of Opiate Sedative Gas Fentanyl to End Standoff Raises
Chemical Weapon Questions
Covered from head to toe in all-black Islamic robes with only their determined, kohl-lined eyes showing, they quickly came to be called the "black widows" as a
horrified world watched a new Chechen female suicide
squad in action last week.
[Black Widows Hell Hath No
Fury Like Chechnya’s Ruthless ‘Widows of War’]
quoting U.S. Embassy officials in Moscow, says the gas used by Russian forces to end the siege by Chechen terrorists in a theatre was a morphine derivative.
The gas is one of a class of drugs that researchers suggested two years ago the Pentagon
should investigate for development as non-lethal
Neither the U.S. nor Britain have criticised Russia for using the gas that killed more than 100 of the 800-plus hostages being held in a Moscow theatre by Chechen
terrorists. U.S. military research into "calmative" agents is on hold because of worries such weapons would
violate the international treaty that bans chemical weapons.
[Siege gas 'was morphine spray']
Russia Confirms Gas Was Opiate-Based Fentanyl
The quest for an effective "nonlethal" chemical agent like the one that killed more than 100
hostages in Moscow last weekend has tantalized U.S. military and law
enforcement officials for years.
But even though the government has undertaken several research projects into
incapacitating gases and aerosols since the mid-1990s, the effort has proceeded
slowly in the face of thus-far insurmountable technical hurdles and concern about violating the 1993
Chemical Weapons Convention.
Mazzara, a retired Marine colonel who ran the Pentagon's Joint Non-Lethal Weapons
Directorate before joining the laboratory in 1999, suggested that "what
we saw in Russia almost cries out for more rather than less
research into this."
His views clashed sharply with those of
Edward Hammond, director of the Austin-based Sunshine Project, a leading
opponent of U.S. ventures into nonlethal technology:
"Using chemical weapons, including incapacitating chemical weapons, is a slippery slope," Hammond said. "We've gone down it before, but it seems like we're going
down it again."
U.S. Finds Hurdles in Search for Nonlethal Gas
A significant number of scientists and biological
warfare experts are expressing skepticism about the FBI's view that a single
disgruntled American scientist prepared the spores and mailed the deadly
anthrax letters that killed five people last year. [FBI's Theory On Anthrax Is Doubted
The sniper attacks that held this metropolitan area hostage for three weeks offered lessons for terrorists
and law enforcement alike in the nation's struggle with
homeland security. "There's no indication this had any kind of link to a
terrorist organization. But anybody on the outside can see what they could do with teams of
snipers, if they were in six metro areas at once, how paralyzing that could be for us," said Stephen Flynn, who
researches homeland security with the Council on
Foreign Relations in New York.
"It should refresh for Americans our memory of how quickly we can be
terrorized as a society."
of story | sniper archive
When the United States attacks Iraq, suppose Saddam Hussein sends secret teams armed with anthrax to spread death and panic in U.S. cities. This possibility, raised in a war game conducted last week at the Brookings Institution, adds to the urgency expressed in a new study by the
Council on Foreign Relations warning that the nation is still woefully unprepared for attacks using weapons of mass destruction.
U.S. vulnerability was demonstrated in reality by the Washington
sniper trauma as men armed with just a rifle spread terror throughout the metropolitan area and tied down its police forces for weeks.
Congress Has Left U.S. Unprepared For New Terrorism
(Kondracke, Roll Call)
A senior US embassy official has been shot dead outside his home
in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
11/6 (MSNBC) As Ramadan gets underway, the war on terror heats up and
military action against Iraq looms, Muslim communities across America are on
a PR mission to explain what their religion is all about.
US moves into emerging bioweapon era Rapid biotech developments, like Russia's use of fentanyl, are leaving international treaties
The use of poison gas to subdue Chechen rebels in Moscow, together with what the Bush administration says is the growing threat of Iraq's chemical weapons, comes as the United States itself investigates new substances that can be used to disable terrorists – perhaps even battlefield opponents.
More profoundly, the opiate used to knock out the Chechen attackers (which killed 117 of 763 hostages) reflects a new era in weapons development: using biotech advances to degrade enemy forces while enhancing one's own troops. According to Pentagon documents, the Defense Department is studying the development and use of so-called "calmative" chemicals as well as
"incapacitants, malodorants, and possibly convulsants." The idea is to take the fight out of an attacker without inflicting mortal damage.
of story from Christian Science Monitor)