CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Laboratory Biosecurity Handbook

Posted by DXer on October 1, 2011

Laboratory Biosecurity Handbook


By achieving a delicate balance between systems and practices, proper laboratory biosecurity reduces the risk of legitimate bioscience facilities becoming sources of pathogens and toxins for malicious use. Effective design and implementation of laboratory biosecurity depends on cooperation among individuals from diverse communities, including scientists, technicians, policy makers, security engineers, and law enforcement officials. Providing guidance to the broad international community, Laboratory Biosecurity Handbook addresses the objectives of biosecurity and the ways in which they overlap or conflict with those of biosafety.

The book describes the risks of working with dangerous pathogens and toxins in the current era of international terrorism. The authors characterize the global spread of legitimate biotechnology and relate it to the rise of transnational terrorism, emphasizing the need for biosecurity measures even in legitimate bioscience. The book discusses biosecurity risk assessment-a practical methodology that allows laboratory management and biosafety/biosecurity officers to analyze and determine the level of risk, and serves as a basis for managing those risks. The book includes questionnaires that can assist the process of collecting data for a biosecurity vulnerability assessment, example standard operating procedures and memoranda of understanding, and other useful reference material.

Addressing a variety of operating environments and the particular challenges they face when designing and implementing laboratory biosecurity, this book can assist bioscience facilities ranging from the large to the small, from those that focus on diagnosis or vaccine development, to those only minimally involved with infectious diseases. The detailed recommendations help avoid a “one-size-fits-all” approach to security and save limited resources. The book shows institutions how to develop and implement a biosecurity plan, and helps ensure that all components are included in the overall system, whether existing or new.


2 Responses to “* Laboratory Biosecurity Handbook”

  1. DXer said

    I wish Mrs. Stevens came to appreciate that it within her power to direct her counsel to oppose attempts to seal material.

    If the client “wants it out in the open,” then why is Plaintiff seeking to keep it from being “out in the open”?

    In intelligence analysis, connecting the dots cannot be done if information is suppressed.

    For widow, anthrax victim’s fate still ‘open wound’

    At first, Stevens said she was satisfied with the FBI’s 2008 conclusion that federal researcher Bruce Ivins was responsible. Ivins killed himself in 2008 as prosecutors were about to indict him.

    Even then, she said her suit was more about the federal government’s lack of control over the lab.

    And, she said at the time, “we have now been advised that the man the FBI believes perpetrated this heinous act has a history of mental instability of long standing, and yet he was allowed to work with anthrax and some of the most deadly substances known to mankind.”

    Then in April, Stevens’ lawyer filed papers citing evidence that disputes the 2008 findings.

    Ivins’ supervisors at a Maryland lab have said he lacked the time, equipment and knowledge to produce the anthrax.

    In February, a panel assembled by the National Academy of Sciences questioned the finding; the FBI challenged that.

    The Government Accountability Office has begun yet another review.

    “It is an open wound,” she said. “But something else inside me says, ‘I want it. I want to go to trial. I want it out in the open. I want it known how it happened.’ “

    • DXer said

      She was terrified.

      “I know that Mohamed Atta dropped anthrax all over this area,” she said. “It’s coming down now. What should I do?”

      On the other end of the phone that Friday afternoon, I listened, with as much idea of what to say as if Michael Jordan had called to ask for jump-shooting tips. It was Palm Beach County’s 9/11 aftershock. On Oct. 4, 2001, Health Director Jean Malecki announced that a photo editor in Boca Raton had been infected with a lethal form of anthrax.

      Two weeks earlier, The Post had reported that Atta visited the Belle Glade airport twice, asking about crop-dusters, though he never flew one. The Federal Aviation Administration grounded all crop-dusters for a time. So when news broke that Dr. Larry Bush had diagnosed Robert Stevens with anthrax, the terror was right here.

      Then-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson tried to calm fears by saying: “It appears that this is just an isolated case. There is no evidence of terrorism.” In fact, it had been terrorism, though probably not foreign terrorism. The same anthrax strain was sent to Capitol Hill and New York City. Four others died.

      Yet there remains no confirmation of who did it. Federal authorities targeted one suspect, then declared that a second was responsible, only to retract that assertion this year. The legal maneuvering stemmed from a lawsuit against the government by Mr. Stevens’ widow. …

      As my caller 10 years ago asked, What should we do? Pay tribute to the victims of 9/11 by working to renew the country, not tear it apart.

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