Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 30, 2008

DOR BioPharma Initiates Non-Human Primate Efficacy Studies of RiVax(TM), Its Vaccine Against Ricin Toxin
“DOR BioPharma, Inc. […] announced today the initiation of a comprehensive program to evaluate the efficacy of RiVax(TM) in non-human primates. […] While prior Phase 1 clinical trial results for RiVax(TM) demonstrated that the vaccine is well tolerated and induces antibodies in humans that neutralize ricin toxin in tissue culture, it will be critical to obtain data proving that this response is protective. In the studies to be done at Tulane, it will be important to establish that vaccinated non-human primates are not only protected against lethality from ricin aerosol exposure, but also against lung damage.” (The Earth Times; 29Apr08),370372.shtml

ICx Technologies Awarded $4.9 Million R&D Contract under Department of
Homeland Security’s ‘Detect to Protect’ Project
“[…] a developer of advanced sensor technologies for
homeland security, force protection and commercial applications, announced today that it has won a $4.9 million, Phase IIb research and development contract under the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Detect to Protect’ project, which was previously called the IBADS program. The project is designed to develop rapid sensors that can influence immediate actions to limit exposure to an attack involving biological agents.” (ICX Technologies; 29Apr08)

Scientists reveal evolutionary intricacies of Rickettsia pathogens
“Scientists from the
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland School of Medicine have unveiled some of the evolutionary intricacies of rickettsial pathogens by analyzing over a decade’s worth of genomic data. Some species of Rickettsia are known to cause harmful diseases in humans, such as epidemic typhus (R. prowazekii) and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (R. rickettsii), while others have been identified as emerging pathogens and organisms that might possibly be used for the development of biological weapons.” (Eureka Alert; 28Apr08; Barry

Detector Permits Debated Tomorrow [New York, NY]
“A controversial bill that would create a permit process for companies that possess weapons detection equipment will have a second hearing at City Hall tomorrow morning, and myriad environmental groups are pledging to testify against it. The bill (Intro 650) mandates companies get a permit if they have any equipment, which can detect radioactive, biological or chemical weapons. The bill, which was drafted by the
Police Department, has been toned down since its original introduction, which was hotly contested.” (Gotham Gazette; 28Apr08; Courtney Gross)

No chemical warfare for UC [University of Cincinnati]
“In compliance with the Department of
Homeland Security's Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards, an analysis of the University of Cincinnati's chemical inventory was recently compiled through the Office of the Vice President of Research. […] ‘Homeland Security has identified specific chemicals of interest and established reportable threshold quantities a facility may posses,’ said Jan Utrecht, director of UC's Environmental Health and Safety Office, which was charged with compiling the data. ‘If a facility exceeds the limits, then the university would have been obligated to report to the agency, and based on their analysis, may have to develop a facility security plan.’” (The News Record; 28Apr08; Taylor Dungjen)

Utah man [Thomas Tholen] tied to ricin case pleads not guilty
Utah man charged with a federal crime in a case involving ricin has pleaded not guilty. Thomas Tholen of Riverton made his first appearance in federal court Tuesday since he was indicted April 3.” (Deseret News; 29Apr08),5143,695274858,00.html

U.K. to provide [10 million pounds sterling] a year for nuclear safety in CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States]
“An official from Russia's Federal Industry Agency said Moscow intends to spend $1.4 billion in 2008 on the destruction of its chemical weapon stockpiles. Yelena Radushkina said that last year Russia spent $1.5 billion on the destruction of chemical weapons, while the national chemical weapons destruction program was worth a total of $9 billion. She added that Russia fulfills in good faith its international obligations, pointing out that ‘as of April 18, 10,000 tons of all chemical weapons stockpiles had been destroyed, or 27% of the total.’” (Russian News & Information Agency; 29Apr08)

UN [United Nations] chief pays tribute to victims of chemical warfare
“In a message marking the Day of Remembrance for Victims of Chemical Warfare, Ban urged the world to use this ‘solemn occasion’ to honor the victims and ensure their suffering will not be forgotten nor repeated. Citing the Chemical Weapons Convention, which entered into force on April 29, 1997, Ban reminded all states parties to the convention of their obligation to destroy existing chemical weapons stockpiles by April 29, 2012. […] At an international conference on the elimination of chemical weapons held in November, 2005, more than 120 countries agreed to designate April 29 as the international Day of Remembrance for Victims of Chemical Warfare.” (China View; 30Apr08; Mu Xuequan)

Brigade in bomb alert [West Midlands, United Kingdom]
“West Midlands
Fire Service is stepping up its training to deal with terrorismdirty bomb’ after an internal review concluded it needed improving. […] The reassurance follows an e-mail leaked to the Birmingham Mail which admitted that the brigade was not properly prepared for any kind of contamination incident. […] The Government gave them money to buy special fire engines containing all the contamination equipment to deal with a chemical or nuclear attack. Three engines in the West Midlands and around 850 firefighters and officers at 23 stations have received training in how to use them.” (Birmingham Mail; 29Apr08; Jane Tyler)

Remarks by
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at the National Marine Manufacturers Association American Boating Congress
“One thing which we are doing along these lines is we're operating a pilot program up in the state of Washington to see what our capability is to have stand-off detection
technology for radioactive or nuclear material on small vessels entering a port area. So that, for example, vessels coming into the channel entering into a port area would pass by detection devices. They wouldn't have to stop. And those detection devices would be configured to determine whether or not there are radioactive admissions of a kind that are associated with a possible dirty bomb or nuclear device. This is in the pilot stage. We're actually currently testing it in the state of Washington.” (Department of Homeland Security; 28Apr08; Michael Chertoff)

Tehran [Iran], Moscow [Russia] vow to continue regional, Int'l cooperation
“Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili and Deputy Secretary of the Russian National Security Council Valentin Sobolev in their second round of talks here Tuesday explored ways of bolstering mutual cooperation and helping to restore peace and stability to the region and the world. […] The two sides also discussed various topics such as regional and international developments,
terrorism, drug trafficking, defense, nuclear disarmament, and the need for destruction of chemical and bio-chemical weapons.” (Islamic Republic News Agency; 29Apr08)

U.N. extends non-proliferation mandate
“A mandate to end nuclear, chemical and biological weapons proliferation has been extended by the U.N. Security Council at U.N. headquarters in New York. […] According to the Security Council, the mandate also requires countries to follow existing international treaties and full compliance with the resolution including the ‘physical protection of weapons, border security and
law enforcement efforts, as well as controls over exports and trans-shipments,’ the release said.” (Middle East Times; 28Apr08; United Press International)

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 in Iraq Kill 11 Suspected Terrorists

American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2008 - Coalition and Iraqi forces killed 11 suspected
terrorists, detained three others, and seized weapons caches in Iraq over the past three days, military officials said.

During operations this morning in the Iraqi capital:

-- Enemy fighters using small-arms fire attacked soldiers from 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, around 9 a.m. Troops fired a round from their main tank gun, killing one attacker. The soldiers fired another round minutes later at some men attempting to use an improvised rocket launcher. The round killed two of the would-be attackers and destroyed their weapon.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers operating an unmanned aerial vehicle observed three men emplacing a roadside bomb in Baghdad's Sadr City district at about 5 a.m. The UAV engaged the men with a Hellfire missile, killing one and wounding another.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained three men around 3:30 a.m. near a blast site in northwestern Baghdad, where a soldier was killed earlier by an improvised explosive device. Intelligence indicates the detained suspects were involved in the attack,
military officials said.

-- Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, used a tank main gun round to engage a group of men carrying a rocket tripod. The round destroyed the tripod.

In Iraq yesterday:

-- While patrolling in the Istiqal qada region of Baghdad, soldiers from Company B, 1st Battalion, 68th Combined Arms Battalion, spotted two men attempting to recover an armor-piercing explosively formed penetrator. Troops engaged and killed the two men, and an explosive ordnance team destroyed the explosive.

-- Coalition forces observed two men firing a mortar system in northeastern Baghdad around 5:15 p.m. A fixed wing aircraft responded, dropping a bomb that killed the men and destroyed the mortar system.

-- Soldiers from 4th Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, came under attack by heavy machine-gun fire from a house in northeastern Baghdad. Troops returned fire, killing two enemy fighters and destroying two machine guns.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers engaged and killed an attacker and wounded another after receiving small-arms fire during a security patrol in the Rashid district of southern Baghdad.

During April 28 operations in Iraq:

-- "Sons of Iraq" citizen
security group members helped Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers capture a key terrorist in the Iraqi capital. The suspect reportedly is responsible for car-bomb, IED and sniper attacks on coalition forces, as well as for weapons trafficking and kidnapping and murdering Iraqis.

-- The Tikrit
special weapons and tactics unit, advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers, detained a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq cell leader during an operation in the city's Qadasiyah neighborhood. The suspected terrorist financier is believed to be responsible for all IED attacks in the Qadasiyah neighborhood and for bribing local Iraqi security forces.

-- Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers discovered a significant cache in the western part of Baghdad's Rashid district and another near a mosque in Abu Tshir. The caches contained 107 mm rockets and a partially built EFP.

-- An Iraqi citizen in the Abu Osage village outside Baghdad led soldiers of 1st Battalion, 25th Brigade, 6th Iraqi
Army Division, to a cache containing 450 57 mm mortar rounds. Troops took the munitions to a nearby Iraqi army compound to be destroyed.

-- An anonymous tip led soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's 2nd Platoon, Troop C, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, to a cache containing a suicide vest in Mugartimat, a town on the southwest outskirts of Baghdad. The vest was packed with about 24 pounds of homemade explosives and rolls of wire, blasting caps, and pressure and circuit switches. Explosive ordnance disposal personnel detonated the cache on site.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died April 28 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their forward operating base with indirect fire.

Killed were:

Pfc. Adam L. Marion, 26, of Mount Airy, N.C. He was assigned to the 171st Engineer Company, North Carolina Army National Guard, Saint Pauls, N.C.

Sgt. Marcus C. Mathes, 26, of Zephyrhills, Fla. He was assigned to the 94th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), located at Fort Polk, La.

Sgt. Mark A. Stone, 22, of Buchanan Dam, Texas. He was assigned to the 94th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), located at Fort Polk, La.

For further information on Marion, media may contact the North Carolina National Guard public affairs office at (919) 664-6242.

For further information on Mathes and Stone, media may contact the Fort Polk public affairs office at (337) 531-4630.

Iraqis Reject Extremist Violence, Coalition General Says

By Fred W. Baker III
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2008 - Most Iraqi people now reject the violence that has plagued their neighborhoods and the extremists who have been inciting the violence, a senior official in the region said today. "We increasingly see a commitment to economic development and reconstruction. That is the path that leads to prosperity and the broadest opportunity for all Iraqis to share in it," said
Army Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner, a spokesman for Multinational Force Iraq, in a news conference.

In places where Iraqi citizens have rejected the violence, people are returning to their homes and capitalizing on improving local
security conditions, he said.

Southern Baghdad neighborhoods such as Yusifiyah, Mahmudiyah and Latafiyah have seen the return of more than 10,000 of the nearly 19,000 who left after being forced out by al-Qaida.

Bergner cited several other local-level signs of progress in the country.

In Zatia, a local company recently finished building two windmills used to pump water from wells for drinking and irrigation, providing water for 150 local families.

In Iskanidriya, an area formerly known as the Triangle of Death, fish farms and hatcheries are being rebuilt with the help of micro-loans. The local industry was nearly destroyed by al-Qaida.

East of Salman Pak, other agriculture sectors are being revitalized. There is a recent growth in bee keeping and honey production, new techniques in land management, and programs for date palm inoculation, Bergner said.

Despite the progress, however, Iraqi and coalition forces face tough fighting ahead, he said. Coalition forces remain on the offense against al-Qaida, pressuring their network and limiting their safe havens and operating bases.

security forces and the Sons of Iraq (a citizen-security group) are increasingly the first line of defense in this campaign," Bergner said.

Yesterday, al-Qaida operatives attacked a small village near Baqouba. The Sons of Iraq fended off the
terrorists until the Iraqi security forces could join the fight and launch a counteroffensive. Twelve terrorists were killed. One member of the Sons of Iraq was killed, and several were wounded, Bergner said.

"We are continuing to pursue al-Qaida
terrorists, targeting their leaders, disrupting their lines of communication, and denying them safe havens in Iraq," the general said.

Coalition forces have been working closely with the Iraqi
security forces and government to secure parts of Baghdad's embattled Sadr City district to deliver essentials such as water, food and fuel to the people there.

In recent weeks, attackers have increased their rocket and mortar attacks, killing about 40 people in Baghdad and injuring 370 others, the general reported.

"We are responding appropriately to these lethal attacks. As we do so, we use precision strikes and take every precaution to limit the damage," Bergner said. "The fact that the nature of these criminals is to operate from civilian neighborhoods, and thereby place innocent civilians at risk, makes this a complex and difficult challenge whether in Basra, Baghdad or other communities."

Bergner said coalition operations in the area are targeting groups and weapons that are killing Iraqi people, endangering the Iraqi seed of government and endangering neighborhoods in Baghdad.

"We continue to help the government of Iraq to improve the
security situation, take the appropriate responses to the violence that's being perpetrated by these groups and, at the same time, assist in the provision of services in an environment that's very difficult," Bergner said.

Joint efforts between coalition forces, Iraqi forces and the Iraqi government have established a Combined Civil-
Military Operations Center that provides a central point for the citizens of Thawra, the southern portion of Sadr City, to process claims and request essential services and aid. It also coordinates reconstruction projects for the district.

Short-term projects include installing street lighting, removing trash and rubble, fixing sewage disposal, and distributing food, medical supplies, and small generators and reconstruction supplies.

Over the next three months, plans are to refurbish three medical clinics, revitalize the Jamila wholesale food market, issue business micro-loans, and renovate schools.

The operation will expedite some $2.5 million worth of aid and reconstruction investment beginning in the secured areas of Thawra, Bergner said.

Air Force Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of an airman who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Senior Airman Jonathan A. V. Yelner, 24, of Lafayette, Calif., died April 29 near Bagram, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.

For further information related to this release, please contact the Ellsworth Air Force Base public affairs office at (605) 385-5056.

Army Casualty

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

Sgt. 1st Class David L. McDowell, 30, of Ramona, Calif., died April 29 in Bastion, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Wash.

For further information, media should contact the U.S. Army Special Operations Command public affairs office at (910) 432-6005, or go to .

Official Emphasizes Diplomacy as Best Means of Dealing With Iran

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 30, 2008 - Diplomacy remains the best course for dealing with Iran, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell emphasized here today. Morrell called news reports claiming the Defense Department is conducting new planning for wartime operations against Iran patently wrong.

"Let me make this abundantly clear," he told reporters traveling here with Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. "There are no new directives, no new plans in the works, no efforts to plan for a possible war with Iran."

Morrell said contingency planning is continually ongoing regarding all threats or potential threats, but said none regarding Iran indicate anything out of the ordinary.

The U.S. focus remains on diplomatic and economic pressure to get the Iranian regime to stop interfering in Iraq and the region as a whole, Morrell said. He reiterated Gates' and Joint Chiefs Chairman
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen's assertions, however, that no option is being taken off the table, "including the military option."

Morrell said recent signs of Iranian meddling in Iraq, including the discovery of Iraqi-made munitions with 2008 date stamps, prove Iran is not making good on its promise to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to stay out of Iraq's affairs.

The United States has "long recognized Iran as a real problem in Iraq," he said.

Morrell said there's no concrete evidence that Iran has increased its activity in Iraq, "although we certainly see evidence that it continues."

Army Casualty

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

Pfc. William T. Dix, 32, of Culver City, Calif., died April 27 at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, of injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 14th Engineer Battalion, 555th Engineer Brigade, I Corps, Fort Lewis, Wash.

The incident is under investigation.

For more information media may contact the Fort Lewis public affairs office at (253) 967-0152, (253) 967-0147 or after hours at (253) 967-0015 (ask for the Public Affairs Officer on call).

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Coalition Forces Kill Three Terrorists, Detain 12

American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - Coalition forces killed three
terrorists and detained 12 suspects today during operations in the northern half of Iraq.
-- Coalition forces targeted a suspect wanted for aiding foreign t
errorists at a suspected terrorist safe-house about 60 miles north of Baghdad. Forces killed three armed terrorists there, and five others were detained.

-- Coalition forces nabbed four suspects in Mosul.

-- In Beiji, about 100 miles south of Mosul, forces captured the
leader of a car-bomb cell along with two others.

In operations around Iraq yesterday:

-- In Baghdad, an aerial weapons team and an M1A2 Abrams tank crew killed seven enemy fighters in the Sadr City district. The aerial weapons team fired a Hellfire missile, killing four, and the tank crew shot a main round, killing three.

-- Forces targeted two vehicles and killed 10 terrorists near Khalaf Al Mahd. They detained one suspected
terrorist and destroyed a weapons cache he was guarding nearby.

-- Citizens in the Diyala province fended off an attack from al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists, killing 12. Members of the local "Sons of Iraq" citizen
security group fought against the enemy attack. One Sons of Iraq member was killed, and three were wounded. Several civilians were wounded in the attack.

-- In Abu Ghraib, forces targeted a terrorist with ties to al-Qaida
leaders in Baghdad. Three terrorists were detained.

-- Forces caught a suspect associated with terrorists involved in al-Qaida media operations in the Rasafah neighborhood in Baghdad.

Soldiers confiscated several weapons caches in separate actions yesterday:

-- Forces confiscated numerous weapons and gear in the New Baghdad
security district of eastern Baghdad, including 38 AK-47 assault rifles, three SKS rifles, a pistol, four helmets, and vests.

-- Soldiers recovered a cache holding 10 rocket-propelled grenades, two launching tubes, a suicide vest, two grenades, a 105 mm round, two 60 mm mortar rounds, and an unknown amount of homemade explosive in western Rashid.

-- While patrolling the New Baghdad area of eastern Baghdad, soldiers uncovered a cache holding 20 mortar rounds and six rocket-propelled grenades.

In other operations across Iraq on April 27:

-- Soldiers seized munitions and detained a man from Iraq's most-wanted list in Baghdad's Rashid district.

-- Soldiers detained another man from Iraq's most-wanted list in the Zubaida community. They also found a rocket launcher and rocket rigged with detonation wire during a patrol there.

-- Forces found a cache southwest of Baghdad. The cache held 80 machine-gun rounds, four 69 mm mortar rounds, a 120 mm mortar round and two bags of homemade explosives.

-- Soldiers discovered an emplaced roadside bomb and a rocket with launcher in two places in the Rashid district of the Iraqi capital. A 107 mm rocket was recovered, and an armor-piercing explosively formed penetrator was found during a combat patrol in the Abu Tshir community.

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

Army Casualty

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

Spc. David P. McCormick, 26, of Fresno, Texas, died April 28 in Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when his forward operating base came under rocket attack. He was assigned to the 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

For more information media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at (270) 798-9966.

Two Terrorists Killed, Four Detained in Afghanistan

American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - Coalition and Afghan forces killed two
terrorists and detained four in operations April 27 targeting a known suicide-bomb and homemade-bomb handler in the Bati Kowt district ofAfghanistan's Nangarhar province. One Afghan security force member was killed during the operation. Coalition forces reported no casualties.

In other operations the same day, Afghan National
Army commandos and Afghan National Police, alongside coalition forces, killed an undisclosed number of insurgents in Galuch village, in Laghman province.

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 101 news releases.)

President Foresees Tough Fight Ahead in Afghanistan

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - The United States and its allies are making progress in Afghanistan, but there is a long, tough road ahead, President Bush said during a White House Rose Garden news conference today. The Taliban and its al-Qaida allies continue to fight in Afghanistan and want to re-impose an "incredibly dark" regime in the country, the president said. The recent Taliban assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai is their latest attempt to retrieve their failing campaign, he added.

"It's very important for the American people to remember what life was like in Afghanistan prior to the liberation of the country," Bush said. The Taliban denied basic human rights to the women of the nation. "They didn't believe in women's rights," he said. "They didn't let little girls go to school. And they provided safe haven to al-Qaida."

The liberation of Afghanistan eliminated an al-Qaida safe haven and replaced the repressive, extremist Taliban with an elected government, the president said.

"It's difficult in Afghanistan," he said. "If you know the history of the country, ... it's hard to go from the kind of society in which they had been living to one in which people are now responsible for their own behavior."

Bush said he is pleased with some of the progress in the country. He's pleased with the number of roads that have been built, the number of schools and health clinics now operating and the fact that young women can attend school.

He said he also is impressed with the progress Afghan
security forces are making. "I'm pleased with the Afghan army, that when they're in the fight, they're good," Bush said.

Bush said the United States will continue to stand beside its Afghan allies in the fight against extremism.

The bottom line, he said, is that the Afghans, NATO and the United States are making progress in Afghanistan, but still face hard fighting.

"I'm under no illusions that this isn't tough," Bush said. "I know full well we're dealing with a determined enemy. I believe it's in our interest that we defeat that enemy."

The United States and its allies must stand up to an enemy that encourages people to strap bombs on themselves and kill innocent people, the president said.

"Is it in our interest to confront these people now, whether it be in Afghanistan or Iraq or Europe or anywhere else? And the answer is absolutely it's in our interests," he said. "The notion that somehow we can let these people just kind of have their way or, you know, 'Let's don't stir them up,' is naive or disingenuous. And it's not in our nation's interest. We're in a global struggle against thugs and killers, and the United States of America has got to continue to take the lead."

Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team Hosts Women's Affairs Meeting

By Air Force Capt. Toni Tones
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - Eight influential Afghan women met for a women affairs seminar hosted here by the Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team. Business owners, government
leaders, educators, multimedia and nongovernmental organization representatives from Kabul, Kapisa and Parwan provinces met April 12 with Suzie Schwartz, wife of Air Force Gen. Norton Schwartz, U.S. Transportation Command commander, and openly discussed women affairs in Afghanistan.

Education, employment and
security were the common themes addressed by representatives at the seminar.

"Kate," a Kabul multimedia representative who lived in the Unites States and recently returned to Afghanistan, said health is a primary concern for Afghan women, with education being secondary.

"There are 85,000 widows trying to do everything for their families, but there is no money," she said. "What can they do if they can't feed themselves and their children?"

"Mary," another Kabul multimedia representative, who has lived in Afghanistan her entire life, disagreed. She said
security is the primary concern for Afghan women.

"Where there's no
security, there is no education, no health, and no employment," she said. "The Afghan women are used by politicians to get foreign aid money, but our conditions have not improved."

"Jan," an up-and-coming nongovernmental organization representative, echoed both women's comments, but said education, health, and employment are equally important and must be addressed.

"It's circular," she said. "Education, employment and
security -- each problem feeds itself. If you have no work, you can't get medicine. If you have no education, you can't get work. Without security, you can't have anything. [Afghanistan has had] bad neighbors, and if the United States leaves, we won't have any security."

Mary recalled how Afghanistan was before U.S.-led operations knocked the Taliban out of power in 2001.

"Three issues resulted from the Taliban era:
terrorism, narcotics and women's oppression," she said. "Since then, measures have been taken to decrease terrorism and narcotics, but very little change has occurred for women's rights."

Another member of the panel voiced her agreement.

"Lots of promises were made -- to include some by the U.S.," said "Sally," a refugee and women's issues advocate who has lived in the United States. "Among them was the promise to free Afghan women. That's a big statement. There was an expectation of political and social liberation.

"Yes, we now have representation in parliament and other governmental agencies," she continued, "but there's been little change in the economic and education arenas. There needs to be a dramatic change in agenda by the international community."

Although Afghanistan is a male-dominated society, thecountry's women are sick of the conflict and want to see change,
Army Lt. Col. Bill Andersen, Bagram Provincial Reconstruction Team commander, said.

"I spoke to the governors of Parwan and Kapisa provinces about my plans to be personally involved in women's affairs, and it seemed to be well accepted," Andersen said. "My team will ensure female contractors have the opportunity to compete for projects, female entrepreneurs have access to small-business opportunities, and females have the opportunity to get an education through the development of dorms and schools and book purchases.

"This is their society and culture, and they will address theses issues at their own time and pace," he continued. "In the meantime, we are here to help facilitate the development of a stable and secure environment for all Afghans -- men and women."

Air Force Capt. Toni Tones serves with 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs. The names of the Afghan women were changed to protect their identities.)

Turnaround Prompts Name Change for Iraqi Neighborhood

By Army 1st Lt. Zack Boes
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 29, 2008 - Residents of the Hay Jasmen neighborhood in Musayyib, Iraq, soon will walk on improved roads instead of dirt and jagged rocks, part of transformation that has prompted a local
leader to say he wants to change the community's name to reflect its new ambiance. The roads are nearly complete; workers are in the finishing stages of constructing gutters on the sides of the streets.

In addition to the road refinishings, a waste management project also is almost complete. Areas that previously appeared carpeted by trash are now nearly spotless.

As a result of these improvements, the neighborhood's mood has changed from despair to encouragement and guarded optimism, said
Army Lt. Col. Timothy Newsome, from Homerville, Ga., commander of the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team.

In addition to the area being greatly enhanced by new roads and the clean-up, about 300 people have been employed because of these projects, Newsome said.

The neighborhood
leader, or mukhtar, said he is so pleased with the outcome that he plans to change the area's name to "Beautiful Spring."

Army 1st Lt. Zack Boes serves with the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Coalition Treats Afghans in Medical Outreach Effort

By Army Capt. Elizabeth Casebeer
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - Several hundred citizens from a village near Tag Ab Valley in Afghanistan's Kapisa province swarmed a makeshift hospital April 19 during a village medical outreach hosted by Task Force Gladiator servicemembers. The event's primary goal was to connect Afghans living near Tag Ab to the Afghan government through humanitarian-aid operations, with the assistance of village elders and Afghan National

Upon arrival at the site, Afghan and coalition forces set up a small tent and made a wall with ponchos to segregate the women's section from the men's.

Provincial reconstruction teams run many medical outreaches, but few employ female health providers due to the types of missions the PRTs conduct, said
Navy Lt. Tammy Felker, 451st Civil Affairs Battalion's women's health clinic officer in charge. "That is one of the reasons cooperative medical assistance, now [called] Task Force Med Medical Augmentation Team, was created," she said.

"We are an agile unit that can augment with U.S. and coalition forces throughout the theater to do medical engagements," she explained. "The goal is to increase friendly relations between the Afghan people and the U.S. and coalition forces."

After the makeshift hospital was set up, a few women and children began to trickle in. But before long, a long line of women and girls was waiting to be seen at the clinic.

"When 20-plus people are waiting for care, our focus is to try to treat them all," Felker said. "The goal is to let them know we care."

Felker and other providers were only able to treat six people at a time due to the size of the work area, but provided medical care to nearly 160 women and children. The patients all came on foot, and all the adult women, save the elderly, arrived in chadri, an Afghan style of dress similar to the burqa.

The children received doses of de-worming medication and multi-vitamins.

In addition to any medications needed for an individual, each patient received a small bottle of lotion and some lip balm. Children also received a toy, until the supply was depleted. Lip balm is one of the most sought-after items, because the elements and high wind in the mountains cause painful chapping,
Army Pfc. Rebecca Ploharz, a Task Force Med medic, said.

Some of the more pressing issues were too complicated for a field hospital, so doctors gave patients referrals to hospitals capable of providing a higher level of care.

"The women's and children clinic is so important, because oftentimes it is the first time many of the women and children are seeing a medical provider," said Felker, who hopes Afghanistan's medical system will continue to grow.

Felker said she takes a special pride in assisting the local people, but her ultimate wish is that more female Afghan doctors will be available throughout the country.

"It is important that the children of Afghanistan see women in professional roles," she said.

Army Capt. Elizabeth Casebeer serves in the Task Force Cincinnatus Public Affairs Office.)

Iraqi Chicken Farmers Get Jumpstart With Egg Delivery

American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - Chicken farmers in Mahmudiyah, 20 miles south of Baghdad, received the jumpstart their industry needed with the arrival of 45,000 eggs, each ready for hatching. One of many economic projects initiated by Task Force Marne, revitalizing the region's ailing poultry industry ranks as a top priority. Such initiatives play a crucial role in Multinational Division Center's
counterinsurgency strategy, officials said.

The Mahmudiyah Poultry Association is one such project. It's used to strengthen the vertical market integration that will ensure the long-term success of the poultry industry in the region. To lay the foundation for sustained growth, profitability and market success, coalition forces are making strategic investments in infrastructure to implement the association's business plan. These investments include refurbishing hatcheries, upgrading feed mills to produce higher-protein feed, and renovating processing plants.

"As farmers and residents recognize the close association between increased
security and their enhanced standard of living relating to poultry farming, it is likely they will reject criminal insurgents in favor of growing prosperity," said Army Maj. Jessica McCoy, a member of the Baghdad-4 embedded provincial reconstruction team, attached to the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

This first batch of fertilized eggs arrived at the Qadhari hatchery in Mahmudiyah after a long journey from the Netherlands. Over the next two weeks, the hatchery will receive two additional shipments of 45,000 and 40,000 eggs, respectively. Delicate procedures will help ensure that a maximum number of eggs survive the incubation process.

One of the association's goals is in-country breeding of fertilized eggs. By no longer having to import fertile eggs from abroad, Iraq can become self-sufficient for breeder eggs, generating lower prices over time, officials said.

The chicken farmers' hard work will pay off around May 13, with the anticipated hatching of nearly 35,000 chicks. In the weeks after the initial hatching, farmers hope to hatch another 65,000 eggs. Soon after, members of the association will pick up the young chicks and distribute them to 20 poultry farmers. The chickens will mature for an additional 37 days, at which point they will have grown into fully developed broilers. After a trip to the local processing plant, the broilers will find their way into Iraqi markets and eventually onto dinner plates in Iraqi homes and restaurants.

McCoy, a U.S.
Army veterinarian who directs the revitalization of the Mahmudiyah poultry farming industry, anticipates that in one year, more than 50 active broiler farms will operate in the region. This figure represents an enormous improvement from last year, when only four farms existed.

In addition to providing a vital source of nutrition for the region, the initial investment in this industry propagates a trickle-down effect that infuses the regional economy across multiple sectors.

"Breathing life into a dormant poultry farming industry makes great sense all around," McCoy said.

Revitalizing the industry will generate as many as 600 jobs in chicken farms and potentially more than 1,500 related jobs such as employment in feed mills, transportation, processing plants and retailing, McCoy said.

"It's all about capacity building and creating jobs," said
Army Col. David Brost, effects coordinator for Multinational Division Center. "To do that, you have to attack the whole poultry value chain.

"Targeting just one area will only benefit that single person and would not be sustainable," he explained. "By attacking the whole poultry value chain, everyone benefits."

(From a Multinational Division Center news release.)

Troops in Iraq Kill Terrorists, Capture Suspects, Seize Weapons

American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - Coalition and Iraqi forces killed 42 members of Iranian-backed "special groups," detained eight
terrorism suspects, and seized weapons in Iraq over the past four days, military officials said.
During operations in northeastern Baghdad yesterday:

-- Iraqi and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers manning a checkpoint retaliated against a large group that attacked them around 6:35 p.m. with small-arms fire. The U.S. component of the combined force used 120 mm fire from M1A12 Abrams tanks and small-arms fire, killing 22 attackers and forcing the rest to flee. No U.S. or Iraqi soldiers were harmed or killed.

-- While on dismounted patrol around 6 p.m., 4th Infantry Division soldiers from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, were attacked with small-arms fire and rocket-propelled grenades. Soldiers providing a cordon engaged the attackers with 120 mm tank rounds and machine-gun fire from an Abrams tank, killing seven.

-- Soldiers from 1-68th Armor Regiment killed five attackers who had fired rocket-propelled grenades in the course of three separate operations.

-- An aerial weapons team killed a man after he attacked soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team with small-arms fire around 8:30 a.m. In the same area about two hours later, soldiers from 1-68th Armor Regiment killed another man after he attacked their checkpoint with small-arms fire.

Elsewhere in Iraq yesterday:

-- Soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team returned fire and killed two attackers in a group that attacked a combat outpost with small-arms fire in eastern Baghdad around 3:15 p.m..

-- Coalition forces killed one enemy fighter and uncovered an explosives cache in Baghdad's Rashid district. During the engagement between the ground force and armed attackers, a 14-year-old child was injured in the crossfire. He was treated at a coalition medical facility then released to the care of his family.

-- Soldiers with 3rd Iraqi
Army Division advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers detained six suspected insurgents in Bulayj during an operation to disrupt insurgent networks operating in the area.

In operations April 26, separate tips led Multinational Division Center soldiers to weapons caches in Mahmudiyah, near a patrol base about 20 miles south of the Iraqi capital. The cache contained improvised explosive device-making materials. Another cache, uncovered at a house near the Qaqa apartments in Mahmudiyah included six mortars, a 107 mm rocket, a 57 mm projectile, ball bearings and other explosive-making materials, and an IED that consisted of blocks of TNT.

Elsewhere, Iraqi soldiers discovered a large cache containing mortars, rockets and IED-making materials northwest of Yusufiyah. Troops turned over the contents of the cache to a coalition force explosive ordnance disposal team for controlled detonation.

In operations April 25 and 26, Iraqi
security forces advised by U.S. Special Forces soldiers killed three men during an operation to prevent special groups violence in Hussayniya, and Iraqi special operations forces operating in Jazeera Desert nabbed the two suspected weapons smugglers.

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

Iraqi Forces Fight Well in Eastern Baghdad, Basra Battles, Admiral Says

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - Iraqi
security forces fought and performed well during recent battles against insurgents in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Basra, a senior U.S. military officer posted in Iraq said yesterday. "We've had significant achievements in the fight against criminal groups over the last several weeks," Navy Rear Adm. Patrick Driscoll, a Multinational Force Iraq spokesman, told reporters at a Baghdad news conference. "In Basra and Baghdad, Iraqi security forces have demonstrated bravery and professionalism and have made great strides in securing those areas where Iraqis were held hostage by those who oppose the rule of law and commit acts of violence that endangered innocent Iraqis."

Iraqi and coalition
security forces have cleared hundreds of roadside bombs and other deadly ordnance from the streets and byways of eastern Baghdad's Sadr City sector, which houses 3 million Iraqi residents, noted Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta, an Iraqi military spokesman who accompanied Driscoll at the news conference.

The roadside-bomb removal improves safety and security and also "alleviates the traffic jams and also provides more freedom to the citizens to move from one neighborhood to another in Baghdad," Atta said.

About two weeks ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki directed his
security forces to confront illegal militias in the southern city of Basra. The fighting in Basra then spread to eastern Baghdad, primarily in Sadr City, the home to thousands of followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

Recent anti-insurgent efforts by Iraqi and coalition forces in Basra and eastern Baghdad have improved
security in those two areas, Atta reported. The Iraqi government has earmarked more than $100 million for reconstruction needs in Basra and $150 million for redevelopment in Sadr City, the Iraqi general said.

Security in Basra has "improved dramatically over the last several weeks," Driscoll observed, noting the Iraqi security forces have driven out criminals and have moved into the city's neighborhoods to ascertain citizens' needs.

The Iraqi Interior Ministry reports that Basra's citizens are returning to their marketplaces and the city's children are going back to school, Driscoll said.

Capacity has been expanded at Basra's civil
military operations center. Basra's CMOC team manages reconstruction efforts across the city and includes Iraqi, U.S., and other-agency participation, he said.

"This will help facilitate the quick delivery of essential services, get business going again, and provide basic aid to the populace," Driscoll explained.

In addition, coalition forces are reprioritizing funding to accelerate Basra reconstruction projects such as sewage services, new street lighting, medical care and business incentives, Driscoll reported. Similar reconstruction operations are taking place in eastern Baghdad, he noted.

"Once again, this is the process we're hoping for, where
security is established, and then that will allow us to bring in the services I've mentioned and also let people get back to a normal life," Driscoll said.

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- April 28, 2008

Review ordered for anthrax vaccine refusers
“A federal judge’s decision could lead to clearing the records of military personnel who refused to take mandatory anthrax shots between 1999 and 2004. Judge James Robertson of the district court for the District of Columbia admonished the
Air Force Board for the Correction of Military Records, which had rejected a petition by two former Connecticut Air National Guard officers for compensatory relief for back pay and lost promotions after they claim they were forced to resign for refusing the vaccine. The plaintiffs, Thomas Rempfer and the estate of the late Russell Dingle, based their appeal on a separate anthrax vaccine lawsuit.” (Army Times; 28Apr08; William H. McMichael)

Article by Universal Detection
Technology Featured in the Counter Terrorist Magazine
“Universal Detection
Technology, a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and a provider of counter terrorism training and solutions, announced today that a recent article titled ‘Combating the Evolving Threat of Biological Terrorism’ drafted by UDTT's Director of Research and Development, Mr. Amir Ettehadieh has been published in the Counter Terrorist Magazine. The Article describes the bio-terrorist threat facing the nation from both homegrown and foreign terrorist elements and the necessary steps that need to be taken by the government to combat this lethal WMD threat.” (CNN Money; 25Apr08)

Medicine dispensing plan offers escape pod in emergencies
“A large-scale emergency could lead droves of people to line up for medicine at health departments, clinics and other public outreach locations. With those images in mind, public health planners are reaching out to businesses to assist in mass dispensing of medicine from the Strategic National Stockpile in the event of a bioterrorism attack or natural disaster. The process uses points of dispensing (PODs), which are designated dispensing locations for people who are healthy but may have been exposed to specific diseases such as anthrax or tularemia and need medication to avoid becoming ill. A local public health agency operates open PODs, which are available to everyone who lives or works in that community.” (Kansas City Business Journal; 25Apr08; Ellen Jensen)

Franek Technologies Safeguards State of
Wyoming Public Health Laboratory's $1M Investment in Critical Instrumentation
“Based on Comprehensive Analysis, Franek Technologies Develops Customized Solution to Protect the State of
Wyoming Public Health Laboratory's $1M Investment in Critical Instrumentation With 25 Additional Certified Power Protection Units […] The state-of-the-art Public Health Laboratory relies on extremely sophisticated instrumentation to conduct high-throughput research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, pandemic, and immunologic diseases, as well as bioterrorism threats. Such long-term testing and processes often rely on highly leveraged robotic automation that is extremely sensitive to uncontrolled electrical and environmental conditions, such as power fluctuations, harmonics, or interruptions.” (Yahoo Finance; 28Apr08; Franek Technologies Press Release)

Anthrax Spore Standards Will Be Reference For Anthrax Detection And

“Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology
(NIST) and the U.S. Army Dugway (Utah) Proving Ground have developed reliable methods based on DNA analysis to assess the concentration and viability of anthrax spores after prolonged storage. The techniques and data are essential steps in developing a reliable reference standard for anthrax detection and decontamination.” (Science Daily; 28Apr08)

Helping the watchdog
“The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently approved the temporary assignment of a regional senior health scientist to assist the Berea-based Chemical Weapons Working Group (CWWG). The grassroots coalition’s main goal is to serve as a watchdog to ensure the safe and environmentally sound disposal of chemical weapons being stored at the Blue Grass
Army Depot in Richmond [Kentucky].” (Richmond Register; 28Apr08; Ronica Shannon)

UN steps up campaign against nuclear, chemical
“The U.N.
Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Friday urging stepped-up efforts to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of terrorists and black marketeers. It calls on all states to fully implement a council resolution approved in April 2004 requiring all 192 U.N. member states to adopt laws to prevent ‘non-state actors’ from acquiring nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. It notes that some countries - which were not identified - haven't filed a report on their efforts that was due in October 2004.” (The Charlotte Observer; 25Apr08; Edith M. Lederer)

L.I. [New York] Disaster Drill Simulates '
Dirty Bomb'
“More than 600 emergency workers rehearsed a response to a simulated radioactive ‘
dirty bomb’ attack in what authorities called the largest such simulation in Long Island's history. Police, firefighter, medical workers and other personnel from 60 agencies converged Friday on the Suffolk County fire academy in Yaphank. The drill, which also involved 10 hospitals, was running through Saturday afternoon. The scenario involved a deadly dirty bomb explosion at a federal courthouse. A dirty bomb would use conventional explosives to scatter radioactive debris.” (WNBC; 26Apr08)

Al Qaeda wouldn't hesitate to blow away a city: That's why we need 42-day detention, says ex MI6 boss
“The former head of MI6 is backing controversial Government plans to hold terror suspects for 42 days without charge, saying it might prevent a
dirty bomb attack on Britain. MI6 prides itself on avoiding political debates but former chief Sir Richard Dearlove warns that the UK would ‘regret’ not bringing in longer detention for terror suspects. Sir Richard, 63, who retired from MI6 in 2004, says that in some serious cases the current 28-day limit is not enough to build a case or to gather intelligence on the scale of the threat faced by Britain.” (Daily Mail; 26Apr08; Jason Lewis)

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 in Iraq Kill Suspected Terrorists, Capture Dozens

American Forces Press Service

April 27, 2008 - Coalition forces killed at least 20 suspected
terrorists, captured scores of others, and seized weapons caches in Iraq over the past four days, military officials said.

During operations today:

-- Coalition forces conducted two operations east of Samarra targeting associates of a known al-Qaida in Iraq facilitator who is a liaison with senior terrorist
leaders. Coalition forces detained six suspected terrorists and discovered weapons and a building wired to explode. After moving civilians away from the area, coalition forces called for an air strike to destroy the building and weapons.

-- During operations in Mosul in northern Iraq, about 100 kilometers from the Turkish border, coalition forces detained 15 suspected
terrorists. One of the suspects is believed to be an al-Qaida in Iraq leader in the city, and another is believed to be part of an illegal terrorist court system. During the operation, coalition forces found a building containing bomb-making materials, which they safely destroyed on site.

-- South of Taji, coalition forces captured an alleged associate of al-Qaida in Iraq
leaders and five additional suspects believed to have ties to the terrorist network in the northern belt around Baghdad.

In operations around Iraq yesterday:

-- Coalition forces conducted coordinated operations targeting associates of an individual who allegedly acts as a facilitator and liaison for al-Qaida in Iraq leaders,
military officials said. When coalition forces arrived in the target area east of Tikrit, they encountered small-arms fire. Responding in self-defense, coalition forces returned fire and called for supporting aircraft to engage the hostile threat. Three terrorists were killed in the initial engagement, but coalition forces continued to receive fire as they secured buildings in the area. Again engaging the hostile threat, coalition forces killed two more terrorists. Inside the buildings, coalition forces discovered weapons and more than 900 pounds of explosives, which they safely destroyed on site.

-- The operators of an unmanned aerial vehicle observed two armed criminals who were providing over-watch on a vehicle route, and were believed to be triggermen for an improvised explosive device. A Multinational Division Baghdad aerial weapons team was called into the area and fired a Hellfire missile, killing the two criminals. Soldiers on the ground verified the IED's locationand safely removed it as a threat. A short time later, Multinational Baghdad operators of an unmanned aerial vehicle positively identified two armed criminals and engaged them with a Hellfire missile, killing both.

-- During an operation east of Samarra, a
terrorist approached coalition forces and detonated a suicide vest, killing himself. Another terrorist at the location moved to a tactical position and refused to follow the interpreter's instructions to surrender. Coalition forces, perceiving hostile intent from the terrorist, engaged and killed him. Seven suspected terrorists were detained during the coordinated operations.

-- Coalition forces went to a location northwest of Balad searching for a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq senior leader. A man in the targeted building refused to comply with the interpreter's instructions and moved to a hidden position. When he refused to surrender, coalition forces perceived hostile intent and engaged the
terrorist, killing him.

-- Four suspected terrorists were detained during a coalition operation in Yusufiyah targeting a close associate of an al-Qaida in Iraq leader in the southern belt around Baghdad. West of Baghdad, coalition forces detained six suspected
terrorists while targeting an al-Qaida in Iraq leader whose group is suspected of instigating sectarian violence and facilitating attacks against coalition forces.

-- A Multinational Division Baghdad unmanned aerial vehicle killed two Iranian-backed "special groups" criminals in the Sadr City district of Baghdad.

-- Soldiers from the 4th Brigade, 2nd Iraqi
Police Division, seized a munitions cache in Baghdad's West Rashid district. The Iraqi police seized blocks of C4 explosive and 107 mm rockets.

During April 25 operations:

-- Soldiers from the 5th Iraqi
Army Division, advised by U.S. Special Forces, detained 17 suspected al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists in the Sadiyah villages of Sama and Rabia. The patrol also confiscated more than 30 SPG-9 rounds, 40 various types of mortars and more than 100 mortar fuses. An anti-tank mine and an IED were also found and destroyed on site.

-- Soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team seized homemade explosives and various materials used for making IEDs while conducting a cordon-and-search operation within the Bayaa community.

-- Quick Reaction Force 1 from the 1st Iraqi
Army Quick Reaction Force began the latest stage of Operation Charge of the Knights. The last stage of the operation included clearing and searching homes in Huteen. The searches turned up several weapons caches including mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades and launchers, and IEDs.

-- The Fallujah
Special Weapons and Tactics unit, advised by U.S. Special Operations forces, detained one insurgent cell leader and eight others in an operation northeast of Karma. The cell leader is suspected of planning and launching IED attacks against coalition forces in the area and recruiting others to join his terrorist network.

-- Coalition forces killed four al-Qaida in Iraq terrorists and detained two other
terrorists during an operation to disrupt al-Qaida in Iraq networks near Samarra and Quaraysh. Intelligence identified four terrorists traveling in a vehicle east of Samarra. When coalition forces pursued and attempted to detain the vehicle, two terrorists exited the vehicle carrying assault rifles and grenades. Coalition forces engaged, killing two and detaining two other terrorists. Another vehicle with alleged terrorists inside was stopped near Quaraysh. When the terrorists resisted capture and displayed hostile intent, the coalition forces engaged and killed them.

During April 24 operations:

-- A tip led soldiers from 4th Company, 4th Battalion, 25th Brigade, 6th Iraqi Army Division, to a cache of IED-making materials southwest of Yusifiyah. The cache included 19 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, 15 hand grenades, 10 60 mm mortar rounds, four cases of .50-caliber ammunition, one case of machine gun ammunition, 10 handheld radios, eight switch boxes and multiple trigger components.

-- In the Jazeera Desert, 2nd Iraqi
Army Division soldiers conducted a cordon-and-search operation to identify insurgent lines of communication in the area. During the patrol, ground forces saw a truck that appeared to be stuck in the sand. The two individuals in the truck were told to dismount. The two men dismounted the vehicle for a few seconds, but quickly returned to the truck and began shooting at the Iraqi soldiers with AK-47 assault rifles. Iraqi soldiers returned fire and killed both individuals. One Iraqi soldier also was killed during the firefight.

-- In western Ninevah province, 3rd Iraqi
Army Division soldiers detained three suspects during a cordon-and-search patrol.

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

Coalition, Anti-Afghanistan Forces Clash in Kapisa

American Forces Press Service

April 27, 2008 - Coalition forces engaged anti-Afghan forces in the Tag Ab district of Afghanistan's Kapisa province yesterday, resulting in the death of several militants,
military officials said. Coalition forces searched several compounds in the district in an effort to disrupt anti-government improvised explosive device activities. The search also targeted a Taliban militant known to have facilitated both vehicle-bomb attacks and attacks against Afghan government and coalition forces by foreign fighters.

The targeted Taliban militant was believed to be planning operations to disrupt the Afghan National Independence Day celebrations and is believed to be among the dead, officials said.

During their search, an unknown number of anti-Afghan forces engaged coalition forces with small-arms fire from several buildings. Coalition forces responded to the attack with small-arms fire, artillery and close-air support. During the battle, Afghan National
Security Forces and additional coalition forces provided reinforcements.

Officials said there were several civilian casualties during the battle. Some of the wounded were treated locally, and others were taken to a nearby coalition hospital for treatment.

As coalition forces continued to search the area, they discovered and removed a suicide-bomb vest.

In other news, Task Force Phoenix security soldiers were involved in a shooting incident yesterday outside of Camp Eggers,
military officials reported.

An Afghan man was injured after he tried to force his way past a
security checkpoint. Task Force Phoenix personnel provided medical care to the injured man before transporting him to an International Security Assistance Force hospital, where he is being treated. The incident is under investigation.

During an operation April 21, Afghan National
Army commando students captured an insurgent and thwarted an insurgent attack in Kapisa province, military officials said. Members of the newly minted 207th Commando Kandak performed a number of night air assault missions, resulting in the capture of one insurgent, numerous small weapons caches and IED materials.

(Compiled from Combined Joint Task Force 101 news releases.)

Soldiers Assess Iraqi Fish Farms to Gauge Progress

By Army Pvt. Christopher McKenna
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 28, 2008 - U.S. civil affairs soldiers assessed fish farms in the Lutifiyah, Iraq, area April 23 to gauge their progress. "What we are trying to do is set up fish farms that can supply a mass product," said
Army Pfc. Timothy Perkins, a communications specialist with Company B, 411th Civil Affairs Battalion.

Three types of carp -- common, grass and silver -- are going to be raised in the farms.

"The government of Iraq is actually working toward setting up a fish farmers agriculture committee," Perkins said. "It is going to be a program used to educate the farmers [on] caring for fish and agricultural requirements that the ponds have."

Once the committee becomes official, it will consist of farmers, local government officials, tribal
leaders and sheikhs from around the area.

"At this point, none of the farms are operational," Perkins said. "Some of the ponds have only recently begun construction."

The fish season begins in March and lasts eight months. The ponds must be leveled out at two meters deep with limited brush. To be considered for pumps, ponds must be free of algae and bacteria. Farms meeting the requirements will be provided with pumps to filter the water in their ponds.

"We hope to have pumps ready so that fish can be stocked into the farms which meet the requirements come August," said
Army Capt. Benjamin Neusse, a civil military operations officer with the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Battalion, 320th Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

Army Pvt. Christopher McKenna serves with the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs Office.)

Friday, April 25, 2008

Afghan, Coalition Forces Provide Medical Care in Kandahar

American Forces Press Service

April 25, 2008 - Afghan and coalition medical personnel provided free medical care to local citizens in Afghanistan's Kandahar province April 21. Working with local
leaders, the team set up a temporary treatment facility at an Afghan National Civil Order Police station in Kandahar City. The team treated citizens suffering from various health conditions, such as back and joint pain, stomach ailments, common colds and skin disorders. The team also provided citizens with free clothing, blankets, first aid kits and school supplies.

"This was the most rewarding mission I have personally been involved with since I've been here," one soldier who participated in the medical treatment said. "I saw the reactions of mothers as their children received necessary care, and it made me think that we all just want what's best for our families."

(From a Combined Joint Task Force 101 news release.)

Mullen: Nuclear Project Reaffirms Proliferation Dangers

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

April 25, 2008 - Syria's building of a secret nuclear facility with North Korean help reinforces the need to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today. “It should serve as a reminder to us all of the very real dangers of proliferation and need to rededicate ourselves to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction, particularly into the hands of a state or a group with terrorist connections,"
Navy Adm. Mike Mullen said during a Pentagon briefing.

The reactor, destroyed by Israel in September before it became operational, was being built to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons, and "not intended for peaceful purposes," White House Press Secretary Dana Perino said in a statement issued yesterday.

The reactor was "carefully hidden from view," in the eastern Syrian desert and not configured for peaceful uses, the statement noted. In addition, it was being built in defiance of international obligations, without notification to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

But even more damning, the statement noted, was the fact that Syria scrambled to "bury evidence of its existence" after Israeli aircraft bombed it Sept. 6. "This cover-up only served to reinforce our confidence that this reactor was not intended for peaceful activities," the statement said.

The White House pointed a finger directly at North Korea for helping Syria build the facility. "We are convinced, based on a variety of information, that North Korea assisted Syria's covert nuclear activities," the statement said.

"We have long been seriously concerned about North Korea's nuclear weapons program and its proliferation activities," it continued. "North Korea's clandestine nuclear cooperation with Syria is a dangerous manifestation of those activities."

The White House called the construction of the reactor "a dangerous and potentially destabilizing development for the region and the world." It also shows that often "the same regimes that sponsor proliferation also sponsor
terrorism and foster instability, and cooperate with one another in doing so," the statement said.

The United States will continue working with its partners in the Six Party framework to ensure North Korea stops its nuclear activities, the White House said.

It also pressed Syria to "come clean before the world" about its illicit nuclear activities.

"The Syrian regime supports
terrorism, takes action that destabilizes Lebanon, allows the transit of some foreign fighters into Iraq and represses its own people," it said. "If Syria wants better relations with the international community, it should put an end to these activities."

Soldiers Repair Schools in Iraqi City

By Army Sgt. Jason Stadel
Special to American Forces Press Service

April 25, 2008 - After months of fighting, coalition forces in Arab Jabour, Iraq, have rid the area of al-Qaida in Iraq
terrorists and have turned their attention to rebuilding the community. Those efforts have opened numerous schools, water pumps and health clinics in Arab Jabour. The Islah School, Alula School and Al-Alemia School are currently undergoing repairs.

Army Capt. James Anthony, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division's Company C, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and his soldiers are overseeing the repair of the Al-Alemia School in the Bayija village. Anthony said the school was in disarray after al-Qaida in Iraq used it as a base of operations.

"The exterior walls were destroyed, and whole classrooms were demolished," Anthony said. "All of the electrical wiring had been removed, to include the generators powering the water filtration system."

An intelligence assessment determined that more than half of the area's al-Qaida in Iraq
leadership lived near the school. The battalion conducted numerous combat operations in the area, resulting in many terrorists being killed, detained or fleeing. After the operations, most of the al-Qaida in Iraq leadership was gone, but they left behind dangerous traps for coalition forces and citizens in the form of improvised explosive devices.

"Multiple IEDs were found on the school grounds, as well as in several of the stairwells and classrooms," Anthony said. Company C removed the IEDs, and nine teachers and more than 35 students began classes within two days, he added.

Soldiers from the regiment's Company B saw a similar trend at the Alula School in the village of Abd al-Salman. Since al-Qaida in Iraq was forced out of the area in late 2007 and early this year, more than 800 children have returned to school.

When Anthony and his company saw residents' eagerness for their children to return to school, they made it a priority to repair and improve the school. Commander's Emergency Response Program funds were secured to finance the school's repairs, which serves as both an elementary and a primary school.

"When 1-30th Infantry invests its time and energy into the repair of infrastructure, ... we are investing in the future
leadership of a peaceful Iraq," Anthony said.

To turn their attention to rebuilding schools, infantry, or armor soldiers and scouts must adjust their focus.

"It gives many of the soldiers a different look at the population," Anthony said, adding it was hard to believe that just months earlier the school was uninhabitable due to the IED threat.

Army Capt. Cesar Santiago, Company B executive officer, said improving education is one of the first steps in rebuilding Iraq.

"Education is one of the most vital tools to improve quality of life in this community, and that begins with providing the appropriate learning environment," he said.

Most of the repairs at the three schools include installing new windows and doors, fixing electrical wiring, installing new sinks and toilets and providing fresh water.

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