Friday, September 29, 2006

Law Enforcement & Corrections Technology News Summary September 28, 2006

"Technology Can Keep Cases Hot"
New York Newsday (09/24/06); Armario, Christine; Epstein, Reid J.

DNA and advancements in detective training are enabling the nation's police departments to solve more murder cases. Det. Lt. Dennis Farrell, head of Nassau's Homicide Squad, notes that these improvements have increased opportunities to make arrests in difficult cases, which police typically were pessimistic about solving when an arrest was not made within 72 hours. The amount of DNA required to investigate crimes has decreased substantially since the beginning of last decade. Joseph Pollini, a professor at New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice, adds that the state has a database of DNA samples taken from prisoners. Nevertheless, some cases still prove difficult, as illustrated by the shooting death of 17-year-old Ebony Ponce. Ponce, who had recently switched schools, was shot at a traffic light at the beginning of this month. Police have uncovered no motive for the killing, but are hopeful that someone with information about the crime will contact them.

"Control Box at Texas Jail Tampered With"
Associated Press (09/23/06); Brezosky, Lynn

A control box at the private-sector East Hidalgo Detention Center near Mexico was tampered with, likely causing an fence-based alarm system to malfunction as six prisoners escaped without the alarm sounding, says LCS Corrections Services co-owner Richard Harbison. The jail is installing a prevention system to alert officials if a fence alarm is turned off. The jail also is installing surveillance cameras near four outdoor control boxes. Five gang members escaped as well as former
police officer Francisco Meza-Rojas, who faces federal drug charges.

"Device Helps
Police Spot Stolen Cars"
Arizona Republic (09/21/06); Muench, Sarah

Police in Tempe, Ariz., will have two new devices that track stolen vehicles by Nov. 1. The Tempe Police Department purchased the mobile license-plate-recognition systems for $26,000 apiece with a grant from the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority and with the money from the department. In addition to tracking stolen cars, the device can help with Amber Alerts. It contains two cameras that sit on top of a police car and can scan up to 10,000 license plates during one shift. License plates are scanned and compared to a database of stolen vehicles. Tempe police Sgt. Joe Brosius says the device is a timesaver.

"High-Tech Plan Pitched to Fight Illegal Crossings"
USA Today (09/21/06) P. 5A; Hall, Mimi

The Department of
Homeland Security is getting ready to have hundreds of new camera towers erected at the country's land borders as part of a campaign to beef up security and significantly reduce illegal immigration across the United States' southern border. Secretary Michael Chertoff intends to announce Thursday that the government will pay private contractors, among them Boeing, millions of dollars to install state-of-the-art towers to contain cameras and sensors that will assist Border Patrol agents in nabbing individuals coming into this country illegally. In addition, the contract will include unmanned aerial vehicles and radar systems that are ground-based. The towers are one part of a Secure Border Initiative that Chertoff proclaimed last year; Homeland Security is also working toward increasing the number of its border agents, and is now forcing immigrants who are here illegally to be sent home or contained in detention centers until they have court hearings concerning their status.

Law Enforcement Seeks New, High-Tech Crime Fighting Tools"
Associated Press (09/23/06); Smith, Vicki

The Sheriffs' departments in the Northern Panhandle area of West Virginia are beginning to use electronic files and digital photographs, in addition to fingerprint-photo technology, to assist their investigative efforts. The new identification approaches make paper arrest cards obsolete. Lt. Drage Flick of the Ohio County Sheriff's Office notes that police departments in the county plan to start using EyeCheck technology in December that can determine whether suspects have drugs in their system. EyeCheck also has applications to check whether truck drivers or other drivers have not slept a sufficient amount of time to safely operate a vehicle.

"Cameras for Jail's Security"
Newsday (09/20/06); Lam, Chau; Madore, James T.

The county of Suffolk, N.Y., is mulling the installation of surveillance cameras within and outside the Riverhead jail, a move originally proposed almost six years ago. At the urging of Suffolk Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, county
leaders unveiled a bill on September 19 that would allocate $1 million towards the purchase and installation of 100 video cameras. DeMarco said the primary goal was to save taxpayers' money by having fewer staff members. The surveillance cameras would be placed inside hallways, holding areas, common areas, and the yard; the cameras would be able to record only video images. They would not be installed inside inmate cells, and no monitoring of sleeping areas would take place, according to DeMarco. Vito Dagnello, president of the county's Correction Officers Association, said he does not support "replacing correction officers with cameras." The jail currently has roughly 160 to 170 correction officers who guard some 950 prisoners during the day shift of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. According to DeMarco, video cameras are already in use in the visitors' area to avert the influx of smuggled items. Suffolk County's chief deputy executive Paul Sabatino said the surveillance cameras might help reduce lawsuits filed by inmates. "It's common sense," he explained. "Getting to the truth protects both taxpayers and the innocents."

"TSA May Shift Funds to Improve Airports' X-Ray Technology"
Washington Post (09/22/06) P. A7; Wilber, Del Quentin

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is considering using $20 million that had been earmarked for purchasing so-called "puffer" explosive-detection machines and instead using the money to upgrade its X-ray machine technology used at security checkpoints. The X-ray machines that are currently being used are somewhat limited in that they can only take images of carry-on bags from one angle, making it possible for banned items inside bags to remain hidden from view in some cases. By upgrading the X-ray technology, the TSA would be able to take multiple images of bags, eliminating blind spots inside the bags. In particular, this would help security screeners spot the shapes of items that may contain liquid explosives, the TSA said. The proposal to shift the $20 million represents the "biggest bang for the buck," says TSA chief Kip Hawley. TSA officials explained that the expensive puffer machines are susceptible to dust that causes them to frequently stop working and that they are incapable of detecting liquid explosives.

Police Pursue System"
The Tribune (Seymour, Ind.) (09/20/06); Woods, Aubrey

Jackson County, Ind.,
police officer Tom Wright is campaigning for new video technology that would enable local police to digitally enhance camera photos and video surveillance films often found in retail stores as security tools. Wright wants to pursue a $49,950 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for purchasing this video detective system He has asked the Jackson County, Ind., city council to approve his bid for the grant. Wright also plans to attend an upcoming three-day program in Virginia to study photo documentation technology and methods.

"Inmate Tracking Systems Breed Errors"
Washington Post (09/19/06) P. A1; Vargas, Theresa

Many areas in the Washington, D.C., region still use isolated and incompatible
criminal databases that are unable to communicate with each other. As a result, something as minor as deleting a hyphen in a name or spelling a name slightly differently can cause an inmate's records to fail to match court records. The problem is especially acute in the case of immigrant names because a variety of spellings are used and the use of two last names is common. Officials say it is crucial that court and prison information be compatible within a particular jurisdiction. At present, jurisdiction differ in such things as fingerprinting inmates, the use of aliases, and using numbers or names to identify inmates. Officials in larger cities such as Los Angeles and Miami usually rely on fingerprints and identification numbers instead of names to monitor inmates, and such data goes into a centralized database that can be accessed by courts and jails. "If a woman was arrested as Delafuente the first time and Flores the second time, it still would always come back to Delafuente," explained Lt. Tim Murphy, the watch commander of the inmate reception center in Los Angeles. He added that any mistakes that occur are nearly always due to clerical error.

"CHP to Use Laser Technology to Nab Hwy. 17 Speeders"
San Jose Mercury News (CA) (09/20/06); Richards, Gary

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is getting a speed-tracking tool called a Lidar that uses a pointed, red laser beam to instantly gauge the speed of a car. The Lidar will enable police to quickly pick out a speeding car even among a pack of cars, see the model and make, and apprehend the driver. The CHP will use it on a stretch of Highway 17 near Santa Cruz that is curvy and mountainous. This particular stretch of road in 1998 saw a peak of 896 automobile accidents. Since then, the CHP has used a number of preventative and penalizing methods to reduce annual average automotive injuries from 250 per year then to 166 per year now; and accidents have fallen by 17 percent from 2005 to 2006.

"Fingerprint System Gets Update"
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (FL) (09/20/06) P. 1; Forgoston, Jeff

Police in Hollywood, Fla., will soon begin using a new automated fingerprint system that can provide faster prints with greater clarity. In addition, the $88,046 biometric system will be able to use palm prints. Hollywood police began using its older automated fingerprint system roughly 10 years ago after using traditional fingerprinting methods. The new system allows police officers to obtain prints by rolling a suspect's finger across a glass window. The city used law enforcement forfeiture funds to purchase the technology.

"High-Tech Tool Can Pinpoint Gunfire Source"
Inside Bay Area (CA) (09/20/06); Harris, Harry; MacDonald, Heather

Oakland police are scheduled to be aided by microphone technology placed in some of the city's most crime-ridden areas. The microphones are able to determine the location of shooters that fire guns from as far 1.5 miles of the device. The technology requires a leasing fee of $288,500 for 12 months and becomes part of other advanced technology used by the Oakland Police Department. Police department officials report that the microphones are able to identify gun shots from fireworks and other sounds that can be mistaken for gunfire. The department is also hopeful that its program to equip high-risk offenders with bracelets that are tracked via the global positioning system will pay dividends. Parolees convicted of violent crimes or drug offenses are required to wear the bracelets, which will eventually also detect the presence of alcohol or drugs in the wearer's body.

"Emergency Alert Bill Could Stall Wireless Warnings"
RCR Wireless News (09/20/06); Silva, Jeffrey

Wireless warning deployment may be delayed as a result of the recently approved Warnings, Alerts, and Response Network Act, sponsored by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). The act calls for $106 million to be used for wireless and emergency warning technical protocol development methods. Congress wants to further develop emergency distribution channels before an emergency broadcast system is fully deployed. The Senate voted in favor of the bill to update the country's current emergency warning system. Paul Klein at CellCast Technologies says the bill is unnecessary and that Congress should consider using existing and proven technologies such as cell broadcast technology. "The nation's technological infrastructure for cell broadcast is already in place," says Klein. "No new development is necessary for immediate activation." The mobile phone industry is advocating the use of short message service. There are currently 219 million U.S. mobile phone subscribers.

"States Rap DHS Info-Sharing"
Government Computer News (09/06); Dizard III, Wilson P.

Several federal information-sharing systems do not work with state and local information systems, said state fusion center officials to Congress during a House
Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment hearing. Some 42 fusion centers have been created by states, cities, and regions to share information from several different agencies. Col. Kenneth Bouche at the Illinois State Police said the issue of consolidated information sharing needs to be a priority. Users are being forced to sign on to multiple systems to gain access to information. Bouche cited several systems that do not connect such as Law Enforcement Online, the Homeland Security Information Network, and the Regional Information Sharing Systems. "It truly dismays me to think that five years after the September 11 attacks, we are still not where we should be regarding the exchange of information needed to prevent and respond to attacks and possible threats against our communities," said Bouche. State officials are also critical of the government withholding information they have deemed classified. Bouche said security clearances are not recognized between different agencies and the process to obtain a clearance is too long. The Department of Homeland Security is currently working with state and local fusion centers so they link to the Homeland Security Data Network.

"San Diego Police Foundation Receives $1 Million Donation"
PR Newswire (09/13/06)

Qualcomm has donated $1 million to the
San Diego Police Foundation to assist it in purchasing handheld communication devices and global positioning system (GPS) tools. The donation stipulates that around 60 percent of the funds will be allocated to purchasing CDMA2000 wireless tools that will boost police service response times, and also provide police dispatchers with new options, such as GPS positioning information and broadband data services. The rest of the funds will be used for wireless devices for police communication. "Our police officers are dedicated and intelligent, but they don't have all the tools they need to maximize efficient service," said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. Today "One of the greatest challenges faced by police officers in the field is that of convenient communications capabilities and the department has substantial technology needs that total more than $5 million," noted San Diego Police Foundation CEO Wenda Alvarez.

"Are Fake Videos Next?"
CNet (09/11/06); Kanellos, Michael

After already having developed software that can determine whether a digital photograph has been doctored, Dartmouth professor Hany Farid is now looking to create a similar application for video. "I thought, 'This is going to be so much easier,' but it turns out to be much harder," he said. "In a minute (of) video, you are talking about thousands of images. Just the sheer mass of data that you have to contend with is challenging. You have memory and run-time issues that you don't have with (still) images." Farid and his colleagues at the Dartmouth Image Science Group are also releasing a host of new tools that could allow law enforcement officials and others to detect when a photo has been altered more easily. Fake and retouched digital images have become a major problem, thanks to faster processors, improved editing software, and a global audience. While the audio is relatively easy to tamper with, Farid says, video is considerably more difficult. Farid and his graduate student, Weihong Want, have only just published a paper on video forensics, and the software capable of conducting a forensic analysis on video could still be two years' in the offing. The software would likely work in a similar fashion as the kind used to detect photography fraud, scanning for anomalies in the digital feed. By analyzing the continuity of the horizontal lines that pass between frames in video, the software promises to determine whether the video has been doctored. Thus far, however, it has been difficult for the researchers to quantify what determines a significant enough break in continuity that the video can be assumed to have been altered. JPEG quantitization tables enable analysts to determine by brand the rate at which cameras will drop data while compressing an image. "I can't tell you the serial number of the camera, but I can tell you this did not come from a Canon PowerShot. It came from a Nikon," said Farid. "You can also tell if it came through Photoshop. It won't tell you what happened to the image, but it tells you it did not directly come out of the camera."

"Pinch My Ride"
Wired (08/06) Vol. 14, No. 8,; Stone, Brad

Most of the newer cars on the road today are equipped with transponder theft deterrents, which feature an ignition key in which a small computer chip is embedded. This chip releases a unique radio signal to the car's onboard computer that enables the car to start. Many insurance companies and car manufacturers believe that thwarting a transponder system is so difficult that most criminals lack the money or ingenuity to do so. However, transponders actually start to lose effectiveness after a few years when criminals decipher how to bypass the system. Car thieves typically overcome a car's transponder deterrent system in four ways--by removing a particular fuse from an engine's power relay center, stealing the extra valet key hidden inside a car's manual, replacing the electronic control module (ECM) within a car's computer with their own ECM, and applying a series of pushes and pulls to a car's emergency brake lever that correspond to a car's VIN (vehicle identification number). In one case involving a Mercedes S430, mechanics found that an electronic ignition system and customized fuses had been wired to the dashboard and the fuse box. Investigators believe the thief used a PDA to upload pilfered software into the car's computer and replace the car's GPS tracking number with another. Ivan Blackman with the National Insurance Crime Bureau's Vehicle Information and Identification Program, says more and more organizations are realizing that transponder-equipped cars can be stolen.

"Information & Intelligence Sharing After 9/11"
Law Enforcement Technology (09/06) Vol. 33, No. 9, P. 46; Kanable, Rebecca

Law enforcement officials and experts say communication problems experienced during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks centered along two fundamental axes: Horizontal communications across the federal agencies, and vertical communication up and down local to state to federal agencies. Though many disagree how much has been improved, most agree that much needs to be done. The U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Justice are promoting the concept of a state-level fusion center that can bring together representatives of various state agencies and departments, and also be a communication hub for sharing information with those needed in emergencies outside the governmental structure, such as the medical community. Many states either have a fusion center today or are creating one. In addition, states are pushing forward with their own emergency response plans while simultaneously continuing to strengthen ties to agencies on the federal level, for the national process simply takes more time, says Homeland Security's William Moore, who runs the Lessons Learned Information Sharing program. Lessons Learned has a Web site at, and Moore himself recommends that law enforcement and emergency agencies focus on building trust across state and local departments and also on the regional level, where many natural regional bonds already exist. Data-sharing among various local and federal law enforcement databases also has increased since 2001, a boost partially due to the increased use of XML and Global JXDM computer language.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- September 27, 2006

Powder clears 4 [Colorado] state offices

“Four state offices in Denver and Lakewood received letters Monday containing white powder determined to be sugar and artificial sweetener a day after a biological-weapons scare at a south Denver bank. About 300 state workers were evacuated just after 1 p.m. for about an hour from the Centennial Building on Sherman, where four people, including a Colorado State Patrol officer, were exposed to the powder… At virtually the same time a few blocks away, the Trade Center's 27th floor and the floor above and below were evacuated when two workers were exposed to the envelope [of powder]…” (Denver Post, 26Sep06, Manny Gonzales and Felisa Cardona)

FBI Official Says Ag Threat Still Exists

“Agriculture is not safe from the threat of agroterrorism, and according to
FBI Deputy Director John Pistole, the threat is ‘real and the impact could be devastating,’ according to remarks he made to the Associated Press. Pistole was taking part in the second International Symposium on Agroterrorism being held in Kansas City this week. He notes the costs are too high for the threat and while terrorist groups may have weakened in some parts of the world they're not gone.” (Farm Futures, 27Sep06)

U of M [University of Michigan] resident: Bioterror still rural problem

“Even rural areas need to be on guard for a bioterror attack, a University of Michigan medical resident said at a presentation Tuesday afternoon at Portage Health. Erich Kickland, a fourth-year resident, was at Portage for the past month to gain experience in a rural emergency room setting. At the outset, he’d thought bioterrorism planning wouldn’t be as big an issue in remote areas. But in his research, he’d found the opposite. While a mass casualty attack is unlikely, even a mild event could incite a surge of chaos. In the event of an attack on a large metropolitan area, low-population spots could expect a flood of refugees, some of whom might be carrying contagions. ‘The first thing they’re going to want to do is go somewhere they perceive as being safer…’ he said.” (Mining Gazette, 27Sep06, Garrett Neese)

Depot rocket destruction delayed

“A glitch Tuesday in the emergency sirens surrounding the Umatilla Chemical Depot delayed the start of projectile destruction. While preparing for a planned test of the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program's emergency sirens, officials noticed there was a problem with the signal that activates the system, explained Chris Brown, Oregon CSEPP manager. Depot crews will wait until the sirens are working to move the (GB) sarin-filled 8-inch projectiles from their storage igloos to the incinerator, said depot spokesman Bruce Henrickson.”
(, 27Sep06, Jeannine Koranda)

Over 3,000 Bombs Processed at Russian Chemical Weapons Destruction Plant

“Detoxification of 3,068 aerial bombs containing VX gas is under way at a chemical weapons destruction facility in the village of Maradykovo (Kirov Region). The first line of the facility was commissioned two weeks ago. ‘The facility is working as normal; from 90 to 120 toxic aerial bombs are detoxified here every day,’ head of the conventional problems department of the regional administration Mikhail Manin told ITAR-TASS today. ‘Bombs are delivered one by one from the arsenal to a special storing place and are placed in an airtight unit. A special reagent is poured inside the shell. The bombs are then sealed and marked by inspectors from the international Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, after which the bombs are put into storage for three months, which is necessary for detoxification.’” (Red Orbit, 22Sep06, ITAR-TASS)

Workers Contain Leak At Deseret Chemical Depot

“Workers at Deseret Chemical Depot contained a liquid mustard agent leak at the facility today. About two tablespoons of the agent was discovered leaking during routine monitoring operations in a storage igloo. Depot workers in protective clothing removed the leaking container to a different structure. The container’s plugs and valves will be replaced. In a separate operation, workers replaced a valve suspected of leaking mustard agent vapor from another bulk container.” (, 25Sep06)

Japan collects 418 shells of wartime chemical weapons in China

“The Japanese government has collected 418 shells believed to be of wartime chemical weapons abandoned by the Imperial Japanese
Army in Dunhua in China's Jilin Province, the Cabinet Office said Wednesday. In a project to collect and dispose of abandoned chemical weapons from Aug. 22 to Monday, a total of 438 shells were found, with 20 of them confirmed not to be those abandoned by the Imperial Japanese Army. The 20 shells were given to the Chinese government. The project, supported by the Chinese government, is the third of its kind, following one in October to November of 2005 and one in the May-June period this year.” (Yahoo! Asia News, 27Sep06, Kyodo News)

Chemist isn’t fit for trial: Paranoid man kept stockpile of cyanide

“An Independence [Missouri] chemist who is accused of possessing enough potassium cyanide to kill up to 1,000 people is suffering from irrational delusions and should be found not competent to stand trial, a federal magistrate said yesterday. Hessam Ghane, 56, was indicted more than three years ago for illegally stockpiling the poison. His mental condition has been the subject of numerous hearings since he was taken into custody in May 2003. Officials did not believe that Ghane, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Iran, was part of a terrorist plan. The poison is prohibited under the International Chemical Weapons Convention.” (Columbia Daily Tribune, 26Sep06, AP)

PharmAthene Awarded $213 Million Department of Defense Contract for Advanced Development of Protexia

“PharmAthene, Inc., a leading biodefense company specializing in the development and commercialization of medical countermeasures against chemical and biological
terrorism, announced today that it has been awarded a multi-year contract valued at up to $213 million from the Department of Defense (DoD) U.S. Army Space and Missile Command, for advanced development of the Company's broad spectrum chemical nerve agent prophylaxis, Protexia(R). The Protexia contract was awarded through a full and open competitive solicitation seeking novel second generation prophylactic products for use in humans to prevent and treat poisoning from organophosphorus (OP) nerve agents such as sarin gas, soman, tabun and VX. Protexia is a form of recombinant human butyrylcholinesterase (rBChE), a potent organophosphorus (OP) scavenger protein, being developed for use as a prophylactic to protect U.S. military personnel and civilians from the toxic effects of chemical nerve agents.” (PharmaLive, 25Sep06)

Court briefly shut down as Saddam is removed after outburst

“For the second time in as many days in his genocide and war crimes trial, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was ordered out of the courtroom on Tuesday, sparking an eruption from the other defendants and briefly shutting down the court. Saddam and his six co-defendants have been on trial since Aug. 21 for their roles in a 1987-1988 crackdown on the Kurds, which has become known as the Anfal campaign, a reference to a verse in the Quran meaning roughly ‘the spoils of war.’ They're accused of killing as many 180,000 people, mostly civilians, in a
military offensive that included the use of chemical weapons. [After Tuesday’s outburst,] [t]he judge ordered the curtains to the press gallery closed and declared a recess. When the afternoon session resumed, the defendants' cages were empty. The court recessed until Oct. 9.” (San Jose Mercury News; 26Sep06; Mark Brunswick, McClatchy Newspapers)

*Vietnam praised for implementing chemical weapons convention

leader of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
(OPCW) said Vietnam has become a symbol in the region in implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). OPCW Director General Rogelio Pfirter made the remarks in his meeting with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Gia Khiem in Hanoi on September 26. Deputy PM Khiem assured his guest that Vietnam will strictly comply with the regulations of the Convention to prohibit the development, production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and to destroy them.” (Nhan Dan, 27Sep06)

DHS [Department of
Homeland Security] secretary weighs in on port security bill

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff encouraged lawmakers Tuesday to pass a maritime security bill that is not weighed down with extraneous provisions, indicating that his department supports the House's version of the legislation more than the Senate's approach. Democrats… continued to press Chertoff on scanning cargo at foreign ports, noting that a nuclear bomb could be smuggled into the country in cargo containers. Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., called on Chertoff to ensure that, within three years, all cargo is scanned at foreign ports before being put on ships bound for the United States. Chertoff countered: ‘We don't own the foreign ports, congressman.’” (; 26Sep06; Chris Strohm, CongressDaily)

UN atomic watchdog calls for financial and technical support to fight nuclear

“The United Nations atomic watchdog agency has called on all Member States to provide political, financial, and technical support to prevent nuclear and radiological
terrorism. The call, which also seeks necessary funds for the Nuclear Security Fund, came in a resolution passed by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference, which was attended by more than 100 Member States and ended last week. The resolution on ‘Nuclear Security - Measures to Protect Against Nuclear Terrorism’ emphasizes the importance of physical protection and other measures against illicit trafficking and national control systems for ensuring protection against nuclear terrorism and other malicious acts, including the use of radioactive material.” (UN News Centre, 26Sep06)

Terrorism Insurance: Measuring and Predicting Losses from Unconventional Weapons Is Difficult, but Some Industry Exposure Exists

Terrorists using unconventional weapons, also known as nuclear, biological, chemical, or radiological (NBCR) weapons, could cause devastating losses. The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) of 2002, as well as the extension passed in 2005, will cover losses from a certified act of terrorism, irrespective of the weapon used, if those types of losses are included in the coverage. Because of a lack of information about the willingness of insurers to cover NBCR risks and uncertainties about the extent to which these risks can be and are being insured by private insurers across various lines of insurance, GAO was asked to study these issues. …Insuring NBCR risks is distinctly different from insuring other risks because of the potential for catastrophic losses, a lack of understanding or knowledge about the long-term consequences, and a lack of historical experience with NBCR attacks in the United States. Measuring and predicting NBCR risks present distinct challenges to insurers because the characteristics of the risks largely diverge from commonly accepted principles used in determining insurability.” (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 25Sep06)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

WMD Terrorism News

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- September 25, 2006

FBI is Casting a Wider Net in Anthrax Attacks

“Five years after the anthrax attacks that killed five people, the
FBI is now convinced that the lethal powder sent to the Senate was far less sophisticated than originally believed, widening the pool of possible suspects in a frustratingly slow investigation. The finding, which resulted from countless scientific tests at numerous laboratories, appears to undermine the widely held belief that the attack was carried out by a government scientist or someone with access to a U.S. biodefense lab. What was initially described as a near-military-grade biological weapon was ultimately found to have had a more ordinary pedigree, containing no additives and no signs of special processing to make the anthrax bacteria more deadly, law enforcement officials confirmed. In addition, the strain of anthrax used in the attacks has turned out to be more common than was initially believed, the officials said.” (Washington Post, 25Sep06, Allan Lengel and Joby Warrick)

Feds, locals probe powder found among bank payments

“Workers at a southeast Denver bank discovered two open capsules of yellow powder inside a bill payment envelope Sunday, setting off a daylong hazardous materials investigation involving a small
army of federal and local law enforcement officers. Investigators determined that the powder was not anthrax or a weapon of mass destruction. A series of tests indicated that the powder was a complex protein, but Champagne said additional tests would be needed today to identify the substance.” (Rocky Mountain News, 25Sep06, Myung Oak Kim)

Mock disaster exercise

“With an eye to the sky for a possible actual weather emergency, Marshall County's first responders worked their way through a mock disaster drill Saturday morning. With severe weather a distinct possibility later in the day, emergency personnel across the county convened Saturday morning in Centennial Park to play out a scenario designed to test their communications and knowledge of the National Incident Management System,or NIMS. Volunteers served as victims in the mock drill, which saw a helicopter crash in the middle of the Marshall County Blueberry Festival's primary vendor area. The crash occurred after a passenger had dumped a white powdery substance over the crowd. That substance, in the drill, was later ‘confirmed’ as deadly anthrax [bacteria].” (South Bend Tribune, 24Sep06, Anita Munson)

Bioshield dispute underscores problems with defense program

“Five years after anthrax attacks left five dead, sickened 17 and terrified America, millions of vaccine shots developed through cutting-edge genetic engineering were supposed to be filling a new national stockpile of biodefense drugs. Instead, the nearly $1 billion contract awarded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to a tiny and struggling San Francisco Bay area biotechnology company is plagued with misfortune and delays. Delivery has been put off until at least 2008 - and maybe later - while the government and VaxGen Inc. trade barbs over who is at fault for the delays. The dispute has further tarnished Project BioShield, a government program that has alienated many potential biodefense contractors.” (Contra Costa Times; 23Sep06; Paul
Elias, AP)

Saddam Hussein Thrown Out of Court Again

“Saddam Hussein's stormy trial on genocide and other charges has resumed in Baghdad. The trial was in session just two hours before the former Iraqi
leader was thrown out of court - again. Defendant Saddam Hussein told the presiding judge he did not want to be kept in a courtroom cage anymore. His demand annoyed chief judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa, who ordered Saddam removed from the court. Saddam's defense lawyers were
already staging a boycott of the court session to protest last week's removal of the previous chief judge for failing to be neutral.” (Voice of America, 25Sep06, Jim Randle)

180 Countries Now Uphold the Chemical Weapons Ban: The Central African

Republic Ratifies the Chemical Weapons Convention “The Central African Republic will become the 180th State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention on 20th October 2006. This will happen 30 days after it deposited its instrument of ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 20 September 2006. The Convention now covers 98% of the global population.” (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 25Sep06)

The OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] Hosts the UN Disarmament Fellows

“The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons held a two-day seminar for the United Nations Disarmament Fellowship on 21 and 22 September 2006 at its Headquarters in The Hague as a part of continuing disarmament education effort. The Fellowship numbers 30 Fellows in this year, representing Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Chile, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Georgia, Guinea, India, Iran, Japan, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Russian
Federation, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, United States of America, and Zimbabwe. The Fellows received an extensive briefing in all aspects of the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), the global chemical weapons ban, by all 179 CWC States Parties.” (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 25Sep06)

OPCW Director-General Attends Seventh U.N. High-Level Meeting

“On 22 September 2006, the Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter, attended the Seventh High-Level Meeting with Regional and Other Governmental Organisations, hosted in New York by United Nations Secretary-General, H.E. Mr Kofi Annan. The focus of this year’s meeting related to proposals for cooperation between the United Nations and regional organizations on ‘How Regional and Other Intergovernmental Organizations Can Help Solve Current and Long-standing Regional Crises: Capacity to Prevent, Respond and Rebuild after Crises’.” (Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, 25Sep06)

NIAID [National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] Awards
$4 Million to Develop Anti-Radiation Treatments

“The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has issued five awards totaling $4 million to fund the development of products that eliminate radioactive materials from the human body following radiological or nuclear exposure. The awards, which were granted under Project Bioshield authorities, complement NIAID’s other medical countermeasure efforts to create safe and effective products of this type. ‘These new grants will help identify new drug candidates that could be acquired by the strategic national stockpile of medical countermeasures, which is available to the public after a terrorist or nuclear attack or accidental radioactive exposure,’ says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 25Sep06)

Officials say Staten Island park radiation is not dangerous

“A Staten Island park where high levels of radium were discovered last year poses no public health risk, officials said Friday, though a congressman is asking for the full list of 79 other radiological ‘hot spots’ around the city. National Park Service and Environmental Protection Agency officials met with Staten Island's Rep. Vito Fossella a day after a government report revealed that an aerial survey conducted by anti-
terror experts had detected radium at Great Kills Park. The survey was conducted in August 2005 at the request of the NYPD to create a map of low-intensity sources of radioactivity.” (Staten Island Live; 22Sep06; Devlin Barrett, AP)

Russia agrees to take 2.3 tons [of] Serbian nuclear reactor waste

“Russia agreed to take 2.3 metric tons of spent fuel from a decommissioned Serbian nuclear reactor, in a measure aimed at ensuring the waste does not end up in
terrorist hands, a Serbian official said Monday. A US$10 million deal to the transport about 8,000 spent fuel rods from the Institute of Nuclear Sciences in Vinca, just outside Belgrade, to Russia was signed last week in Vienna, Austria, at an International Atomic Energy Agency conference, Serbia's Science Minister Aleksandar Popovic said. The rods are varying degrees of enrichment~a potential dirty bomb material. A recent IAEA inspection of the Vinca facility has discovered that spent fuel was kept in poorly guarded storage areas, triggering fears that they could be a potential theft targets for the terrorists.” (Pravda, 25Sep06)

Combating Nuclear
Terrorism: Federal Efforts to Respond to Nuclear
and Radiological Threats and to Protect Emergency Response Capabilities
Could Be Strengthened

“DOE has unique capabilities and assets to prevent and respond to a nuclear or radiological attack in the United States. These include specialized teams to search for, locate, and deactivate nuclear or radiological devices and to help manage the consequences of a nuclear or radiological attack. These capabilities are primarily found at DOE’s two key emergency response facilities—the Remote Sensing Laboratories at Nellis
Air Force Base, Nevada, and Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. DOE’s two Remote Sensing Laboratories are protected at the lowest level of physical security allowed by DOE guidance because, according to DOE, capabilities and assets to prevent and respond to nuclear and radiological emergencies have been dispersed across the country and are not concentrated at the laboratories. However, we [GAO] found a number of critical capabilities and assets that exist only at the Remote Sensing Laboratories and whose loss would significantly hamper DOE’s ability to quickly prevent and respond to a nuclear or radiological emergency.” (U.S. Government Accountability Office, 21Sep06)

Russia’s Upper House of Parliament Ratifies Global Treaty Aimed to
Prevent Nuclear

“Russia’s upper house of parliament on Monday ratified a global treaty aimed to prevent nuclear terrorism, the Associated Press news agency reports. The International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear
Terrorism ‘is the first universal agreement to be adopted by the United Nations on Russia’s initiative, intended to prevent terror attacks with the use of weapons of mass destruction,’ the Interfax news agency quoted Mikhail Margelov, chairman of the chamber’s international affairs committee, as saying. The treaty makes it a crime to possess radioactive material or weapons with the intention of committing a terrorist act or to damage a nuclear facility.” (MosNews, 25Sep06)

Committee hopes to decrease risks of airplane threats

“The possibility of a new infectious disease health scare every year combined with the potential of a chemical or biological threat to the nation's airplanes has some Purdue researchers concerned. In 2001, the National Research Council cited airborne allergens, carbon monoxide, hydraulic fluids and pesticides amongst top concerns. Because of the increase of public regard of chemical and biological attacks as well as the concern for airborne illness contamination, the Federal Aviation Administration enacted a committee in 2004, which includes seven universities and one national lab, said Q. Yan Chen, principal director of the committee and professor of mechanical engineering. The Air
Transportation Center of Excellence for Airline Cabin Environment Research is composed of Purdue and Harvard as technical co-leads. Since the enactment of the committee and with over $2 million in grant money already gifted to research at Purdue, nine studies including better methods of modeling airflow, effectively estimating contaminant transfer in an air cabin and composing a compact and cost-effective sensor have already begun, said Chen.” (The Exponent, 25Sep06, Manda Ramirez)

Homeland Security Bill Is More Style Than Substance, Analysts Say

“Eager to showcase fresh votes on national security before the fall elections, Congress has loaded a $34 billion homeland security spending bill with measures to beef up defenses at the nation's borders, ports and chemical plants and to revamp its disaster management. With few exceptions, however, the measures are less sweeping than they appear, analysts said. On ports, the Senate recently voted to install radiation detectors by the end of next year at the 22 biggest ports, which get 98 percent of inbound cargo; add 1,000 customs agents; and start a pilot program at three foreign ports to scan for nuclear or ‘dirty bomb’ materials in U.S.-bound cargo. But…lawmakers have not agreed to fund all the proposals. Similarly, negotiators from the Senate and House homeland security panels announced a tentative deal Thursday to give DHS authority to enforce security rules for high-risk chemical plants. But Democrats and environmental groups said the pact is filled with loopholes sought by industry…” (Washington Post, 24Sep06, Spencer S. Hsu)

Meade [Ft. Meade, Maryland]: 22 members will respond in event of attack

“Equipped with a mobile laboratory, communication center and various experts, a recently certified team from Fort George G. Meade is now available to respond to major threats and help protect citizens in the event of a weapons of mass destruction attack in Maryland. The U.S. Department of Defense certified a Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team Thursday to help emergency personnel and first responders handle weapons of mass destruction incidents. Based at Fort Meade, the 22-member team consists of National Guard troops trained to handle biological, chemical, radioactive and nuclear incidents.” (The Capital, 23Sep06, Joshua Stewart)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Navy Aviator Missing In Action From Vietnam War is Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced yesterday that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to his family for burial with full military honors.

He is Lt. Cmdr. James E. Plowman, U.S. Navy, of Pebble Beach, Calif. He was buried yesterday at Arlington National Cemetery near Washington D.C.

On March 24, 1967, Plowman and a fellow officer departed the USS Kitty Hawk in their A-6A Intruder on a night strike mission of an enemy target in North Vietnam. Radar contact with their aircraft was lost over the Ha Bac Province as they were departing the target area. A pilot from another aircraft reported two missile warnings on his radar screen immediately before contact was lost with Plowman's aircraft.

Between 1993 and 1996, joint U.S.-Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations in the province. The team interviewed two local villagers who saw the 1967 crash, and both men recalled seeing human remains at the site. The team also surveyed the purported crash site and found several small fragments of aircraft wreckage.

In 1996, another joint U.S./S.R.V. team excavated the suspected crash site. The team found human remains from amid the scattered wreckage. The team was also handed some remains by a local villager who claimed to have recovered it while scavenging the crater for metal.

Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA in the identification of the remains.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- September 20, 2006

Guardian Shield Exercise Helps International Partners Cooperate

“Guardian Shield, held Sept. 13-15, was a DTRA-sponsored and U.S. Army Europe [USAREUR]-led exercise that provided a forum to evaluate the consequence-management resources of
U.S. military units in Europe, said Bill Liles, joint planning group exercise planner with USAREUR plans and operations. The table-top exercise involved an ‘anthrax attack’ in the Benelux, a union of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. The mock attack gave USAREUR leaders a better understanding of the Benelux’s host-nation capabilities and where support would be needed if a terrorist attack or major catastrophe were to occur.” (The Military Family Network, 20Sep06, Aimee Millham)

Smallpox vaccine protection may last a few decades

“Most patients are fully protected against smallpox for a few decades after primary smallpox vaccination and protection [sic] against severe disease for up to 50 years, according to a new report. ‘Median duration of protection against the disease would be more or less 20-30 years,’ Dr. Martin Eichner from University of Tuebingen, Germany told Reuters Health. ‘In other words, the present population may not be protected against infection unless recently vaccinated. However, some fraction of previously vaccinated individuals may still be protected against the severe forms of the disease.’” (Reuters, 19Sep06, Will Boggs)

Saddam Hussein’s lawyers walk out of trial to protest judge change

“Saddam Hussein's lawyers walked out of his trial Wednesday to protest the replacement of the chief judge, who had been accused of favoring the defense. The deposed
leader also protested and was ordered to leave the courtroom.” (Leesville Daily Leader; 20Sep06; Sameer N. Yacoub and Jamal Halaby, AP)

Iraqi government fires judge in Saddam Hussein trial

“The Iraqi government Tuesday fired the chief judge in Saddam Hussein's genocide trial, prompting accusations of political interference in the highly sensitive trial and raising renewed questions over the fairness of the effort to bring Iraq's former dictator to justice. Government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said the decision to remove judge Abdullah al-Amiri was taken at a cabinet meeting as a result of the judge's comment in court last week that he did not regard Hussein as a dictator. The cabinet, known as the Council of Ministers, then issued an order to the U.S.-created Iraqi Special Tribunal trying Hussein to replace him, Dabbagh said.” (Duluth News Tribune; 19Sep06; Liz Sly, Chicago Tribune)

Witness bares attack scar in Saddam trial

“A former Kurdish guerrilla fighter removed his shirt in a marbled Baghdad courtroom today to show what he said were scars caused by a chemical attack ordered by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s. Iskandar Mahmoud Abdul-Rahman told Saddam’s trial for genocide against ethnic Kurds how he and other comrades from the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan were gassed after fleeing to a village in Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region. ‘I began vomiting and I was dizzy, my eyes burnt and I couldn’t stand,’ said Abdul-Rahman, a bespectacled and clean-shaven man wearing a grey suit. ‘I regained consciousness after 10 days and saw my body had been burnt completely. The doctors were giving me injections and medication including eye drops frequently. They cut the burnt skin with scissors. I can show the court my scars that are still visible on my body,’ he said. After the judged agreed, the witness took off his blue shirt, showing several scars on his back, roughly 20cm long.” (Business Day, 19Sep06, Reuters)

U.S. Government Selects Biothera Compounds for National Radiation
Countermeasure Evaluation

“The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health, has selected two Biothera drug candidates for research in a new program designed to identify and facilitate the development of radiation and nuclear medical countermeasures. The NIAID's Radiation/Nuclear Countermeasures Product Development Program is evaluating compounds to treat and protect the general U.S. population against acute radiation exposure resulting from a nuclear
terrorist attack or accident. The program's objective is to bring candidates through the entire drug development process culminating in an FDA-approved drug for consideration for the national radiation countermeasure stockpile.” (PR Newswire, 18Sep06)

United States, Russia Sign New Plutonium Liability Protocol

“The United States and Russia have signed a protocol that will allow liability issues to be resolved for an important nuclear nonproliferation program, the State Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) announced September 15. NNSA's Elimination of Weapons-Grade Plutonium Production Program is designed to convert excess weapons-grade plutonium into forms that cannot be used for weapons by
terrorists or others.~ According to a statement by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, the protocol ‘is a key step to enable cooperation between the two countries.’ The total amount of plutonium envisaged for conversion under this program -- 68 metric tons (about 150,000 pounds) -- is equal to the amount used in more than 16,000 nuclear weapons.” (U.S. Department of State, 19Sep06)

Homes development workers in ricin alert

“A controversial housing development in the North Nottinghamshire area is at the centre of a 'white powder' alert which has led to workers at a building firm targeted with death threats and suspicious packages. The news emerged after Barratt Homes offices across the country received threatening letter last week containing a suspicious powder –– although tests later revealed the substance was harmless. Reports have suggested the letters featured the message 'death to all Barratt employees' and claimed the powder was the deadly poison ricin.” (, 20Sep06)

Terror-detecting fish patrol water

“New York City's drinking water supply is being guarded around-the-clock against toxic and biological weapons by an unlikely band of sentinels - the hardy bluegill fish. The bluegills, which measure about 3-inches long, are New York's aqua cops, silently flapping their gills in containment tanks in the reservoir system as remote-controlled sensors monitor their heartbeat and breathing for irregularities. ‘We are measuring stress,’ said Bill Lawler, co-founder of Intelligent Automation Corp. of San Diego, which is operating the system for the city's Department of Environmental Protection. ‘The idea is to have happy, stress-free fish. Once we have minute toxins in the water, the fish will react.’ Lawler said the fish can detect if there are pesticides, petroleum or heavy metal particles in the water. He said the fish would alert officials if there was a biological or chemical weapon in the water, but he declined to give any details.” (New York Daily News, 19Sep06, Austin Fenner)

Scam closes courthouse

“An anthrax scare caused the evacuation of the courthouse in Nevada City [California] Tuesday afternoon and the temporary quarantine of 29 county and courthouse employees. A powdery substance came from an envelope opened by a clerk at about 2:15 p.m., which raised the alarm, according to Sean Metroka, court executive officer. There was a letter inside the envelope along with the substance that stated, ‘Danger ... anthrax ... seek medical attention,’ Sean Metroka, court executive officer said, adding it also contained statements regarding the government, taxes and the court system. The substance was sent to Sacramento for analysis. Late Tuesday night, Metroka reported the
FBI lab said it was ‘reasonably sure it was talcum powder.’” (The Union of Grass Valley, 20Sep06, Josh Singer)

Israel focuses on possible WMD threat from Iran: report

“Faced with an alleged unclear threat from Iran, Israeli
military establishment has been concentrating on dealing with a possible confrontation with non- conventional weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday. According to an exclusive report of the newspaper, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Home Front Command has shifted its focus since the Lebanon war ended and is now investing most of its efforts in confronting the threat of WMD. A high-ranking IDF officer revealed to the Post that Israel's Home Front Command (HFC) is now developing new technological means to deal with chemical and biological threats, including mobile air- purification containers that can be brought to areas infected by chemical or biological weapons and purify the air. HFC's focus was shifted partially because the defense establishment believed that following the war in Lebanon, Israel was facing a major threat from ballistic missiles.” (People’s Daily Online, 19Sep06, Xinhua)

Nuclear terror ‘the ultimate nightmare’

“Humanity's ultimate nightmare is terrorists with weapons of mass destruction, says [Australian] Foreign Minister Alexander Downer. Foreshadowing an address he'll give to the United Nations general assembly in New York this week, Mr Downer said today he'll touch on a number of vital issues. ‘The first is that we are very concerned about the issues of terrorism and there needs to be a much more united effort by the international community to confront
terrorists,’ Mr Downer said to ABC radio. ‘Obviously the ultimate and enduring nightmare for humanity is that terrorists would get hold of chemical weapons or even worse.’ Mr Downer said the worst case scenario would be terrorists with nuclear weapons.” (Melbourne Herald Sun, 20Sep06)

President Ahmadinejad Delivers Remarks to the U.N. General Assembly

“A brief glance at a few examples of the most pressing global issues[:]…the unbridled expansion of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons. Some powers proudly announce their production of second and third generations of nuclear weapons. What do they need these weapons for? Is the development and stockpiling of these deadly weapons designed to promote peace and democracy or are these weapons, in fact, instruments of coercion and threat against other peoples and governments? How long should the people of the world live with the nightmare of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons? What bounds [sic] the powers producing and possessing these weapons? How can they be held accountable before the international community? And are the inhabitants of these countries content with the waste of their wealth and their resources on the production of such destructive arsenals?” (Washington Post, 20Sep06, CQ Transcripts Wire)

Monday, September 18, 2006

Five “Behind the Badge” authors added to

September 16, 2006 (San Dimas, CA), a website dedicated to police officers turned authors, has added five police officers turned authors whose books focus on life behind the badge.

Joe Tip Thomas interest in writing began in the United States Air Force. The training and experience as an Administrative Specialist enhanced his skills and interest in writing. The writing experience continued as a Chicago Police Department Police Officer, an Entrepreneur, and Child Protection Investigator for the Department of Children and Families Services. He and his wife are currently living in Florida. His novel, The Tarnished Badge, is his first. It reveals the life of a policeman encounters while serving and protecting the citizens of Chicago; and his personal experience and failure with love between his wives and affairs with the women he desires.

Doug W. Driver began his law enforcement career as reserve deputy sheriff in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He is currently a sergeant with the Owasso Police Department. His book, “Life Behind the Badge.” is the real story behind law enforcement. While this story has all the excitement of the chases and takedowns that Tinseltown emphasizes, Sergeant Doug Driver also shows you the struggle to be a cop in today’s world: of lawsuits, political correctness, and public scrutiny.

Kevin B. Kinnee of the Indianapolis Police Department added an account of his career (20 Years Behind the Badge) to his solid reputation of writing police procedural text books. Kinnee’s other works include: “Practical Gambling Investigation Techniques,” “Practical Investigation Techniques” and “Modern Investigations, Techniques and Tactics.”

Ruben Benjamin Whittington was born and raised in Norristown, Pennsylvania. At the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. During his enlistment, he spent a one year tour of duty in Vietnam as part of the U.S. build up during that war. He began his law enforcement career with the Norristown, Pennsylvania Police Department for four years before he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Los Angeles Police Department. He worked for LAPD for 21 years and retired at the rank of sergeant. Ruben also joined the California Army National Guard and the California Air National Guard. Ruben taught law enforcement for seven years to high school students at Los Altos and Workman High Schools under the direction of the La Puente Valley ROP. Today, Ruben is a franchise owner for Mr. Handyman, a national handyman franchise. Ruben has published one novel, Soldier: Behind the Badge.

His fictional novel tells the story of the dual life of an American special agent, like that of James Bond, who disguises himself as a
police officer and fights crime on the busy and dangerous streets of Los Angeles. Then, when his country needs him, his true identity is revealed and he becomes a secret CIA special agent in this action-packed novel set in today's treacherous and volatile world. For fun, Lance Kessler is a Los Angeles Police Department police officer; but his real profession is being a top-notch freelance agent for the CIA. He's the best the CIA has. But now Lance has crossed paths with a secret worldwide criminal organization known only as PHANTOM, and PHANTOM has decided that Lance needs to be eliminated.

In addition to being listed on, Ruben is also listed on

Doug W. Driver began his law enforcement career as reserve deputy sheriff in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. He is currently a sergeant with the Owasso Police Department. His book, “Life Behind the Badge.” is the real story behind law enforcement. While this story has all the excitement of the chases and takedowns that Tinseltown emphasizes, Sergeant Doug Driver also shows you the struggle to be a cop in today’s world: of lawsuits, political correctness, and public scrutiny.

Lee Kohn, formerly of the Mobile Police Department provides the reader with a fictional glimpse behind the badge in “Badge 13: O'Malley's Irish Luck now lists 137 police officers and their 416 books in six categories.

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- September 18, 2006

Land beneath Tokyo site may hold gruesome secret

“The Toyama No. 5 apartment block is quiet at midday — laundry flapping from balconies, old people taking an after-lunch stroll. But the building and its nearby park may be sitting on a gruesome
World War II secret. A wartime nurse has broken more than 60 years of silence to reveal her part in burying dozens, perhaps hundreds, of bodies there as American forces occupied the Japanese capital. The way experts see it, these were no ordinary casualties of war, but possible victims of Tokyo’s shadowy wartime experiments on live prisoners of war — an atrocity that has never been officially recognized by the Japanese government, but is well documented by historians and participants. ‘If the bones are actually there, they are likely related to Unit 731 itself, because the facility that used to stand in that part of the compound was closely linked to the unit,’ said Keiichi Tsuneishi, Kanagawa University history professor and expert of Japan’s wartime biological warfare.” (Worcester Telegram; 18Sep06; Mari Yamaguchi, AP)

Bid to Stockpile Bioterror Drugs Stymied by Setbacks

“The last of the anthrax-laced letters [envelopes containing Bacillus anthracis spores] was still making its way through the mail in late 2001 when top Bush administration officials reached an obvious conclusion: the nation desperately needed to expand its medical stockpile to prepare for another biological attack. The result was Project BioShield, a $5.6 billion effort to exploit the country’s top medical and scientific brains and fill an emergency medical cabinet with new drugs and vaccines for a host of threats. …But the project, critics say, has largely failed to deliver. So far, only a small fraction of the anticipated remedies are available. Drug companies have waited months, if not years, for government agencies to decide which treatments they want and in what quantities. Unable to attract large pharmaceutical corporations to join the endeavor, the government is instead relying on small start-up companies that often have no proven track record. The troubles have been most acute with the highest priority of all: a $900 million push to add a new anthrax vaccine to the stockpile.” (The New York Times, 18Sep06, Eric Lipton)

Library holds key to lab mystery

“As Boston University found out, you can't just plop a 223,000 square foot, high-security biosafety laboratory into the middle of a crowded urban area and hope it doesn't make a sound. But amid all of the debate over the planned lab in the South End, what has been partly lost in the shuffle are the details of what would actually take place inside it. For those interested in the day-to-day operations, all that is needed is a Boston Public Library card. Boston University's complete application for government approval of the lab can be found behind the government desk of the Boston Public Library, which means that anyone with a free afternoon can thumb through its 428 pages. …[T]he most interesting details may be the descriptions of the research programs, safety mechanisms, and layout
of each of the 10 floors of the brick building that will house the laboratory.” (The Boston Globe, 17Sep06, Gary Dzen)

5 years after
terror of anthrax, case grows colder

“Five years after anthrax killed five people and introduced America to high-tech bioterrorism, one of the biggest crime mysteries of our times remains unsolved.
FBI agents and U.S. postal inspectors have pursued hundreds of leads and interviewed scores of scientists who work with the deadly anthrax bacteria, but the investigation now appears to be languishing.” (Houston Chronicle, 16Sep06, Eric Rosenberg)

GAO [Government Accountability Office]: DOD [Department of Defense] anthrax response inappropriate

“A new government report expresses concerns the Pentagon will not follow the government's response plan if there is a biological attack on its facilities. The Government Accountability Office issued a report Friday that examines the Defense Department's responses to a possible anthrax attack on a DOD mail facility in March 2005. …The report says the Pentagon did not notify or coordinate its actions with the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for leading the public health response to potential biological
terrorist attacks.” (United Press International, 15Sep06)
The GAO report is available online at:

Degrading munitions found in over 3,000 sites off N.S. [Nova Scotia]

“Unexploded munitions have accidentally detonated in Nova Scotia, and Terry Long, a United Nations expert on ordnance and munitions disposal, says it’s just a matter of time before it happens again. ‘We have munitions out there that are degrading,’ he said in a recent interview, noting the corrosive sea has compromised the metal casings of some of the naval shells, bombs and artillery that have been dumped in Nova Scotia’s waters since the First World War. Some of those bombs are known to contain wartime chemicals such as mustard gas, choking agents and blistering agents, and they have begun to leak. Canada and other nations commonly dumped unused weapons at sea or in harbours as they approached home base, but the practice stopped in 1975 after NATO studies presented in Helsinki in 1972 showed chemicals will likely leak, potentially harming marine life and human health.” (The, 18Sep06, Tera Camus)

Witness in Saddam trial describes pain from gas attack

“A man testified Monday during Saddam Hussein's genocide trial that he temporarily lost his eyesight as the result of a chemical attack by Iraqi forces on his northern village nearly two decades ago. Witness Karawan Abdellah, a former Kurdish guerrilla, said he continues to live in ‘pain and suffering’ after the gas attack in March 1988, which followed Iraqi airstrikes on guerrilla positions in Shanakhesiya village.” (San Diego Union Tribune; 18Sep06; Sameer N. Yacoub)

Japan authorities raid cult offices

“Japanese authorities raided the offices Saturday of the doomsday cult that carried out the deadly 1995 nerve gas attacks on Tokyo's subways. The goal was to pre-empt any violent reaction to Friday's Supreme Court decision upholding the death penalty against Shoko Asahara, the cult's founder and former leader. Japan's Public Security Intelligence Agency dispatched 250
police officers to 25 of the group's facilities around the country, inspecting files, interviewing members and examining computers, an agency official said. Nothing out of the ordinary was detected, he said.” (San Jose Mercury News; 16Sep06; Hans Greimel, AP)

Asahara’s execution finalized

“The [Japanese] Supreme Court on Friday rejected a special appeal by lawyers for Aum Shinrikyo founder Shoko Asahara, finalizing the death sentence for the man who masterminded the cult's horrific nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system in 1995. The top court's Third Petty Bench, led by Justice Yukio Horigome, affirmed that Asahara, who is nearly blind and incapable of communicating with his lawyers, is legally sane and can thus be held responsible for his actions.” (The Japan Times, 16Sep06, Jun Hongo and Yumi Wijers-Hasegawa)

Liberia: Defense Supports Treaty of Prohibition of Chemical Weapons

“The Minister of National Defense Brownie J. Samukai, Jr. has expressed his ministry's unwavering support and commitment for the treaty calling for the prohibition of chemical weapons on the face of the earth. Mr. Samukai spoke yesterday at the Defense Ministry when a two-man delegation from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) based in The Netherlands, V.B. Dhaule, Senior Implementation Officer, Implementation Support Branch and Lisa Tabbassi, Legal Officer, Office of the Legal Adviser, paid a courtesy call on him. To match words with deeds, the defense ministry boss used the occasion to call on the Liberian government to see the urgent need for the quick establishment of an inter-ministerial committee that will serve as a coordinating organ for the full compliance and implementation of provisions under the chemical weapon treaty.” (, 15Sep06, The Inquirer [Monrovia])

Agencies hold mock-
terror drill at mall
“Federal, state, and local agencies this morning staged the largest anti-
terror drill in New England since Sept. 11, 2001, simulating the response to a mock detonation of a radioactive ‘dirty bomb’ in the food court of the CambridgeSide Galleria. Hundreds of firefighters, military, paramedics, and police converged on the mall at dawn, creating a massive triage and decontamination center to treat people acting the roles of exposed and wounded in the exercise.” (The Boston Globe, 17Sep06, Mac Daniel)

The United Nations Purchases Anti-Nuclear Suits From Radiation Shield

“Radiation Shield Technologies, Inc. (RST) announced today that it was awarded an international tender issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Under this tender, the IAEA has agreed to purchase Anti-Nuclear Full Body suits from the Miami, FL based Radiation Shield Technologies, Inc. The suits will be used by United Nations Development Program in Belarus under Project 9012 aimed at Strengthening the System of Emergency Preparedness and Response to Radiation Emergencies. …Current Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) suits offer no protection against ionizing radiation and with the eminent threat of a dirty bomb or other radiological dispersal device (RDD), agencies are beginning to look for ways to protect their first responders against nuclear radiation.” (Yahoo! Finance, 18Sep06)

IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] warns of “dirty bomb” potential from Serbian nuclear site

“The International Atomic Energy Agency have branded the Institute of Nuclear Sciences in Serbia the world's most dangerous disused nuclear site, because it combined the threats of nuclear proliferation and environmental disaster. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have warned that a lightly guarded store of highly enriched uranium from the reactor in Vinca, which closed 22 years ago, is an easy target for terrorists seeking to build a ‘dirty’ bomb.” (Green Clippings, 18Sep06)

Senate approves U.N. anti-corruption convention

“The U.S. Senate on Friday approved a United Nations convention to fight corruption and enhance international cooperation in investigations and prosecutions. The convention obliges parties to take measures to prevent corruption, criminalize bribery and other corruption-related offenses, and to adopt procedures to recover assets stolen by corrupt officials. The United States wants ‘to prevent bribes that might provide
terrorists with access to nuclear material, chemical and biological weapons … or other dangerous items,’ [Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard] Lugar said in a statement.” (ABC News, 15Sep06, Reuters)


Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang’s Comment On Accusation by American Officials Against China of Non-Proliferation

“Recently, some American officials accused China of helping some countries develop the technology of ballistic missiles and possibly bio-chemical weapons in contravention of international conventions. They urged China to strengthen non-proliferation measures. What response does China have? China is a victim of bio-chemical weapons. We always firmly uphold the comprehensive prohibition and complete destruction of all mass destructive weapons including bio-chemical weapons and oppose the proliferation of bio-chemical weapons. Since joining the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons and Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, China has always been honoring all commitments of the conventions in a complete and strict manner. We have never engaged in any activity prohibited by the conventions.” (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China, 18Sep06)