War on Terrorism

Saturday, November 21, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News, November 20, 2009

Rabies [outbreak in Bali] originated in Indonesia, not bioterrorism, says virologist [Ni Nyoman Sri Budayanti]
"The Molecular Biology Laboratory at the University of Udayana's School of Medicine has confirmed the rabies outbreak in Bali originated in Indonesia, an expert [Ni Nyoman Sri Budayanti, head of the laboratory] confirmed [, denying] reports the virus was related to international bioterrorism as previously speculated by a government official. [...] 'We assume the virus entered Bali through inter-island animal trafficking. Our study found the virus came from Flores in East Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi,' she said. Budayanti went on to say that many fishermen from East Nusa Tenggara and Sulawesi took their rabies-affected dogs while they were fishing in Bali waters. [...] The increasing demand for dog meat among Balinese people may have also exacerbated the spread of the virus on the island. [...] The rabies outbreak hit Bali in November 2008 and has so far claimed 17 lives." (Jakarta Post; 19Nov09; Luh De Suriyani) http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/11/18/rabies-originated-indonesia-not-bioterrorism-says-virologist.html

World's top gene synthesis companies establish tough biosecurity screening protocol
"Five of the world's leading gene synthesis companies [that represent approximately 80 percent of the global gene synthesis capacity] announced agreement that they will apply a common screening protocol to promote biosecurity in the gene synthesis industry. By screening the sequences of synthetic gene orders and the customers who place them, the companies [Blue Heron Biotechnology, DNA2.0, GENEART, GenScript, and Integrated DNA Technologies] aim to support government efforts to prevent the misuse of gene synthesis technology. They have formed the International Gene Synthesis Consortium (IGSC) to coordinate ongoing best practices development and to work together with governments and others concerned to promote the beneficial application of gene synthesis technology and to safeguard biosecurity. [...] The IGSC's 'Harmonized Screening Protocol for Gene Sequence & Customer Screening to Promote Biosecurity' establishes the five core components that each IGSC company will apply to promote the safe use of synthetic genes." (Earthtimes; 19Nov09; Source: PRWeb) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/worldrsquos-top-gene-synthesis-companies-establish-tough-biosecurity-screening-protocol,1054186.shtml

Group [American Association for the Advancement of Science] warns biosecurity bill [Weapons of Mass Destruction Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2009] could burden scientific research
"Mandates included in new federal legislation could impair the ability of U.S. laboratories to conduct important biodefense research, according to [the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which] earlier this month submitted a letter to the bill's [Weapons of Mass Destruction Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2009] authors. [...] The association is primarily concerned that the bill calls for the establishment of a new system of oversight and security procedures under the Homeland Security Department for certain select agents, pathogens and biological toxins declared to pose a severe threat to human or animal health. [...] Many in the biological research community have raised concerns that laboratories already must use time and resources that could be employed for research to deal with government security rules." (Global Security Newswire; 19Nov09; Martin Matishak)

U.S. funds development of freeze-dried smallpox vaccine
"The United States expects to pay Danish biotechnology firm Bavarian Nordic up to $40 million to adapt its smallpox vaccine so that it can be freeze-dried, the company announced yesterday. [...] The new contract would fund preclinical and clinical studies on efforts to create a freeze-dried version of Bavarian Nordic's Imvamune vaccine. It would also be used to 'validate the new freeze-dried manufacturing process,' according to a press release. A freeze-dried smallpox vaccine could be kept longer than the existing liquid form that must be frozen for storage, Bavarian Nordic said." (Global Security Newswire; 18Nov09) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091118_2578.php

Army, contractor [General Dynamics] develop biological material detector
"The U.S. Army and defense contractor General Dynamics have signed agreements to work together on rolling out a new biological agent detector [which will use ultra violet light irradiation] for commercial use. General Dynamics' Armament and Technical Products division last week signed a cooperative research and development agreement and a patent license deal with the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center [...]. 'The commercialization of the TAC-BIO will make the device widely available to detect biological warfare threat agents to protect war fighters on the battlefield, first responders and civilians at home,' Edgewood Technical Director Rick Decker said in a statement. 'Collaboration ... will get this government-created innovation to the end-user much faster than we can use traditional means' he said. Work on the system began seven years ago [...]. [...] a prototype has been created 'that is ready for transition to the industrial sector.'" (Global Security Newswire; 17 Nov09)

FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] denies approval for Human Genome's anthrax drug [ABthrax]
"Human Genome Sciences Inc said the U.S. health regulators declined to approve its experimental treatment for anthrax infection. [...] U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a complete response letter asking for additional information relating to its biologics license application (BLA) seeking approval of ABthrax, also known as raxibacumab. [...]. The company said [...] that the complete response letter sent by the FDA seemed 'inconsistent' with the agency's published final rule governing the development of new drugs. [...] ABthrax was developed under a government project to encourage new drugs and vaccines to fight potential bioweapons. The project was launched after letters carrying powdered anthrax [bacteria] killed five people in 2001. [...] The U.S. government had already ordered 65,000 doses of ABthrax for a national stockpile of emergency medicines. In July, the company received more than $160 million through sales of the drug to the government in the first two quarters of 2009." (Reuters; 16Nov09; Krishnakali Sengupta) http://in.reuters.com/article/marketsNewsUS/idINBNG38513920091116?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0

Feds ride rails to stop bombers in their tracks
"Federal officers equipped with nuclear- and biological-weapons detectors have begun to ride the nation's rail system, including Amtrak, to prevent terrorists from hauling dirty bombs and other explosives to big-city targets, The Post has learned. The Department of Homeland Security, working with the FBI, has been quietly rolling out handheld radiological devices to specially trained Transportation Security Administration agents who are randomly fanning out aboard trains and buses and at transit hubs. [...] The small portable instruments detect radiological and biological particles emitted from materials that may be transported in baggage or personal belongings."
(New York Post; 16Nov09; Murray Weiss)

'Breeding Bio Insecurity' [a book by Edward Sylvester and Lynn Klotz] argues for change in biodefense policy
"With their new book, 'Breeding Bio Insecurity: How U.S. Biodefense is Exporting Fear, Globalizing Risk, and Making Us All Less Secure,' Edward Sylvester, an Arizona State University professor, and Lynn Klotz, a senior science fellow at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, investigate the implications of costly, complex and secretive U.S. biodefense policy. The book [...] offers readers facts and figures regarding the U.S. government's biodefense policy, and compels policymakers to justify spending and actions. The authors argue that the greatest external threat facing the U.S. comes from rogue nations conducting secret research rather than hypothetical scenarios in which people with basic skills weaponize deadly biomaterials. [...] The anthrax used against American citizens in the attacks after Sept. 11 was almost certainly stolen from Fort Detrick in Maryland, he [Sylvester] notes. 'It was the extremely lethal Ames strain, cultured by well-trained scientists. It couldn't have been grown from a soil sample in someone's basement lab or a cave somewhere,' Sylvester says. [...] The book asserts that the only way to truly defend the country from bioterrorism is through multilateral activities, such as treaties, and international cooperation on defenses against all diseases." (Physorg; 12Nov09; Source: Arizona State University) http://www.physorg.com/wire-news/19484825/breeding-bio-insecurity-argues-for-change-in-biodefense-policy.html

New [background] checks for bio-terror[ism] agent handlers
"People handling biological agents that could be used for terrorist attacks will face new background checks under a measure that has been introduced to parliament. Health Minister Nicola Roxon says the change will enhance Australia's capacity to secure biological agents of diseases such as anthrax, smallpox and the plague. They are known as security sensitive biological agents, or SSBAs. [...] The new measure would enable the federal health minister to determine that background checking of people who handle SSBAs is conducted by the Australian Background Checking Service, or AusCheck, of the Attorney-General's Department." (Brisbane Times; 19Nov09; Source: Australian Associated Press)

Tiny chip could diagnose disease
"A tiny drop of blood is drawn through the chip, where disease markers are caught and show up under light. The device uses the tendency of a fluid to travel through small channels under its own force, instead of using pumps. The design is simpler, requires less blood be taken, and works more quickly than existing 'lab on a chip' designs, the team report in Lab on a Chip. [...] The device relies on an array of antibody molecules that are designed to latch on to the protein-based molecular markers of disease [agents] in blood. The antibodies are chemically connected to molecules that emit light of a specific colour when illuminated - but only when they have bound to the disease [agent] markers. [...] While the approach will make diagnosis cheaper, co-author Emmanuel Delamarche said the key aspect of the approach is its speed. 'We are giving back precious minutes to doctors so they can make informed and accurate decisions right at the time they need them most to save lives.'" (British Broadcasting Company; 18Nov09; Jason

Officials receive bioterrorism training devised by Interpol
"'The UAE is not currently facing a bioterrorism threat, however preparedness is key to ensure the safety of the public, as we could easily be affected in case of such an attack elsewhere in the world,' said Colonel Ali Salem Al Khayal, Head of Interpol Abu Dhabi, at the Interior ministry. He was speaking to Gulf News on the sidelines of an Interpol training session on preventing bioterrorism, hosted by the ministry. [...] Thirty UAE officials, from various forces, including the police, rescue and emergency management, health authorities, customs, armed forces and the national emergency and crisis management authority are attending the training, which concludes on Thursday. Training sessions devised by Interpol are being delivered by experts from 11 countries." (Gulf News; 17Nov09; Rayeesa Absal)

Farm tractor driven through fence at Umatilla Chemical Depot [Hermiston, OR]
"A large farm tractor drove through a Umatilla Chemical Depot fence [...], and the driver abandoned it. The person responsible has not been apprehended. [...] The tractor did not get near the depot's chemical weapons storage area. [...] No damage was sustained to chemical munitions or the Umatilla Chemical Agent Disposal Facility UMCDF) [which] is not processing chemical agent at this time. Depot officials notified off-post emergency operations centers in Umatilla and Morrow counties, Ore., Benton County, Wash., those in Oregon and Washington states, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and the Oregon Dept. of Environmental Quality. Citizens should report any suspicious activities in and around the depot to their local police departments or the depot." (U.S. Army Chemical Materials Agency; 16Nov09)

Russian [chemical weapons disposal] site [Maradykovsky facility in the Kirov Region] finishes disposal of sarin nerve agent
"A Russian chemical weapons disposal site has finished elimination of 232.6 metric tons of the nerve agent sarin [...]. The Maradykovsky facility in the Kirov Region destroyed 4,866 munitions filled with the chemical warfare material. Progress has also been made in preparations to begin disarmament operations for a cache of munitions filled with a mixture of mustard and lewisite blister agents. There are 150 metric tons of the material waiting for disposal. 'The facility has completed the construction of a line for the destruction of mustard-lewisite mixture,' said the Kirov Region government in a statement. 'In late November, hook-up and commissioning work will start at the line, testing the technology for destroying this toxic substance.' Full chemical weapons destruction at Maradykovsky is expected to be finished by 2012." (Global Security Newswire; 19Nov09; Source:

Mustard gas men gain recognition
"Three RAAF armourers who risked their lives working with mustard gas in Glenbrook during World War II returned to the village last Wednesday to unveil a plaque commemorating the men who worked on the top secret project. Geoff Burn, Doug Bain and Arthur Lewis were the guests of honour at the special Remembrance Day ceremony at Panthers Glenbrook. Now in their mid-80s, the men worked with secret stockpiles of mustard gas in a disused Glenbrook railway tunnel during World War II but struggled for decades to gain formal recognition for their role in the war effort. [...] 'Many of the health issues that were faced throughout that period continue to be faced by many of the men that were involved in that unit today,' said Mr Bradbury. The Labor MP paid tribute to historian Geoff Plunkett who helped lift the lid on the secret mustard gas unit with his 2008 book on Australia's chemical warfare history." (Blue Mountains Gazette; 18Nov09) http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/news/local/news/general/mustard-gas-men-gain-recognition/1680969.aspx

Cell phone sensor aims to crowd source chemical attack information
"NASA scientists have developed a new chemical sensor that allows iPhones to identify low airborne concentrations of chemicals including ammonia, chlorine gas and methane. The postage-stamp sized chemical sensor was developed by Jing Li, a Physical Scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center in California. The project was developed with other researchers as part of Homeland Security's Cell-All program, which was created to put more mobile sensors in the hands of every cell phone user. [...] The sensor, it is hoped, could be used to alert first responders to the presence of a chemical agent stemming from an accident or attack. The device would work even if the cell phone user loses consciousness from the chemical's presence." (Bio Prep Watch; 17Nov09; Nick Rees) http://www.bioprepwatch.com/news/210959-cell-phone-sensor-aims-to-crowd-source-chemical-attack-information

Honduran Foreign Ministry declared CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention] national authority
"The Foreign Ministry of Honduras has been selected to manage implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention in the country [...] The convention requires that all member states establish or designate a national authority to manage contact with other CWC member nations and with the Hague-based organization that monitors compliance with the pact. [...] Honduras in 2005 joined the pact that prohibits development, production, stockpiling, transfer or use of chemical warfare materials such as mustard blister agent and the nerve agents sarin and VX. All but three of the 188 member nations to the Chemical Weapons Convention had set national authorities [...]." (Global Security Newswire; 09Nov09) http://www.globalsecuritynewswire.org/gsn/nw_20091106_4701.php

Drill tests nuclear plant's [Duane Arnold Energy Center] crisis plan [Linn County, IA]
"Linn County emergency planners got a call that there was a fire at the Duane Arnold Energy Center just north of Palo. As the training drill went on, the 45 people at the agency's office learned that the fire had caused a steam leak outside the plant. They would have to evacuate 18,000 students from area public schools. To make things worse, a train had 'derailed' at the intersection of Blairs Ferry Road and Interstate 380. [...] The plant hasn't seen a real emergency over its 35-year history, but that doesn't mean something like this couldn't happen. 'We do this to make sure that communications flow and internal and external orders are coordinated and so that information and equipment orders flow the way they're supposed to,' said Mike Goldberg, Linn County's Emergency Management Agency coordinator. [...] Goldberg said coordinating information and orders among federal, state, county and local authorities isn't easy, but as the flood of 2008 showed, it is essential in a crisis." (iStockAnalyst; 19Nov09;
Source: Gazette - Cedar Rapids)

Homeland security misses self-imposed schedule to certify new radiation detectors
"The acting head of the department's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office said in June that Homeland Security would sign off this fall on two congressionally mandated certifications for the Advanced Spectroscopic Portal monitor system. 'October is kind of our notional date right now,' Chuck Gallaway told the House Homeland Security Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity and Science and Technology Subcommittee. A department spokeswoman last week said testing and evaluation of the monitors is 'still ongoing.' [...] Department officials have said they hope to deploy 1,400 of the new machines at a cost of roughly $1.2 billion to detect materials that could be used in a radiological or nuclear weapon. The department has already spent roughly $230 million on the effort, with each sensor [is] expected to cost approximately $822,000. The United States has spent more than $3 billion since 2002 to field devices intended to detect radioactive material being smuggled through border crossings with Canada and Mexico or through seaports." (Global Security Newswire; 17Nov09; Martin Matishak) http://gsn.nti.org/gsn/nw_20091117_8921.php

Abused wife [Amber Cummings] pleads guilty in husband's [James Cummings] shooting [Rockland, ME]
"A 31-year-old woman [Amber Cummings] faces no more than a year behind bars after pleading guilty to domestic violence manslaughter for fatally shooting her sleeping husband [James Cummings] [...] Cummings told police that her husband was a white supremacist and was plotting to build so-called dirty bombs and set them off during President Barack Obama's inauguration. Radioactive materials were removed from their home after his death, but authorities said there weren't enough to make a dirty bomb and that the public was never at risk."(Nashua Telegraph; 16Nov09; Source: AP) http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/News/StateNewEngland/437230-227/abused-wife-pleads-guilty-in-husbands-shooting.html

TV show on 'dirty bomb' hitting Portland offered good advice
"On Thursday, National Geographic aired a one-hour special depicting the impact of a 'dirty bomb' attack in Portland. While dirty bombs – which use conventional explosives to disperse radioactive material – are fearsome, it is important to know that the U.S. government and the average citizen have tools to effectively prevent and respond to such a scenario. Through the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and our National Laboratories, the federal government has the world's best nuclear experts working to prevent and respond to nuclear terrorism. [...] Our teams would deploy and gather and share the critical information and provide medical advice for all types of radiation exposure. With state-of-the-art computer modeling, aerial surveillance and radioisotope identification, NNSA would provide crucial information to first responders to help them disseminate information to the community. [...] Do not self-evacuate without direction or it may increase the risk for you and your family. A dirty bomb would likely not release enough radiation to kill or cause severe illness to those unaffected by the immediate blast area." (Portland Press Herald; 13Nov09; Joseph Krol)

Increasing likelihood of terrorist getting hands on N[uclear]-arms: [U.S. Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton
"Warning that there is an increasing likelihood of terrorists getting their hands on nuclear weapons if preventive measures are not taken now, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said that too much of the world's atomic material remains vulnerable to theft or diversion. [...] Clinton said that in the early days of the atomic age, a handful of powerful countries could effectively set non-proliferation strategy. 'But in today's changing world, with information and technology leaping across borders, industrial capacity more widely distributed, and non-state actors wielding increasing influence, it will require unprecedented international cooperation,' Clinton said and suggested that the UN atomic watchdog IAEA be given more teeth. [...] 'The most effective way to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism is to ensure that nuclear materials that can be used to build weapons are well protected against theft or seizure. 'That is why the United States has proposed a plan to secure all vulnerable nuclear material worldwide within four years -- a plan that has now won the endorsement of the UN Security Council,' Clinton said." (Economic Times; 30Oct09)

Poison conviction contested: Expert witness in ricin trial [of Kenneth Olsen] was later fired
"A Spokane Valley man [Kenneth Olsen, a former computer programmer and part-time massage therapist] serving 10 years in federal prison for making a deadly chemical poison is asking to have his conviction overturned because one of the government's expert witnesses was later fired for misconduct in other criminal cases. [...] Olsen is scheduled for a Jan. 29 hearing on his request to set aside his 2003 jury conviction for making ricin. The conviction has been upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, although his original sentence was remanded and reduced." (Spokesman-Review; 19Nov09; Jim Camden) http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2009/nov/19/poison-conviction-contested/

Biomedical scientists develop new anti-toxin
"Researchers at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in Wiltshire have been working on a substance to combat the effects of ricin poisoning. [...] the institution's Dr Jane Holley revealed they have succeeded in coming up with the first anti-toxin that has gone into production. She commented: 'In the past there has been lots of research carried out using different methods.' However, never before has this been translated into production techniques, the expert added. The principal scientist in biomedical sciences at DSTL - which is an agency of the Ministry of Defence and aims to supply impartial, scientific and technical research to the government - said the product should be available within the next couple of years." (Mediplacements; 12Nov09; Alex Franklin Stortford) http://www.mediplacements.com/article-19457193-biomedical_scientists_develop.html

Chairs of three [counter terrorism] Security Council Committees aimed at countering terrorist threat, monitoring related sanctions, brief council on progress since May
"Terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to non-state actors continued to be a threat to international peace and security, and cooperation was a crucial element in the efforts to counter that threat, Ranko Vilovic [chair of the Counter-Terrorism Committee] (Croatia) told the Security Council [...while] speaking on behalf of the three Committees established to enforce the Security Council's counter-terrorism measures and related sanctions [...] resolution 1267 (1999) on Al-Qaida and Taliban sanctions; and resolution 1540 (2004) on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. [...] Jorge Urbina (Costa Rica), Chairman of the 1540 Committee which aimed at preventing weapons of mass destruction from falling into the hands of non-State actors, said that his Committee was conducting a comprehensive review, and representatives of industry, academics and non-governmental organizations also had an opportunity to give input on such topics as the impact of the resolution; [...] The Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1267 (1999) concerning Al-Qaida and the Taliban and associated individuals and entities, Thomas Mayr-Harting ( Austria), noted that the threat from those organizations still persisted." (United Nations Department of Public Information; 13Nov09) http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2009/sc9788.doc.htm

Funding secured for second New York protection ring
"An antiterrorism system featuring chemical-agent sensors and other high-tech security devices is expected to encircle midtown New York City by 2011. The security ring, similar to one currently in place in lower Manhattan, is being supported by $24 million in funding from the U.S. Homeland Security Department. Lower Manhattan's security ring is modeled after London's so-called 'Ring of Steel,' and involves cameras and license-plate readers that relay data and images to a command site in the Financial District. [...] An additional $40 million in federal funds are still being sought by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to finish preparing the system's detection program." (Bio Prep Watch; 20Nov09; Nick Rees) http://www.bioprepwatch.com/news/211005-funding-secured-for-second-new-york-city-protection-ring

D.C. National] Guard Civil Support Team show off for Homeland Security Secretary [Janet Napolitano]
"The District of Columbia National Guard's 33rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team [CST] [consisting of experts in dealing with weapons of mass destruction] showcased their equipment for the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and other senior DHS officials [...] 'One of the important things we did today was to show the secretary what we can do in a WMD incident ... and if she needs to call on the Guard to assist first responders, she can be confident that the Guard is there and is well prepared,' he [Army Lt. Col. Keith Bauder, the CST program manager for the National Guard Bureau] said.
[...] Among the teams' many real-world missions last year were the Democratic National Convention, flood recovery in Iowa, the presidential inauguration, the G-20 Summit and multiple 'white powder' incidents." (Digital Video and Imagery Distribution System; 18Nov09; MSgt Mike Smith)

GE [General Electric Co.] develop wearable sensors [that alert people to chemical weapons and disease agents]
"GE Global Research, the technology development arm of General Electric Co., said [...] it will get $2 million federal grant to develop wearable sensors that alert people to chemical weapons and diseases [sic]. Radio-frequency identification sensors are commonly used to track materials, including in baggage at airports. GE's sensors would combine the tracking capability with gas sensors that could detect harmful chemicals in the air. Because they can be smaller than a penny, GE says the sensors could be integrated into identification badges or serve as part of warning systems. GE said it also will develop sensors that can analyze breath and pick up early signs of diseases such as diabetes and cancer. The grant is from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health." (ABC News; 17Nov09; Source: Associated Press)

Japan beefs up security ahead of Obama visit
"Japan has beefed up security ahead of a visit by US President Barack Obama and the 20th anniversary of Emperor Akihito's accession to the throne [...] The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department reportedly plans to deploy about 16,000 officers in the capital when Obama arrives [...] It will be the highest level of security since Japan hosted a summit of the Group of Eight major economies on northern Hokkaido island [...] when around 20,000 police were deployed in Tokyo alone. Police have set up checkpoints near the US embassy to inspect suspicious vehicles, while anti-riot police were patrolling near Tokyo's Yokota Air Base, where an explosive device was reportedly found last month. Police have sealed off manhole covers and put extra officers on duty at subway stations, which were targeted by a doomsday cult using Sarin nerve gas in 1995 in an attack that killed 12 people and injured thousands. Demonstrators plan to stage a rally Friday and march near the US embassy and the prime minister's office against the US military presence on the southern island of Okinawa [...]. [Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi] Hirano said the government had received no information indicating a security threat but was taking precautionary measures." (Agence France Presse; 11Nov09) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hSnfPl8mWK0UHq1tQkwqPC8GEmJg

Subversion trial [over an alleged terrorist organization] puts cloud over Turkey
"In thousands of pages of indictments of stunning complexity, prosecutors allege that an underground organization named Ergenekon has committed dozens of terrorist acts and ultimately sought to topple Turkey's Islamic-inspired government. Since June 2007, when 27 hand grenades, other explosives and illegal documents were found in the attic of an ultranationalist retired officer's house in an Istanbul shantytown, more than 300 suspects have been detained. [...] Prosecutors contend that the group planned to engage in civil unrest, assassination and terrorism to create chaos and undermine the stability of Turkey to provoke a coup. [...] Mr. [Gareth] Jenkins [a Turkey specialist working for the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, a Washington research institute affiliated with Johns Hopkins University] said the indictment also maintained that investigators had uncovered evidence that the 'Ergenekon Terrorist Organization' planned to 'manufacture chemical and biological weapons and then, with the high revenue it earned from selling them, to finance and control every terrorist organization not just in Turkey but in the entire world.'" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; 13Nov09; Dan Bilefsky; Source: New York Times)

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