The Amerithrax Case: Report of the Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel (Redacted Version)

In September and October 2001, a series of letters containing Bacillus anthracis was mailed to targets in the media and Congress. As a result, 22 individuals became infected and five died. Over the next eight years, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) conducted one of the most complex, far-reaching and expensive investigations in the history of law enforcement. This investigation, code-named Amerithrax, eventually identified the mailer as Bruce Ivins, a microbiologist at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID). In July 2009, Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia authorized a report from the Expert Behavioral Analysis Panel to examine “the mental health issues of Dr. Bruce Ivins and what lessons can be learned from that analysis that may be useful in preventing future bioterrorism attacks.”

Research Strategies Network
Publish Date:
March 2011

The Biosecurity Trust

“The life-sciences community has grown increasingly concerned that dangerous microbes or their products might be mishandled or misused, with serious harm done to human or ecosystem health locally, regionally, or globally. The community has sought to address this concern in cooperation with responsible governments, but it has also sought to act in ways not chiefly dependent on governmental initiatives or intergovernmental agreements. Concurrently, it has sought to obviate policies materially restricting scientific, entrepreneurial, or commercial freedoms. I ask whether the enhancement of biosecurity and the advancement of bioscience should be accepted as divergent or might yet be made complementary, so as to be accomplished jointly. To encourage discussion of this latter possibility, I propose an institutional innovation, a transnational nongovernmental life-sciences organization called here “The Biosecurity Trust.”
By Robert H. Sprinkle

Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISM)
Publish Date:

The BioWatch Program: Detection of Bioterrorism

The anthrax mailings of 2001 increased public and governmental awareness of the threat of terrorism using biological weapons. The federal response to this threat includes increases in countermeasure research funding, greater investment in public health infrastructure, and greater preparation of first responders who might be the first to encounter such weapons in an event. The new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has made preparation against biological weapon attack a priority and deployed the BioWatch Program to provide early warning of a mass pathogen release.

The BioWatch Program uses a series of pathogen detectors co-located with Environmental Protection Agency air quality monitors. These detectors collect airborne particles onto filters, which are subsequently transported to laboratories for analysis. It is expected that this system will provide early warning of a pathogen release, alerting authorities before victims begin to show symptoms and providing the opportunity to deliver treatments earlier, decreasing illness and death…

Congressional Research Service (CRS)
Publish Date:
November 2003

The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Opened for Signature: May 26, 2000
Entered into Force: September 11, 2003

In accordance with the precautionary approach contained in Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the objective of this Protocol is to contribute to ensuring an adequate level of protection in the field of the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology that may have adverse effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health, and specifically focusing on transboundary movements

The Commitment Trap: Why the United States Should Not Nuclear Threats to Deter Biological and Chemical Weapons Attack

“This article discusses the issues of whether the threat of U.S. nuclear retaliation is credible and effective against states that possess chemical weapons (CW) and biological weapons (BW) and whether U.S. nuclear threats are harmful to global efforts to inhibit the proliferation of nuclear weapons. It addresses said issues and argues that the current debate has virtually ignored what is arguably the most important question about U.S. nuclear weapons doctrine: will the U.S. government’s calculated ambiguity policy increase or decrease the likelihood that nuclear weapons will be used in combat?”

Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISC)
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