Monday, March 31, 2008

Gates Expresses Condolences to Maupin Family

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

March 31, 2008 - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today expressed condolences to the family of a soldier whose remains were identified this weekend after he was captured by enemy forces in Iraq four years ago. The remains of
Army Staff Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin were positively identified through DNA over the weekend, Army officials announced today. Officials announced no additional details of how Maupin's remains were found or how he died.

"I just wanted to extend my condolences to the Maupin family," Gates said during a brief meeting with reporters on his way to Copenhagen, Denmark.

"Every single one of these (deaths) is a tragedy, both for the individual and for their families, but this has been especially difficult for the Maupin family because of not knowing for almost exactly four years," Gates said.

Maupin was a 20-year-old private first class when he was captured April 9, 2004, after his convoy was ambushed with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire west of Baghdad. He was a member of 724th Transportation Company, from Bartonville, Ill., but was assigned to the 88th Regional Readiness Command for the deployment.

He was promoted to staff sergeant in August 2006, his third promotion since his capture.

DoD Announces Change in Status of Army Soldier

The Department of Defense today announced the change in status of a soldier supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom from missing-captured to deceased.

The armed forces medical examiner confirmed on March 29, human remains recovered in Iraq were those of Staff Sgt. Keith M. Maupin, 24, of Batavia, Ohio.

Maupin had been listed as missing-captured since April 16, 2004. His convoy came under attack by individuals using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire on April 9, 2004.

He was assigned to the 724th Transportation Company, Bartonville, Ill.

The incident remains under investigation.

Media with queries regarding operations in Iraq should contact the Multi-National Division – Baghdad public affairs office, (914) 822-8174, or email . Change-in-status questions should be directed to Shari Lawrence, deputy public affairs officer for U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Alexandria, Va., (703) 325-8856. Media may contact the public affairs officer assisting the Maupin family, Lt. Col. Willie Harris, U.S. Army Reserve Command, (404) 201-1770.

Gates Visits Denmark to Thank 'Steadfast Ally'

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

March 31, 2008 - On his second stopover en route to the NATO summit conference in Bucharest, Romania, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited here today to thank a country he called a steadfast ally. "This is an ally who, in my opinion, is really punching above its weight, and I want to visit and basically thank them for that," Gates said before landing in the country.

It has been 10 years since a U.S. defense secretary has visited the country, Gates noted. "I thought maybe it was time for a visit," he said.

Tonight Gates will dine with the Danish Defense Commission, the country's government agency charged with developing a five-year plan for the Danish defense, said a U.S. defense official speaking on background during the flight.

Tomorrow, Gates meets with the Danish minister of defense and the country's chief of defense, and also will meet some Danish troops who have just returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, the official said. Later, Gates will meet with both the prime minister and the foreign minister.

The Danes have about 630 troops in Afghanistan, with most in the south working with British troops. "The Danes have played an important and tough role in Afghanistan," Gates said.

In Iraq, they have about 40 personnel at various training centers, but no combat forces. The Danes have about 300 troops in Kosovo.

Earlier in the day, Gates stopped by the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, in Mons, Belgium, for a briefing by NATO's top commander,
Army Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, on the NATO International Security Assistance Force's efforts in Afghanistan and the work of the alliance's Kosovo Force.

"I wanted to come by and get an update before Bucharest on ISAF and Kosovo as seen from the vantage point from General Craddock and his senior staff," Gates said.

While there, Gates also was briefed on NATO restructuring proposals that are under way. Gates called the meeting a "pretty broad brief."

The defense secretary said he left the briefings today with a new respect for the NATO reserve force. He admitted to having been "somewhat skeptical" of the force, which would require more contributions for training and readiness from NATO members already stretched thin. Gates said the force has proven useful for smaller countries to push force modernization, and that many member nations gain experience in joint operations they would not get otherwise.

Still, Gates was not optimistic that the force can reach its requested 25,000-troop requirement.

"I think that it probably will not reach its full potential as long as so many nations are engaged as heavily as we are in Afghanistan, and for us in Iraq," Gates said. "But I think it serves a very worthwhile purpose, and I'm much more supportive of it now than I was when I went in."

Tomorrow, Gates leaves for Bucharest to attend the NATO summit conference. Gate said he expects some countries to use the summit as a platform to announce troop increases in Afghanistan.

"I would expect that there will be some announcements. I think the prospects are good for a good, strong, unanimous statement by the alliance on Afghanistan and why we're there," Gates said.

Still, Gates said he would be "surprised" if NATO was able to deliver all of the troops the alliance says it needs in the country. A senior NATO official speaking on background said that the alliance needs at least three more infantry or maneuver battalions worth of troops. More than 3,000 U.S.
Marines are on tap to arrive there in April. About 1,000 will be used as trainers, and the remainder will head for the embattled southern areas.

In all, 70 percent of the violence in Afghanistan happens in a southern swath that accounts for only 10 percent of the country's area and about 6 percent of its population, according to NATO statistics. Seventeen NATO nations have forces in the south, totaling 18,000 troops, the NATO official said.

In Iraq, Gates said, the recent offensive ordered by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki against Shiite militias to gain control of Basra was inevitable, given the
criminal element in the region.

"We've all known that at some point the situation in Basra was going to have to be dealt with," Gates said. "It is the economic lifeline of the country, and to have it under the control of a bunch of thugs and gangs and militias over the long term is unacceptable.

"All of us in the government were pleased to see Prime Minister Maliki be willing to take this on and take the initiative and go down there himself with Iraqi forces to try and resolve the issue," Gates said. "We obviously are hopeful that he will achieve most of his objectives, and I think at the same time everybody is eager to see calm return as well."

The U.S.
military has been providing overwatch support, such as air support and providing backup for the Iraqi security forces, but has not been leading the fight, Gates said.

U.S., Iraqi Soldiers in Baghdad Kill 48 Insurgents, Capture 11

American Forces Press Service

March 31, 2008 - U.S. and Iraqi
security forces killed 48 insurgents and captured 11 others during a series of operations conducted across Baghdad yesterday, military officials reported.
In operations yesterday:

-- Coalition forces in western Baghdad captured an alleged associate of al Qaeda in Iraq's southern belt

-- North of Baghdad, coalition forces encountered two persons armed with AK-47 rifles. Perceiving hostile intent, the coalition force engaged the armed men, killing them. Four other suspected
terrorists were detained.

-- U.S. soldiers killed five militants during a firefight in eastern Baghdad.

-- In southeastern Baghdad, Iraqi soldiers under attack by enemy small-arms fire responded and killed two insurgents and detained four other suspects.

-- U.S. soldiers were at a checkpoint in the Kadamiyah district when they came under enemy fire. A subsequent coalition air strike killed three insurgents and injured another.

-- In the Karkh district, U.S. soldiers detained an insurgent suspected of supplying weapons to militants involved in fighting in Basra.

-- U.S. soldiers killed an insurgent caught emplacing a roadside bomb in the New Baghdad area.

-- Three insurgents were killed by U.S. soldiers during an incident at another
security checkpoint in Kadhamiyah.

-- A U.S. sniper killed an insurgent at a joint
security station in New Baghdad.

-- U.S. aircraft engaged and killed 25 insurgents during operations in eastern Baghdad. Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team were investigating a possible point of origin for an indirect-fire attack when their armored vehicle encountered a roadside bomb. After the attack, the soldiers discovered a second roadside bomb. While attempting to secure the bomb, the soldiers came under fire from a nearby house. An enemy mortar team that was spotted on the house's roof was engaged by coalition air-to-ground fire, killing 25 insurgents. "We will defend ourselves when attacked by armed criminals," said
Army Lt. Col. Steven Stover, a Multinational Division Baghdad spokesman. "We are not the aggressors, but we will defend ourselves and the Iraqi people with all resources available to us."

-- U.S. soldiers in Baghdad killed six insurgents during operations in northeastern Baghdad. First, U.S soldiers engaged a three-man rocket-propelled-grenade team, killing all three. Later, another group of U.S. soldiers came under fire by a three insurgents on a nearby rooftop. The soldiers returned fire and killed all three insurgents.

In March 29 operations:

-- U.S. soldiers under insurgent attack at a checkpoint in Kadhamiyah requested air-to-ground support. An Apache AH-64 helicopter fired two missiles that killed two insurgents.

-- East of Fallujah, Iraqi
army scouts detained a suspected al Qaeda leader. The detainee is linked to roadside-bomb attacks in March and June of last year, which resulted in the deaths of several coalition members.

-- In the village of Makhiat, near Mosul, Iraqi soldiers detained four suspected al Qaeda members and held five additional persons for questioning. The detainees are linked to attacks on Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and coalition forces. The detainees also are implicated in numerous kidnappings, torture and murders of innocent Iraqi civilians, as well as attacks on Iraqi and coalition security forces.

-- Soldiers with the 2nd Infantry Division's 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team captured a key
criminal leader in Diyala province near Sadiyah. The suspect is believed to be the leader of a criminal cell operating in the Khalis area and is linked to numerous bombings targeting local Iraqis as well as Iraqi and coalition forces. He also is believed to be an explosives expert who leads more than 300 criminals. Another key criminal also was detained during the operation. The second detainee is suspected of posing as an Iraqi police officer and has been implicated in the murder of 20 Iraqis and the burning of their homes. Two other individuals also were detained.

In other Iraq news, coalition forces killed three al Qaeda in Iraq
terrorists and uncovered two dozen weapons caches during a five-day operation that targeted bomb-making cells in the Diyala River Valley that ended March 28.

Coalition forces discovered 12 booby-trapped houses as well as anti-aircraft weapons during five days of patrols near Khan Bani Saad, an area that had been used as a safe haven by terrorists.

During the operation, one
terrorist was observed hiding in an area of reeds. The assault force repeatedly instructed the individual to come out, but he refused to comply with the ground forces' instructions. The ground force engaged the terrorist and killed him. Another suspect, hiding in a similar area, was detained when he followed instructions to surrender.

Surveillance teams observed two armed men digging in the road. Intelligence indicated the men were removing weapons from a buried cache. Coalition forces engaged and killed the
terrorists. Two other terrorists wounded in the firefight were detained.

Coalition forces called in air-to-ground support to destroy the booby-trapped houses. Searching the area, coalition forces found anti-aircraft weapons, ammunition and vehicles with mounts for the weapons. In another area,
terrorists had hidden vehicles prepared as car bombs and also had buried two bombs along a nearby road.

Coalition forces discovered additional weapons caches, bunkers and hidden fighting positions, some reinforced with concrete. The caches contained rockets, mortar rounds and launching devices, bomb-making materials, weapons and ammunition. The ground force also found several Iraqi
police and military uniforms, body armor, license plates and other documents. The confiscated ordnance was destroyed.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- March 31, 2008

Anthrax reporter appeals contempt of court order for not revealing sources
“Former USA Today reporter Toni Locy on Friday asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to reverse a federal judge's decision to impose sanctions against her for refusing to disclose government sources who provided information about former US Army germ-warfare researcher Dr. Steven J. Hatfill.”
(Jurist; 29Mar08)

[Kansas Governor] Sebelius signs bill to help land bio-defense facility
“Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Friday signed legislation providing for infrastructure improvements needed to secure a National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility for the state. Kansas is one of six finalists for the facility. The proposed site is at Kansas State University, immediately adjacent to the Biosecurity Research Institute. Senate Substitute for House Bill 2001 authorizes the issuance of revenue bonds to support a capital improvement project for the facility.” (Kansas City Business Journal; 28Mar08)

Smiths Detection Awarded
Army Contract with Potential Value of $75 Million for Additional Automatic Chemical Agent Detector Alarm (ACADA) Units
“Smiths Detection, part of the global
technology business Smiths Group, today announced its Military unit has been awarded a contract with potential total value of $75 million by the Department of Defense (DoD) to supply Automatic Chemical Agent Detector Alarm (ACADA) units. Under the initial $10 million order, Smiths Detection is supplying the US Army with its GID-3(TM) chemical agent detectors, selected for the ACADA program.” (TMC Net; 31Mar08)

Uganda: Govt Drafts Law On Chemical Weapons
“The government is drafting a law to regulate toxic chemicals used in industries and those in transit through the country. […] State Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations Mwesigwa Rukutana said his ministry has already drafted a Bill, which will soon be tabled before the Cabinet. Mr Rukutana disclosed this during a workshop for MPs on the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the need for its Implementation in Kampala last Friday.”
(The Monitor (Kampala); 31Mar08; Al-Mahdi Ssenkabirwa Munyonyo)

Dirty Bomb Detection Technology From Splinternet Holdings, Inc., to Be Demoed at ISC West in Las Vegas, April 2 – 4
“Splinternet Holdings, Inc. will introduce three new entries in the wide-area radiological detection marketplace, DefenTect™, GammaTect™ and GammaTect Plus™, at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, April 2 - 4. […] DefenTect™ manages a distributed network of solid state GammaTect™ radiation sensors, that send real-time notifications to security command centers when the presence of threat-level gamma rays is detected. The integrated DefenTect™ system enables customers with IP networks to add radiation detection capability, increasing the utility of their
security systems. Sensors can be strategically positioned adjacent to existing cameras to identify threats visually.”
(Splinternet; 31Mar08)

Ont[ario], emergency workers put to test in '
dirty bomb' mass casualty exercise
“Panic and mayhem swept across a Toronto
college campus Saturday as about 100 screaming, blood-stained students hobbled in to receive medical care, but it was all part of a training exercise aimed at testing how emergency services might respond to a nuclear [sic] incident. The mock disaster centred around a fictional ‘dirty bomb’ explosion and multi-vehicle crash on Highway 401 - Canada's busiest highway - in which a plume of radioactive dust was released into the air.” (The Canadian Press; 29Mar08)

India determined to root out
terrorism says [Prime Minister] Manmohan Singh
“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said whatever the source of
terrorism, we are determined to root it out and ensure that in a democracy, political change can only come through the ballot box and not through the barrel of a gun. Singh also pointed out the SPG [Special Protection Group]’s proposal to build capabilities in the field of ‘Bomb Disposal’ in a bid to equip itself to deal with threats from chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear agents and assured that the Government would ensure all that it requires to upgrade the skills of its personnel and the organisation.” (Top News; 31Mar08; Mohit Joshi)

Crime and Terrorism
“The end of the Cold War meant a significant change in the nature of the foreign threats to US security. The principal worry of most Americans is no longer a devastating military offensive from abroad, but rather more insidious assaults which hit closer to home, threatening lives and property and creating a climate of fear. […] The use of chemical agents in the attack on the Tokyo subway heightened the concern that similar attacks could occur here. International drug cartels continue to pump enormous quantities of cocaine and heroin into the United States, destroying countless lives, raising public health costs, and contributing to a large percentage of the criminal acts committed in this country.” (Canada Free Press; 31Mar08; Jim Kouri)

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.

Iraqi Officials Open Middle School, Health Clinic

By Sgt. Jason Stadel, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 31, 2008 - Citizens who once were afraid to leave their homes because
terrorists were among them freely gathered March 26 to celebrate the grand opening of a middle school and health clinic in Adwaniyah, Iraq. Much of the work was done using Commander's Emergency Response Program funds, and although coalition forces assisted in rebuilding the school and clinic, the Iraqi government was key to the projects' success, officials said.

The Iraqi government has recognized the school and clinic, officials added, and will keep teachers and medical professionals working at each location.

One soldier at Patrol Base Dolby, near Adwaniyah, is pleased to see the Iraqis taking charge of their community and said educating Iraq's children is essential to rebuilding the country.

"They will eventually inherit this country," said 2nd Lt. Steven Kim, a platoon
leader in the 3rd Infantry Division's Troop B, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team. "Giving the kids an education will help them learn how to make their country better."

An Iraqi Health Ministry doctor said the clinic will offer Adwaniyah residents basic medical care, such as preventive medicine, vaccinations and maternal care, and also will treat minor dental problems and basic illnesses.

"We all want to do what we can to address some of the medical needs in Adwaniyah," Dr. Saud Abdullah said. "This clinic will help Adwaniyah." For major surgeries and traumas, residents still will need to go to hospitals in Mahmudiyah and Baghdad.

Happiness at improving their city was apparent as citizens smiled and shook hands with U.S. and Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi government officials.

Kim said it was a good day for the troops.

"You get to know the people," the Los Angeles native said. "I'm happy for them; it's good to see their community improve."

Army Sgt. Jason Stadel serves in the 3rd Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Forces Kill, Capture Terrorists, Seize Weapons Caches

American Forces Press Service

March 30, 2008 - U.S. aircraft killed 14
terrorists during two anti-insurgent operations conducted in Baghdad today, and coalition forces killed or captured dozens of additional terrorists during other operations throughout Iraq over the past two days, military officials reported. An American aircrew killed 12 insurgents today after they attacked a U.S. infantry patrol in northern Baghdad. Soldiers assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team pursued the insurgents after they had broken off their attack. U.S. military aircraft arrived to provide air-to-ground support. After positively identifying the attackers, the air weapons team engaged and killed the 12 terrorists.

A second air strike in Baghdad today killed two more armed insurgents. The insurgents were linked to an improvised-explosive attack in the Fadaliyah area of New Baghdad. A helicopter of the 10th Mountain Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team discovered the insurgents hiding in a courtyard after carrying out the attack on the soldiers.

"We are exercising great effort to protect the people of Baghdad. We are only targeting criminals and those acting outside the rule of law. We will continue to defend ourselves and the citizens of Baghdad," said
Army Lt. Col. Steve Stover, Multinational Division Baghdad spokesman.

"Those who refuse to honor al-Sayyid Moqtada al-Sadr's ceasefire pledge remain a threat to the overall
security and stability of Iraq and will be brought to justice," Stover said.

In March 29 operations:

-- U.S. soldiers killed two insurgents during operations in Baghdad 's Istaqlal district. Soldiers assigned to the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team had just discovered a roadside bomb when they came under small arms fire from individuals in a vehicle. The U.S. soldiers returned fire, killing the two occupants and disabling the vehicle.

-- U.S. soldiers and support aircraft engaged and killed 11
terrorists during separate operations in Baghdad.

-- Iraqi Special Operations Forces, acting in concert with coalition aircraft, killed 22
criminal fighters during fighting in western Basra. Two Iraqi soldiers were wounded during the operations.

-- A joint patrol of Iraqi
Army scouts and U.S. Special Forces soldiers killed 13 enemy fighters during a firefight in southeastern Suwayrah.

-- U.S. soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team killed two terrorists caught in the act of setting up roadside bombs during a firefight in Baghdad's Sadr City section.

In March 28 operations:

-- Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team killed one insurgent in northeastern Baghdad after observing him carrying a rocket-propelled-grenade launcher in an alleyway.

-- A U.S.
military vehicle struck a roadside bomb in northeastern Baghdad, and a number of insurgents then fired on soldiers while they attempted to recover the vehicle. The soldiers spotted and engaged two of the attackers, killing them both.

-- Insurgents attacked Iraqi
security forces and coalition soldiers at a checkpoint in northwestern Baghdad. An air weapons team was called in to assist the ground force. The air weapons team fired a hellfire missile from the helicopter, targeting 10 enemy fighters armed with rocket-propelled-grenade launchers and automatic weapons. All 10 terrorists were killed in the engagement.

-- During a combat patrol U.S in southern Baghdad, insurgents attacked soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team with small-arms fire. The soldiers returned fire and killed nine
terrorists. An hour later, an insurgent armed with a rocket launcher attacked U.S. soldiers and struck an Abrams tank. Soldiers spotted the terrorist and killed him.

-- U.S. and Iraqi soldiers found a weapons cache in Mahmudiyah. The cache contained more than 15 explosively formed projectiles, hundreds of rounds, Iraqi police uniforms and rifles, more than 100 bomb-making components, detonation cord, fuses and a bag of homemade explosives.

-- U.S. and Iraqi soldiers discovered six weapons caches across northern Iraq. Five were discovered in Salah ad Din province and one in Diyala province.

-- U.S. soldiers of the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team killed seven insurgents during a firefight near a checkpoint in Baghdad's Sadr City section.

-- U.S. soldiers seized a small weapons cache and killed an insurgent in the New Baghdad district. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team found the cache and then were attacked by
terrorists using small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Soldiers from the 4th Brigade, 1st National Police Division National Police Transition Team engaged the terrorists. Initial reports indicate one enemy fighter was killed and two more were wounded. No U.S. soldiers were injured.

criminal elements who insist on ignoring al-Sayyid Moqtada al-Sadr's ceasefire pledge are certainly not working in the best interest of Iraqis," said Army Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a spokesman for Multinational Division Baghdad. "We will continue our efforts to bring these criminals to justice."

-- U.S. aircraft engaged and destroyed a rocket site after observing several terrorists removing rocket rails from a location in eastern Baghdad. After observing the
terrorists flee the scene, the aerial weapons team destroyed the attack site, followed the terrorists and destroyed a get-away vehicle which contained rockets in the trunk.

-- In another eastern Baghdad attack, U.S. soldiers killed two terrorists after their patrol was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire. In a third attack in eastern Baghdad, U.S. soldiers killed ten
terrorists after a joint security station was attacked by small-arms fire. There were no coalition or civilian casualties.

-- U.S. soldiers discovered two weapons caches during combat operations in and around Baghdad. Soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team discovered a weapons cache in eastern Baghdad. The cache consisted of two explosively formed projectiles, four 120 mm artillery rounds and two 60 mm mortar rounds. Soldiers seized the cache and detained three individuals. Afterward, the soldiers were attacked by
terrorists using heavy small-arms fire from multiple locations. Soldiers returned fire and killed one terrorist. Two terrorists were injured and taken to a hospital where they were treated and detained.

-- Another group of U.S. soldiers discovered a different weapons cache later in eastern Baghdad. The cache contained two explosively formed penetrators, 12 60mm mortar rounds, 12 rocket propelled grenades, 12 blocks of explosives, 32 explosives casings, 12 police uniforms, four armored jackets, four sets of handcuffs and 1,100 machine-gun rounds.

"Along with our Iraqi
security force partners we are targeting criminals and criminal networks and those who are choosing to disobey al-Sayyid Moqtada al-Sadr's ceasefire pledge," said U.S. Army Col. Allen Batschelet, chief of staff for Multinational Division Baghdad. "We will continue to conduct precision operations based on substantial evidence of criminal activity."

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Soldiers, Airmen Save Iraqi Teen Injured by Bomb

By Staff Sgt. Margaret C. Nelson, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 30, 2008 - On his way home from working in his family's field near this Iraqi city, Rahmey didn't see the hidden improvised explosive device until it was too late. taggering for home after the blast, the 13-year-old Iraqi boy had no way to know that his life would be saved by the quick, selfless actions of U.S.
Army soldiers and U.S. Air Force airmen March 27.

"I heard and saw the explosion from my window," said Arif Muter Jarew, Rahmey's father.

It wasn't long before his son stumbled in with shrapnel wounds riddling his knee, leg and chest.

"I was panicked, there was blood coming from his mouth," Jarew said. "My son was dying. He had blood everywhere."

The hospital was miles away and the desperate father didn't think his vehicle would make it. With his son in his arms, he ran out to the street to flag down passing motorists for help.

"Then I saw a convoy of American soldiers," he said. Jarew was a little wary of asking for help from coalition forces. With his dying son in his arms, he only hesitated a moment – his son's life was at stake.

"We saw some Iraqis waving us to stop and one was cradling a kid," said Pfc. Jeffrey Parson of the 10th Mountain Division's 1st Brigade.

Parson and Pvt. Justin Avila, the patrol's medic, began treating what they initially thought were gunshot wounds.

"There was blood coming from the kid's mouth and his wounds, so we treated the
bleeding first," Parson said.

The patrol radioed Forward Operating Base McHenry in the Hawijah district of Tamim province. A medical evacuation helicopter arrived a few precious minutes after receiving the call to transport Rahmey and his father to the FOB. After medics stabilized Rahmey's condition, he was transported along with his father to the medical facility in Kirkuk, Iraq.

Army and Air Force medics treated Rahmey for shrapnel wounds at the Freedom Hospital.

"He's a very lucky boy," said
Air Force Capt. Gabriel Rulewicz, a military surgeon. "He'll need some surgery to remove the shrapnel, but we've stabilized him for transport to a hospital in Kirkuk."

The Air Force surgeon credits Rahmey's survival to the quick reaction by everyone involved. "It is a perfect ending to what could have quickly resulted in the opposite," he said.

But to one Iraqi father, this ending was more than perfect.

"I did not know how caring U.S. soldiers are. I could not believe how well they treated my son and me," Jarew said. "I am so thankful to everyone who saved my son's life."

Army Staff Sgt. Margaret C. Nelson is assigned to the 115th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Iraqi Brick Factory Approaches Pre-war Capacity

By Sgt. 1st Class Scott Maynard, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 28, 2008 - Revitalization of the Narhwan Brick Factory Complex has led to an explosion of employment. Since January, employment numbers at the complex have quadrupled to nearly 15,000 workers, and production is up more than 500 percent.

Army Lt. Col. Mark Sullivan, commander of 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery, said the boom resulted from a deal between the Iraqi minister of oil and officials who represent the 167 businesses operating in the complex. Sullivan said the deal allocated enough heavy fuel oil needed to fire up the kilns to bake bricks for the complex to boost production.

"I merely facilitated and connected the owners with the Ministry of Oil," said the native of Huntsville, Ala. "This was an Iraqi problem in need of an Iraqi solution, and they did it."

Six years ago, the complex was at full operating capacity, employing 25,000 Iraqis and producing nearly 8 million bricks per day.

"In 2002, the brick factory owners were here; we weren't," Sullivan said. "The Iraqis best understand the potential at the NBFC, and we are just helping them reach that potential."

Sullivan said the factory is crucial to reducing unemployment in the region. In Iraqi culture, the eldest male in the family is responsible to provide for his family; the NBFC offers that opportunity to provide.

"When you help one family
leader in Narhwan, you are helping 10, because their families are so large," he said. "We saw a need for employment, and the Iraqis fulfilled it. By having this factory employ the populace, it makes our mission safer."

When 1-10 FA arrived in Narhwan in October, insurgents controlled the NBFC. A series of offensive operations ousted the insurgents, Sullivan said, returning the complex to its rightful owners.

security situation now has reached a level where factory owners and workers are comfortable enough to return to the NBFC and stand the businesses back up," Sullivan said. "That's where we are today with employment, and it has the potential to get better."

But the heavy fuel oil supply from the Iraqi government is facing challenges, Sullivan said. "During March, allocations of HFO to private enterprises ceased," he explained. "The owners are in the process of trying to resolve it. They have figured it out before; I am confident they will figure it out again."

Army Sgt. 1st Class Scott Maynard serves in the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Heavy Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

Afghan School Gets New Library, Science Lab for Opening Day

American Forces Press Service

March 28, 2008 - The first day of school at Jan Qadam elementary school in Afghanistan's Parwan province March 24 was alive with throngs of excited children, dignitaries, government officials and Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan soldiers who dedicated a new school library and science lab. Adul Waquel, head of the District Development Council, specifically thanked the children of Calvert City Elementary
School, in Calvert City, Ky., for their partnership with the Jan Qadam School. Waquel noted the importance of the relationship between the school and all those who helped make it a great place to learn.

"The partnership between the schools is a community-based initiative between the people and students of Calvert City Elementary School and the Jan Qadam
School and community," said Army Lt. Col. Kenneth Watson, a member of the special operations task force.

After the speeches and a prayer, the new school library was dedicated to Afghan Gen. Baba Jan, a retired Afghan
military commander who donated the land for the school. The library is filled with books donated by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The distinguished guests and visitors toured the
school and visited the new science lab. It is the only science lab in the Bagram School District, which has 32 schools, including seven high schools.

"School is the factory that produces positive individuals for society," Waquel said.

Jan Qadam hosts more than 1,200 students who are taught in two shifts.

Village elders passed out backpacks to more than 500 students, and Calvert Elementary children donated notebooks, pens, pencils, glue and rulers to their Afghan counterparts.

The partnership with Calvert Elementary is just beginning. In addition to the supplies provided, students from a second-grade class there wrote letters to students at the Jan Qadam school. Calvert students were mostly interested in what Afghan children do at home during their free time.

"My name is Erin, I'm from Calvert,
Kentucky," one of the letters starts out. "I can't wait to learn about your culture."

Most of the Calvert students seemed interested in the differences between Afghan children and American children, with most listing their favorite sports and after-
school activities.

"It bridges cultures and helps educate future generations about other people who share our world," Watson said.

"We will pass the translated letters out to the Afghan children and send their replies back to the states," a coalition commander said. "Sometime in the next few months, students from Calvert City will travel to Fort Campbell, Ky., to have a video teleconference with some of the Afghan students."

"It was a great day for the people of Jan Qadam, the Ministry of Education, the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and coalition forces," Watson said. "It reinforces our ties and commitment to the community and people of Afghanistan and helps foster an enduring relationship."

(From a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force Afghanistan news release.)

Iraqi Security Forces, Ministries Show Progress

By Seaman William Selby, USN
Special to American Forces Press Service

March 28, 2008 - Iraqi
security forces and government ministries have made vast improvements in the past year, a senior U.S. Army official in Iraq said yesterday. "We really are seeing an improvement in the security situation here in Iraq, and we're taking every opportunity to leverage and maximize the potential of that security," Army Col. Michael Fuller, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq's chief of staff, said in a conference call with online journalists and "bloggers."

Fuller said his command is working with the Iraqi ministries of Defense and Interior to help to generate, sustain and replenish the Iraqi
security forces.

"We take on trying to improve the performance of the two security ministries in just the way they go about managing and resourcing the Iraqi security forces," Fuller explained.

Indicative of the
security forces' improvement, Fuller said, the Iraqi army recently moved two brigades to Basra province to battle insurgents. "The Iraqis planned, coordinated it, and executed that move on their own," Fuller said. "This is just an indicator that the Iraqis are beginning to be able to step up to the plate and execute operations on their own."

In addition to improving the security situation in Iraq, Fuller said, the "surge" strategy implemented last year has allowed coalition forces to spend more time training and recruiting Iraqi
security forces.

The coalition has generated almost 124,000 new Iraqi soldiers, sailors, airmen and
police officers this year, Fuller said. "We went out on the street; we recruited folks; we put them through the training phase; we equipped them; we armed them; we put them in units out there; and then we deployed them to where they needed to be," he explained.

Fuller added that coalition forces will continue to build the remainder of the Iraqi counterinsurgency force so it can continue to secure areas where coalition forces are pulling out.

The colonel also recognized the "Sons of Iraq" -- concerned local citizens who help with security efforts -- for their contributions.

"Right now we've got about 80,000 Sons of Iraq that have signed up," he said. "Many of them are not qualified physically to join the Iraqi
security forces, but they're extremely helpful when it comes to pointing out who might be al Qaeda, or (an Iranian-backed) 'special group' member, or a plain old criminal that's been planting (roadside bombs) or caching arms and munitions."

Though the Iraqis are making significant progress, Fuller acknowledged, three problems need to be addressed: logistics, leadership and sectarianism.

"Logistics will be a big focus item for us this year," Fuller said. He said plans call for all divisions in the Iraqi
army and police to develop an associated logistics support unit this year that will handle all of their classes of supply, their maintenance, and their life-support issues. "That really gets us at the tactical level in solving some of the logistics problems," he said.

Fuller also addressed the lack of
leadership inherent in building security forces from scratch. "When you grow forces this quickly, finding qualified and experienced leaders to lead these men into battle and women into battle is a challenge that we will continue to work through," the colonel said.

Sectarianism will continue to be a problem for the Iraqis for generations, Fuller said, because there is no easy fix for something so deeply rooted in a culture.

While the public can look at every statistic and tell that the
security situation has improved significantly, Fuller emphasized, the war is far from over.

"There's a fight that's still going on," Fuller said. "There is still an insurgency here that is alive and well, that has got a number of terrorist groups that we're still going to have to help our Iraqi partners deal with."

Navy Seaman William Selby works for the New Media branch of American Forces Information Service.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Spc. Joshua A. Molina, 20, of Houston, Texas, died Mar. 27 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, Vilseck, Germany.

For more information media may contact the U.S. Army, Europe, public affairs office at 011-49-6221-57-5816 or 8694, or email: .

Afghan Security Forces Training Makes Headway, Despite Trainer Shortfalls

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

March 28, 2008 - Progress in training and equipping Afghan national
security forces has been "pretty astounding," but could proceed faster if not for a shortfall in military trainers, the task force commander overseeing the effort told Pentagon reporters today. Army Brig. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix, described momentum built during the past six months to bring training opportunities for Afghan police more on line with that being provided to the Afghan army.

Police mentor teams were dispatched into the districts of Afghanistan's provinces during the summer, with big results, he said. Two major initiatives are paying off as well. A focused district development plan is delivering intensive training to eight police districts at a time, with the goal of reaching all 395 districts within the next four years. In addition, 15 small training centers have been established around the country to provide a "training surge" of intensive police mentoring and individualized training.

police training accelerates, the Afghan army is making great strides, Livingston said. Its numbers have climbed to almost 50,000, with three additional brigades now in the force structure. More than 7,000 noncommissioned officers were added to the ranks during the past year.

Problems that plagued the Afghan
army are being corrected as well, Livingston said. The "away without leave" rate has dropped from 18 percent to less than 8 percent, and the "present for duty" rate has increased from 55 percent to more than 85 percent.

As promising as these developments are, Livingston said, they could move ahead faster if not for a shortfall of about 3,500
military trainers. Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix stands at 53 percent of its authorized strength.

Even with the influx of about 1,000 U.S.
Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, to serve as trainers in the southwestern districts, Livingston said the task force will continue to operate with severe shortages.

The United States currently provides about 65 percent of all Afghan
army trainers and most of the police trainers. The second-largest international contributors are Canada and Great Britain.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has raised the issue repeatedly during meetings with his NATO counterparts and is expected to urge greater NATO contributions again during next week's NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania.

"We certainly need more international participation," Livingston said.

The task force is dealing with the problem by using scaled-down training teams for the army, but can't stretch enough to do the same for the
police. "The police effort is not moving as fast as we would like it to because of the shortage of trainers," Livingston said.

But he was quick to say that, although slowed, the
police training effort is making gains.

"The effects we have achieved with the focus district development and training surge has been pretty astounding," he said. "But if we had the additional resources, we would achieve even greater results in a shorter amount of time. We would like to achieve them much faster."

Coalition Forces in Iraq Kill 15 Enemy Fighters

American Forces Press Service

March 28, 2008 - Coalition forces killed 15
terrorists and detained 17 suspects during operations today targeting al Qaeda in Iraq elements in Baghdad and in central and northern parts of the country. They also killed or captured dozens of others in other recent operations, military officials reported.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers engaged and killed 13
terrorists in separate engagements in Baghdad. At about 4 a.m., terrorists using small-arms fire attacked soldiers from 237th Engineer Battalion in eastern Baghdad. An air weapons team responded, engaged the enemy forces and killed four terrorists.

-- Three hours later, soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team positively identified men in a vehicle armed with rocket-propelled grenades in Adhamiyah, a district in northeast Baghdad. An air weapons team identified the vehicle and destroyed it, killing two

-- At about 10 a.m., an M1126 Stryker vehicle of the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team struck an improvised explosive device in northeastern Baghdad. Soldiers observed the terrorist's spotter and killed him in an exchange of fire. No Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers were injured in the attack.

-- In northwestern Baghdad's Kadamiyah district at about 10:30 a.m., a
terrorist attacked Iraqi and coalition forces with small-arms fire. Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team returned fire and killed the attacker. One soldier suffered minor wounds in the attack.

-- Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team killed five terrorists after an attack on their patrol by a rocket-propelled grenade at about noon in New Baghdad, a district in eastern Baghdad. "Along with our Iraqi
security forces partners, we are targeting individual terrorists, extremists, criminal networks and anyone involved in violent crimes against the Iraqi people," said Army Col. Allen Batschelet, Multinational Division Baghdad chief of staff. "We will continue to conduct precision operations based on substantial evidence of terrorist or criminal activity."

-- Using intelligence gained from a March 18 operation, coalition forces targeted an al Qaeda in Iraq financial manager in Tuz Khurmatu. One man at the target building refused to comply with the ground forces' instructions and surrender. Coalition forces engaged the man, killing him. In the same area, an armed man barricaded himself in a building and engaged the ground force with small-arms fire. Coalition forces returned fire, killing the armed
terrorist. Six suspects were detained during the operation.

-- In a related operation in Tuz Khurmatu, Iraqi and coalition forces caught a suspected leader of a suicide-bombing cell. The individual allegedly was planning attacks on "Sons of Iraq" groups of concerned citizens aiding the
security effort near Baqouba.

-- In Baghdad, coalition forces conducted two precision operations, capturing a suspected car bomber and an individual allegedly tied to al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders.

-- Coalition forces north of Beiji captured a suspected terrorist who allegedly coordinates and conducts bombing attacks. Intelligence reports indicate he and his associates are responsible for attacks in the Beiji and Sharqat areas.

-- In Mosul, coalition forces continued to target associates of al Qaeda in Iraq senior
leaders, detaining seven suspected terrorists during coordinated operations in the city.

"Al Qaeda in Iraq's indiscriminate violence is turning away even its most sympathetic former supporters," said
Army Maj. Winfield Danielson, Multinational Force Iraq spokesman. "With the help of local citizens, Iraqi and coalition forces will continue to locate and dismantle the terrorist networks through operations like these, improving security for all Iraqis."

In Iraq operations yesterday:

-- A coalition air strike killed seven
terrorists after intelligence confirmed the location of a targeted individual reported to be the al Qaeda in Iraq leader of a local village operating in a remote area of the Hamrin Mountains southwest of Tuz. The targeted individual and six other armed men were observed conducting suspicious activities in the area.

-- Coalition forces killed one
terrorist and detained 10 other suspects west of Samarra. The ground force was led to a building by intelligence reports and requested that occupants exit the building. Two men exited the building, but refused to follow coalition forces' instructions and demonstrated hostile intent. Coalition forces engaged one man, killing him. The other man then complied and was detained with nine additional suspected terrorists.

-- Two operations in the Mosul area targeted associates of al Qaeda in Iraq
leaders. A precision operation in the city yielded the capture of a suspected terrorist believed to be associated with al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders in the area. Southwest of Mosul, coalition forces detained six suspected terrorists during an operation targeting associates of al Qaeda in Iraq senior leaders.

-- Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, killed five terrorists and wounded an additional five after being attacked by small-arms fire while patrolling in Adhamiyah. The wounded were treated and detained by Iraqi National Police.

-- Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, killed two terrorists after receiving indirect fire, small-arms fire and rocket-propelled-grenade fire at a combat outpost in New Baghdad.

-- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, came under a small-arms-fire attack while patrolling north of Baghdad. One
terrorist was killed in the engagement.

-- Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, killed three terrorists in New Baghdad. The ground force was conducting a dismounted patrol when they saw the suspects, who were armed with illegal weapons. Perceiving hostile intent, the soldiers engaged the men, killing three.

-- Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, were attacked with small-arms fire by two
terrorists while patrolling on the outskirts of Sadr City. An air weapons team in a rotary wing aircraft conducting surveillance positively identified the terrorists and killed them.

-- In Kadhamiyah, soldiers from 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, were attacked while manning a checkpoint in the area. An air weapons team in a helicopter was called in to assist the ground force. The team fired one Hellfire missile, killing three
terrorists. Thirty minutes later, the checkpoint came under a second, heavier attack by terrorists. The air weapons team engaged with 30 mm rounds, killing an additional 10 terrorists.

-- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, were patrolling in Adhamiyah when one of their vehicles was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade. Five minutes later, the patrol was attacked by small-arms fire. The soldiers returned the attack with precision fire and killed one
terrorist. One U.S. soldier received a minor wound, but continued the mission.

-- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, killed two terrorists who engaged them with small-arms fire in Mansour.

-- A team from 1st Squadron, 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, engaged and killed a terrorist who was controlling indirect fire on the northern edge of Sadr City.

-- In New Baghdad, a vehicle from 2nd Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, was struck by an improvised explosive device at 5:20 p.m. The patrol positively identified the trigger man and engaged and killed the terrorist.

-- In Kadamiyah, soldiers from 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, reported a
terrorist who fired an RPG at a building and set it on fire. As the soldiers moved in to investigate, terrorists fired an additional RPG round and small-arms fire at the patrol. Soldiers returned fire and killed three terrorists.

-- Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers killed eight militants after they were attacked at an Iraqi
army checkpoint with RPGs and small-arms fire in northern Baghdad. A Multinational Division Baghdad aerial weapons team provided air support and engaged the terrorists, killing eight. One Iraqi army soldier was killed during the attack, and seven others were wounded. The wounded soldiers were treated at the scene and were evacuated to a local hospital.

-- Acting on a tip from a local Iraqi, Multinational Division North soldiers and Iraqi
police officers discovered 37 bodies buried in a mass grave north of Muqdadiyah. All the bodies were badly decomposed and appear to have been there anywhere from two to eight months. Some of the bodies showed signs of torture. The bodies will be moved to a nearby cemetery.

In Iraq operations March 26:

-- Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers killed 24 terrorists in Baghdad during a series of precision, intelligence-based operations. These terrorists and militant elements were increasing their attacks against civilians, the government of Iraq, and Iraqi and U.S.
security forces.

-- Hillah's Iraqi special weapons and tactics unit advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers engaged Iranian-backed "special groups" criminals in Hillah, killing 14 and wounding 20.
Criminal armed with AK-47 assault rifles, RPGs and automatic machine guns attacked two companies of Hillah SWAT as they were securing a road intersection. As a firefight developed, a U.S. Special Forces team arrived and began engaging the armed individuals. The criminal group broke contact and was seen by an air weapons team regrouping in three groups of 20 to 30 men near a mosque. The air weapons team, from 3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, engaged the threat from the air. One Hellfire missile was fired, killing five. Nine Hillah SWAT team members were killed during the firefight. Two additional SWAT team members were injured and treated by a U.S. medic.

-- In Kut, an Iraqi
special weapons and tactics unit advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers conducted a patrol to counter recent violence in the area. The patrol took small-arms and RPG fire in the Old Izza and Karamiyah districts. Both times, the patrol returned fire, suppressing the enemy fighters. As the patrol left the districts, they linked up with Iraqi police and 8th Division Iraqi army scouts. The group then patrolled the Sharkiyah district, also receiving small-arms fire from a vehicle with four armed individuals. The patrol engaged the vehicle, killing two individuals. After eliminating the threat in the area, the patrol departed for the Kut SWAT headquarters and was attacked by an improvised explosive device. One vehicle was damaged, but the attacks resulted in no injuries. The Kut patrol killed 11 enemy fighters.

On March 25, Iraqi
police officers assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st National Police Brigade, led Multinational Division Center soldiers to two weapons caches near Muntadar, a small village east of Baghdad. Iraqi police, along with soldiers from 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, recovered both weapons caches, which contained more than 50 mortars and an artillery shell.

(Compiled from Multinational Force Iraq and Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- March 28, 2008

FBI Focusing on 'About Four' Suspects in 2001 Anthrax Attacks
FBI has narrowed its focus to ‘about four’ suspects in the 6 1/2-year investigation of the deadly anthrax attacks of 2001, and at least three of those suspects are linked to the Army’s bioweapons research facility at Fort Detrick in Maryland, FOX News has learned. […]in an e-mail obtained by FOX News, scientists at Fort Detrick openly discussed how the anthrax powder they were asked to analyze after the attacks was nearly identical to that made by one of their colleagues.” (Fox News; 28Mar08; Catherine Herridge & Ian McCaleb).,2933,342852,00.html

Jewish Students Rally For Jonathan Pollard [Miami Beach, Florida]

“Jonathan Pollard, a Jew, faced a terrible dilemma. As an American civilian working as a naval analyst, he became aware of information that was vital to Israel’s
security. The data he uncovered involved chemical and biological warfare and planned terrorism against the Jewish State. Under the ‘1983 Memorandum of Understanding,’ this type of intelligence was to be shared by the two nations. The U.S. government did not keep their part of the bargain. When Pollard tried to go through the protocol of proper channels, he was stonewalled. In desperation, he went directly to the Israeli government with his information. The gas masks and precautions used in the first Gulf War were a direct result of Pollard’s revelations.” (The Jewish Press; 26Mar08).

Glenbrook’s [
Australia] secret history
“Glenbrook Historical Society president Tim Miers was another primary school student during
World War II. He remembers how the Glenbrook townsfolk tacitly agreed to keep the mustard gas stockpile a secret. […]A full history of Australia’s secret chemical warfare history — including details on the Glenbrook tunnel — has just been published.” (Blue Mountains Gazette; 26Mar08).

White powder’ scare clears Bayside High [New York]
“Thousands of teens were evacuated from Bayside High School (BHS) shortly after noon on Wednesday, March 26 after a lab technician received a package that contained a suspicious white powder. Shortly after 10 a.m., according to a
police source, ‘The package was received and opened by a science department technician who found that it contained a white powder.’ ‘When the technician came into contact with the contents, they reacted to it, complaining of itching,’ […]The entire incident proved to be a false alarm. According to a police source, ‘The package was a proper delivery.
It contained fertilizer which had been ordered by some students for a project.’” (The Queen’s Courier; 26Mar08; VICTOR G. MIMONI).

FDA deadlines may compromise drug safety by rushing approval
“Many medications are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the brink of congressionally mandated deadlines, and those drugs are more likely to face later regulatory intervention than those approved with greater deliberation, researchers at Harvard University have found. Drugs fast-tracked by the FDA are more likely to eventually be withdrawn from global markets for safety reasons […] The timeline was tightened to 10 months as part of the 1997 Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act, a timeline extended by Congress in 2002 as part of bioterrorism legislation and renewed again in 2007.” (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News; 26Mar08).

Staged ‘Accident’ Tests Local Responders [Pine Bluff, Arkansas] […] ”
Over the radio, a voice said, ‘This is a test. We have been notified of an incident at the Pine Bluff Arsenal. … a Level 4 incident … involving possible chemical agent.’ The test Wednesday was a large-scale training exercise for several hundred
Jefferson County employees and emergency responders, coordinated by the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program. The annual event is meant to prepare the county in the case of a chemical release at the Pine Bluff Arsenal, which is one of seven sites around the country storing stockpiled chemical weapons.” Bank of Star City News; 27Mar08; Amy Jo Brown).

Researchers of the University of Navarra [Navarra, Spain] have designed a product for the detection and characterization of brucellosis
“Ignacio López-Goñi and David García […] of the University of Navarra […] [have developed] a commercial analysis kit, sold under the brand name ‘Bruce-ladder,’ […] Bruce-ladder permits the identification and differentiation of the microorganism via the amplification of sequences of specific genes using the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) technique […] Brucellosis is an infectious disease which affects both livestock and persons. According to the World Health Organization, brucellosis is part of a group of diseases, which also includes rabies and anthrax, which are considered ‘forgotten’ diseases, and are strongly related to poverty.”
(Innovations Report; 26Mar08; Garazi Andonegi).

GCC [Gloucester County College, New Jersey] expands food science program to focus on safety
“The nation's food industry has increased its focus on protection of the food supply and prevention of bioterrorism in the last several years, and as part of its new food science program, Gloucester County College is training local food producers to do the same. […] [Dr. Donald W.] Schaffner [a professor at Rutgers] said even mass quantities of commonly used materials could contaminate the food supply and cause widespread illness.” (Bridgeton News; 27Mar08; JESSICA DRISCOLL).

PharmAthene lands $5.8M for bio-agent treatment
“Biodefense company PharmAthene of Annapolis has won an additional $5.8 million under its existing
Army contract to develop its chemical nerve agent treatment, Protexia. The announcement follows one last week that the company plans to pay up to $40 million for the vaccines unit of Avecia Biologics of the United Kingdom, with a focus on anthrax and plague prevention.” (; 28Mar08; Steve Berberich).

Hadassah [Israel] donors hear the high-tech talk
“Hadassah International took a challenge that could have put a good number of donors to sleep, or even worse, but the young Israeli entrepreneurs talking high-tech at the forum held at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) […]And then came a visit to Hadassah Ein Karem, where head of internal medicine Prof. Yaacov Naparstek described the new tower, with 500 beds and the capacity to deal with bio-chemical warfare. Work is already underway on the two underground floors.” (Globe’s Online; 27Mar08; Brett Kline).

Huge anthrax outbreak hits farms [South Africa]
“According to the spokesperson for the Department of Agriculture and Land Reform, Thabo Mothibi, one farmer has lost up to 400 head of game and many other farmers have been affected. […]Experts from the Kruger National Park have been asked to investigate the outbreak. The
investigation will determine why such a multi-species outbreak occurred and how to improve the disposal of infected material.” (Independent Online; 27Mar08; Nadine Visagie).

FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia] acquired uranium, says Colombia
“On Wednesday, Colombian
military officials said that they recovered 66 pounds of uranium that, they say, was acquired by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Colombian Gen. Freddy Padilla tied the uranium to the seized laptops, saying one of the computer files mentions attempts by the FARC to buy uranium, apparently to resell. Earlier this month, Colombian officials claimed the rebels were seeking uranium to make a ‘dirty bomb.’” (The Christian Science Monitor; 28Mar08; Sibylla Brodzinsky).

Panel Wants NRC to Tighten Licensing
“A review panel is urging the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to tighten its licensing procedures for radioactive materials. […]Last year, congressional investigators set up a bogus company and said they were able to obtain enough radioactive material for a small ‘
dirty bomb.’ In response, the NRC's Independent External Review Panel is now urging the agency to visit an applicant's facilities before issuing a license and to conduct background checks.” (Forbes; 26Mar08; Associated Press).

firefighters to get 'dirty-bomb' training
“Wake County
fire and rescue officials will sponsor a dirty-bomb workshop starting today from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Wake County Fire Training Center in New Hill. The two-day course will teach fire and EMS officers how to respond if they are the first to arrive on the scene of a radiological incident.” (The News & Observer; 27Mar08).

Dirty bomb' scenario to test emergency response to a radio-nuclear event [Toronto]
“On Saturday, Mar. 29, a staged exercise will test the ability of hospital staff, emergency workers and college students to deal with a fictional,
dirty bomb explosion that could potentially overwhelm hospital resources. […] This simulation is intended to show health care professionals how to manage the patient load resulting from a dirty bomb explosion on Highway 401 that sends auto accident victims to hospital, along with hundreds of others who panic when they hear that a van involved in the crash was carrying a crude bomb that created a radioactive dust plume.” (CNW Group; 28Mar08).

Nuclear terror checks stepped up
“Vehicles passing through major ports and the Channel Tunnel are to be screened for radioactive material in a bid to combat ‘nuclear
terrorism.’ The plan was within a Franco-British communiqué after French President Nicolas Sarkozy held talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London.”
(BBC News; 27Mar08).

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.

Troops Disrupt Weapons Facilitation in Afghan Province

American Forces Press Service

March 28, 2008 - A coalition operation to capture a Taliban
leader and disrupt facilitation networks in Afghanistan's Helmand province March 26 resulted in insurgents' deaths and the wounding of a civilian not involved in hostilities, military officials reported. The troops were searching compounds in the province's Kajaki district, looking for a Taliban insurgent linked to weapons-facilitation operations in the area when they were attacked.

"Coalition forces received small-arms fire from several insurgents armed with AK-47s, machine guns, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades during their search," said
Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a coalition forces spokesman. "Coalition forces firing in self-defense during multiple engagements killed several insurgents."

Coalition forces discovered a wounded civilian not involved in hostilities after the engagement.

"An adult female was wounded during a firefight between insurgents and coalition forces," Belcher said. "A coalition forces medical specialist immediately tended to the wound, ensuring she was stabilized before transporting her and her husband (acting as escort) to a medical facility for further treatment."

The coalition troops recovered weapons and explosives during the operations and destroyed them on-site to protect the compound's residents, as well as to prevent the items from being used by other insurgents.

Four individuals with suspected links to the targeted Taliban insurgent and Taliban weapons-facilitation operations were detained.

(From a Combined Joint Task Force 82 news release.)