Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Afghan, Coalition Forces Repel Airport Attack

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

June 30, 2010 - Afghan and International Security Assistance Force forces repelled a number of insurgents who attacked the airfield in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, this morning using a vehicle-borne bomb, rocket-propelled grenades and small-arms fire.

The airfield's perimeter was not breached, officials said, and several insurgents were killed during the attack.

Two members of the combined security force suffered minor injuries, and there are no reports of civilian injuries, officials said.

"While designed to garner media attention, this attack only temporarily disrupted operations, as our forces successfully repelled the attack," said Navy Capt. Jane Campbell, spokeswoman for ISAF Joint Command.

In other news from Afghanistan:

-- An Afghan-international force captured a Haqqani terrorist network bomb and weapons facilitator and another man in Khost province's Terazai district last night. The facilitator is linked to roadside-bomb attacks that have injured Afghan civilians. The combined force protected women and children present during the search, and no damage was done to the compound.

-- A combined Afghan-international force detained several suspected insurgents in Kandahar province's Arghandab district last night while pursuing a Taliban facilitator who coordinates foreign fighters, assassinations and logistical support for Taliban commanders operating in central Kandahar. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all occupants to come out of the targeted compound peacefully. After securing the area, the security force detained the suspected insurgents for further questioning while protecting women and children who were present.

-- A combined force detained two suspected insurgents in Zabul province's Tarnek wa Jaldak district last night while protecting women and children who were present.

-- An Afghan-international patrol discovered nearly 2 tons of ammonium nitrate in Helmand province's Reg-e Khan Neshin district yesterday. The illegal fertilizer is used in making roadside bombs, and an ISAF analysis showed the amount seized in this raid could have been used to make more than 80 of the explosive devices.

-- An ISAF patrol found a booby-trapped weapons cache in Ghazni province last night. The cache consisted of 50 mortar tubes, five mines, two boxes of explosives, several assault rifles, ammunition, a long-barreled rifle, hundreds of machine-gun rounds and a large quantity of bomb-making materials.

Meanwhile, operations involving Afghan and ISAF forces continued yesterday in Kunar province. The Afghan-led force includes almost 600 personnel, more than 60 percent of whom are members of the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and Afghan Border Police.

The operation began after the combined force was airlifted by helicopter into the mountains early June 27 near the town of Daridam in the province's Marawara district.

Insurgents were using the town and surrounding district as a staging area for attacks on both civilians and coalition forces, officials said. This group is believed to be responsible for device bomb attack that killed five U.S. servicemembers June 7.

Throughout the operation, the combined force has received crucial information from residents and local officials, including details that about 250 insurgents were in the area.

The operation is ongoing, officials said, and complements recent operations in the province in which a Taliban commander was killed and several insurgent facilitators were detained. Development projects are also planned to improve critical services for local residents, officials added.

Attorney General Travels to Afghanistan for Meetings with U.S., Afghan Officials

June 30, 2010 - KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Kabul, Afghanistan today for meetings with Afghan and U.S. officials. The Attorney General will discuss the Department’s ongoing efforts to foster the rule of law in Afghanistan and how the two countries can build lasting relationships between law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

"Fighting corruption and supporting the rule of law in Afghanistan are top priorities for this Administration, and we will continue to assist the Afghan government in creating and sustaining the effective criminal justice system to which the Afghan people are entitled," Attorney General Holder said.

Department attorneys located in Kabul provide training, mentoring and guidance to the Criminal Justice Task Force, a team of Afghan prosecutors and police investigators responsible for the investigation and prosecution of significant narcotics and narcotics-related (such as corruption and money laundering) offenses before the Central Narcotics Tribunal. The Tribunal has exclusive nationwide jurisdiction for all major narcotics and narcotics-related corruption cases. DOJ attorneys also advise and mentor Afghan prosecutors and investigators in the Attorney General’s Anti-Corruption Unit and Major Crimes Task Force. DOJ attorneys provide advice and assistance in the development of criminal laws and procedures for Afghanistan and offer operational advice and assistance to the U.S. law enforcement agencies posted in Afghanistan.

DEA agents located in Afghanistan work to establish the drug enforcement institutions and capabilities needed to enforce the rule of law in Afghanistan, including successfully identifying, disrupting, and dismantling major drug trafficking organizations that fuel the insurgency and profit from the narco-economy. In addition, FBI agents in Afghanistan support counterterrorism efforts and intelligence gathering as well as Afghanistan’s Major Crimes Task Force, which focuses on anti-kidnapping, anti-corruption, and other organized crime. Personnel from the United States Marshals Service advise and train Afghanistan’s Judicial Security Unit on witness and judicial security.

At the conclusion of his meetings, the first for an Attorney General in Afghanistan, the Attorney General will return to Washington.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wisconsin Guard helps train civilian emergency responders

Date: June 29, 2010
By Sgt. Michelle Gonzalez
Wisconsin National Guard

About 120 personnel from more than 20 law enforcement agencies enhanced their awareness of weapons of mass destruction and learned about the resources available to respond to scenarios at a WMD Special Weapons and Tactics training event at Volk Field June 16.

The two-day training, spearheaded by the Madison-based 54th Civil Support Team, Wisconsin National Guard, ranged from briefings and equipment displays to hands-on training and tactical demonstrations at the Regional Emergency All-Climate Training Center and High Risk Entry Facility areas.

"[The training] not only presented situational problems that have interagency solutions, but it also presented cutting edge situations that we will have to address in months and years to come," said Thomas Krsnich, a special investigator supervisor with Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources Environmental Crimes Unit.

The local, state and federal response agencies from Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois also learned about types of chemical, biological and explosive hazards, personal protective gear and the resources that are available to law enforcement agencies.

"I learned of a lot of resources that are available to us in case we do have to respond to calls," said Larry Ostermeier, deputy sheriff for the Kewaunee Sheriff Department. "I thought the decontamination equipment was used one time. It turns out that most of it can be reused."

The 54th Civil Support Team is Wisconsin's full-time response team for emergencies or terrorist events that involve weapons of mass destruction or toxic industrial chemicals.

With the ability to rapidly deploy, the 54th provides initial advice on what an agent may be, assists local first-responders in determining the nature of an attack, provides medical and technical advice, and paves the way for the identification and arrival of follow-on state and federal military response assets.

Afghan, International Forces Detain Insurgents

From an International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Release

June 29, 2010 - An Afghan and international force detained a number of suspected insurgents including a Taliban facilitator in Afghanistan's Helmand province last night, military officials reported.

The facilitator, believed to be a key player in the facilitation network in the province's Now Zad district, allegedly is responsible for procuring and distributing bomb-making components.

After clearing several buildings in the village of Do Sang, in the Now Zad district, the combined security force detained the facilitator and several suspected associates.

A separate Afghan and international force detained a suspected insurgent in Kandahar province while pursuing a Taliban facilitator last night.

The combined security force searched a compound near Vakil Rostam Kalay in the province's Panjwai district and detained the man for further questioning.

The combined force protected women and children present during the searches, and no shots were fired during either operation.

Afghan and coalition forces have made significant progress in Kandahar by increasing offensive operations in the province and capturing or killing key Taliban leaders, officials said. Combined Afghan and international forces recently removed the Taliban district chiefs for Zharay, Panjwai, Maiwand and Dand districts. Hajji Amir, formerly the Dand district chief, was killed May 30 in Kandahar.

Iraqis Arrest 16 Terrorism Suspects

Compiled from U.S. Forces Iraq News Releases

June 29, 2010 - Iraqi security forces arrested 16 suspected criminal associates of the al-Qaida in Iraq terrorist organization in recent operations, military officials reported.

In Beiji, southwest of Kirkuk, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors today searched several buildings for a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member allegedly involved in building roadside bombs.

A large amount of evidence believed to be related to the manufacture, emplacement and employment of bombs targeting security forces and civilians was collected at the scene. Additional information and evidence gathered there led Iraqi forces to identify and arrest the wanted man and five suspected criminal associates.

In western Baghdad yesterday, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched several buildings seeking a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq leader allegedly involved in producing roadside bombs. Information and evidence gathered at the scene led Iraqi forces to identify and arrest four suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.

Southwest of Mosul yesterday, Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched several buildings for a suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member allegedly involved in the movement of foreign fighters into Iraq. Information and evidence gathered at the scene led Iraqi forces to identify and arrest six suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.

Hutchinson Man Pleads Guilty to Reporting False Bomb Threat to FBI

June 29, 2010 - A 26-year-old Hutchinson, Minnesota man pleaded guilty today in federal court in Minneapolis to providing the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) with false information regarding a supposed bomb threat involving an Oklahoma sports arena. Appearing before United States District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis, Daniel Gerald Peterson pleaded guilty to one count of offering false information and hoaxes. He was indicted on April 12, 2010.

In his plea agreement, Peterson admitted that on September 13, 2009, he conveyed a false tip to the FBI that a third party was planning to bomb the Bank of Oklahoma Center, a sports arena, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As a result, the FBI conducted an extensive investigation, ultimately determining the threat was fabricated, and the claim made to authorities was false.

For his crime, Peterson faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison. Chief Judge Davis will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI and the Hutchinson Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew R. Winter.

Petraeus Calls Afghanistan a Test of Wills

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 29, 2010 - Afghanistan is a test of wills, and the enemy has to know the United States and its allies have the will to prevail, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus said before the Senate Armed Services Committee today.

The testimony was part of the confirmation process for Petraeus, President Barack Obama's nominee to replace Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The general also has been nominated to succeed McChrystal as commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force, a position that requires a separate confirmation process through NATO channels. Petraeus currently is commander of U.S. Central Command.

The United States has vital national interests in Afghanistan, Petraeus told the panel, noting that Obama has said the United States will not tolerate a safe haven for terrorists who want to destroy Afghan security from within and launch attacks against innocent men, women and children around the world.

"In short, we cannot allow al-Qaida or other transnational extremist elements to once again establish sanctuaries from which they can launch attacks on our homeland or on our allies," the general said. "Achieving that objective, however, requires that we not only counter the resurgent Taliban elements who allowed such sanctuaries in the past. We must also help our Afghan partners develop their security forces and governance capacity so that they can, over time, take on the tasks of securing their country and seeing to the needs of their people."

If confirmed, Petraeus will command almost 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and more than 50,000 servicemembers from 45 other nations.

The general said he will work closely with civilian agencies to implement a whole-of-government approach to the situation on the ground, as the campaign strategy in Afghanistan calls for a fully integrated civil-military effort. Further, he added, the plan calls for international cooperation and crucial contributions from the Afghan government and Afghan national security forces.

As Centcom commander, Petraeus participated in forming the president's strategy in Afghanistan.

"I support and agree with his new policy," the general said. "During its development, I offered my forthright military advice, and I have assured the president that I will do the same as we conduct assessments over the course of the months ahead. He, in turn, assured me that he expects and wants me to provide that character of advice."

The general said he supports the need to inspire greater urgency on the Afghan government's part, noting the policy's intent to begin transitioning security responsibilities to Afghan national security forces in July 2011.

"It is important to note the president's reminder in recent days that July 2011 will mark the beginning of a process, not the date when the U.S. heads for the exits and turns out the lights," Petraeus said. "As he explained this past Sunday in fact, we'll need to provide assistance to Afghanistan for a long time to come."

The general said notable progress has taken place in Afghanistan already. The number of civilian deaths due to coalition military operations has dropped, and areas in Helmand province have been freed from the Taliban. He acknowledged that more remains to be done to secure the progress.

A basic tenet of the counterinsurgency strategy is to secure the population. "Focusing on securing the people does not, however, mean that we don't go after the enemy," Petraeus said. "In fact, protecting the population inevitably requires killing, capturing or turning the insurgents. Our forces have been doing that, and we will continue to do that. In fact, our troopers and our Afghan partners have been very much taking the fight to the enemy in recent months."

The Taliban and their terrorist allies have paid a grave price since April, with more than 130 middle- and senior-level operatives being captured or killed, and thousands of rank-and-file members taken off the battlefield.

The general noted that those gains have come at a cost for U.S. and allied forces. "I want to assure the mothers and fathers of those fighting in Afghanistan that I see it as a moral imperative to bring all assets to bear to protect our men and women in uniform and the Afghan security forces with whom ISAF troopers are fighting shoulder to shoulder," he said. "Those on the ground must have all the support they need when they are in a tough situation."

This is so important, he added, that he has discussed it with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Wardak, and Afghan Interior Minister Bismullah Khan. "And they are in full agreement with me on this," Petraeus told the senators.

The general said he is "keenly aware of concerns" servicemembers have raised about the application of rules of engagement and a tactical directive designed to minimize the possibility of inflicting civilian casualties. "They should know that I will look very hard at this issue," he said.

Developing the Afghan security forces so they can take responsibility for their country and produce sustained success is "hugely important and hugely challenging," Petraeus said.

"Indeed, helping to train and equip host-nation forces in the midst of an insurgency is akin to building an advanced aircraft while it is in flight, while it is being designed, and while it is being shot at," he said. "There is nothing easy about it." Progress in that regard has picked up since the training effort in the country has been overhauled, he added, but more must be done for the trend to continue.

"Further progress will take even greater partnering, additional training improvements, fuller manning of the training and mentoring missions, and expanded professional education opportunities," he said, "and initiatives are being pursued in each of these areas."

Petraeus said tough fighting will continue in Afghanistan, noting that June has seen many NATO casualties.

"Indeed, it may get more intense in the next few months," he said. "As we take away the enemy's safe havens and reduce the enemy's freedom of action, the insurgents will fight back."

The general praised the commitment of American troops in the country.

"I'd like to once again note the extraordinary work being done by our troopers on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere around the world," he said. "Our young men and women truly deserve the recognition they have earned as America's new greatest generation. There is no question that they comprise the finest, most combat-hardened military in our nation's history.

Afghanistan Visit Gives Mullen Reassurance, Concern

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 29, 2010 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday that he returned from Afghanistan this week reassured that U.S. and NATO forces remain on track there, but also concerned about the synergy among terrorist groups in the region.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen made the comments yesterday as part of an interview with David Sanger, New York Times chief Washington correspondent, at the inaugural Aspen Security Forum, part of the Aspen Institute, in Colorado.

Mullen said his trip to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Israel was scheduled before the fallout from a magazine article on Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal that led to the general's resignation as commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

"Because of what happened," Mullen said, referring to McChrystal's removal, "it was a trip of reassurance. We'll have a new leader out there very quickly, and we also have a very able deputy there now" in British Lt. Gen. Nicholas Parker. "The strategy hasn't changed, nor has our focus," he said.

Mullen met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who he said was reassured that the leadership transition will be smooth. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, is in the confirmation process to replace McChrystal.

"I wanted to make sure we are staying focused on the mission, and I report back that clearly all the people I saw were," Mullen said of his trip.

Mullen said McChrystal's resignation is different from removals of military leaders under Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and even the 2008 resignation of Navy Adm. William J. Fallon as head of Central Command, because it was not based on policy differences. Although he never heard McChrystal speak negatively of civilian leaders, Mullen said, his resignation was important in light of the article, which included passages in which McChrystal and members of his staff were portrayed as dismissive of some civilian administration officials.

"This goes back to the 1770s," Mullen said. "It's such a fundamental principle. We have enormous challenges now, but that's not an excuse in any way, shape or form for any of us to not recognize the importance of the civilian control of our military."

As for operations in Afghanistan, the chairman said he returned with increasing concerns that terrorist groups are operating more closely with one another, not just in Southwest Asia, but also with men charged in recent attempted terrorist attacks in Detroit and New York.

"I'm increasingly concerned about the synergy among terrorist groups in that region and their expanding desire to kill as many Americans – and not just Americans – as they can," he said.

Mullen acknowledged the length of the nearly decade-long war, but emphasized its importance.

"There aren't any of us who don't want to see this end as soon as we can," he said. "But, coming back from this trip, I am increasingly concerned about the terrorist threat in the region. The war in Afghanistan was something very badly resourced – under-resourced -- for a number of years. We're just getting to a point where it is resourced, and the government and corruption issue [in Afghanistan], as well as security, is comprehensively being addressed."

In the long term, Mullen said, the solution to terrorism is more about the global economy than military operations.

"You can't kill them all," he said of the issue of dealing with extremists and terrorists. "We've got to get to a point where 15-year-old boys pursue a more positive way of life than putting on a suicide vest." That's a long way off, Mullen said, adding that a long-term solution needs leadership from the Muslim community to stand up against the desecration of their religion by terrorists.

In the short term, Mullen said, operations in Kandahar are ongoing, and results won't be apparent until the end of the year. Operations there will ramp up after the remaining one-third of the U.S. surge troops are in place later this summer, he added.

The NATO campaign that took Marja in Helmand province from the Taliban earlier this year underestimated the ability to set up a new local government there, the chairman said. But while security remains a challenge in Marja, he added, "steady progress" has continued, and schools and bazaars are open.

Mullen said he has supported from the beginning Obama's stated timeline of July 2011 to begin drawing down in Afghanistan, because it creates a sense of urgency in the Afghan government to take control. "A lot is going to happen between now and July 2011," he said.

Chairman Cites Importance of U.S.-Pakistan Ties

By Lisa Daniel
American Forces Press Service

June 29, 2010 - The United States is working hard to regain Pakistan's trust after several years without a relationship, but it's going to take time, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen made the comments as part of an interview with David Sanger, New York Times chief Washington correspondent, at the inaugural Aspen Security Forum, part of the Aspen Institute, in Colorado.

"It's not going to happen overnight," Mullen said of regaining the Pakistanis' trust. But, he added, "I've seen significant commitments in the whole of government."

Strong relations with Pakistan are important to stamping out terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan that threatens the United States, Mullen said, noting that he recently returned from his 18th trip to Pakistan since becoming chairman.

"I believe the leadership in Pakistan recognizes the importance of how it all turns out in Afghanistan," he said. "We are in agreement that Afghanistan needs to be stable and peaceful. How we get there and the long-term commitment is critical. That's a huge part of the engagement strategy with Pakistan."

The U.S. and NATO strategy in Afghanistan is to dismantle the leadership of al-Qaida to make the terrorist group ineffective.

"And the al-Qaida leadership resides in Pakistan," Mullen said.

Resuming U.S.-Pakistan relations that ended in the 1990s also is important in light of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal, Mullen said.

"I have raised this issue with the Pakistani military since Day 1," he said. "These are the most important weapons in the Pakistani arsenal. That is understood by the leadership, and they go to extraordinary efforts to protect and secure them. These are their crown jewels. As much as we are focused on this [terrorism] threat – and the Pakistanis are more than they used to be – they see a threat in India and [having nuclear weapons] is their deterrent. They see this as a huge part of their national security."

As for efforts by Iran and North Korea to obtain nuclear weapons, Mullen described a different situation. "There isn't any reason to trust [Iran]," he said. "There is an uncertainty associated with Iran that is very consistent with Iran for a long time." North Korea's desire for nuclear weapons and its increasing aggressiveness -- it sank a South Korean naval ship in March, killing 46 sailors -- are cause for concern, the chairman said. He noted there's "a lot of work going on" with the United Nations regarding North Korea.

"It's difficult to predict what is going to happen next," he said, adding that he'd put North Korea "at the top of the list" of nuclear proliferation concerns.

It is important to continue sanctions against Iran, North Korea, and other countries that ignore international law on nuclear weapons, Mullen said.

"The totality of the international pressure – political, diplomatic, economic – has continued to be increased over time," he said. "The overall strategy to really squeeze those proliferators has to continue in every possible way."

Petraeus Discusses Pros, Cons of July 2011 Deadline

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

June 29, 2010 - Senators questioned Army Gen. David H. Petraeus repeatedly on his understanding of the July 2011 target date to begin pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan during testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee today.

President Obama has nominated Petraeus – the commander of U.S. Central Command – to be commander of U.S. and NATO forces. The committee passed its recommendation for confirmation to the full Senate after the hearing. The general's nomination for the NATO post must go through NATO channels.

When President Barack Obama laid out the new strategy in Afghanistan during a speech at the U.S. Military Academy in December, he said that he would add 30,000 American troops to the mix, but that U.S. forces would begin returning to the United States in July 2011 if conditions on the ground allow. Petraeus told the senators that he supported and agrees with the president's strategy.

U.S. forces in Afghanistan would "begin a process in July 2011 under which tasks are transferred to Afghan security forces and government officials and a 'responsible drawdown' of the surge forces begins, pace to be determined by conditions," he said.

American forces in Afghanistan are relentlessly pursuing the Taliban and their al-Qaida allies, and commanders and political leaders must consider conditions on the ground before a drawdown begins, the general said.

Still, he added, the deadline does make sense.

"On the one hand, productivity experts say that there's no greater productivity tool than a deadline," Petraeus said. "The message of urgency that the deadline conveyed ... was not just for domestic political purposes. It was for audiences in [the Afghan capital of] Kabul, who ... needed to be reminded that we won't be there forever. But we will be there, and presumably for quite some time."

The deadline tells the Afghans that they need to move forward smartly on policies and procedures to effect change, Petraeus said. "I think it did actually galvanize some degree of action," he told the committee. "There may have been some message for some of us in uniform that we needed to get on with it. The truth is that early on in the process, we were looking at a more deliberate campaign. We compressed that, getting the troops on the ground much more rapidly than was originally even thought possible." But a deadline also can give enemies the impression they simply can wait it out, the general noted.

"You have to make sure that the enemy does not interpret that as that moment whereas it was said the United States is heading for the exits, looking for the light switch to turn it off because we're out of here, because that is not accurate, at least not in my perception," Petraeus said.

Army Casualty

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

Sgt. John M. Rogers, 26, of Scottsdale, Ariz., died June 27 at Forward Operating Base Blessing, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at 270-798-3025.

Army Casualty

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

Pfc. Bryant J. Haynes, 21, of Epps, La., died June 26 in Al Diwaniyah, Iraq, of injuries sustained during a vehicle roll-over. He was assigned to the 199th Support Battalion, Louisiana Army National Guard, Alexandria, La.

For more information on this soldier, media may contact the Louisiana National Guard public affairs office at 318-641-5611.

Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died June 27 in Konar, Afghanistan of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with small arms fire. They were assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Killed were:

Staff Sgt. Eric B. Shaw, 31, of Exeter, Maine; and

Spc. David W. Thomas, 40, of St. Petersburg, Fla.

For more information the media may contact the Fort Campbell Public Affairs Office at 270-798-3025.

Army Casualty

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

Sergeant David A. Holmes, 34, of Tennille, Ga., died June 26 at Sayed Abad, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit using an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 810th Engineer Company, Swainsboro, Ga.

For more information related to this release, the media may contact the Georgia National Guard public affairs office at 678-569-6060.

Army Casualty

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

Pfc. Robert K. L. Repkie, 20, of Knoxville, Tenn., died June 24 at Forward Operating Base Farah, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained from a non-combat related incident. He was assigned to the 782nd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

Circumstances surrounding this incident are under investigation.

For more information, the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at 910-432-0661 or 910-432-0662.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

They died June 25 at Konar, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked their unit using rocket propelled grenades and small arms fire. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

Killed were:

Spc. Blair D. Thompson, 19, of Rome, N.Y.

Spc. Jared C. Plunk, 27, of Stillwater, Okla.

For more information, the media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at 270-798-3025.

Marine Casualty

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

Cpl. Daane A. Deboer, 24, of Ludington, Mich., died June 25 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at760-725-6573.

Marine Casualty

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

Lance Cpl. William T. Richards, 20, of Trenton, Ga., died June 26 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C.

For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 2nd Marine Division public affairs office at910-450-6575.

EODGRU 2 Dedicates Building to Fallen Chief

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Michael R. Hinchcliffe, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command Public Affairs

June 28, 2010 - VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (NNS) -- Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group (EODGRU) 2 dedicated a refurbished building in remembrance of a chief during a ceremony held aboard Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story June 25.

Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Paul Darga (EOD/DV) was killed in action during deployment Aug. 22, 2006, when his team was struck by an improvised explosive device in Al Anbar province Iraq. Master Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EWS) Michael Mclean said the building, which will be used for professional development and training, was dedicated to pay tribute not only Darga but all EOD Sailors who have been killed in action. In their honor, a plaque listing the names of each of the EOD technicians killed was placed in the building's training classroom.

Darga's widow, Karie Gilliland, and Rear Adm. Michael Tillotson, commander of Navy Expeditionary Combat Command, spoke to Sailors and guests who attended the ceremony.

"Please, use this building as a place to share lessons learned," said Gilliland. "The utmost responsibility of a chief is to take care of their Sailors, and by taking care of their Sailors they also take care of their families. Please keep that in mind in honor of Paul – that is what would make him most proud."

Tillotson said it was an honor to dedicate the building for the education of future chiefs and for the camaraderie of our present chiefs.

"I think it's fitting to have a CPO mess named after Chief Darga," said Tillotson. "The chiefs are the leadership of the troops at the deck plate. And that's what Chief Darga did; he made a difference as a chief, and as an EOD technician, and today we are honoring him in an appropriate way."

Army Casualty

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

Staff Sgt. Edwardo Loredo, 34, of Houston, Texas, died June 24 at Jelewar, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.

For more information, the media may contact the 82nd Airborne Division public affairs office at 910-432-0661 or 910-432-0662.

Marine Casualty

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

Sgt. Joseph D. Caskey, 24, of Pittsburgh, Pa., died June 26 while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan. He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

For additional background information on this Marine, news media representatives may contact the 1st Marine Division public affairs office at760-725-6573.

Islamic Charity Director Pleads Guilty to Violating Sanctions Against Iraq

Columbia, Missouri Man Misused Charity to Send Over $1 Million to Iraq

June 28, 2010 - KANSAS CITY, MO—A Columbia, Missouri man pleaded guilty in federal court today to conspiring to illegally transfer more than $1 million to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions, and to obstructing the administration of the laws governing tax-exempt charities, announced Beth Phillips, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Mubarak Hamed, 53, of Columbia, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Sudan, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey today to three charges contained in a Jan. 16, 2008, federal indictment.

“This defendant used a Missouri charity to violate the United States’ economic sanctions against Iraq,” U.S. Attorney Phillips said. “Hamed compromised national security by secretly funneling more than a million dollars to Iraq.”

Hamed was the Executive Director of the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), an Islamic charitable organization formed in 1985 and headquartered in Columbia. IARA, formerly known as the Islamic African Relief Agency-United States Affiliate, was the U.S. branch office of a global network headquartered in Khartoum, Sudan, known as the Islamic Relief Agency, or ISRA. The IARA was closed in October 2004, after being identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist organization because the international offices of ISRA provided financial support for Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida and the Taliban.

As a charity, IARA took in between $1 million and $3 million in contributions annually from 1991 to 2003. It also received funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). During Hamed’s tenure, IARA employed approximately six full-time employees, and an additional 10-12 part-time employees.

Hamed and IARA solicited charitable contributions throughout the United States, and then illegally transferred funds to Iraq with the assistance of a Sudanese man living in Jordan, who was subsequently identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist. Hamed admitted that he regularly wired funds to this person. Hamed admitted that he sent 11 separate wire transfers totaling $434,376 between December 1999 and August 2002, as charged in the federal indictment, as well as many similar uncharged transactions. The government believes the total amount Hamed transferred to Iraq was approximately $1.2 million.

In addition to the conspiracy, the specific charge to which Hamed pleaded guilty today involved the Dec. 18, 2001, transfer of $40,974 from the IARA bank account to a bank account in Jordan, which was intended to go to persons in Iraq.

Under the authority granted by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, former President George H.W. Bush issued an Executive Order on Aug. 2, 1990, which declared a national emergency with respect to Iraq. The Secretary of Treasury issued the Iraqi Sanctions Regulations, which prohibited unauthorized transfer of money or goods to Iraq by U.S. persons, including organizations and lawful permanent resident aliens. Neither IARA nor Hamed ever received authority from the U.S. government to transfer money to Iraq for any purpose.

In pleading guilty, Hamed admitted that he conspired with others and violated the federal sanctions that were then in place regarding Iraq. Hamed also admitted that he impaired and impeded the administration of the Internal Revenue laws by misusing IARA’s tax-exempt status, providing false information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and lying to federal agents.

“Today’s conviction is the culmination of nine years of hard work by federal prosecutors and investigative agents,” U.S. Attorney Phillips said. “Coming as it does on the eve of the jury trial, today’s guilty plea is a testament to the strength of the case they built.”

Under federal statutes, Hamed is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine of up to $1.5 million. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

Hamed is the third defendant to plead guilty in this case.

Co-defendant Ali Mohamed Bagegni, 56, a native of Libya who is a naturalized U.S. citizen and former resident of Columbia, pleaded guilty on April 6, 2010, to his role in the conspiracy. Bagegni was a member of the board of directors of IARA. Co-defendant Ahmad Mustafa, 57, of Columbia, a citizen of Iraq and a lawful permanent resident alien of the United States, pleaded guilty on Dec. 17, 2009, to illegally transferring funds to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions. Mustafa worked as a fund-raiser for IARA and traveled throughout the United States soliciting charitable contributions. Further, in 1999, 2000 and 2001, Mustafa traveled to Iraq on IARA business. In early 2001, he visited cities throughout Northern Iraq for several weeks and met with numerous officials to discuss the process of opening an IARA office in Iraq. Among the officials with whom Mustafa met was Hushyar Zibari, who was at the time a leader in the Patriotic Democratic Party of Kurdistan and is currently the foreign minister of Iraq. Mustafa also looked to find a building suitable for an IARA office in the Kurdish provinces of Iraq.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony P. Gonzalez, Steven M. Mohlhenrich, Dan Stewart and Brian Casey from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, Trial Attorney Paul G. Casey from the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and Joe Moreno of the Counter Terrorism Section of the U.S. Department of Justice. The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of the Inspector General.

Afghan Police Gain Leadership Skills, Public Trust

By Judith Snyderman
Emerging Media, Defense Media Activity

June 28, 2010 - Payoffs to police have contributed to widespread corruption in Afghanistan, but new efforts to engender respect for police and to train police chiefs with leadership skills could pay off in a more stable and just Afghan society, a senior officer involved in NATO's training mission said.

Maj. Gen. Mike Ward of the Canadian army, deputy commander for police on the NATO Training Mission Afghanistan staff, described a case in point during a June 25 "DoD Live" bloggers roundtable.

"We have a very promising model of the civil police and justice program operating down in Kandahar right now which is a composite of the Canadian civil police and the U.S. 97th [Military Police] Battalion," Ward said.

Afghan police officers are walking their beats and engaging with shopkeepers while partnered with training mentors, Ward said. The new breed of officers, he added, aims to earn the confidence of the public by not taking kickbacks or engaging in corrupt practices.

Gaining this confidence is a key to counterinsurgency strategy, Ward explained. Any security force must "move at will, own the night and know your publics."

Translated to effective policing, he said, that means officers must view it as their duty to "get out with, mix with [and] know the public."

Ward cited many efforts under way to break the old chain of police corruption in Afghanistan. Those include anti-corruption edicts from the top of government and parity pay raises. At one time, Ward noted, "the pay was so low for policemen and army officers that they could only support their families by abusing their position."

He added that low pay stoked high attrition rates, which added to problems in recruiting and training sufficient numbers of officers.

But money no longer is the issue, Ward said. Police now earn a living wage, equipment is flowing into the country, and the police are receiving better training and mentorship, both in classrooms and on patrol, he added.

As a result, he said, retention rates are rising. The attrition rate now is less than 1 percent per month among the 75,000 uniformed police, who represent some 75 percent of the force.

"If you parallel that with some of the percentages of attrition that we see even in Western nations, this is a good statistic," Ward noted.

However, he said the attrition rate among the Afghan National Civil Order Police, which has started to drop to about 50 percent, continues to be an issue of concern. Still, he said, trends are moving in the right direction and he's optimistic.

"I am encouraged by the number of very honest police that I deal with and who are outraged by having to work with colleagues who take advantage of the system [that] is not accountable enough yet," he said, "and these [honest police] are the individuals who we would want to promote to positions where their influence or their power can help change the system for the better."

Iraqi Forces Arrest Terrorism Suspects

Compiled from U.S. Forces Iraq News Releases

June 28, 2010 - Iraqi security forces arrested four terrorism suspects in recent operations with U.S. advisors, military officials reported.

West of Baghdad, Iraqi forces arrested an alleged al-Qaida in Iraq member and a suspected criminal associate during a combined operation yesterday.

Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched two buildings for the suspected al-Qaida in Iraq member, who is believed to be involved in the construction and distribution of roadside bombs and in attacks against Iraqi civilians and Iraqi and U.S. forces. Information and evidence gathered at the scene led Iraqi forces to identify and arrest the wanted man and a suspected criminal associate.

On June 26, Iraqi forces arrested two suspected criminal associates of the Jaysh al-Mahdi terrorist group during a combined operation north of Baghdad.

Iraqi forces and U.S. advisors searched two buildings for a suspected Jaysh al-Mahdi member who allegedly is involved in roadside-bomb and indirect-fire attacks against Iraqi and coalition forces. Information and evidence gathered at the scene led Iraqi forces to identify and arrest two suspected criminal associates of the wanted man.

Officials Report on Numerous Afghanistan Operations

Compiled from International Security Assistance Force Joint Command News Releases

June 28, 2010 - Precision air strikes, a pitched battle with insurgents in Kunar province and the killing or capture of key enemy fighters highlight recent operations in Afghanistan, military officials reported.

A precision air strike called in by a combined Afghan-international security force killed several insurgents, including a Haqqani terrorist network roadside-bomb cell leader, while the insurgents were planting a roadside bomb in Khost province last night.

After international forces confirmed insurgent activity and that no civilians were at risk, they called for the air strike as the terrorist cell members were planting the bomb on a main route in the province's Matun district. Following the air strike, an Afghan and international ground force went to the site and found multiple roadside bombs and weapons, as well as the cell leader and several members of his cell killed by the precision strike.

In Logar province last night, an Afghan and international security force captured a Taliban facilitator who actively participated in roadside-bomb attacks throughout the province's Baraki Barak district. The facilitator also is linked to mortar attacks against Forward Operating Base Shank, about six miles from where he was captured.

The security force went to a series of compounds in the province's Pul-e Alam district to search the area. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker to call for all everyone to come outside, and then cleared the compounds, detaining the facilitator. No shots were fired, and women and children were protected by the combined security force throughout the search.

Afghan forces working with International Security Assistance Force partners rescued two Afghan National Police officers in Ghazni province yesterday. The police officers had been held hostage for almost a week. As the combined force approached the compound where the officers were being held, several insurgents were seen fleeing. The combined force rescued both officers without firing a shot.

In Kandahar province yesterday, an Afghan patrol found a large weapons cache during a search of a compound. The cache contained 13 homemade bombs, about 10 pounds of explosive material, five artillery rounds and more than 1,700 rounds of small-arms ammunition.

An Afghan-international security force killed a Taliban commander and several armed individuals in Kandahar last night. The Taliban commander, Shyster Uhstad Khan, took over the duties of senior Taliban facilitator after his predecessor was detained by Afghan and coalition forces earlier this year. He was involved in the distribution and purchase of roadside bombs.

The Afghan-led security force went to a compound outside Kandahar City to search the area and was immediately engaged by hostile fire. Afghan and coalition forces returned fire and killed several armed individuals, including Khan. After securing the compound, the combined force detained a suspect who is believed to have direct contact with senior Taliban members near the Afghan capital of Kabul and to facilitate delivery of bomb components to Kabul. No damage was done to the compound, and several women and children were protected throughout the search, officials said.

A combined force of more than 600 Afghan and ISAF forces was conducting operations against al-Qaeda and Taliban insurgents in Kunar province yesterday. Early reports said a number of insurgents had been killed in the operation against al-Qaida and Taliban leadership in the area.

The combined force took precautions to prevent collateral damage, and ISAF had no reports yesterday of injuries to civilians during the battle, which was ongoing at last report.

On June 26, An Afghan-international security force killed a number of insurgents with a precision air strike in Kunduz province's Chahar Darah district. The Kunduz police chief and national security directorate sources reported that a Taliban commander who was a senior foreign-fighter and weapons facilitator was among those killed in the strike, military officials said. The commander coordinated logistical support and operations with the Taliban's Pakistan foreign-fighter cell leadership, and formerly was in charge of the Taliban in the Gor Tappa region, before stepping into an advisory role.

The air strike wounded two additional insurgents, who were driven to a local hospital by another suspected Taliban insurgent. All three are now in the custody of the national security directorate.

After verifying insurgent activity and conducting careful planning to avoid civilian casualties and mitigate collateral damage, officials said, coalition aircraft were called in for the precision air strike against the insurgents, who were meeting at a field in an unpopulated area of the district.

Brig. Gen. Abdul Razaq Yaqubi, Kunduz police chief, confirmed the air strike in the Taliban safe-haven area of Bagh-i-Shirkat on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Kunduz City. Provincial government leadership expressed support for the operation and recognized the combined force's efforts to avoid civilian causalities. No civilians were harmed during the operation.

Also on June 26, an Afghan-led combined force searched a compound in Uruzgan province's Khas Uruzgan district and seized a weapons cache that included 190 rocket-propelled grenade boosters, 81 rocket-propelled grenade rounds, 30 cases of machine-gun ammunition, 20 hand grenade fuses, 15 hand grenades; 14 82 mm recoilless rifle rounds, a machine gun with 10 replacement barrels and a flare gun.

Afghan forces with ISAF partners conducted multiple operations in the western and southern provinces of Afghanistan on June 25.

In Farah province, an Afghan-led combined force searched a compound in the Karez-e Jamal Zal village and seized a weapons cache that included six rocket-propelled grenades, a mortar round and various bomb components. Several suspects were detained, and women and children in the compound were protected by the combined force.

In the Rig Desert of Kandahar province, a combined force led by Afghan special police interdicted narcotics smugglers to disrupt insurgent funding gained through the sale of illegal narcotics. Two men were taken into police custody. The police confiscated a shotgun, an assault rifle and almost 2,900 pounds of opium, all of which was destroyed on site.

On the night of June 25, a combined Afghan-international force killed the senior Taliban commander in northern Logar province. Intelligence sources tracked Ghulam Sakhi to a compound in the Pul-e Alam district, where the combined force went to apprehend him. Afghan forces used a loudspeaker and called for women and children to come out of the building.

As they were exiting, Sakhi came out with the group disguised in women's attire. He pulled out a pistol and a grenade and shot at the security force. When Afghan and coalition forces shot him, he dropped the grenade, which detonated, wounding a woman and two children. The assault force immediately evacuated the wounded for medical care.

Sakhi, who is known by several aliases, was involved in roadside-bomb attacks, ambushes and indirect-fire attacks throughout the province. He also kidnapped and killed a national security directorate chief in Logar province.

After securing the compound, the assault force detained several suspected insurgents for questioning.

Also on the night of June 25, a combined Afghan-international force killed several insurgents with a precision air strike in Zabul province in continuing operations aimed at dismantling bombing cells operating in the province's Mizan and Tarnak Wa Jaldak districts.

The combined security force verified insurgent activity, and after careful planning in order to avoid civilian casualties and mitigate collateral damage, called in the air strike on the insurgents in a remote area in the Tarnak Wa Jaldak district.

After the air strike, the combined security force found and destroyed bomb-making materials found at the scene.

Afghanistan Still Crucial to U.S. Interests, Obama Says

American Forces Press Service

June 28, 2010 - Afghanistan remains crucial to American national interests, and the United States will need to provide assistance to that nation for years, President Barack Obama said in Toronto yesterday.

During a break in the G-20 Summit, Obama said Afghanistan cannot again become a launching pad for terrorist attacks. The president added that Afghanistan will require help even after it becomes responsible for its own security.

"I think that we're going to need to provide assistance to Afghanistan for a long time to come," Obama said.

The Afghans still are building their national, provincial and local governments, the president added, and security is necessary so that Afghans can plant the seeds for their nation's economy.

Afghanistan today is "a very poor country," Obama said.

"So on a whole range of issues – from economic, development, setting up courts, setting up effective police forces, a political system that is transparent and fair, as well as with respect to security – we intend to be a partner with Afghanistan over the long term," he said. "But that is different from us having troops on the ground."

The U.S. military surge the president approved is under way in Afghanistan. It's designed to provide the Afghan government the space and the time to build up its security forces and to blunt the momentum of the Taliban. U.S. and allied troops are providing security to improve governance.

The change in command for international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan from Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to Army Gen. David H. Petraeus will not hinder the mission's impetus, the president said, noting that U.S. allies in the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan President Hamid Karzai endorsed it.

Progress in Afghanistan will be tough, the president acknowledged, but he added that he expects real, measurable progress by the end of the year.

"We will conduct a full review," Obama said. "Those things that are not working, we will fix. Those things that are working we will build on - both on the civilian side and on the military side."

U.S. policies in Afghanistan are complicated, the president pointed out.

"Right now, the debate surrounding Afghanistan is presented as either we get up and leave immediately because there's no chance at a positive outcome, or we stay basically indefinitely and do whatever it takes for as long as it takes," Obama said. "And what I said last year I will repeat, which is we have a vital national interest in making sure that Afghanistan is not used as a base to launch terrorist attacks."

The Afghan people want the same things all other people want: basic rule of law, a voice in governance, economic opportunity, basic physical security, electricity, roads, and an ability to get a harvest to market and get a fair price for it without having to pay bribes in between, the president said.

"I think we can make a difference, and the coalition can make a difference, in them meeting those aspirations even as we are meeting our security interests," he said. "Those two things are tied together."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Innospec Agent Pleads Guilty to Bribing Iraqi Officials and Paying Kickbacks Under the Oil for Food Program

June 25, 2010 - WASHINGTON—Canadian/Lebanese dual national Ousama M. Naaman pleaded guilty today to participating in an eight-year conspiracy to defraud the United Nations Oil for Food Program (OFFP) and to bribe Iraqi government officials in connection with the sale of a chemical additive used in the refining of leaded fuel, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.

Naaman, 61, of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, was originally indicted on Aug. 7, 2008, in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Naaman was arrested on July 30, 2009, in Frankfurt, Germany, and extradited to the United States. He pleaded guilty today to a two-count superseding information filed June 24, 2010, charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and falsify the books and records of a U.S. issuer; and one count of violating the FCPA. Naaman and his companies were the Iraqi agents of Innospec Inc., a U.S. company. On March 18, 2010, Innospec pleaded guilty to a 12-count indictment charging wire fraud in connection with its payment of kickbacks to the Iraqi government under the OFFP, as well as violations of the FCPA in connection with bribe payments it made to officials in the Iraqi Ministry of Oil.

From 2001 to 2003, acting on behalf of Innospec, Naaman offered and paid 10 percent kickbacks to the then Iraqi government in exchange for five contracts under the OFFP. Naaman negotiated the contracts, including a 10 percent increase in the price to cover the kickback, and routed the funds to Iraqi government accounts in the Middle East. Innospec inflated its prices in contracts approved by the OFFP to cover the cost of the kickbacks.

Naaman also admitted that from 2004 to 2008, he paid and promised to pay more than $3 million in bribes, in the form of cash, as well as travel, gifts, and entertainment, to officials of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Trade Bank of Iraq to secure sales of tetraethyl lead in Iraq, as well as to secure more favorable exchange rates on the contracts. Naaman provided Innospec with false invoices to support the payments, and those invoices were incorporated into the books and records of Innospec.

Naaman faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. His sentencing has not yet been scheduled.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kathleen M. Hamann and Assistant Chief Nathaniel B. Edmonds of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section. The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office’s dedicated FCPA squad and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Counter Proliferation Investigations Unit. Significant assistance was provided by the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s FCPA Unit.

The Innospec matter has been investigated in close cooperation with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office.

CSAF stresses importance of Airmen and mission

by Tech. Sgt. Mike Edwards
447th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs

6/25/2010 - SATHER AIR BASE, BAGHDAD (AFNS) -- The Air Force's top uniformed officer made a visit June 24 to meet with Airmen, talk about his priorities, and listen to the concerns of those living and working here.

"Let me begin by reminding you that everyone matters," said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. "It's like a team; everyone plays a position. If you have someone on the team who doesn't do their part, the team cannot win. Everybody counts. Everybody matters."

In addition to stressing that every active-duty, guard, Reserve, and civilian Airman has an integral role in accomplishing the mission, the Air Force's top general highlighted the need for discipline and compliance with Air Force standards.

"We had a major issue a little while back regarding accountability for nuclear weapons," he said. "Fundamentally, we had lost focus, but we have taken steps to correct that."

He explained the need to maintain high levels of vigilance and dedication.

"Compliance is not a four-letter word," he said. "It helps keep us safe and maintain our standards of excellence."

The general acknowledged that the Air Force is currently challenged with too many people in its ranks.

"We are having a problem because retention is the best it has ever been in years," he said. "As a result, we have had to implement some force-shaping measures to get our numbers back down to our allotted end-strength."

He noted that payroll is the first bill paid out of the budget.

"If we have more people to pay than we have in the budget, the money has to come from other programs such as childcare, housing and medical," he said.

"Losing personnel is always tough, but we are opening up cross-training opportunities for those willing to change jobs," he said.

He also mentioned opportunities to continue to serve in the Air Reserve components or in the civilian workforce.

Before taking questions, the last point the General Schwartz stressed was preventing suicides.

"We are experiencing the highest rate of suicides we've seen in years," he said. "It's not just with Air Force members in uniform; it is also affecting our civilian population.

"If you need help, I encourage you to seek help immediately," he said. "There is no stigma for seeking help."

He said suicide affects not only the individual, but also the immediate and the larger Air Force family.

"If you see someone who needs help, assist them in getting that help," General Schwartz said. "That's what being a wingman is about. That's what family is all about. We take care of each other."

When the general opened the floor for questions, one Airman expressed concern that Iraq might become the "forgotten" war as the transition is made from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn.

"What we are seeing and experiencing right now is a result of our successes and the sacrifices we have made," General Schwartz said. "I know that the American people support you and have not forgotten what you are doing here. Just because the media attention is focused on Afghanistan right now, does not mean anyone has forgotten what you are doing here or the sacrifices we have made."

Another question from the audience asked about what initiatives have been addressed for families during the "Year of the Air Force Family."

"I talked earlier about how we are all a team and that everyone on that team has to do their part for us to be successful," General Schwartz said. "Families are a very important member of our team. We have undertaken some very important steps to help take care of our families."

Improving the availability of childcare and improving services for special needs families were two of the initiatives he mentioned, and he also addressed housing.

"Over the past several years, we have been working with our privatized housing initiative to either build or refurbish more than 50,000 homes," he said. "We want our bases to be an attractive place to live. We are working to make them communities in which people feel safe and secure, and one in which people are happy with the network of services we have to offer them."

The general noted that schools have a huge role in creating those communities.

"The quality of schools is a significant factor for those volunteering for certain assignments or choosing whether or not to live on or off base," he said. "We are working to improve that."

General Schwartz concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for what they are doing, and for their commitment.

"What you do is important," he said, "and what you do matters to the overall success of the team. Never forget that."

CSAF: Balad Airmen up to the challenge of Iraq mission

by Staff Sgt. Stacy Fowler
332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

6/25/2010 - JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq (AFNS) -- Gen. Norton Schwartz, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, visited the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing here June 24.

"It's great to be back with the Red Tails (Airmen at Joint Base Balad, Iraq)," he said during an Airmen's Call. "I'm glad visibility finally improved so we would be able to visit you and see how the mission continues here."

His visit was one of several to bases in the U.S. Central Command's area of responsibility where Airmen are deployed in support of operations enduring freedom and Iraqi freedom.

"In 12 months, you have conducted 100,000-plus flying hours, flown 22,000-plus sorties, transported 76,000 tons of cargo and 300,000 passengers," General Schwartz said. "These numbers are not trivial; you should be proud of them. You don't get to 22,000 sorties if everyone isn't doing the mission."

General Schwartz reiterated the importance of being a good wingman, especially when it comes to suicide prevention.

"In 2009, the Air Force had more suicides than in past years, and we are already higher in 2010," he said. "If you have problems or are distressed, don't hesitate to ask for help.

"Wingmen, watch your buddy. Don't let your wingman suffer without offering assistance," he said. "The wingman concept is not media hype; this is what families do. We look out for each other."

General Schwartz discussed other high-interest issues for Airmen, including the drawdown of troops from Iraq, and what they might expect by this time next year.

"We are steadily handing the mission of the country's security to the Iraqi government," he said. "Joint Base Balad is a major hub for this drawdown, and then you will also hand off the mission to the Iraqi forces."

The JB Balad Airmen are "definitely up to the challenge," the general said. "Keep doing what you are doing and we will be successful."

"Everyone has to work hard when completing the mission, or the mission doesn't succeed," the general said. "Watch out for each other, and come home safe."

Army Casualty

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

1st Sgt. Robert N. Barton, 35, of Roxie, Miss., died June 7 in Konar, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

For more information, the media may contact the Fort Campbell public affairs office at 270-798-3025.

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News, June 25, 2010

Underground terror[ism] threat [Burkholderia pseudomallei]
"A deadly terrorist weapon could be buried in the backyards of Darwin's northern suburbs, United States scientists fear. US authorities say melioidosis - commonly known as Nightcliff Gardeners Disease - is [caused by] a potential bioterror[ism] threat. The US Government believes the tropical disease, caused by soil-dwelling bacteria, could become the next anthrax-style bioterrorism threat. Melioidosis caught the attention of the US Government when it realised the naturally-occurring bacteria had the potential to be used as biological weapon. Australian and American scientists are now on the verge of a breakthrough in the early diagnosis of the disease which killed 10 people in the Northern Territory in the wet season. Professor Bart Currie, who works in the infectious diseases department at Royal Darwin Hospital and is the melioidosis project manager at Menzies School of Health Research, said interest in the bacteria from countries outside the endemic regions had grown dramatically in the past 10 years, particularly since the 2001 anthrax attacks [sic] in the US." (Northern Territory News; 20Jun10; Larine Statham)

Survival rate up to 100% for late stage treatment of anthrax infections
"IQ Therapeutics B.V., Groningen, the Netherlands, announced this week that in collaboration with the University of Texas Medical Branch it has obtained outstanding results for the treatment of inhalation anthrax. In a rabbit model up to 100% survival could be achieved with extended time to treatment (48h post infection) with a combination of two specific monoclonal antibodies developed by IQ Therapeutics. This has significant potential for saving lives of infected people who have no immediate access to treatment. IQ Therapeutics' Chief Scientific Officer Herman Groen states: 'The results obtained in the recent studies are unprecedented. We have demonstrated in a rabbit model that we can achieve up to 100% survival after treatment with a single dose of two antibodies (anti-PA [anti-Protective Antigen] and anti-LF [anti-Lactoferrin]), at 48 hours after the infection. Our advanced stage treatment is unique and has a tremendous advantage in real life settings where an infected person might not immediately be aware of the infection or does not have immediate access to proper treatment. Especially in those cases, IQ Therapeutics' dual antibody approach can in the future help saving lives, as there is currently no cure available for that stage of disease.'" (PR Newswire; 22Jun10)

Purdue [University] to work with Pakistan through Nunn-Lugar program
"Purdue University will receive a $1.6 million grant from the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction program to work with three Pakistani institutions to develop real-time infectious disease surveillance and responses. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) informed U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar of the grant today. The objective of the five year collaboration is to develop a broadly-based real-time framework for collecting, communicating, analyzing, and visualizing infectious disease epidemic data in Pakistan. [...] [The DTRA announcement stated,] 'Each year, millions of Pakistanis are exposed to, and infected with, deadly pathogens[, causing diseases] including hepatitis, dengue, tuberculosis, H5N1 and H1N1. Lack of a robust infrastructure for timely collection, reporting and analyses of infectious diseases (IDs) data undermines epidemic preparedness and poses serious health challenges and security threats to the general public in Pakistan. In fact, monitoring and response to any natural or manmade ID outbreak is nonexistent in the country due to insufficient resources, ineffective screening, poorly trained staff and inadequate health policy implementation. The absence of security measures for protecting supply of food products and drinking water exposes additional serious health and security vulnerabilities.'" (U.S. Senate: Offices of Senator Richard G. Lugar; 21Jun10)

Emergent [BioSolutions Inc.] sells anthrax vaccine to [U.S.] allies
"Emergent BioSolutions Inc., which supplies anthrax vaccines to the U.S. government, has delivered doses of its BioThrax vaccine to governments of several allied nations. The company did not identify the countries or disclose the number of doses sold [...] BioThrax is designed to protect against anthrax exposure and has been given to about 2.4 million military personnel. [...] Emergent bought a 55,000 square foot space in East Baltimore last year for $7.85 million with plans to hire 125 at the facility." (Baltimore Business Journal; 24Jun10; Jeff Clabaugh)

New weapons to protect against anthrax [causing] attacks
"The 2001 anthrax attacks [sic] in the United States are fostering development of a new generation of vaccines, antibiotics, and other medications to protect people against the potentially deadly bacteria in any future bioterrorist incident. That's the conclusion of a sweeping overview of scientific research on medical technology to combat the anthrax threat. It appears in ACS' [American Chemical Society] bi-weekly Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. In the article, Dimitrios Bouzianas notes that several existing antibiotics are available to combat an anthrax infection. However, the emergence of artificially engineered B. anthracis strains, resistant to multiple antibiotics (including the front-line agents ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, and [beta]-lactam antibiotics) has prompted researchers to pursue additional therapeutic options. Such alternatives include small molecules and antibodies against toxins that the lethal bacteria secrete. Passive immunization using a polyclonal or a high-affinity monoclonal antibody may offer adjunctive value to antibiotic therapy. Today's drug arsenal has another weakness: no medications available to fight the dangerous toxin that can circulate in a person's blood when antibiotic treatment begins after the disease has taken hold. Therefore, there is an urgent need for the discovery of antitoxin agents that would be effective at the end stage of anthrax." (Red Orbit; 23Jun10)

Albuquerque-area health emergency response exercise scheduled for Wednesday [23Jun10; NM]
"Albuquerque-area residents should not be alarmed by emergency responders in moon suits Wednesday; state agencies and local governments will be conducting a major public health emergency exercise to see how well they can deploy medical supplies such as antibiotics, antitoxins and surgical supplies during a real crisis. [...] The Strategic National Stockpile contains large quantities of medicine and medical supplies for responses to public health emergency responses like flu outbreaks, that could deplete local medical supplies. In a real emergency, the Health Department would distribute medical supplies to 81 distribution locations, where people would be directed to receive them, according to the press release. Wednesday's exercise will involve only four of those locations. The Albuquerque-area exercise is part of the Cities Readiness Initiative [which] is a federal effort designed to increase bioterrorism preparedness in 72 U.S. cities." (New Mexico Independent; 23Jun10; Bryant Furlow)

Hawaii agencies prepare for anthrax scares
"On Wednesday the Hawaii Civil Defense and the Federal Fire Department were just some of the 10 agencies that participated in the third Makaala Drill at the U.S postal service processing and distribution center near the airport. The 9/11 scare prompted the US Postal Service to use the Biohazard Detection System (BDS) in 2005. On Wednesday postal service workers evacuated the building while Honolulu and Federal Fire fighters were in suits controlling the decontamination process. HPD [Honolulu Police Department] personnel volunteered to go through a mock decontamination process requiring them to change out of their clothes, undergo a liquid wash and change into a blue trek suit. [...] The BDS is used at every major processing and distribution center across the nation. Hawaii has only one major process and distribution center. Along with the Makaala drill, the US Postal service also has other plans that prepare the postal staff during other emergencies." (National Broadcasting Corporation: KGMB/KHNL; 23Jun10)

Federal biodefense spending increases
"President Obama's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year provides for $6.48 billion in biodefense spending, a 4% increase over last year, with the bulk of those funds targeting not only biodefense but also public health, healthcare, national security, and international security issues, according to a report from the Center for Biosecurity of UPMC [University of Pittsburgh Medical Center]. After yearly decreases in biodefense funding from FY2006 to FY2008, the new proposed budget represents the third year of increases. The largest piece of the biodefense pie, $4.72 billion (73% of the total) will go to the Department of Health and Human Services, followed by the Department of Defense (12%), and the Department of Homeland Security (7%), with the remaining funds shared by the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and State, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation. The authors, Crystal Franco and Tara Kirk Sell, note that, of the $6.48 billion budget request, $5.90 billion--or 91%--is allocated to programs that have both biodefense and nonbiodefense applications and that address a range of health and security issues." (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; 23Jun10)

County prepares for crisis with emergency drill [Sharon Hill, PA]
"Residents are expected to flood an emergency medication dispersal point at Academy Park High School this morning in an effort to offset the deadly effects of aerosolized anthrax [bacteria] following an apparent terrorist attack Monday morning. Not really. But the county is trying to assure residents it is prepared for just such a scenario with an ambitious test of its Strategic National Stockpile response plan this week. 'These tests are critical to our emergency preparedness,' said County Council Chairman Jack Whelan at a press conference at the high school Monday. 'If today's scenario were real, we would be having a press conference right now, explaining to the people of Delaware County and to the region what happened, what the threat was and how we're going to respond to the threat.' This particular scenario -- in which a crop-dusting plane has spread the invisible and odorless Bacillus anthracis over sections of I-95 -- triggered the establishment of a command center at the Delaware County Intermediate Unit Monday morning. That was quickly followed by coordination with state and federal authorities, and the rapid deployment of 'medication' to Points of Dispensing (PODs)." (Delaware County Daily Times; 22Jun10; Alex Rose)

Colleges to help develop bioterror warning system [NC]
"Scientists from UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State and other public and private agencies will announce a new bioterrorism warning system project this morning. The North Carolina Bio-Preparedness Collaborative is a one-year, $5 million project funded by a federal grant. The idea: to establish a rapid-response warning system to alert health officials within hours of indications of a bioterrorist attack, threat of disease or other threats to public safety. [...] The project will draw on health data like doctor's notes, electronic hospital records, school nurse logs, prescription database and other information sources in an effort to detect a public health threat before it would be found with traditional surveillance systems, according to a university news release." (News Observer: North Carolina; 21Jun10; Eric Ferreri)

Oakland co. gets new line of defense against anthrax [MI]
"The Oakland County Sherriff's Office will now be able to safeguard its first-responders and the citizens they serve from anthrax [bacteria], thanks to a new cleaning solution that will be unveiled at a news conference this afternoon. The county already owns the machine that emits the cleanser as a mist and currently uses the device, made by Florida-based ZIMEK Technologies, to clean prisons cells to protect against the spread of several infectious diseases, including H1N1, MRSA and tuberculosis, county officials said this morning. It will now be used to clean patrol cars, too." (Detroit Free Press; 21Jun10; Zlati Meyer)

Greenpeace says Kuehne chemical plant in Kearny is "highest-risk" facility in nation and terrorism or accident there could imperil 12 million people [NJ]
"The environmental group Greenpeace released a report yesterday detailing risks and dangers the group says a Kearny chemical plant poses to millions of people in the New York/New Jersey area. [...] According to the report, an accident or terrorist attack on the plant could put some 12 million people at risk, making the plant the highest-risk facility in the nation. Kuehne manufactures products for the purification of water and waste water. Large amounts of chlorine gas are stored at the plant for the production of bleach. During the May visit, members of Greenpeace photographed the facility and several rail cars containing chlorine gas from a pedestrian walkway on the Pulaski Skyway, the Hackensack River and the plant's front gate. According to the Greenpeace report, the facility can have up to 11 rail cars on site at a time, each with the capacity to store 180,000 pounds of chlorine gas. [...] The storage of these chemicals on site breaks no state or federal environmental laws, but that is part of the problem, according to Greenpeace. The organization is pushing for legislation to require chemical plants across the country to adhere to stricter regulations and use safer manufacturing processes, Deans said. Don Nicolai, Kuehne's president and CEO, said yesterday his company has been at the forefront of safe practices in its field, noting that Kuehne is in the preliminary stages of constructing a chlorine brine facility 'intended to reduce the amount of chlorine that's brought in on rail cars.'" (New Jersey On-line; 23Jun10; Patrick Villanova)

Incinerator passes 75 percent mark [Anniston, AL]
"Anniston's role as storage unit for chemical weapons is almost over. More than 1,000 mustard agent-filled munitions were destroyed at the Anniston Army Depot incinerator Wednesday, marking an unheralded but critical milestone as 75 percent of the chemical weapons stockpile is now destroyed. Army spokesman Mike Abrams said it was quiet among the Anniston Chemical Agent Disposal facility employees as they worked to incinerate mustard that would mean the eradication of more than three fourths of the stockpile. 'There was not a dramatic sigh of relief or sense of accomplishment; it was just another day at the incinerator,' he said. 'But at the end of the day we just realized 'holy smokes!' we just went over 75 percent.' Abrams said that with this disposal foothold secured, he 'fully expects' the incinerator to reach the next step -- complete stockpile destruction -- by the federal government's April 2012 deadline." (Anniston Star; 22Jun10; Cameron Steele)

Czechs to help establish chemical warfare unit in Texas
"Soldiers from the Czech military 31st brigade of radiation, chemical and biological protection might help their U.S. counterparts establish a similar unit in Texas, General Jose Mayorga, Texas National Guard chief commander on a visit to Prague, told CTK [Czech News Agency] Tuesday. Since the Texas guard is considering establishing a similar unit, Mayorga said he would like to see how the Czech unit, seated in Liberec, north Bohemia, is organised and how it prepares for emergency situations, and also its way of reacting to them. The Czech chemical warfare unit is world-renowned. This April it protected the U.S.-Russian summit in Prague. Previously it ensured the security of the Olympic Games in Athens and was deployed in the Gulf War and other conflicts. Mayorga arrived in Prague at the invitation of Czech chief-of-staff Vlastimil Picek late on Monday. He and Picek are to meet on Wednesday to discuss further cooperation between the Czech military and the Texas Guard. Mayorga said Picek is to come to Austin, the capital of Texas, in July." (Prague Daily Monitor; 23Jun10)

Bhopal is also about [chemical] security
"The Indian media is abuzz with news on Bhopal gas tragedy. The debate is mainly concentrated on fixing the blame for allowing the perpetrator of the crime to leave the country. However, this 'opportunity' provided by the lack of justice in Bhopal gas tragedy and the nationwide debate thereon should not be wasted in only scoring political brownie points. While it is important to know the truth behind the escape of the then Union Carbide chief, it is also important to widen the scope of debate to check whether in the 21st century the nature of threat has changed and if so who are the new actors? Spilling of gas from a chemical factory can happen because of multiple reasons: from accidental release to sabotage. In this era of terrorism such threats need to be reviewed on a much broader canvas. Industrial disasters could be made to happen intentionally. Also, poisonous gases could be spread intentionally to damage crops or kill animals. For this terrorists could use certain type of chemical weapons to create mayhem. In the past they have done this in some parts of the world and there is a no guarantee that they may not do it again. [...] India, a victim of terrorism and internal unrest, hence needs to factor in issues like Chemical Terrorism in its security discourse. The Indian administration and Indian armed forces are aware of these threats and have done some initial work towards addressing them. Last year Defence Minister A. K. Antony had stated while releasing the national guidelines compiled by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on the management of chemical terrorism disaster that the terrorists are using more aggressive means to spread terror and can resort to chemical weapons in future. However, all current Indian efforts are more 'reactive' in nature - if any untoward incidence happens we know how to address it. Even for this we lack the basic infrastructure to undertake disaster management particularly in terms of medical facilities. The issue is, what have we learned from Bhopal?" (Eurasia Review; 21Jun10; Ajey Lele)

Tbilisi grants early release to weapons-grade uranium smuggler
"Georgia is granting an early release to a Russian citizen serving a seven-year prison sentence for his part in an attempt to sell highly enriched uranium to undercover Georgian agents, a senior Interior Ministry official in Tbilisi told Oleg Khintsagov, a resident of North Ossetia, was arrested in 2006 after attempting to sell 100 grams of highly enriched uranium (HEU) to a Georgian Interior Ministry officer posing as a representative of a terrorist organization. Khintsagov received a five-year prison term for trying to bring HEU into Georgia, and a two-year sentence for smuggling. [...] The government has not addressed publicly any potential security risks associated with Khintsagov's early release. Utiashvili, though, described his release as worrisome. 'This obviously causes us concern,' Utiashvili said. The ministry can do nothing to stop Khintsagov's release, he added. 'He was arrested and charged. After serving his sentence, he is free,' Utiashvili said. [...] Georgian officials say police have foiled eight other attempts to transport weapons-grade enriched uranium via Georgia over the past 10 years. The most recent intercept came in March 2010. Matthew Bunn, a specialist on nuclear theft and terrorism at Harvard University, called Khintsagov's early release not uncommon, but nonetheless troubling. 'One of the key things to stop nuclear smuggling is to try and deter people from getting into nuclear smuggling. ... Anything that decreases the consequences is a concern,' Bunn said." (EurasiaNet; 22Jun10; Molly Corso)

Home front to develop new nonconventional missile siren
"In face of a potential war that could involve chemical and biological attacks against Israel, the IDF [Israeli Defense Force] Home Front Command is planning to develop a special siren for non-conventional missiles, The Jerusalem Post has learned. The possibility of using two different sirens during a future conflict - one for conventional missiles and the other for missiles carrying non-conventional warheads - came up during the nationwide civil defense exercise that was held last month called Turning Point 4. Since the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the IDF Home Front Command has invested in improving Israeli warning systems and has doubled, the number of sirens stationed throughout the country to a whopping 3,100. The command is currently working on installing sirens in military bases as well." (Jerusalem Post; 21Jun10; Yaakov Katz)

NNSA [National Nuclear Security Administration] signs memorandum with Kuwait to increase cooperation on nuclear safeguards and nonproliferation
"The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Cooperation on nuclear safeguards and other nonproliferation topics with the Kuwait National Nuclear Energy Committee (KNNEC). NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino and KNNEC's Secretary General, Dr. Ahmad Bishara, signed the memorandum at a ceremony at U.S. Department of Energy headquarters in Washington. 'This agreement is an important step toward advancing strong bilateral cooperation between the United States and Kuwait on nuclear nonproliferation, safeguards and security,' said Administrator D'Agostino. This Memorandum of Cooperation is part of NNSA's International Nuclear Safeguards and Engagement Program (INSEP). [...] The memorandum with Kuwait specifically proposes cooperation in nuclear legislation and regulations; human resource planning and modeling; nuclear safeguards and security; radiation protection; environmental, safety and health issues; low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste management; and reactor operations, safety, and best practices." (National Nuclear Security Administration; 23Jun10)

House panel approves weapons of mass destruction bill [WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2010]
"The U.S. House Homeland Security Committee yesterday overwhelmingly approved legislation intended to bolster security measures at the country's biological research laboratories and strengthen federal prevention and response efforts for a potential WMD attack. Less than two weeks after being introduced by Representative Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and the panel's ranking member Peter King (R-N.Y.), the committee voted 26-0 in favor of the WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2010. Not all members of the committee were present. [...] The 95-page bill would require the homeland security secretary to hold a 'negotiated rulemaking committee' with other government agencies to develop enhanced regulations for biological research facilities and personnel. That body would in turn create a tier of disease materials deemed to be the most serious threats to the United States, labeling them 'Tier 1 Material Threat Agents.' The Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments would then conduct inspections of those laboratories to enforce the rules written by the negotiating committee and retain their current oversight roles. Agriculture and HHS officials also would be assigned to establish training programs for employees at those sites." (Global Security Newswire; 24Jun10; Martin Matishak)

Force protection, anti-terror[ism] demo[nstration] set
"Live presentations and demonstrations of advanced security equipment and technologies will be shown next May near Washington, it was announced Tuesday. More than 600 exhibitors are expected to participate in the event and nearly 3,500 technologically advanced off-the-shelf products from 20 categories of equipment and systems will be presented, organizers said. The United States' federally produced Force Protection Equipment Demonstration is sponsored by the Department of Defense's Physical Security Action Group, the Department of Energy and the Technical Working Group. The event, which occurs every two years, was initiated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff following the bombing at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996. Organizers said all demonstrated items must be available for procurement and testing within 90 days of the event, slated for May 17-19 in Stafford, Va. Products to [be] demonstrated include those for reducing the vulnerability of personnel and infrastructure equipment from a variety [o]f threats, including bombs and attacks using nuclear materials or biological and chemical agents." (United Press International; 23Jun10)

Sampling for contaminants at Lew[iston]-Port[er] to begin soon [NY]
"Sampling is expected to begin as soon as late July for radiological and chemical contamination on areas of the campus of the Lewiston-Porter schools, representatives of a federal agency said tonight. Soil tests will be conducted for chemicals and radiological materials at 16 locations behind the Creek Road campus, Army Corps of Engineers officials said during a public information session in the Lewiston Senior Center. A report with test results should be completed in November, said Mick Senus, a project manager with the Corps' Buffalo District. [...] Samples will be analyzed for a variety of chemicals, including metals, explosives and PCBs, as well as radiological contamination. The Army Corps has previously done sampling on the Lew-Port campus, which sits on the former Lake Ontario Ordance Works site, which was used in weapons production and waste storage during and after World War II. The former ordnance works site, which encompassed 7,500 acres of land in both Lewiston and Porter, includes a 191-acre area known as the Niagara Falls Storage Site which contains a 10-acre storage cell for radioactive waste from the Manhattan Project." (Buffalo News; 23Jun10; Aaron Besecker)

Governor Quinn announces $10 million capital grant for Rush University Medical Center [IL]
"Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $10 million capital grant to help construct a new, state-of-the-art emergency and disaster preparedness center at Rush University Medical Center. The McCormick Center for Advanced Emergency Response, the first of its kind in the United States, will more than double the size of the hospital's emergency department and is designed to better care for the victims of major catastrophes. [...] Rush's McCormick Center for Advanced Emergency Response will occupy the first floor of a new 14-floor hospital building currently under construction. The center will house 56 patient treatment bays and an advanced disaster response center. On a day-to-day basis, it will operate as an emergency facility. However, in the event of a disaster, special design and technology advancements will be utilized to better respond to biological, chemical and other catastrophes. [...] The new facility will include a specialized airflow system that can isolate areas of the facility from the effects of chemical or biological agents. Additionally, every room will have a cardiac monitor and each of three patient treatment pods will have its own ultrasound unit and available bedside point-of-care blood testing. Radiology will be located within the emergency department to reduce wait times for diagnostic imaging." (Illinois Government News Network; 22Jun10)

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