27 March 2013 by Brown Moses 0
This article has been produced by Brown Moses and is reproduced here with his permission being deemed by the editorial staff to be a most excellent analysis of some recent ‘CW’ videos:
“When I started this blog one of the rules I set myself was only to publish information I was sure was correct, and if I was unclear on a point I would make that clear in the post. In the case of arms identification I feel it’s very important to be 100% sure about what you are posting, especially when so many people read and share what you are writing. Unfortunately it seems for some people writing about arms in Syria all you have to do is take a few videos and work up a story without having any real understanding of what you are looking at, with this latest article by Theodore and Walid Shoebat for Frontpagemag.com being one of the worst examples I’ve seen so far in this conflict.
Please click on the title to go to the full article…
26 March 2013 by BioFire Diagnostics, Inc. 0
BioFire Diagnostics, Inc. today announced that it has signed a competitive prototyping contract with the Department of the Army
26 March 2013 by Markes International 0
Markes International (Llantrisant, UK) has announced the launch of the ACTI-VOCâ¢ low-flow sampling pump specifically for thermal desorption tubes.
26 March 2013 by Ansell Protective Solutions AB 0
Ansell announces that TRELLCHEMÂ® Super gastight chemical protective suit has been approved for use in explosive environments
25 March 2013 by S Johnson 0
A press announcement from the University of Texas Medical branch announced to the community around the campus that a vial of a select agent, Guanarito, was ‘unaccounted for’ on Saturday (March 23).
The announcement went on to say the virus can cause haemorrhagic fever and is transmitted by rats rather than human to human contact - although they believe it’s unlikely that American rats would transmit it (picky little beggars!).
This isn’t strictly accurate as the reason itâs a select agent was concern at its possible use as a Biological Warfare Agent. Also itâs carried by a number of rodent species not just the rat. Human to human is not impossible either, just not the most common route of transmission.
The belief is the agent was accidentally destroyed as part of normal lab protocols and just not accounted for.
Accidents like that happen - but when working with these levels of agent, and with the uncertainty of theft, itâs pretty unacceptable to ever not be able to account for a vial.
Top marks for being honest and telling the public and CDC
Could do better for the slight obscuration in the message (obscuring the VHF to calm the public)
See me and detention for remedial training for biosecurity procedures.
While this is the ‘First time’ for University of Texas Medical branch - it’s not the first time that they or Texan institutions have run afoul of biosafety and security:
In 2008 Texas A&M was fined $1 Million for 14 biosecurity breaches including:
A worker contracting brucellosis from the lab
Unauthorized work on select bio warfare agents
A horrifying read of the details and agents involved in this is available
25 March 2013 by Gregory Koblentz 0
Registration is now open for the George Mason University Summer Program in International Security
The National Library of Medicine WISER for iOS 3.1, a universal app for Apple iOS devices, available25 March 2013 by National Library of Medicine 0
WISER now fully integrates content from the Chemical Hazards Emergency Medical Management (CHEMM) website
Itâs been a busy week in Syrian chemical weaponville. The two alleged attacks last week have had an additional one added to them.
Today (Monday) reports have come out of a further attack alleged by the opposition against the state. In this case attacks against the besieging forces by State units in Adra, on the outskirts of Damascus.
This time 2 fighters were killed and 26 wounded.
Although over 17 press articles are circulating and retweeting they all seem sourced from a single Reuters quote. A cynic would question whether there was an attempt to deflect attention away from the leadership crisis facing the opposition.
In any event the Syrian government have followed up on their claims with blood and soil samples and the suggestion it was a chlorine solution.
As usual, half-hearted analysis has suggested this would be inconsistent with 26 deaths. Perhaps those clever analysts may want to consider the number of deaths that a rocket causes when it lands and whether the deaths are directly attributed to the chlorine or blast effect.
This was seen in Iraq with the chlorine attacks that confusion reigned between the deaths caused by the blast, and those by the chemical.
Further reports have suggested the rocket came from an al-nusra controlled area - and when suicide bombs are condoned then its hard to see why they would be queasy about trying to carry out chemical attacks. Islamist Groups have for some time experimented with using available chemicals in warheads.
24 March 2013 by S Johnson 0
In the small hours of Sunday morning the story of Boris Berezovsky’s death broke across media. While there are markers of possible suicide, a recent Russian Forbes magazine article where he talked about life losing its meaning since leaving Russia, and alledged crippling debts, the British Police have learnt never to assume too much when high profile Russians die.
As I type the site of his home near Ascot and surrounding roads are cordoned but little information has come out beyond confirmation CBRN officers are in attendance.
âWe are aware the cordon is causing disruption to local residents and we apologise for any inconvenience, but it is important we take all necessary measures to ensure a full and thorough investigation can be carried out.
I would like to reassure residents that we are confident there is no risk to the wider community.
The property is part of a large estate so a number of roads are closed off at the moment and will remain so for the time being.”
â Superintendent Stuart Greenfield
As a refresher Boris Berezovsky was believed to have been who President Putin was referring to when he claimed foreign based forces had been behind the Litvinenko poisoning with Polonium 210.
In any event Berezovsky denied this and redirected the accusation back at President Putin. The Litvinenko case remains open in the UK due to Russian refusals to allow the investigation of key figures.
The presence of CBRN specialists may well indicate concern that Berezovsky has been despatched in a similar way, although this would seem to undermine accusations that Berezovsky was behind previous poisonings. Stranger things have happened.
If that is the case the UK authorities are going to be mightily vexed at being the venue for yet another assassination - particular if its one that spreads contamination around.
As the Po210 incident showed the level of exertise requried, and equipment, is going to be beyond standard radiation pagers and beat level policemen. The UK has highly developped specialist teams within London, as well as DSTL and AWE and if its being taken seriously one would expect that level of investigation. If it isn’t at that level then it would be pretty difficult to make a meaningful assessment of the scene.
Looks like CBRNe World and The UN think the same way as it has just announced here.
He exercised the right to investigate a claim we discussed, although he has used a slightly different route by recognising the Syrian Government’s right as a member state to request an investigation. As such it seems they will not be focusingon the opposition counter claims and repeated allegations. This seems rather short sighted considering the amount of international community that have been lining up to recognise the Syrian Opposition as the ‘Government’.
The scope of the investigation is yet to be revealed, but if it isn’t made public it will totally fail to achieve the closure required. The OPCW is a good body to be leading this, but its going to be a challenge as they have never conducted an investigation, let alone in a war zone, and are used to strict terms of confidentiality.
CBRNe World can only plead that this is work is carried out in the brightest glare of open reporting possible or they might as well save the air fares as no one will accept the results. They may also wish to consider that the most relevant expertise in these situations is held by military investigation teams (known in NATO as SIBCRA). They are also going to have to address the tricky issue of tissue samples - given the time delay by the time they get there it may be autopsy and tissue samples taht hold the best evidence. When I last looked neither OPCW or SIBCRA held trained medical personnel approved to carry out those kinds of autopsy.
All solvable problems - but lets keep the pressure on this isue up so they are addressed - #investigatesyria