War on Terrorism

Friday, June 04, 2010

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News, June 4, 2010

Hiv-as-terrorism charges have taken a toll, defendant says
"Clinton Township resident Daniel Allen, 45, says that while he is relieved that bio-terrorism charges leveled against him because of an October 2009 fight have been dismissed, the stress has taken a toll on him. [...] Macomb county prosecutors charged Allen in November under a bio-terrorism statute. They say he attacked 28-year-old Winfred Fernandis, Jr. on October 18 over a dispute regarding a football that kept landing on Allen's front yard. Fernandis alleges Allen 'hugged up' to him and bit him during the altercation, a charge Allen denies. In fact, Allen claims the incident was only the culmination of years of anti-gay harassment directed at him by Fernandis and his family. Allen alleges that on Oct. 18 Fernandis and family members attacked him. He filed a complaint with the Clinton Township FBI, which said it could not pursue the case because it happened before a new federal hate crimes law came into effect." (Michigan Messenger; 04Jun10; Todd A. Heywood) http://michiganmessenger.com/38471/hiv-as-terrorism-charges-have-taken-a-toll-defendant-says

World War 2 Canadian lab made anthrax bombs [sic]: documentary
"A top secret military lab set up in Canada developed biological weapons for the Allies during World War II, according to a new documentary film aired late Tuesday by Radio-Canada. In 1943 on Grosse-Ile, a small island in the Saint Lawrence seaway, Canadian scientists produced vast quantities of anthrax [spores] to be used in the fabrication of biological bombs. The so-called Project N was one of three great secrets of the war, equal in scope to the Allies' cracking of German signal codes and the development of an atomic bomb, filmmakers Vincent Frigon and Yves Bernard opined. During this period, the Allies were preparing to wage a biological war against Germany and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sought to obtain 500,000 anthrax bombs [sic]. After a few missteps, the lab was closed in August 1944 after producing some 70 billion deadly doses -- enough to wipe out the world's population 30 times over -- and the research was moved to the United States." (Agence France Presse; 03Jun10) http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jMulO_MB1RuzCXQLUyM9z8-V7jdw

Safety ranking flags Canada for lack of food traceability system
"Despite a sharpened focus on food safety in Canada in the wake of the 2008 listeriosis crisis, the quality of the country's food-safety system remains essentially unchanged, a newly published ranking concludes. [...] Since the 2008 rankings were published, Canada's food safety system was shaken by the listeriosis outbreak of August 2008. Twenty-two Canadians, mostly elderly living in long-term care facilities, died after consuming tainted deli meats produced at a federally regulated plant operated by Maple Leaf Foods. In the wake of the outbreak, the federal government committed $75 million to implement the recommendations of Sheila Weatherill, the independent investigator brought in to identify the gaps in the system that led to the outbreak. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has also spent part of the $113 million earmarked in 2008 to improve food and consumer safety through the Food and Consumer Safety Action Plan. If Weatherill's recommendations are implemented and Canada fixes its food traceability problems, Charlebois said, Canada can raise its global food safety ranking from superior to the best in the world." (Global Toronto; 03Jun10; Sarah Schmidt) http://goo.gl/jpap

South Korea stages security drill ahead of G20 summit
"Amid rising tension on the Korean peninsula, South Korea staged a security exercise on Friday at a luxurious hotel in Seoul ahead of the November G20 Summit. Security forces held mock drills aimed at capturing extremists, protecting hostages, and responding to emergency situations, such as a chemical weapons attack or a fire. South Korea will chair the November G20 Summit this year. The Seoul city government says it will emphasize providing 'comfortable lodging', 'convenient transportation' and 'perfect security' to visitors. [Kim Yeon-choon, Emergency Team Leader, Seocho Fire Station]: 'We are holding this exercise to prepare for a safe G20 Summit this year. Government officials, civilians and military personnel joined together for this drill in case we have an emergency situation.' The security drill comes as tensions escalate on the Korean peninsula." (New Tang Dynasty Television; 28May10) http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/ns_asia/2010-05-28/983125362913.html

Anthrax [spores] most likely terrorist attack agent
"An aerosol delivery of anthrax remains as the mostly likely attack scenario against U.S. soldiers for which a vaccine would be necessary to prevent illness, a top scientist said. C.J. Peters, John Sealy distinguished university chair in tropical and emerging virology at the University of Texas medical branch at Galveston, speculate on the possibility of such an attack at the recent annual gathering of the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas (TAMEST) in San Antonio. 'These really are agents of mass destruction or mass casualties,' Peters said. 'You don't have to go hand to hand with your targets. It could be deployed readily and it's within the reach of motivated terrorist or state actors.'" (San Antonio Express-News; 27May10; Tony Cantu) http://www.mysanantonio.com/community/anthrax_most_likely_terrorist_attack_agent_94945994.html

Munitions to be destroyed at Camp Sibert [AL]
"About 75 munitions have been found in the last four or five years at the former Camp Sibert, a live-fire training area for chemical weapons during World War II. Twenty-four of those munitions, which include tear gas and smoke, must be destroyed. An Explosive Destruction System is being brought in and the actual detonation of the 24 munitions will begin June 17, said Greg Nielson of the Chemical Materials Agency, a contractor for the U.S. Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Nielson and Derek Romitti of Chemical Materials Agency -- the agency in charge of the detonation -- outlined those plans Thursday with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, private contractors who will do some of the monitoring and the Gadsden-Etowah County Emergency Management Agency. There are 23 4.2-inch mortars that are filled with various types of tear gas, smoke and water." (Gadsden Times; 03Jun10; Lisa Rogers)

KY [chemical] weapon destruction on track without delay [Richmond, KY]
"An activist says a measure stripped at the last minute from a defense bill recently approved by the U.S. House could have delayed chemical weapons destruction in Kentucky by up to two years. Craig Williams of the Chemical Weapons Working Group said Wednesday he doesn't know how the proposed language got into an early version of the 2011 defense authorization bill last week or even who proposed it. The measure would have significantly changed the contract conditions for Bechtel-Parsons Bluegrass, the company in charge of building the neutralization site that will dispose of chemical weapons at Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond. [...] Richmond's stockpile has a variety of chemical weapons that are to be eliminated to comply with an international treaty, including mustard and the deadly nerve agents sarin and VX. The storage sites in Richmond and Pueblo, Colo., are the only two in the nation yet to begin eliminating their chemical weapons. Under the current schedule, which has been pushed back several times, Blue Grass will already be the last to finish construction in 2016, the last to begin operations in 2018 and the last to complete the job in 2021." (Lexington Herald-Leader; 02Jun10; Jeffrey McMurray) http://www.kentucky.com/2010/06/02/1289865/construction-delay-diverted-at.html

Utah chemical depot finishes disposal operations [Tooele, UT]
"The Deseret Chemical Depot says workers have destroyed the last explosively configured mustard agent-filled munitions at its site in Utah's west desert. The depot says that with 4.2-inch mortar disposal operations completed last week, only bulk containers of mustard agent are left to be processed. The U.S. Army says nearly 90 percent of the original Deseret Chemical Depot stockpile has been eliminated and more than 1 million munitions destroyed. Ted Ryba, site project manager at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, says with only bulk containers remaining, the facility can start early decommissioning activities. Those activities include removing some equipment and decommissioning the furnace system used to destroy explosive components." (Salon; 31May10) http://www.salon.com/wires/us/2010/05/31/D9G246GO4_us_chemical_weapons/

Training exercise under way at Fort Bragg [NC]
"Several offices and units on Fort Bragg are taking part in a training exercise on post this week. The event will simulate a terrorist incident and involve installation response personnel, according to a release from Fort Bragg. Past exercises have involved simulated terrorist incidents using explosives, chemical weapons and small arms attacks, the release said. By having different installation organizations train together, they gain valuable experience in security, safety and communications on a large scale should an actual event take place, the release said." (Fay Observer; 02Jun10) http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2010/06/02/1003597?sac=Home

Terror[ism] drill prepares agencies to deal with disasters [Forsyth County, NC]
"Hundreds of state and local law enforcement officers are in Forsyth County this week for a multi-agency terror[ism response] drill. Members of the National Guard kicked off the three-day exercise Tuesday. The group faced several scenarios including a hostage situation involving kids on a school bus, a bomb scare and chemical weapons. The exercise is designed to test each agency's communications plan, command and control techniques and response. 'An incident can happen anywhere, so basically the first responders have got to be prepared and they have to leverage the other state and federal assets that are available to them,' said Maj. Samuel cherry with the 42nd Civil Support Team." (Time Warner Entertainment: Raleigh, NC; 01Jun10; Adrianne Flores) http://charlotte.news14.com/content/local_news/triad/626575/terror-drill-prepares-agencies-to-deal-with-disasters

Territory elders mount radioactive legal battle
"Traditional owners have initiated a Federal Court legal challenge to plans by the Rudd government to build Australia's first national radioactive waste dump near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. A senior elder of the Ngapa clan, Mark Lane Jangala, claims he and many other senior elders were not consulted over the nomination of their land. They claim the proposed dump site on the disused Muckaty cattle station threatens a sacred male initiation site. [...] Resources Minister Martin Ferguson has confirmed Muckaty is the only site being considered for the dump, which would contain about 4000 cubic metres of radioactive waste from around Australia. The Northern Territory Labor government and nuclear terrorism experts have raised concerns about transporting radioactive waste thousands of kilometres through towns and cities to the proposed site." (Western Australia Today; 04Jun10; Lindsay Murdoch) http://www.watoday.com.au/national/territory-elders-mount-radioactive-legal-battle-20100603-x94x.html

Larger FBI facility ready at SRS [Savannah River Site, SC]
"The FBI has completed a six-fold expansion of a unique facility at Savannah River Site designed to examine and process radiologically contaminated evidence. The Radiological Evidence Examination Facility, first established in 2006 within Savannah River National Laboratory, now has the ability to perform many more types of examinations designed to protect the nation from crimes involving nuclear materials. The FBI routinely conducts studies of DNA, fingerprints, hair, fibers and other evidence at its primary lab in Quantico, Va., but the expanded SRS facility will enable agents to safely perform such tasks on materials contaminated with radioactivity." (Augusta Chronicle; 03Jun10; Rob Pavey)

Public should have radiation detectors, scientist [Allen Brodsky] writes
"Radiation may be invisible, but it is very easy to measure. With current technology, people no longer need to live in dread of a lethal exposure to radiation in the event that the unthinkable happens. [...] Highly specialized teams now have very expensive and sensitive instruments for detecting smuggled radioactive materials or monitoring spills. But most emergency responders have no instruments suitable for checking public exposure from a nuclear explosion or a 'dirty bomb.' The self-indicating instant radiation alert dosimeter (SIRAD), which is the size of a credit card, could dramatically change this situation, writes radiation expert Allen Brodsky, D.Sc., in the summer issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. A radiation-sensitive chemical instantly and permanently changes color, so that the user can see whether he has accumulated a dose likely to cause sickness (more than about 50 rads), death (around 300 rads or more), or a low dose (less than 5 rads) with no likely short-term or long-term health risks." (Earth Times News; 02Jun10) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/public-should-have-radiation-detectors-scientist-writes,1327143.shtml

UAE nuclear safety law to be tightened
"A set of safety and security regulations, drafted on international practices, are to be added to the UAE's nuclear law by the end of this year. 'By the end of this year, a set of safety and security regulations will be added to the UAE's nuclear law that was issued last year. This will better equip the country's legal framework to tackle two main external risks - environmental crises and terrorist threats,' Major Mohammad Al Shamsi, Nuclear Security Director at the Critical National Infrastructure Authority (CNIA), told Gulf News yesterday. CNIA is the body in charge of securing all four nuclear power plants being built for the peaceful use of nuclear energy. The plants, which will help meet Abu Dhabi's electricity needs, are being built by a South Korean consortium, led by the Korea Electric Power Corporation. The exact cost of securing the plants is not yet known since the designs have yet to be finalised. 'But the total cost of constructing and securing the plants has been estimated to be about $20 billion (Dh73.4 million)', said Major Al Shamsi, speaking at a regional seminar on the implementation of legislation of nuclear security, safety and safeguards." (Gulf News; 03Jun10; Rayeesa Absaland and Samihah Zaman)

G20 security show: sonic cannons, riot gear demonstrated ahead of summit
"Chemical and biological weapons units, bomb-sniffing dogs, police on bicycles, horseback and in riot gear will be at the ready in Toronto during the G20 summits. [...] The Integrated Security Unit gave a public demonstration Thursday of the massive security operation in place for the summit set for June 26-27. A parallel security plan is expected for the G8 summit in Huntsville on June 25-26. [...] Provincial Const. Marty Groleau pointed out tools and machines for detecting chemicals or 'volatile organic compounds' such as anthrax, ricin, botulism and orthopox, as well as radiation and explosives. Police also gave a demonstration of their controversial sound devices at 70 decibels, half their capacity, and the so-called sonic cannons could barely be heard over a crowd of dozens of journalists." (Lethbridge Herald; 04Jun10) http://www.lethbridgeherald.com/content/view/195466/111/

Ohio, Washington to start homeland response forces
"Ohio and Washington have been chosen as the first states to host new National Guard homeland response forces for responding to chemical and biological attacks, Pentagon officials announced today. The response forces, called for in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, are designed to work in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide rapid response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-explosive attacks. The Defense Department plans to establish 10 homeland response forces, one in each of the 10 FEMA regions, officials said. The Ohio and Washington forces are to be established by the end of September 2011, with the remaining eight established one year later. Navy Adm. James A. Winnefeld Jr., the new commander of U.S. Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command, said in an interview with American Forces Press Service last week that he welcomes supporting the Guard with the new response forces." (Department of Defense; 03Jun10; Lisa Daniel)

US Justice Dept seen ill-prepared for WMD attack
"The U.S. agency charged with coordinating public safety and security efforts after an attack involving a weapon of mass destruction is ill-prepared for the task, a report said on Tuesday. The Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has done little training and preparation for this role, according to the report by the Justice Department's inspector general, Glenn Fine. [...] The government has tried to strengthen its response to a possible biological or radiological attack since 2001, when the Sept. 11 attacks were followed by a series of fatalities from anthrax [spore]-laced letters sent through the U.S. mail. [...] However, the report said that ATF and the department itself had done little training, failed to fill key roles for coordinating a response to an attack and had not developed a catalog of law enforcement resources." (Reuters; 01Jun10; Jeremy Pelofsky)

FSB [Federal Security Bureau]: terrorists seeking nuclear materials
"Aleksandr Bortnikov, the head of Russia's FSB security service, said today that terrorists were seeking access to nuclear materials across the former Soviet Union. Bortnikov gave no further details about the attempts or which groups had sought the materials. He made the remarks at a press conference in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg after a gathering of security officials from former Soviet republics in the Commonwelath of Independent States (CIS). Bortnikov said terrorists also were trying to obtain biological and chemical weapons from countries in the CIS." (Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; 03Jun10) http://www.rferl.org/content/FSB_Terrorists_Seeking_Nuclear_Materials__/2060011.html

CNS ChemBio-WMD Terrorism News is prepared by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in order to bring timely and focused information to researchers and policymakers interested in the fields of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons nonproliferation and WMD terrorism.

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