times Herald Record; 26Oct09) http://www.recordonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091029/COMM/910290355

Counter terrorism simulation conducted downtown [Indianapolis, IN]
"55 IU [Indiana University] Law School students joined Emergency Management staff Friday in a large scale counter-terrorism simulation in Indianapolis. The simulation was a dirty bomb explosion at Lucas Oil Stadium along with an attack on Washington, D.C. and in the Middle East. IU Law School Associate Professor Shawn Boyne says the students have studied national security and can read all the books they want, but they need the simulation to experience what happens when different agencies try to work together. The simulation was also shown live online for the public to see how emergency management agencies respond to terrorist attacks." (WIBC Indiana News; 23Oct09; Reed Parker)

U.S., Kazakhstan, Norway complete major joint border security and nonproliferation effort
"The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Administration of the Customs Control Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KCCC) and the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a ceremony at the U.S. Embassy in Astana, Kazakhstan today to recognize the successful installation of radiation detection equipment at four border crossings and one international airport in Kazakhstan. Today's ceremony also recognized the effective cooperation between the U.S., Kazakhstan and Norway in preventing illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material across Kazakhstan's borders. […] NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Kenneth Baker [said] 'The commissioning of the radiation detection systems at Kazakhstan's borders represents an important step forward in increasing transcontinental security. We will continue to strengthen our cooperation as we work together to complete installation of the radiation detection systems at other sites in Kazakhstan.'" (NNSA; 29Oct09) http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/news/2682.htm

NNSA provides training to medical responders in Kuwait
"The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in cooperation Kuwait's Ministry of Health's (MOH) Medical Emergency Department, this week held a three-day workshop on radiological contamination and accident casualties aimed at further developing Kuwait's strategic crisis response plan. 'As part of NNSA's comprehensive approach to nuclear and radiological incident response, emergency radiation medical training leverages decades of unique experience through our Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site,' said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol. 'We are pleased to be working with the Kuwait's Ministry of Health to strengthen cooperation on nuclear and radiological incident response.' […] The workshop in Kuwait will train over 50 MOH and Ministry of Defense physicians to respond and treat radiological casualties. […] The training also prepares the medical response community to effectively respond to radiological terrorism." (NNSA; 27Oct09) http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/news/2674.htm

Ukraine refuses to hold CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] anti-terrorist drills on its territory
"Ukraine has refused permission for the CIS Anti-Terrorist Center to hold anti-terrorist exercises on its territory, CIS Anti-Terrorist Center head Colonel-General Andrei Novikov said. 'Unfortunately, Ukraine has refused to hold such exercises on its territory and instead we are holding an international conference on the prevention of nuclear terrorism in Moscow," he told reporters on Wednesday. When asked why Ukraine had declined to hold large-scale military exercises on nuclear terrorism prevention, Novikov said: 'The refusal to hold the exercises in Ukraine was given with reference to the country's constitution, which bans foreign military units from operating on its territory,' he said." (Kyiv Post; 29Oct09; Source: Interfax) http://www.kyivpost.com/news/nation/detail/51441/

N[orth] Korean bank labeled WMD proliferator
"A North Korean bank and its president were designated as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. Treasury Department said Friday. Amroggang Development Bank was designated as a WMD proliferator because it is controlled by North Korea's Tanchon Commercial Bank, already sanctioned by the United States and the United Nations for its involvement in Pyongyang's nuclear activities, the Treasury Department said in a news release. Tanchon's president, Kim Tong Myong, was included in the designation, the department said. Myong held various positions with Tanchon since at least 2002, and helped manage Amroggang's affairs. 'As long as North Korea continues to try to evade sanctions and obscure its illicit proliferation transactions, we will take steps to combat that activity and protect the integrity of the international financial system,' Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey said. Executive Order 13382 freezes the assets of designated proliferators of WMDs and their supporters, and bars U.S. residents from engaging in any transactions with them." (United Press International; 23Oct09) http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2009/10/23/N-Korean-bank-labeled-WMD-proliferator/UPI-37821256332580/

Fort Wayne [IN] fire fighter, union leader Ridley appointed an IAFF [International Association of Fire Fighters] director
"International Association of Fire Fighters [IAFF] General President Harold Schaitberger has appointed James 'Jim' Ridley director of the IAFF Hazardous Materials and Weapons of Mass Destruction Training Department. Ridley, a career fire fighter for 29 years, was president of IAFF Local 124 in Fort Wayne for 11 years. 'I'm honored to be asked to take over a program that's so important to the health and safety of first responders,' Ridley said. The IAFF operates the largest HazMat/WMD training program in North America. […] More than 4,000 training programs have been delivered to 91,315 emergency responders. The IAFF also has trained approximately 2,362 instructors who have gone on to provide training to an estimated 59,000 additional emergency responders. […] 'Jim's experience makes him a perfect fit for this important job at the IAFF,' Schaitberger said." (Frost Illustrated; 28Oct09)

Recent Battelle contracts top $70M
"Columbus research and development giant Battelle has won several multimillion-dollar federal contracts that tap into the firm's work on responding to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear events. The seven contracts Battelle disclosed total about $74 million and range in value from a $4.5 million deal for design of robotic systems to a two-year, $15 million U.S. Air Force contract for medical support in the event of contamination from a weapon of mass destruction. Other deals Battelle announced this week [include] a $9.2 million contract to run studies and analysis for the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine to protect personnel against chemical, biological and other hazards [and] a $9.6 million contract with the Army for defense research aimed at looking at potential gaps in training and organization tied to chemical and biological events." (Columbus Business First; 16Oct09) http://columbus.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2009/10/12/daily37.html

Pike EMS [Emergency Management Services] adds HAZMAT response vehicle [Pikeville, WV]
"The Pike County Office of Emergency Management was recently awarded permanent use of a Weapons of Mass Destruction/Hazardous Materials Response Unit. The truck and trailer - valued at $250,000 - has been in Johnson County for a few years and was given to Pike County after Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett requested its use during the most recent meeting of the Area 9 WMD/Hazardous Materials Response Team Board of Directors meeting. 'This trailer just adds to Pike County's arsenal of things we can do to help the people of this county in the event of a disaster,' Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said. […] Tackett said, 'If there were to be white powder threat or a problem with radiation, we can handle it now. This truck and trailer just gives us more ammunition for when and if we need it.'" (Williamson Daily News; 27Oct09) http://www.williamsondailynews.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Pike+EMS+adds+HAZMAT+response+vehicle%20&id=4158205-Pike+EMS+adds+HAZMAT+response+vehicle&instance=home_news_lead

Missouri National Guard trains with Oklahoma City bombing responders [Fort Leonard Wood, MO]
"Teamed with several military organizations, the 7th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team from Fort Leonard Wood participated in confined space training on Oct. 20 and 21 as part of Operation Joint Eagle in Camp Gruber, Okla. […] The exercise was conducted by Response International Group, an organization composed of several of the firefighters who responded to the Oklahoma City bombing. The unit worked with the Illinois National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Enhanced Response Force Package [CERFP]. […] CERFP teams respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high yield explosive incident or other catastrophic events and assist local, state and federal agencies in conducting consequence management. […] They consist of both Army and Air National Guard assets working together in support of civilian emergency personnel for a strong, unified response team. […] The 63rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team, of Oklahoma, and an active-duty Marine Chemical and Biological Incident Response Force also took part in the exercise. […] For this exercise, the unit's mission was to gather intelligence about the site of the catastrophe, monitor the air quality at the site, determine the source of any type of found contamination and search for and assist injured survivors." (Pulaski County Daily; 27Oct09; Matthew J. Wilson) http://www.pulaskicountydaily.com/news.php?viewStory=1290

Elaborate emergency drill held in Bristol [VA]
"The nine-man [Bristol, Virginia] SWAT team, along with nearly a dozen area rescue agencies, swarmed Rhode Island Avenue for a mock disaster exercise [Thursday morning], and participants called it the most elaborate emergency drill the city's ever seen. […] The two-day drill is co-hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to test the city's emergency preparedness. Thursday's fake crisis was a doozy: Armed anarchists were, among other things, cooking meth, assembling radioactive weaponry and holding victims of a Wednesday night carjacking hostage. Six SWAT members went inside the warehouse, but only five came out standing. The sixth got hung up on a pretend nerve gas booby trap, and his team had to rush him outside to safety. The remainder of the team battled terrorists armed with airsoft pistols, then hopped trip wires and secured a dirty bomb lab. […] All of the departments will get an evaluation from the EPA, noting any weaknesses. But, the police department is confident they did a pretty good job." (Tri-Cities News Source; 30Oct09) http://www2.tricities.com/tri/news/local/article/elaborate_emergency_drill_held_in_bristol/34967/

European Commission finalizing plan to bolster WMD defenses
"An action plan that seeks to strengthen European Union defenses against the threat of a WMD attack is being considered for enactment by the close of 2009, Europolitics Environment reported. Sponsored by the European Commission […] the plan is composed of 113 measures that fall under three themes: stopping terrorist organizations from acquiring WMD materials, strengthening WMD detection efforts, and making sure that the European Union is able to respond quickly and effectively to any chemical, biological or nuclear attack. It is expected to require $148 million to carry out the plan over a four-year period beginning in 2010. […] While EU states would retain the majority of responsibility in defending themselves individually against unconventional weapons, the commission has said its members should pursue greater collaboration and better information flow." (Global Security Newswire; 30Oct09) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091030_9766.php

U.S. led initiative to avert WMD transfer holds drill in Singapore
"A large-scale maritime drill under a U.S.-led initiative to prevent the transfer of weapons of mass destruction at sea began Tuesday in Singapore. More than 2,000 security personnel from 19 countries, including the United States and Japan, are taking part in the four-day exercise, code-named Exercise Deep Sabre 2. The U.S. led Proliferation Security Initiative, launched in 2003, is intended to prevent WMD materials from falling into the hands of terrorist groups and so-called rogue nations. Some 18 vessels and eight aircraft are involved in the exercise at Changi Naval Base on the eastern coast of Singapore and the South China Sea. The number of participating countries has increased to 19 from 13 in the last time the annual exercise was held in Singapore. Japan has sent about 240 personnel, a destroyer and two naval planes for search operations. […] Among the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN], only Singapore, the Philippines, Cambodia and Brunei have agreed to back the PSI [Proliferation Security Initiative]. […] Speaking at the opening ceremony of the PSI exercise Tuesday, Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, who is also defense minister, called for more countries to join the PSI. Three non-PSI members - Malaysia, India and Pakistan - are also taking part in the exercise." (Breibart; 27Oct09)

Armies drilling nonconventional attacks
"Some 2,000 American and Israeli military personnel, together with missile batteries and radar, are moving into positions around the country, as the first phase of the Juniper Cobra missile defense exercise unfolds. Israeli soldiers from the Home Front Command and American soldiers from the Ohio National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosive Enhanced Response Force (CERF) have already begun drilling a scenario in which missiles with nonconventional warheads are fired at Israeli cities. US Army spokesman Maj. Daniel J. Meyers stressed that the exercises were routine, and one of many simulations being held by the armed forces of both. 'Israelis and US soldiers need to train to prepare for the defense of their countries, whether that training involves firing a weapon or preparing for any scenario,' Meyers told The Jerusalem Post. […] During the Home Front Command-Ohio National Guard CERF exercise, chemical protection suits were donned by participants, and soldiers in protective suits were hosed down with water to practice avoiding overheating. This year's Juniper Cobra (they take place every two years) lasts until November 5." (Jerusalem Post; 25Oct09; Yaakov Lappin) http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1256150041403&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

No comments: