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Bio-Terror Plots & Patsies (2012)

BIOTERRORBIBLE.COM: Despite the number of high-profile bio-terror plots and patsies, the historical record indicates that 99% of all bio-terror plots, attacks, “tests”, “accidents” and drills are conducted by the government who has the means, the motive and the opportunity.

Title: Officials: Doomsday Cult Member Surrenders To Police In Japan
Date: January 2, 2012
Source: CNN

Abstract: A former member of a Japanese doomsday cult wanted for the murder of a notary official surrendered after nearly 17 years on the run, authorities said Sunday.

Makoto Hirata turned himself in late Saturday in Tokyo, according to a metropolitan police official, who spoke on condition of anonymity -- as is the practice among Japanese police.

Hirata is described as a former senior member of Aum Shinrikyo, or Cult of the Supreme Truth, the group behind the 1995 sarin gas attack on a Tokyo subway. The attack left more than a dozen people dead and thousands injured.

The cult now claims to be a benign religious group. At the height of its activities in the 1990s, it preached the world was coming to an end and that it must arm itself to prepare for various calamities.

A number of the cult's senior leaders were jailed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Hirata, 46, has been on the run since February 1995 when authorities say he and other members of the cult kidnapped a chief clerk in a Tokyo notary office (CNN, 2012)

Title: Homemade Acid Bombs Found On College Campus In Florida
Date: January 29, 2012
Source: Fox News

Abstract: Police are investigating after several homemade acid bombs were planted on the Valencia College campus in Orlando, Fla., cfnews13.com reports.

A total of seven bottles were found in parking lots along walkways near buildings, the station reports. Two of the bottles exploded Friday night, about 100 yards apart.

The bombs are made using soda bottles and household chemicals, according to cfnews13.com.

Earlier, three acid bombs were found in an alley behind a student building and a parking lot as students were returning from winter break. Two of those bombs exploded.

No one has been hurt in the incidents (Fox News, 2012).

Title:
Pakistan Says Prime Minister Was Mailed Anthrax Spores
Date: February 1, 2012
Source:
New York Times

Abstract
:
Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, received a postal package containing anthrax spores four months ago, his spokesman said Wednesday, adding a new dimension to the security threats faced by the country’s political and military leadership.

The package was intercepted by the prime minister’s security staff in October, according to the spokesman, Akram Shaheedi. The Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, a government laboratory, established that the suspicious white powder it contained was anthrax spores, he said. A criminal case was filed on Tuesday, according to an Islamabad police officer, The Associated Press reported.

Government officials gave contradictory accounts of the identity of the sender, and they offered little sense of motive. While Islamist militants have repeatedly targeted senior government officials in suicide and bomb attacks, an assassination attempt using biological weapons would be an anomaly.

Mr. Shaheedi said that law enforcement authorities had identified the sender as an associate professor at Jamshoro University in the southern province of Sindh. But he could not say whether the professor, a Ms. Zulekha, had been arrested or detained.

A senior police officer in charge of presidential security, Hakim Khan, gave a different account. He denied any knowledge of the suspect Mr. Shaheedi named, but he confirmed that a police team had been sent to Jamshoro to investigate. The packet had been sent from a small post office on the Jamshoro University campus, he said.

Mr. Khan said the case had been registered under a provision of Pakistan’s penal code that deals with the act of sending poison with the intention of causing harm.

In November 2001, suspicious letters containing anthrax spores were sent to three private businesses, including the country’s largest Urdu-language daily, Jang, in the southern port city of Karachi. No motive was ever determined (New York Times, 2012).

Title: Pakistani Officials Send Mixed Signals On Identity Of Anthrax Mailer
Date: February 2, 2012
Source: NTI

AbstractPakistani officials have issued conflicting statements on the identity of the individual who mailed anthrax spores to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in October, the New York Times reported on Wednesday (see GSN, Feb. 1).

Government spokesman Akram Shaheedi said security officials have singled out a Jamshoro University associate professor, identified only as Ms. Zulekha, as the culprit. He was not able to answer whether she had been taken into custody.

Hakim Khan, a high-ranking law enforcement officer who heads presidential protection, however, rejected the assertion that Zulekha had been identified as the culprit; he did verify that investigators had been dispatched to Jamshoro to probe the matter. The anthrax package was mailed from a university postal site om tje Sindh province city, Khan said.

Gilani was never exposed to the deadly bacteria as the packet containing the spores was headed off by his protective team. The package was sent to the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, which tested the contents and verified the substance was anthrax.

Though assassination plots against government personnel are not unusual in Pakistan, the country does not have a history of attempted targeted killings using anthrax or other weaponized pathogens. A leading newspaper and two other Pakistani companies received anthrax spores in November 2001, but the reason for the mailings remains unknown (Salman Masood, New York Times, Feb. 1).

The lethality of the spores is not yet known, along with how the mailer would have been able to acquire the material, Agence France-Presse reported.

Anthrax occurs naturally in animals and is particularly common in regions of Asia, the Middle East and Africa, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"After the laboratory test confirmed that the parcel contained anthrax, we registered a case against unknown people" on Tuesday, Khan said.

Authorities provided no reason on why a criminal case was opened months after the incident. Gilani's office first intercepted the package -- comprised of an envelope containing a smaller envelope that held the anthrax powder -- on Oct. 18, according to the police report.

Authorities declined reporter requests to view the laboratory results conforming the authenticity of the anthrax (NTI, 2012).

Title: Teacher Accused Of Spraying Febreze On "Fishy" Student
Date: February 9, 2012
Source:
NBC

Abstract: This time the teacher got a time out.

An elementary school teacher in Newfoundland, Canada has reportedly been put on paid leave as district officials investigate a claim she sprayed a student with an odor eliminator to mask his fishy-smelling lunch.

Patti Rideout told CBC News she was “very hurt and very angry” after learning the teacher of her 10-year-old son, Christian Roberts, had put him in the hallway then sprayed him with Febreze last week.

Other kids at Twillingate Island Elementary School had teased him over the fried capelin meal she’d made him, she said.

"I feel like he's been embarrassed, bullied, and I think what she [did] was very disgraceful," Rideout told CBC News. "I think my son was treated not like a human being — I think he was treated like a dog, or a cat … I'm very hurt and very angry over this."

Rideout told CBC that when she first called her son’s teacher for an apology she hung up.

After taking her concerns to the school board, Rideout received a written apology from the school’s principal and vice principal, St. John’s newspaper The Telegram reported.

“The teacher has offered to make an apology to your son in front of the class,” the letter said (NBC, 2012).

Title: Indianapolis Man Jailed For Anthrax Threat
Date: February 14, 2012
Source:
Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: An Indianapolis man was recently taken to Marion County Jail in Marion, Ohio, after threatening to mail a letter to the jail filled with anthrax powder.

Jason Fancher first called the Marion County Sherriff’s office and said that they would soon receive an envelope filled with anthrax, according to WishTV.com.

Deputies called the number back and spoke with Fancher, who admitted that he had made several calls. He then hung the phone up. Investigators traced the number and found Fancher outside the apartment where the calls originated from.

Fancher admitted to making the calls, but denied that he had possession of any anthrax powder. He told deputies he was known to have a problem with his temper.

Deputies took Fancher into custody after he refused to allow them to search his apartment. He faces a charge of intimidation, WishTV.com reports.

Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. It most commonly affects hoofed animals, but can be extremely dangerous when in contracted by humans.

Anthrax is considered a major potential weapon of bioterrorism. In 2001, a series of anthrax filled letters were sent through the U.S. Postal Service. In those attacks, 22 people were infected, five of whom died (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Colorado Man Faces Prison Over Anthrax Hoax
Date: February 22, 2012
Source:
Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: A Colorado man faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for lying to federal investigators about mailing threatening letters to tax collectors in the state that contained a white powder.

Matthew O’Neill pled guilty to the charges, which stem from an incident in 2011 in which a mail room employee received a legal-sized manila envelope that contained an unidentified white powder. The letter was mailed to the Colorado Department of Revenue and included post marks for Kremmling, Colo., Government Security News reports.

The employee and a co-worker contacted the Colorado State Patrol and 911 and waited for the Hazmat and Denver Fire Department teams to arrive. The teams evacuated the building and tested the substance, finding it to be harmless baking soda.

According to the letter’s intended recipient, O’Neill had previously sent documents expressing beliefs that he doesn’t have to pay federal or state taxes as a sovereign citizen. Postal inspectors and the FBI determined that O’Neill had visited the Kremmling post office several days before the envelope arrived.

“Those who mail a threat, especially one containing material simulating a biological or chemical agent, will face felony criminal consequences,” John Walsh, the U.S. attorney, said, according to Government Security News.

While the powder was not harmful, threatening mailings count as a federal crime.

“All threatening communications are taken seriously, the recipient of these types of threats cannot determine the true nature of the implied, or stated danger,” James Yacone, the FBI Denver special agent in charge, said, according to Government Security News. “The FBI wants to remind everyone that mailing a threatening communication that contains a hoax of any kind in a parcel will be aggressively investigated. We will continue to respond to such threats, along with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, through the combined resources of the Joint Terrorism Task Force” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Texas Nurse's Bleach Injection Deaths Trial Begins
Date: March 5, 2012
Source: Fox News

Abstract:  An East Texas nurse violated the trust of a noble profession when she injected kidney dialysis patients with toxic bleach, killing five of them and injuring five others, a prosecutor said as the woman's murder trial began Monday.

Kimberly Saenz, 38, faces a possible death sentence if convicted of capital murder in the April 2008 deaths.

Saenz stood in court holding her hands behind her back as Angelina County District Attorney Clyde Herrington read the six-count indictment against her. Her lawyer, Ryan Deaton, answered "Not guilty, your honor," on her behalf when the judge asked for a plea after each count.

Herrington told jurors in his opening remarks that evidence would show there was bleach in the IV dialysis lines of victims who were being treated at a DaVita dialysis clinic in Lufkin, about 125 miles northeast of Houston.

"The defendant in this case is the one that put it there," he said.

He said investigators also found Internet searches on Saenz's computer about bleach poisoning in blood and whether bleach could be detected in dialysis lines.

"The profession of nursing is one of the most respected," Herrington told jurors. "Health care providers devote their career to those who are sick and ill ... But involves a great deal of trust. And if that trust is violated, very serious things can happen."

Saenz was charged a year after the Lufkin clinic closed for about two months following a rash of illnesses and deaths.

Emergency crews had been called to the clinic many as 30 times that April, including seven for cardiac problems, and made at least 19 runs. Four people had died.

There had been only two calls during the previous 15 months, according to the Texas Department of Health Services.

Denver-based health care giant DaVita Inc. investigated along with local, state and federal agencies.

Inspectors were present on April 28, 2008, when two dialysis patients said they suddenly didn't feel well and two others reported that they saw Saenz inject bleach into tubing used by two fellow patients.

Saenz, who had held her entry-level position as a licensed vocational nurse for eight months, was sent home. Police were summoned. The next day she was fired.

In his opening defense statement, Deaton said the stories told by the two patients who complained about Saenz varied widely and said DaVita officials waited eight hours before calling police.

"DaVita Inc. is the puppet master in this case," he said, drawing an immediate objection from Herrington that was upheld by the judge.

But he continued to blame the company, insisting DaVita "has manipulated the evidence ... and the science in this case."

Deaton said he would present evidence to contradict the charges. For example, a syringe patients saw Saenz using was being used to measure bleach for a cleaning solution so Saenz could get the precise amount and adhere to clinic rules, he said.

"When Kim supposedly is doing this, there's a monitor watching her, there's people in the clinic," Deaton said. "Patients are watching what's going on."

"Everybody's freaking out," he continued. "People were dying. Everybody's on edge. This whole thing is just a firecracker."

Federal investigators examined blood tubing, IV bags and syringes used by the DaVita patients, who spent up to three days a week tethered for hours to a machine that filtered their blood — a job their kidneys could no longer do.

Joel Sprott, an attorney for clinic operator DaVita Inc., has said the Denver-based company turned over more than 10,000 pages of records in the case. Through 2011, DaVita operated or provided services to 1,809 dialysis facilities in the U.S., serving some 142,000 patients and employing more than 41,000 people.

Citing a gag order imposed by the judge, DaVita spokesman Vince Hancock would only say last week only that the company looks forward "to continuing our steadfast commitment to the Lufkin community."

A Food and Drug Administration report found some samples linked to some victims tested positive for bleach while others showed bleach "may have been present at one time."

Clinic policy calls for bleach to be used in various concentrations for cleaning and then chemical reactive agents are used to confirm bleach residue was removed and the cleaned areas are safe.

"The point is, bleach is used in every aspect of dialysis," Deaton said (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Canadian Sentenced For Planned Bio-Terrorist Attacks
Date: March 8, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Adel Mohamed Nagi Arnaout, nicknamed the Vendetta bomber, was sentenced to an indefinite prison term on Wednesday in Ontario, Canada, for planned terrorist acts, including attempted poisonings, letter bombings and exploding packages.

Ontario Superior Court Judge Todd Ducharme pronounced Arnaout to be a dangerous offender with little hope for rehabilitation. Arnaout was arrested in 2007 as police found evidence that he had searched for tips on purchasing detonators, grenades, and biological and chemical weapons such as anthrax and sarin, the Globe and Mail reports.

“I found that his intent was to kill his targets,” Ducharme said, according to the Globe and Mail. “Judged from the perspective of his intent, his actions closely resemble acts of terrorism but for the non-political, utterly banal nature of his cause. If Mr. Arnaout had been more competent, the results of his actions could have been truly horrific.”

Arnaout created a list of 452 targets that included jails, courthouses, Jewish schools and government officials.

“Mr. Arnaout has a greatly magnified sense of his own victimhood,” Ducharme said, according to the Globe and Mail. “He blames others for problems that either do not exist or that he has brought on himself. This is accompanied by a sense that he is entitled to avenge himself no matter how minor the original slight.”

Police were convinced that Arnaout was serious about his plans and had tested some of his explosives on stuffed animals and dolls. Ducharme convicted Arnaout of 11 counts of attempted murder, three counts of delivering an explosive device and one count of possessing an explosive device.

“He lacks any remorse or guilt for his actions,” Ducharme said, according to the Globe and Mail. “Indeed, he seems to believe that his actions were justified. Such a stunning lack of insight raises a very real concern about Mr. Arnaout engaging in similar activities in future” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Man Arrested Over White Powder Hoax Letters
Date: March 12, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract:  A man was arrested on Friday in connection with the mailing of threatening letters that contained suspicious white powder to members of Congress and multiple media organizations.

Christopher Lee Carlson was indicted on two criminal counts after an investigation into approximately 100 envelopes that were mailed that contained white powder. All of the letters, which were postmarked Portland, Ore., tested negative for anthrax or any other toxic substances, Associated Press reports.

Carlson was charged on Friday by a federal grand jury after being arrested at his home in the Portland area. Carlson allegedly mailed a threatening communication to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and mailed a letter that threatened to use a biological weapon to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.).

Carlson will be arraigned on Monday.

More than 100 letters were sent in total that were addressed to U.S. representatives and senators.

“Threatening letters – whether hoax or real – are serious concerns that federal law enforcement agencies will aggressively pursue,” Greg Fowler, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said, according to Associated Press.

The sender said that he wanted to end corporate personhood, end corporate lobbying and money, and start a new constitutional convention. The letters had a fake return address from a sender calling himself “the MIB” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Canadian Man Given Indefinite Prison Term Over Ricin-Laced Water
Date: March 13, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract:  A Lebanese-born man who was convicted of 11 counts of attempted murder for sending poisoned water and letter bombs to multiple targets has been labeled a dangerous offender in Canada, receiving an indefinite prison term.

Arnaout was an aspiring actor. In July 2004, he sent water tainted with ricin to two talent agencies he felt weren’t advancing his career. He also sent the tainted water to a judge and the CIBC. He dropped off a homemade bomb at the home of a one-time roommate that left his former roommate with cuts to his feet and arms. He also sent a bomb to his former lawyer and to a former landlord, the Record reports.

“I reject the suggestion that Mr. Arnaout is willing to change, or has developed any insight into his condition,” Ducharme said, according to the Record. “Sadly, he has not.”

According to Superior Court Justice Todd Ducharme, Adel Arnaout has major problems with revenge-oriented thinking and controlling his anger along with a “greatly magnified sense of his own victimhood.” In addition to 11 attempted murder charges in Guelph and Toronto, Arnaout also possessed three explosive devices in the trunk of his car.

Ducharme said that effective therapeutic supervision would be difficult and that Arnaout continued to scribble notes about making bombs while in custody waiting to be arrested.

“The fact that he engaged in this behavior and so resolutely maintains that he was justified in so doing, underscores how difficult it will be to control his risk through supervision and therapeutic intervention,” Ducharme said, according to the Record.

Arnaout will be able to apply for parole after seven years, though a very low percentage of dangerous offenders ever get released (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Former University Of Texas Student Arrested With Ricin Strains
Date: March 13, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract:  A former student at the University of Texas allegedly stole multiple vials and plastic droppers from a UT laboratory, including a harmless strain of the bioterrorism agent ricin.

Karl Jasheway was charged with driving while intoxicated on December 21. While searching the car, the arresting officer found a box addressed to the university containing 13 vials, 12 plastic droppers and a notebook. The discovery led to the seizure of 44 measuring tubes from Jasheway’s apartment in North Austin, Statesman.com reports.

Despite concerns that the materials stolen were related to terrorism, Austin campus officials said that the searches revealed no dangerous materials in Jasheway’s apartment or car. Two of the vials contained ricin A-chain DNA, which is a harmless substance. While the potent toxin ricin is a bioterrorism concern, the non-toxic A-chain component is used by the lab to search for possible antidotes to ricin. Jasheway was the lead author of a scientific paper on the ricin antidote subject.

The lab has not used the toxic form of ricin in research for 25 years. The lab materials theft led to tightened lab safety and security rules.

Jasheway allowed police to search his apartment without a warrant. The FBI would neither confirm nor deny that an investigation was underway and Jasheway was not available for comment, according to Statesman.com (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Anthrax Tip From Hoaxer’s Wife Led To Arrest
Date: March 15, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract:  A Vancouver, Wash., man who allegedly sent letters containing a white powder to Congress members came under FBI scrutiny after his wife told an officer he laced the envelopes with corn starch and celery salt.

Christopher Lee Carlson was focused on after a Vancouver police officer told the FBI about a March 4 interview he had with Carlson’s wife about the recent turmoil Carlson was going through. A federal grand jury indicted Carlson on March 9 on charges that he mailed threatening letters to Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland and Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, Associated Press reports.

The counts arose after an investigation into 100 envelopes that were mailed containing white powder. The letters, which were postmarked in Portland, Ore., have tested negative for toxic substances.

“Adrienne (Carlson) told me that a few months ago, Chris had talked about sending letters to members of the Senate and the media to express his frustration with certain things,” Leah Supriano, a Vancouver police officer, said, according to Associated Press. “About two weeks ago, they were driving in Portland … and when they passed a post office somewhere off Stark (Street), he pointed at the post office and told her that he was worried and wondered if they had surveillance cameras.”

When Adrienne Carlson asked her husband if he sent the letters, Christopher Carlson acknowledged that he had. Adrienne Carlson said her husband planned to send a second round of letters that would contain the highly corrosive chemical lye.

Christopher Carlson is expected to be arraigned this week (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Suspects In Monroe Drano Bomb Case Go To Court Today
Date: March 20, 2012
Source: CBS 12 News

Abstract: The suspects accused of making home-made chemical bombs and leaving them scattered in a Butler County neighborhood are due in court. Three men and a woman are accused with making the devices, some of which blew up.

Police and explosives experts say the bomb-makers could have really hurt someone or even themselves had they been nearby when the bombs went off. The Butler County Sheriff's Department and explosives experts displayed what they confiscated earlier this week from the Lemon Township neighborhood.

Monroe police say nine of the Drano bombs were found by neighbors on Hickory Street. Eight of the bombs blew up. Some of the neighbors say it sounded like gunshots. No one was hurt.

Four people are due to be arraigned today charged with making the explosive devices. Michael Akers, Steven Bolin, Claire Garrett and William Carr, who are all 19 years old, are set to go before a judge.  Akers and Carr are both said to be residents of Hickory Street, where the bombs were found, according to our partners at the Hamilton Journal News (CBS 12 News, 2012).

Title: Indonesian Man Faces Seven Years In Prison Over Ricin Plot
Date: March 22, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract:  Indonesian prosecutors recently announced that a man accused of plotting to poison police officers with ricin faces seven years in jail.

Ali Miftah, an herbal medicine seller whose real name is Amri Firmansyah, allegedly planned to help a group of six other suspects ship water bottles tainted with ricin to several regional police headquarters throughout Indonesia, according to TheJakartaGlobe.com.

“He was involved in an evil conspiracy,” prosecutor Ricky Rommy said, TheJakartaGlobe.com reports. “[He attempted] to help or commit a premeditated act of terrorism.”

Ricky said Ali has also been charged with two other crimes under Indonesia’s 2003 Law on Terrorism.

“We declare that Ali Miftah is [also] guilty for helping hide [then] terrorist fugitive Umar Patek and for his possession of pen guns,” Ricky said as he read the indictment, TheJakartaGlobe.com reports.

The alleged mastermind behind the conspiracy, as well as the group’s chemist, face six years in prison for their roles in the plot.

The group appears to be only loosely affiliated with other known terrorist groups. Ali was linked to a terrorist training camp in Aceh, according to AsiaNewsNet.com.

Most of the members of the cell had stable jobs and appear to have been inspired, in part, by the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that killed 202 people, mostly foreign tourists. They said they decided to attack the police for their efforts in arresting mujahedeen, or holy warriors (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Inmate To Plead Guilty To Anthrax Hoax Letters
Date: March 23, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract:  A former inmate at a federal prison near Terre Haute, Indiana, will plead guilty to mailing a death threat and anthrax hoax to a federal judge in 2009.

Michael Disch will face a sentence of up to eight years as part of a plea agreement. Disch has been charged with mailing threatening communications, USA Today reports.

The 2009 letter, which was addressed to Judge Larry McKinney, was opened at the Terre Haute courthouse before reaching the judge. The powdery substance inside was later found to be benign.

Investigators do not yet know why Disch targeted McKinney, but Disch had complained about the conditions at the prison and had previously sent letters to the judge. Disch is currently an inmate at the federal prison in Lewisburg, Pa.

The letter contained both powder and instructions along with a threat to smell the contents of the package and die. The letter also threatened to find out where McKinney lived and to have his family killed, the Tribune-Star reports.

“Our message is a consistent and strong one,” Joseph H. Hogsett, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said, according to the Tribune-Star . “We are committed to protecting the inmates from each other, and the safety of those who work there, and we take seriously threats made against authorities” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Suspect In Congress Mail Threats Pleads Not Guilty To Added Charges
Date: April 6, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: A registered nurse from Portland, Oregon, entered a not guilty plea on Thursday to additional charges relating to more than 100 threatening letters he allegedly mailed to members of Congress in February.

Christopher Carlson has been jailed without bond since his March 9 arrest for allegedly mass mailing envelopes from Portland that contained a suspicious white powder. The powder, later found to be harmless, triggered security alerts on Capitol Hill and among several media outlets, Reuters reports.

The 10 additional felony counts against Carlson were contained in an expanded indictment returned on March 28 by a federal grand jury. The charges came after Carlson entered not guilty pleas to two earlier charges. He pleaded not guilty to 12 charges – six counts of mailing a threat to use a biological weapon and six counts of mailing a threatening communication to a member of Congress.

If Carlson is convicted, he could face a maximum penalty of 90 years in prison. More than 100 threatening letters were received by various media offices and lawmakers, including National Public Radio and House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner. Authorities have yet to offer a possible motive, according to Reuters.

A trial date is currently set for June 5. The security alert in February was the largest postal scare in Washington, D.C. since deadly anthrax-containing letters were sent to several Senate offices and news organizations in 2001. Seventeen people were sickened by the letters and five were killed (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Russia Confirms Discovery Of Sarin Capsule
Date: April 10, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract: Security services in Russia confirmed on Monday that a capsule believed to contain sarin, an extremely toxic nerve agent, has been discovered in the county’s Bryansk region.

Reports over the weekend quoted local ecological organizations as saying that residents of Bryansk brought a capsule, containing the inscription of the word sarin, to a local scrap metal recycling shop on Saturday. The capsule was then put into a sealed box, Pan Armenian reports.

“The item has been seized by police, the situation is under control,” a spokesman for the Bryansk regional security services, said, according to Pan Armenian.

Tests have begun to determine whether the capsule actually contains the toxic chemical. The spokesman would not speculate on where the capsule came from. A chemical weapons destruction facility is located in the Bryansk region near the town of Pochepa. The facility stores aviation chemical bombs filled with organophosphorus chemicals, including sarin.

Sarin is an odorless, colorless liquid that is more than 500 times more poisonous than cyanide. The chemical was outlawed by the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. The United States, Iraq, Russia and Libya are known to have possessed stockpiles of sarin.

The Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo used sarin during a terrorist attack in 1995 on the Tokyo subway. Ten people were killed during the attack and thousands were injured (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Iowa Man Sent To Federal Prison After Violating Release In White Powder Case
Date: April 11, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract: An Iowa man who spent time in a federal prison for sending a police officer a threatening letter containing a white powder is going back to prison for violating the terms of his supervised release.

America Yegile Haileselassie of Bettendorf, Iowa, was recently sentenced to 14 months in a federal prison at a hearing held in Davenport by U.S. District Judge John Jarvey, according to QCTimes.

In September 2010, Haileselassie pleaded guilty to sending a Bettendorf detective an envelope containing a white powder and a letter saying, in part, “enjoy the anthrax spores!” The powder was tested and proved to be nothing more than a mixture of baby powder and carpet cleaner.

At the time, Haileselassie was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison, but was credited for time served since his arrest. He was ordered to serve three years on supervised release after completing his prison term.

Haileselassie violated the terms of his release in several ways before being sent back to prison, including calling the Bettendorf detective he had threatened and hanging up. He was also expelled from Scott Community College for violating the school’s internet usage policy.

In addition, Haileselassie was required to secure employment, which he did not do. He also attempted to deposit a Social Security check from 2010. He later attempted to use his ATM card to withdraw funds from a bank account after fraudulently making a deposit, QCTimesreports (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Elderly Georgian Militiamen Plead Guilty To Weapons, Explosives Charges
Date: April 13, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract: A group of elderly Georgia militiamen recently plead guilty to conspiring to obtain explosives and a silencer as part of a terror plot uncovered in November.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia said that Frank Thomas of Cleveland, Georgia, and Dan Roberts of Toccoa, Georgia, entered their pleas in federal court on April 10, according toGSNMagazine.com.

Thomas, the suspected ringleader, was arrested on charges that the self-styled militia group planned to make the biotoxin ricin and use it to kill American citizens and government employees. Authorities arrested two other Toccoa men, both over the age of 65, in the alleged conspiracy.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said that Thomas and Roberts could face five years in prison if convicted of the weapons and explosives charges.

The case is being used in Washington as an example that potential terror threats are possible from groups other than radicalized Muslims. Roberts’ attorney said the plot was a fantasy concocted by a group of grumpy old men, GSNMagazine.com reports.

The four men were arrested after their group was infiltrated by a government informant who recorded their conversations about overthrowing the U.S. government by killing government officials and creating chaos throughout the country.

“Civilian government operatives is who we’re going to be shooting at: IRS, ATF, FBI, and the cops,” Thomas said, GSNMagazine.com reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Neil Heywood 'Poisoned By Cyanide Drops' In China
Date: April 15, 2012
Source: Telegraph

Abstract: Neil Heywood was murdered on the orders of a fallen Communist Party chief, according to the reports.

The Mail on Sunday quoted ''respected Mandarin-language websites'' saying Mr Heywood, 41, died from cyanide poisoning after allegedly having an affair with lawyer Gu Kailai, wife of Bo Xilai, seen until recently as a future leader of China.

Mr Heywood was found dead on November 15 in Chongqing, in central China.

Britain asked China to investigate his death and it emerged last week that Mrs Gu was being probed for ''intentional homicide''.

The newspaper said it was alleged that Mr Heywood was murdered after helping Mrs Gu to siphon nearly £800 million of assets overseas.

A city official has allegedly confessed that he prepared the poison and handed it to an employee of Mr Bo, who administered it to Mr Heywood on the party chief's instructions.

Mr Heywood was a friend of the family of Mr Bo, a former rising star in Chinese politics who served as local party chief in Chongqing.

At the time, Chinese officials said the British expat died of ''excessive alcohol consumption''.

But friends questioned this, saying the businessman was not a heavy drinker.

In February, Mr Bo's former Police Chief Wang Lijun sought refuge in the US consulate in China.

It is thought he made a number of claims against the politician and Mrs Gu, including her alleged role in Mr Heywood's death.

State media reported on Tuesday that Mrs Gu and Zhang Xiaojun, an orderly at Mr Bo's home, had been arrested.

Meanwhile Mr Bo has been suspended from the Communist Party's 25-member Politburo amid allegations of ''serious discipline violations''.

A Foreign Office (FCO) spokeswoman said yesterday: ''We are aware of the latest media reports. As there is an ongoing Chinese police investigation into this case it wouldn't be appropriate to comment further. We remain in close touch with the Chinese authorities and Mr Heywood's family.''

It was reported on Saturday that the Foreign Office was facing increasing questions over delays in its intervention.

Reports said it had emerged that a British diplomat and two Chinese policemen attended Mr Heywood's cremation in Chongqing shortly after he was killed.

But the British did not raise questions with the Chinese until three months later, despite locally based British businessmen urging the Foreign Office to intervene, the newspaper said.

An FCO spokesman said: ''As we became more concerned about this case, including following suggestions from the business community, we took the decision to ask the Chinese authorities to launch an investigation.

''We acted as soon as we thought concerns about the case justified it.

''We are pleased that the Chinese have now launched that investigation. We were in constant contact with the family throughout and kept them informed of our actions.''

Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday during a Far East tour that he was pleased the Chinese authorities were taking action over the murder.

He said: ''We did ask the Chinese to hold an investigation and we are pleased that they are now doing that.

''It is very important we get to the truth of what happened in this very disturbing case, this very tragic case.''

Mr Heywood had lived in China for 10 years and was fluent in Mandarin. He had two children with his Chinese wife (Telegraph, 2012).

Title: Scores Of Afghan Schoolgirls Poisoned In Suspected Taliban Attack
Date: April 17, 2012
Source:
RT

Abstract: About 150 Afghan schoolgirls have been poisoned at a high school in the country's north after drinking contaminated water. Officials suspect conservative radicals, who oppose female education.

"We are 100 per cent sure that the water they drank inside their classes was poisoned. This is either the work of those who are against girls' education or irresponsible armed individuals," Reuters quoted Jan Mohammad Nabizada, a spokesman for education department in northern Takhar province.

The girls suffered from headaches and vomiting. Some were in critical condition, while others were sent home after treatment in hospital.

"This is not a natural illness. It's an intentional act to poison schoolgirls," said Haffizullah Safi, head of Takhar's public health department.

Since the Taliban was toppled in 2001 females have returned to schools, especially in the country’s capital, Kabul.

However, attacks on female schools still occur, especially in the more conservative south and east of the country.

Afghan authorities said last year that the Taliban no longer opposes to female education as it is trying to advance exploratory peace talks,

But the movement has never confirmed this officially. Education for women was outlawed by Taliban between 1996 and 2001. 

The Afghan Education Ministry report for 2006 shows that about 20 teachers were killed and more than a 100 schools set on fire in different parts of Afghanistan (RT, 2012).

Title: Oregon Man Sentenced For Anthrax Hoax
Date: April 19, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: The perpetrator of an anthrax hoax was recently sentenced to prison for threatening a postal carrier in Oregon with the deadly biological agent.

Kelsey Van Hook was sent to federal prison for one year and one day for placing a white powder in a mailbox and claiming it was anthrax, according to OregonLive.com.

In 2009, a U.S. postal carrier in Oregon City, Oregon, pulled a stack of envelopes out of a mailbox and noticed that his hands were covered in white powder. Among the envelopes was one with a message that read, “anthrax what now mr mailman(?)”

The postal worker immediately contacted his supervisor. A postal inspector soon arrived to conduct field tests on the substance. The testing determined that the substance was harmless. Later, it was identified as cream of tartar.

Van Hook recently stood before U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown in a Portland courtroom where he apologized for committing the act along with a friend. He also said he was sorry for failing out of a diversion program that would have eliminated his felony record.

“I screwed up and I’m sorry for doing it,” Van Hook said, OregonLive.com reports.

In addition to prison time, Brown also sentenced Van Hook to three years of post-prison supervision and 50 hours of community service. Brown told Van Hook that he should earn his GED while behind bars and grow up (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Fla. Man Charged With Mailing Powder And Threats
Date: April 23, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: A Miami Gardens, Florida, man charged with mailing threatening letters that contained powder to the Broward County Courthouse and the Broward Sheriff’s office was ordered held without bail on Friday.

Tarvess David Taylor was arrested after investigators found forensic evidence that connected him to the hoax letters. He was held without bail because he may still pose a threat to the community. Five envelopes he allegedly sent contained a powder, later found to be the cleaning substance Ajax, the Sun Sentinel reports.

Taylor also allegedly sent four expletive-filled anonymous letters that threatened himself and his family in October.

One employee who came into contact with the powder suffered a burning sensation on their hands and in the eyes, and the sheriff’s office headquarters and the main county courthouse closed for a short period of time after the envelopes were found.

Taylor pleaded not guilty to five counts of making a hoax threat on Friday. Taylor was already facing multiple felony charges in state court due to an incident in December 2008 when he allegedly tried to run over a Pembroke Pines police office.

“Although the powder contained in the envelopes mailed by the defendant contained non-biohazardous materials, they nonetheless caused anxiety and emotional distress to the recipients and incurred a disruption of government operations,” Michael Walleisa, a prosecutor on the case, said, according to the Sun Sentinel (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: London Siege Ends As Man With Gas Canisters Arrested
Date: April 27, 2012
Source: Independent

Abstract: More than 1,000 office workers were evacuated from Tottenham Court Road in London today after a man wearing gas canisters took office workers hostage and threatened to blow himself up.

Tube stations were closed, businesses evacuated and the capital's busiest shopping street shut as armed police laid siege to the central London office just weeks before the Olympics take place.

The suspect, thought to be enraged after failing a HGV training course, was removed from Shropshire House in Tottenham Court Road by police officers who then began searching the building.

The Metropolitan Police said: "We have arrested a man at Tottenham Court Road. A search of the building is under way.

"We are not aware of any hostages at this stage. Search of the building continues on Tottenham Court Road."

The central London street was closed after police received emergency calls at midday.

Scotland Yard sent a hostage negotiator to the scene amid reports that the man was holding people captive inside the building several floors up.

Pictures emerged of computer and office equipment being thrown through one of the office windows.

Abby Baafi, 27, the head of training and operations at Advantage, a company which offers HGV courses, said the man targeted her offices and held four men hostage.

In a YouTube video Ms Baafi said the man, calling himself Michael Green, entered her office.

"I recognised him because he was one of our previous customers but he is not quite stable - mentally stable," she said.

"He turned up, strapped up with gasoline cylinders, and threatened to blow up the office.

"He said he doesn't care about his life.

"He doesn't care about anything, he is going to blow up everybody.

"He was specifically looking for me but I said 'My name's not Abby' and he let me go."

Ms Baafi said the man failed the HGV training course and wanted his money back.

The man was named at the scene as Michael Green, 49.

Sarah O'Meara, who also works for the Huffington Post, said they evacuated their offices in nearby Capper Street after being alerted by a woman who ran into the building.

"A woman ran in off the street saying 'There is a guy with a bomb and he is threatening to blow himself up' and that we needed to evacuate," she said.

"Everyone got out."

John Lillis, a consultant at furniture shop Designer Sofas, witnessed the incident unfold from the back of his showroom.

He said: "The buses had been stopped and there was an ambulance crew there, as well as police cars. The road was then cordoned off.

"The police asked us to move to the back of the showroom.

"I looked across the road to an office block opposite our showroom, and I saw computer screens and computers come out of the window, and then a filing cabinet.

"About half an hour after it all started, we were asked to move behind the cordon on Goodge Street, and it has moved back further since then."

Asked if he could see who was throwing the items out on to the street, he said: "All I saw was someone in a shirt, I couldn't see him or her."

Rajesh Kalia, of Goodge Law solicitors, who works two floors below where the incident was unfolding in Shropshire House, said: "We were in the office and suddenly we were told by the police that there was some problem in the building and asked to evacuate immediately.

"The police were very clear about the instructions. There was no panic or anything but they were very firm and got everybody out of the building very, very quickly.

"I overheard someone say that there was a man in there with some wires coming out of his jacket.

"Now, I don't know how much of that is true but that's the impression they gave us.

"They mentioned something about a flame-thrower, the jacket and wires coming out of it, and that's about it.

"We're two floors below where this was happening.

"We heard some shouting in the stairwell and then were asked to leave by the police so I think the police got there pretty quick."

It is not known how the suspect arrived at the scene, whether by vehicle or on foot (Independent, 2012).

Title: Milwaukee Man In Custody For Mailing Suspicious Envelope
Date: April 30, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch


Abstract: A man has been taken into custody after he filmed himself mailing a suspicious package on Milwaukee’s lower east side and notified multiple media outlets on Saturday.

The man said that the envelope, addressed to the Department of Workforce Development, was laced with anthrax. Milwaukee police shut down streets near the mailbox and investigated the package, which turned out to be a hoax, FOX 6 Newsreports.

The incident occurred at the corner of Knapp St. and Astor and forced the closure of the two streets from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. No businesses were closed and no evacuations took place during the incident.

The man, who has not yet been named or charged, recorded a video of himself mailing the letter with a woman by his side. He spoke nonsense during the recording, mailed the letter and sent an email to multiple news outlets in Milwaukee stating that a letter laced with anthrax could be located at East Knapp St. The emails contained a link to the video, according to Fox 6 News.

The person who allegedly made the threat used to work at Accurate Metal Products, where he used computers to draw up designs. After getting the job in February, he was fired in early April following a conflict that took place between the man and a co-worker. One video showed the man making threats against his former employee. He was arrested after the incident on Saturday evening (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Woman Accused Of Putting Bleach In Daughter’s Eyes
Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Fox 8 News


Abstract: Prosecutors have accused a Washington state woman of repeatedly putting bleach into her daughter’s eyes, causing permanent vision loss in the toddler’s right eye.

Jennifer Mothershead was arrested Friday and was charged with assault after a lengthy investigation.

Authorities say her daughter was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in May 2011 after sustaining a serious head injury. The girl, who was 14 months old at the time, also had an eye infection. Doctors called the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department because they suspected the head injury was a result of abuse.

Mothershead told a detective her daughter started to have an eye issue in March 2011 after playing in a barn. She said the girl received antibiotics and eye drops, but Mothershead didn’t provide an explanation for the head injury and, according to the detective, didn’t show any emotion about her daughter’s injuries.

The detectives placed the girl in state protective custody.

Mothershead had brought the eye drops to the hospital, and a staff member later opened the drops and noticed a foul odor.

Investigators sent the drops to the Food and Drug Administration’s Forensic Chemistry Lab for analysis. The lab determined the drops contained bleach.

“The staff at Harborview determined that the damage to the child’s eyes was consistent with repeated exposure to bleach, and ruled out any possibility that the eye dropper had been merely cleaned with bleach,” prosecutors said in a statement.

The girl’s condition improved in the hospital, but doctors noted she’d lost vision in her right eye. The girl now lives with her father.

Mothershead, 29, of Buckley pleaded not guilty to first-degree assault of a child Monday. Mothershead was ordered held in lieu of $150,000 bail (Fox 8 News, 2012)

Title: New York Man Found Guilty In Thwarted Subway Attack Plot
Date: May 1, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A New York man was convicted Tuesday of plotting an aborted suicide mission against New York City subways in 2009 -- a case that featured the first-time testimony from admitted homegrown terrorists about Al Qaeda's fixation with pulling off another attack on American soil.

A jury found Adis Medunjanin guilty of all counts for his role in a terror plot that federal authorities say was one of the closest calls since Sept. 11, 2001.

"This is Terrorism 101," Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger said in closing arguments in federal court in Brooklyn. "The goal of this conspiracy was to kill as many people as possible."

Medunjanin could be ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison when he is sentenced Sept. 7.

Defense attorney Robert Gottlieb said he disagreed with the verdict and would appeal, but said the trial showed that the U.S. court system -- not a military tribunal -- is best for prosecuting terror crimes.

"The world and our national government including all our politicians should take note that this is the way crimes should be decided, not in a military commission, not in a star chamber, but in America," he said.

Medunjanin showed no visible reaction to the verdicts.

Gottlieb said Medunjanin asked his lawyer to "tell his family to be strong." His mother and sister testified during the trial of terrifying late-night raids by federal agents out for Medunjanin.

The defense admitted that the Bosnian-born Medunjanin wanted to fight for the Taliban, but they insisted he never agreed to spread death and destruction in the city where his family put down roots.

Medunjanin, 27, went overseas to fulfill a "romantic version of jihad. ... His plan and intent was to join the Taliban and stand up for what he believes in," defense attorney Robert Gottlieb said in his closing. "That was his purpose."

The government's case was built on the testimony of four men: two other radicalized Muslim men from Queens who pleaded guilty in the subway plot, a British would-be shoe bomber and a man originally from Long Island who gave Al Qaeda pointers on how best to attack a Walmart store.

Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, both former high school classmates of Medunjanin, told jurors that the scheme unfolded after the trio traveled to Pakistan in 2008 to avenge the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.

While receiving terror training at outposts in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan, Al Qaeda operatives encouraged the American recruits to return home for a suicide-bombing mission intended to spread panic and cripple the economy. Among the targets considered were New York Stock Exchange, Times Square and Grand Central Terminal, the men testified.

In a later meeting in New York, the plotters decided to strap on bombs and blow themselves up at rush hour on Manhattan subway lines because the transit system is "the heart of everything in New York City," Zazi said.

Zazi told jurors how he learned to distill explosives ingredients from nail polish remover, hydrogen peroxide and other products sold at beauty supply stores. When leaving Pakistan, he relocated to Colorado, where he perfected a homemade detonator in a hotel room and set out for New York City by car around the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The plot -- financed in part by $50,000 in credit card charges -- was abandoned after Zazi noticed that everywhere he drove in New York, a car followed.

"I think law enforcement is on us," he recalled telling Ahmedzay. Later, he said he told Medunjanin in a text message, "We are done."

The other convicted terrorists were called as witnesses to give a rare glimpse into Al Qaeda's training methods and the mindset of its leadership.

In a videotaped deposition made public for the first time during the trial, Saajid Badat recounted a clandestine meeting where Osama bin Laden explained the rationale behind the failed plot for Badat and Richard Reid to attack trans-Atlantic flights with bombs hidden in shoes.

Bin Laden "said the American economy is like a chain," the British man said. "If you break one -- one link of the chain -- the whole economy will be brought down. So after Sept. 11 attacks, this operation will ruin the aviation industry and in turn the whole economy will come down."

Bryant Neal Vinas, of Patchogue on Long Island, testified that he went to Pakistan in 2007 and later joined Al Qaeda forces in an attack against American soldiers.

Vinas described how he suggested to others in Al Qaeda in the summer of 2008 that they could plant explosives in suitcase aboard a Long Island Rail Road train or hide them inside a television that was being returned to a Walmart.

An attack on the popular retail outlet "would cause a very big economy hit," he said (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Minnesota Authorities See First Case Of Chemical Suicide
Date: May 2, 2012
Source: Fox News


Abstract: Authorities in eastern Minnesota say first responders are dealing with a new and dangerous phenomenon -- chemical suicide.

Washington County Sheriff's Cmdr. Brian Mueller says his department dealt with its first case over the weekend. A person had committed suicide by mixing household chemicals in a bucket, creating a deadly gas. The body of a man from Prescott, Wis., was found in a car in Point Douglas Park.

Mueller says when first responders arrived they detected a faint smell of chemicals and called St. Paul hazardous materials squad. He says more training is needed for first responders because they "may not know what they're walking into when they open the car door."

Mueller tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press the haz-mat squad has dealt with similar incidents in the Twin Cities metro area (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Milwaukee Man Charged Over YouTube Anthrax Threat
Date: May 9, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A Wisconsin man was recently charged with making a false anthrax threat that resulted in Milwaukee police cordoning off an entire city block.

David V. Bustamante of Milwaukee is accused of posting a video on YouTube that shows him and a female companion dropping a letter addressed to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development into a mailbox across the street from his residence, according to JSOnline.com.

“Sorry guys, anthrax on the way,” Bustamante says on the video, JSOnline.com reports. He then laughs and uses an obscenity.

According to a recently filed criminal complaint, Bustamante can also be heard talking about U.S. President Barack Obama and about being Jesus Christ.

On the afternoon of April 28, Milwaukee police reported receiving telephone calls from local television stations saying they had received an email with a link to the video. Police investigators soon saw that Bustamante’s Facebook account contained a message stating that the anthrax letter was currently in the mailbox, JSOnline.com reports.

The letter, which did not contain anthrax, was actually a questionnaire that Bustamante had filled out and signed. He was arrested at his home and taken to the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. He is expected to face a single count of threatening to release a harmful substance (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Doctor Pulled From Cruise Over Fake Bioterrorist Message
Date: May 11, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A Nashville neurosurgeon was taken off of a Carnival cruise after an imposter account on Twitter posted a message that the doctor was planning to commit a bioterrorist attack.

Jack Kruse was planning to speak to the passengers of a Carnival Magic cruise on Monday as part of the 5th Annual Low-Carb Cruise. The ship was to launch on Sunday from a Galveston, Texas, port. Kruse was escorted off the cruise after the suspicious tweet was detected, the Houston Chronicle reports.

“Security confiscated dynamite,” the fake Twitter account said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “Talk won’t be as explosive as one at PaleoFx. Still have vial of Legionnaires for epic biohack. #lccruise12.”

In addition to the tweet, the cruise line received a call alleging that the doctor planned to engage in a viral biohack on the ship. The U.S. Coast Guard, the Galveston police, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI were all informed about the tweet.

“It was like being in a movie, and it was surreal,” Kruse said, according to the Houston Chronicle. ”Having the room completely trashed, and I was asked all of these crazy questions. I had no idea what they were talking about.”

Officials cleared the doctor before the ship left the port, but the captain would not permit Kruse to re-board.

“Since the safety and well-being of my guests and crew is my number one priority, every security threat is taken seriously and fully investigated,” Captain Giovanni Cutugno said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “It is for this reason that I felt it was in the best interest of all my guests to err on the side of caution and not allow him to set sail as planned.”

The investigation is ongoing into the identity of the person who created the account and posted the tweet (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Woman Accused Of Robbing Bank With ‘AIDS Syringe’ Allegedly Strikes Again
Date: May 15, 2012
Source:
CBS Denver

Abstract: Police are accusing a 64-year-old woman of trying to rob a bank and it’s not the first time she’s been a suspect.

Officers say Datha Nation tried to hold up a Wells Fargo bank inside the Safeway on Ken Pratt Boulevard in Longmont, and they think she’s done it before.

Nation was found sitting inside her car in the parking lot outside the Safeway. Police said they also found a note in the car indicating that she was going to rob the bank, demanding money, and telling tellers not to use a dye pack.

Police say a surveillance photo shows Nation in action robbing the bank. She’s being charged with two attempted robberies and one aggravated robbery.

“On the June 9 (2010) robbery she has a note that indicated that she wanted money and that she would infect the teller with AIDS if they didn’t cooperate,” Cmdr. Jeff Satur with Longmont police said.

Satur says Nation then tried to rob the same Longmont bank two more times — once in March and then again on Monday evening.

Police believe Nation got nervous while waiting in line with her robbery note. Tellers said they recognized her from the first robbery.

“The second she walked in they identified her, knew who she was, and contacted the police immediately,” Satur said. “I think that’s part what part of what spooked her when she saw them on the phone.”

Police are now looking to see if Nation is linked to other bank robberies with the same M.O.

Nation is still in Boulder Jail and declined CBS4′s request for an interview (CBS Denver, 2012)

Title: FBI, U.S. Postal Services Offers $150,000 For Help In White Powder Case
Date: May 18, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Postal Service recently announced the establishment of a $150,000 reward for information that leads them to the mailer of at least 380 white powder threats.

Since 2008, a series of typewritten letters containing a white powder and cryptic messages about the FBI, CIA, al-Qaeda and Nazis have been sent from North Texas. The letters have been mailed to schools, churches and businesses in North Texas and around the world, according to NBC.

According to FBI agents and U.S. postal inspectors, some of the more recent letters have contained references to the cartoon dog Scooby Doo.

“Those who know or have encountered this person may consider him odd or eccentric,” Kevin Kolbye, the acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Dallas office, said, NBC reports.

Agents revealed details about the 13 batches of letters at a recent news conference.

“We need to find this person before he sends his next batch,” Kolbye said, NBC reports. “This person is disrupting people’s lives.”

FBI experts said they believe the subject to be at least over the age of 30 and to have a history of what they described as mental challenges. They also believe he has a limited mastery of English because of a profusion of punctuation and spelling errors (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Teen Arrested In Brooklyn Dart Attacks
Date: May 22, 2012
Source:
NBC New York

Abstract: Police say they arrested a 15-year-old boy in connection with a series of attacks in which three men were struck by darts in Brooklyn Sunday evening, sources told NBC 4 New York.

Police say the teenager was arrested Monday as a juvenile on assault charges.

Law enforcement sources said crime scene investigators were able to trace the path of the darts in Bath Beach to a nearby building, from where it's believed the suspect fired the darts. 

Police say one man in his 60s was struck in the back and leg, another man around the same age was hit in the stomach and another man in his 40s was also hit, although it was not clear where.

The darts appeared to come from a blow gun. The attacks were all in the area of Bay 32nd Street and Bay 36th Street.

The victims were taken to Coney Island Hospital to be treated.

One of the victims, Georgiy Ostrozhnyuk, told NBC 4 New York he was sitting in his friend's car, parked on 86th Street, when he felt two sharp pains. He looked down and saw the needles.

"I feel ... pain," Ostrozhnyuk said. He said one of the needles, which he said drove two inches into his flesh, had a blue head and the other was green.

Witnesses believe the suspect was sitting on a roof of a nearby building, shooting darts into the street.

No charges have been filed against the teenager being questioned. Sources said the teenager's mother allowed detectives into her apartment while they were canvassing the area and knocking on doors.

That's where detectives recovered additional darts from the teen's room.

The teenager has not offered an explanation for the attacks, and told police a friend had the blow gun, sources said (NBC New York, 2012).

Title: College Student Arrested For Wasabi Attack
Date: May 22, 2012
Source:
Smoking Gun

Abstract: A Massachusetts college student is facing criminal charges after admitting he assaulted his girlfriend with a pair of jeans covered in wasabi sauce, an attack that the man claims was prompted when “some guy she slept with in school was texting her.”

John McGuinness, 22, and his girlfriend were returning early Friday from a Barnstable bar--where they had watched a Celtics game--when the woman received the text. The ensuing argument continued until the woman dropped McGuinness off at his home.

While driving to her residence, the 21-year-old woman got a text from McGuninness “stating that he had my $200 pair of jeans and he was throwing them outside,” according to a Barnstable Police Department report. McGuinness is pictured in the above mug shot.

The woman doubled back to McGuinness’s home, where he “came out to the driveway with my jeans covered in wasabi sauce.” She told cops that McGuinness “had my jeans by the waist and whipped me in the face with them. I got wasabi sauce in my eyes and they were burning and I couldn’t see.”

McGuinness, a Springfield College student, then tossed wasabi sauce inside the woman’s car. The victim told officers that after McGuinness threw her to the ground, she got back into her car and retrieved a bottle of water, which she used to flush her eyes.

Cops noted that the passenger side of the woman’s 2007 Toyota Camry “was covered in wasabi sauce.” The victim, whose clothing was covered in dirt stains,  had “visible red marks on her neck area” and “her right eye was visible red and swollen.”

After being arrested at his home, McGuinness was placed in a police cruiser, where he admitted, “I did put the wasabi sauce on her jeans but she has done worse to my car in the past.” Along with calling the woman “crazy,” McGuinness added, “Some guy she slept with in school was texting her. I want it known I am not drunk and she is.”

McGuinness was charged with three misdemeanors, including assault and battery “by dangerous weapon/sauce.” Free on bail, McGuiness is scheduled for a July 12 pretrial hearing (Smoking Gun, 2012)

Title: More Than 120 Schoolgirls Poisoned In Afghanistan
Date: May 23, 2012
Source: 
RT

Abstract: At least 120 schoolgirls and three teachers have been poisoned in Afghanistan, local police reported on Wednesday. The attack has been blamed on Taliban. The incident in the northern Takhar province is the second in several months.

The attack appeared aimed at shutting down schools educating girls and women, which radicals deem inappropriate.

Perpetrators reportedly used an unidentified toxic powder to contaminate the air in classrooms. Police say evidence suggests that the substance was sprayed. The poisoning left dozens of Bibi Haji school students unconscious.

Last month a similar poisoning attack in Takhar province affected 150 schoolgirls, who drank contaminated water.

Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), says the Taliban is behind such attacks and appears intent on closing schools ahead of a 2014 withdrawal by the NATO-led coalition.

"A part of their Al Farooq spring offensive operation is … to close schools. By poisoning girls they want to create fear. They try to make families not send their children to school," NDS spokesman Lutfullah Mashal said as cited by Reuters.

Afghanistan's Ministry of Education said last week that 550 schools in 11 provinces where the Taliban have strong support had been closed down by insurgents.

Education was forbidden for women in Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country in the wake of the Soviet withdrawal. 

After the country was conquered by the US and its allies in 2001, females were allowed into school again.

But both students and teachers fall victim to radicals’ attacks, especially in the more conservative provinces of the country (RT, 2012)

Title: FBI Investigates Oregon White Powder Suspect
Date: May 25, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that it is investigating an inmate in Multnomah County as a possible suspect behind at least one of the recent white powder scares in Portland, Oregon.

Within the past month, six locations throughout Portland were targeted by suspicious envelopes with a powder inside that resembled anthrax. Authorities allege that Andrew Laud Barnett sent one of the letters to Stephen Peifer, the prosecutor on his case, KATU reports.

Barnett allegedly threatened the prosecutor and wrote his own name on the envelope as a return address. Barnett had previously sent two other threatening letters to Peifer. A DNA mouth swab allegedly found that Barnett’s DNA matched the DNA on the envelope flaps of the powder-laced envelope.

Investigators confirmed that all six letters came from inside of the Multnomah County Jail. Barnett is already facing charges for sending other letters of a threatening nature to the deputies and sheriff of Washington County. He also faces charges for assaulting a corrections officer with urine and feces, according to KATU.

Barnett has now been banned from mailing letters or having any access to writing instruments along with having any medications that can be turned into powder. Barnett has also been transferred to the federal prison in Sheridan (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Another Mass Poisoning In Afghanistan, As Women Flee Fearing Taliban
Date: May 30, 2012
Source:
RT

Abstract: Some 160 schoolgirls are suspected to have been poisoned in the north-eastern Afghan province of Takhar. This comes less than a week after another similar case was blamed on the Taliban, that have repeatedly spoken out against female education.

There are suspicions that the classrooms had been sprayed with a toxic material before the girls entered, police said. They suspect Taliban to be behind the incident.

Last week 120 girls were sent to hospital after a similar suspected poisoning. Later in the week the Taliban denied any involvement in that case.

Many fear that the international troop withdrawal in 2014 may put Afghanistan back into the hands of the Taliban and result in the further violation of women’s rights and a ban on education.

Between 1996 and 2001 when the Taliban was in power the movement banned school education for girls in the country.

NGOs active in Afghanistan say many young women are leaving the country fearing the return of Taliban rule.

"They see no future for themselves in Afghanistan so the bright ones are seeking scholarships or work abroad,” Selay Ghaffar, from the Kabul-based NGO Humanitarian Assistance told Guardian.

Afghan officials confirm that the fears of a Taliban return make women consider leaving the country to avoid possible violence and rights deprivation.

The government and the Taliban ignore women’s rights in their negotiations, said Guhramaana Kakar, a gender adviser to President Hamid Karzai.

Kakar revealed that according to a recent survey 86% of Afghan women were fearful of a return to Taliban-style rule and one in five worried about the education of their daughters.

"Women want the progress that has been made over the past 10 years to continue, but they are being kept away from the political processes," Kakar declared asserting that if more women were allowed into the provincial councils, this would show the Taliban that they cannot reverse 10 years of women's advancements (RT, 2012).

Title:
Tokyo Gas Attack Suspect Arrested After 17 Years On Run
Date: June 4, 2012
Source:
CNN

Abstract: A member of the Japanese doomsday cult responsible for the 1995 nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway has been arrested after 17 years on the run, Tokyo police say.

Naoko Kikuchi, 40, a follower of the Aum Supreme Truth Cult, was apprehended in the town of Sagamihara, a quiet residential area approximately 40 km west of the Japanese capital after a local resident tipped off police.

During a rush-hour attack on the morning of March, 20 1995, cult members released sarin gas that led to the death of 13 people and sickened more than 5,500 commuters.

Kikuchi has admitted to helping make the gas, which attacks the central nervous system, but was not aware how it would be used, Tokyo Metropolitan Police said. She was arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder.

Before her arrest, she was living in a small, shabby house made out of rusted metal panels, local TV footage showed. Another resident, a 41-year-old man, was arrested for allegedly hiding the suspect.

Police were tipped off early Sunday morning and made their arrest when Kikuchi returned home in the evening. They had recently doubled the reward available for information related to the suspects' whereabouts to 10 million yen ($125,000).

Kikuchi was one of two remaining cult members wanted for their involvement in one of the most shocking acts of terrorism in Japan's history. Katsuya Takahashi. 54, is the only Aum follower involved in the attack still at large.

Another cult member Makoto Hirata, wanted for the murder of a notary official, unexpectedly turned himself in on New Year's Eve, stunning many in Japan.

More than 200 members of the cult were convicted in the wake of the gas attack and 13, including Shoko Asahara, the cult's blind guru, were sentenced to death. However, no one has been executed.

The cult now claims to be a benign religious group but at the height of its activities in the 1990s, it preached the world was coming to an end and that it must arm itself to prepare for various calamities.

It had stockpiled weapons and the gas attack was part of what the group thought was an apocalyptic showdown with the government (CNN, 2012)

Title: Inmate Pleads Guilty To Mailing Anthrax Threat
Date: June 6, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: An inmate held at a federal prison near Terre Haute, Indiana, was recently sentenced to more than nine years for mailing an anthrax hoax and a death threat to a federal judge.

Marcus Disch was sentenced after pleading guilty to charges of mailing threatening communications. Disch was in the Terre Haute prison serving time on similar charges, according to GreenfieldReporter.com.

U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett said that Disch sent a letter from prison to the Honorable Senior Judge Larry McKinney. The letter was opened at a federal courthouse in Terre Haute before reaching its final destination. The white powder included in the letter was later tested and determined to be benign.

Hogsett said that investigators are unsure of why Disch targeted the judge, but the inmate had written previous letters to him that included complaints about prison conditions.

Disch’s letter to Judge McKinney included instructions to, “Smell this and die,” according to WHITV.com.

“This office made a commitment last year to do all within our power to ensure the safety of all those who work in or around the federal prison system,” Hogsett said, TribStar.com reports. “In addition, hoax cases such as this one also highlight the importance of remaining ever-vigilant of the very real threat that terrorism poses in this day and age (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: FBI Tests White Powder Sent To N.C. Pastor Who Said Gays Should Be Imprisoned
Date: June 8, 2012
Source:
Winston-Salem Journal

Abstract: A white powdery substance found in an envelope Thursday at the church of the Rev. Charles Worley is being tested by the FBI.

An envelope containing the substance was discovered and opened at Providence Road Baptist Church by a church staff member Thursday morning, according to Jim Dickerson, acting public information officer for Catawba County.

Postal inspectors didn’t have enough of the white substance to test onsite, so it was packaged and taken to the FBI lab for identification, according to Dickerson.

The church has been locked down, and no one is allowed in until clearance is given. Deputies will continue to patrol the church grounds. It may take as long as 48 hours to get the test results from the FBI. As a safety precaution, no one will be allowed to go in the church until the results are in, said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid.

Dickerson said a call came in directly to the Maiden Fire Department at 9:01 a.m. from the church staff member. He told them he had received the envelope in the mail. When he opened it, there was a white powder inside, according to Dickerson. There was no return address on the envelope.

The staff member was decontaminated at the site and transported to a local hospital, where he is under observation. He does not seem to be in bad health, said Dickerson.

Reid was frustrated by what he suspects is a prank or a hoax.

“It’s got everybody nervous that lives around here,” he said. “It’s a big hassle, and it’s taking us away from what we should be doing because we’re here dealing with this.”

Catawba County Sheriff’s Department responded, along with EMS, the Maiden Fire Department and the Catawba County interagency hazardous materials team when the call first came in.

Crime scene tape surrounded the church grounds before the substance was taken from the church, and no one except authorities were allowed on the grounds or inside, not even Worley.

He was upset that he couldn’t go inside. As he left the church, he ignored requests for comment, and he was driven away.

Worley's sermon on May 13, in which he said all gays and lesbians should be imprisoned behind an electric fence, prompted national outrage and a May 27 protest march in Newton. The call for the protests and denunciations of Worley and his sermon started after portions of it were posted on YouTube.

Providence Road members were outraged that someone would target their church.

“I think it’s crazy. That’s what I think about it,” said 50-year member Lawrence Campbell. “It’s dumb. It’s ignorant. It’s someone that doesn’t love God – that’s all I can say about it” (Winston-Salem Journal, 2012)

Title: Saudi Man Accused In US Bomb Plot Set For Trial
Date: June 20, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract:
Twice in the days leading up to Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari's arrest federal agents secretly searched the Saudi man's West Texas apartment, where they say they found bomb-making chemicals as well as beakers, flasks, wiring, a hazmat suit and clocks.

They also discovered Aldawsari's journal, handwritten in Arabic, in which he wrote that he had been planning a terror attack in the U.S. for years and that it was "time for jihad," or holy war, court documents show.

Aldawsari wrote that he was planning an attack in the U.S. for years, even before coming to America on a scholarship. He bemoaned the plight of Muslims and said he was influenced by Osama bin Laden's speeches.

Jury selection in the 22-year-old's trial was set to begin Thursday in Amarillo. If convicted, Aldawsari faces up to life in prison.

The results of the two searches at Aldawsari's apartment in Lubbock in February 2011 led authorities to suspect he had nearly everything he needed to build a bomb, having purchased chemicals and other materials online in previous months. He had also researched targets — including dams, nuclear plants or the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush — and how to place bomb material inside dolls and baby carriages, court records show.

Authorities arrested the former Texas Tech University chemical engineering student on Feb. 23, 2011, and charged him with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He has pleaded not guilty, and attorneys plan to use an insanity defense, court records show.

A judge assigned to the case earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter from Louisiana, moved the trial from Lubbock but did not indicate why. Dick Baker, an assistant U.S. attorney in the case, declined to comment, as did one of Aldawsari's attorneys, Paul Doyle.

The previous judge, who recused himself in April for reasons not disclosed publicly, placed a gag order on the case shortly after Aldawsari's arrest.

Prosecutors have shown some of the evidence they could present through rulings made by Walter following objections to video exhibits from Aldawsari's attorneys, according to court documents.

Last week, Walter ruled prosecutors can use footage of videos found on Aldawsari's computer, including one in which Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaida's current leader, praises as martyrs the deaths of two unspecified individuals killed by "American Crusaders," and two other videos that taught how to prepare picric acid and how to use a cellphone as a remote detonator.

However, the judge excluded a video containing an image of Osama bin Laden and audio believed to be a speech given by the slain former leader of al-Qaida and another file on that video that has graphic images of war that seem to focus on Palestinian-Israeli conflict, according to court documents. But Walter wrote that prosecutors could present it at trial and explain its relevance to him while jurors are out of the courtroom, documents show.

Aldawsari's attorneys said in court documents that the video "rolls everything that is unfairly prejudicial about the other videos into one." They also said in the document that Aldawsari had no contact with any terrorists.

TNP, the chemical explosive that Aldawsari was suspected of trying to make, has about the same destructive power as TNT. FBI bomb experts said the amounts in the Aldawsari case would have yielded almost 15 pounds of explosive — about the same amount used per bomb in the London subway attacks that killed scores of people in July 2005.

Authorities say they were tipped to Aldawsari's online purchases by chemical company Carolina Biological Supply of Burlington, N.C., and shipping company Con-way Freight on Feb. 1, 2011. The chemical company reported a $435 suspicious purchase to the FBI, while the shipping company notified Lubbock police and the FBI because it appeared the order wasn't intended for commercial use.

Within weeks, federal agents had traced Aldawsari's other online purchases, discovered extremist posts he made on the Internet and secretly searched his off-campus apartment, computer and email accounts and read his diary, according to court records.

Aldawsari came to the U.S. in October 2008 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to study chemical engineering at Texas Tech. He transferred in early 2011 to nearby South Plains College, where he was studying business. A Saudi industrial company, which was not identified in court documents, was paying his tuition and living expenses (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Prisoner Indicted For Sending Threatening Powder To Former State Attorney
Date: June 25, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A federal grand jury indicted a prisoner in Palm Beach County, Florida, for allegedly threatening to kill Michael McAuliffe, a former state attorney for the county, using a powder-laced letter.

Justin Lane, who is currently serving a 15 year prison sentence for a 2005 grand theft and armed robbery, allegedly sent an envelope with powder to McAuliffe’s office in West Palm Beach and insinuated that the powder was anthrax. The letter arrived at the office on January 3 and a federal examination determined the powder was harmless, the Sun Sentinel reports.

“I am grateful that the individual who threatened me and my office is being held accountable,” McAuliffe said, according to the Sun Sentinel. “The white powder death threat incident was another attempt to intimidate and interfere with prosecutors and investigators who work to protect the community.”

Six months before the 2005 sentence, Lane was released after nearly three years in prison for an aggravated battery conviction. Now the Palm Beach County man could face up to five more years in prison for each count of orchestrating a hoax and mailing threatening letters.

Anthrax scares have led to shutdowns at several government buildings in South Florida over the past year, including the campaign office of U.S. Rep. Allen West, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Building, and a Palm Beach County Jail (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: New York Man Pleads Guilty To Mailing Anthrax Hoax
Date: June 27, 2012
Source: BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A Buffalo, New York, man recently pleaded guilty in a federal court to sending an anthrax mail hoax.

Cory Kent said he was inspired by a YouTube video of Occupy Wall Street protest techniques. Kent pleaded guilty to perpetrating a hoax by mailing a threatening envelope. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000, according to GSNMagazine.com.

Federal investigators said that Kent mailed two envelopes containing a white powder to two large U.S. banks from a mailbox at Daemon College in Amherst, New York, last November. A postal carrier discovered the envelopes while emptying the contents of the mailbox when a puff of powder came out of them.

Kent allegedly filled the envelopes with baby powder as a prank. He had hoped to scare whoever opened them, according to federal law enforcement authorities.

The would-be prankster said that he decided to mail the powder after watching a video posted on YouTube that showed members of an Occupy Wall Street group carrying out a similar stunt. In the video, the protestors advocated mailing pre-paid envelopes received from banks back to the same banks, but stuffed with additional items to increase their costs, GSNMagazine.com reports.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force conducted the investigation in cooperation with the U.S. Postal Service Inspection Service, the Amherst Police Department and the Town of Amherst Emergency Services (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Texas Resident Convicted Of Attempting To Use WMD
Date: June 28, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A Lubbock, Texas, resident and Saudi citizen was recently convicted by a federal jury on the charge of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari was indicted in connection with the purchase of equipment and chemicals needed to build an improvised explosive device and his research of potential targets in the United States.

The verdict was reached in the Northern District of Texas. Sentencing has been scheduled for the beginning of October in Amarillo, Texas. Aldawsari faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a possible fine of up to $250,000.

According to court documents and evidence introduced during the trial, Aldawsari, who was admitted into the United States on a student visa in 2008, had been researching how to build an IED online. The affidavit alleges that he also took substantial steps towards purchasing most of the ingredients needed for a device and had sought out targets in the United States online.

Alsawsari allegedly described his desire to commit violent acts and become martyred in blog postings and in a personal journal.

“While many people are responsible for thwarting Aldawsari’s threat and bringing him to justice, we owe a debt of gratitude to all the members of the North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force, and especially to the hundreds of hardworking and dedicated FBI agents, analysts, linguists, and others,” U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña said. “Their efforts, coupled with the hard work and excellent cooperation from the Lubbock Police Department and the Texas Tech Police Department, are the reason we were able to stop this defendant from carrying out a catastrophic act of terrorism” (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Teen Sentenced In Ohio High School CBRN Threat
Date: June 29, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: One of three teenagers charged with emailing biological threats to their high school in an affluent Cleveland, Ohio, suburb recently pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts.

The two 16-year-old boys and a 17-year-old buy each were each charged with 17 counts of inducing panic in the second degree, two misdemeanor counts of telecommunications harassment and one count of possession of criminal tools, according to ClevelandJewishNews.com.

The 17-year-old boy, who has been expelled from Orange High School since the incident, pleaded guilty to seven counts of inducing panic and one count of possession of criminal tools. He is scheduled for sentencing in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court in August, according to Cleveland.com.

The two other suspects are scheduled for trial in late September. The maximum sentence is detention in a juvenile facility until they turn 21. All three were released to their parents.

Orange High School was closed for three days in November after school officials received a series of threatening emails. No explosives or biological material were found.

Local police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation gathered enough information to obtain a search warrant for the home of one of the suspects, who admitted to taking part in the crimes when investigators arrived.

The Orange School District offered little comment after the guilty plea was entered, other than to acknowledge that it continued to cooperate fully with law enforcement officials.

Orange Schools Superintendent Nancy Wingerbach said the entire experience has carried an important lesson with it.

“We learned that officials and parents must be aware of how our children use the technology available to them,” she said, Cleveland.com reports. “Their messages were routed around the world before sent to us, making them very hard to track back. Even the FBI had a hard time doing it. Kids are getting more sophisticated than adults in the use of modern technology, and we need to be aware of that” (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: New York Man May Have Used Chemical Weapon Against Hospital
Date: July 3, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A former pharmacist from Ulster County, New York, allegedly used a chemical weapon against an Albany hospital and may face life in prison.

Martin Kimber, a former Poughkeepsie hospital pharmacist, was indicted on three counts of possessing and/or using a chemical weapon in addition to a violation of product tampering in May. Kimber was also allegedly linked to child pornography, the Poughkeepsie Journal reports.

Kimber allegedly contaminated food and heating elements with mercury at Albany Medical. Mercury acts as a neurotoxin and can kill nerve cells, resulting in brain damage, lung damage and respiratory failure. At least one person consumed food on March 2 that was laced with mercury.

Kimber was allegedly angry at Albany Medical over a medical bill he received. Surveillance camera footage and E-ZPass toll records connected Kimber with the mercury poisoning.

Kimber was arrested on  April 25 and was indicted on May 17. His bail was denied after it was determined that he posed a potential danger to the community. Items found at his home during a search allegedly included two canisters of mercury, racist materials, 21 guns and at least three sexual images of young girls on his computer, the Times Herald Record reports.

Once the FBI concludes its investigation, Kimber could face charges of child pornography as well (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Massachusetts Inmate Pleads Not Guilty To Anthrax Hoax
Date: July 12, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: An inmate at the Massachusetts state prison in Shirley pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to sending fake anthrax to the Hampden District Attorney’s office in September.

Derick Maldonado, a former Springfield resident, pleaded not guilty to two counts of possessing or controlling a hoax device or material and one count of using the threat of a dangerous chemical or biological agent. Maldonado entered the plea during his arraignment in Hampden Superior  Court, MassLive.com reports.

On September 20, two envelopes that contained a white powder arrived separately at the district attorney’s office and at the office of Judge C.J. Moriarty. The letters triggered a regional hazardous material emergency after one letter was opened by a staffer for District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni’s office. The courthouse shut down and the office of the district attorney was quarantined for four hours.

The powder was eventually determined to be a harmless substance – palmatic acid. Palmatic acid is commonly used in soap, according to MassLive.com.

Maldonado is being held in state prison on a conviction for using a firearm in an assault and battery case. He admitted to sending the envelopes with the intent of committing a crime so that he could be transferred to a federal prison. Maldonado’s pre-trial hearing is set for August 15 (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Tuscaloosa Subway Employee The Subject Of TB Investigation
Date: July 17, 2012
Source:
Examiner

Abstract: An employee of a popular chain fast food restaurant is the subject of an investigation by
Alabama health authorities.

According to an Alabama Department of Public Health news release Tuesday, health officials notified the management of the Subway Restaurant at 4416 Skyland Blvd. E. in Tuscaloosa of plans to investigate a case of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) identified in an employee of the establishment.

The ADPH says they are working closely with the restaurant to get employees screened. Only those people who were in close contact with the case need to be tested.

Dr. Albert White, Area Health Officer for Public Health Area 3, stated, “Patrons of Subway should not be alarmed as TB is not transmitted through food or utensils. As with all identified cases of TB in Alabama, ADPH will implement precautionary testing, investigation and control measures”.

Pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) is caused by the bacteriaMycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis). You can get TB by breathing in air droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person. TB is a treatable and preventable airborne disease.

This follows a case three weeks ago of pulmonary TB in an Auburn University student (Examiner, 2012).

Title: Florida Woman Indicted For Anthrax Hoaxes
Date: July 25, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A Florida woman faces a possible sentence of 45 years in a federal prison for allegedly mailing anthrax hoax letters.

U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill recently announced that an indicted has been unsealed charging Kathryn Cohen Allen of Jasper, Florida, with nine counts of mailing the threatening letters.

Allen is accused of mailing envelopes containing a letter and a white, powdery substance to the offices of Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

She also allegedly sent similar letters to the Hamilton County Correctional Institution, the Hamilton County Health Department, the Hamilton County Tax Collector’s Office, the Florida Department of Children and Family Services, and to three private citizens.

In all of the instances, both field and laboratory testing proved the white powder to be harmless.

Allen was recently arrested in Hamilton County, Florida, and is scheduled to make an appearance in a Jacksonville federal court.

The FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office participated in the investigation that eventually led to charges being filed against Allen.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Taylor (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: “Nun” Convicted Of Sending Hoax Anthrax Packages
Date: July 26, 2012
Source:
BioPrepWatch

Abstract: A United Kingdom woman claiming to be a Roman Catholic nun was convicted on Wednesday of sending senior politicians threatening packages that contained white powder.

Sister Ruth Augustus allegedly sent six powder-filled envelopes to high profile officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, human rights lawyer Baroness Kennedy, former Attorney General Baroness Scotland and Member of Parliament Edward Leigh, the Independent reports.

The letter to Clegg allegedly claimed that Clegg was a devil-worshipping freemason who had sex with many women and the sender took pity on his Catholic children and wife. The letter to Baroness Scotland included two crosses, a swastika and a plea to stop evil devil worshipping. The Baroness Kennedy letter said to stop worshiping evil devil freemasons, according to the Independent.

The contents of the packages were determined to be non-hazardous.

When Augustus was arrested in London, she denied the charges.

“I look like a terrorist, don’t I, working for a charity all over the world, with orphans?” Augustus said, according to the Independent.

The case was deferred until September while a medical report is prepared on the mental health state of Augustus. She was released on bail on the condition that she makes no contact to any members of parliament or senior government officials (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Sex Offender Who Tried To Infect Kids With HIV Accused In Attack On Oregon Boy
Date: July 3, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A man on parole for trying to infect children with HIV nearly 20 years ago pulled a boy into a Portland restaurant bathroom over the weekend, attempted to sexually assault him and then stabbed him several times, police said.

The 10-year-old's injuries from the attack Sunday were severe enough to require surgery, and officers said he would have died without immediate care.

The suspect, Adam Lee Brown, pleaded not guilty Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court to charges that included kidnapping, attempted murder and assault. He appeared in court surrounded by sheriff's deputies and wearing a so-called "suicide smock," a rip-resistant vest that prevents inmates from tearing off strips of clothing with which to hang themselves.

His arrest Sunday after a two-hour standoff in which he was holed up in a Wendy's bathroom marks the second set of child sex abuse charges leveled against Brown, who was the subject of an abuse investigation two decades ago.

The HIV-positive son of a church pastor, Brown was convicted in 1993 of three counts of first-degree sodomy, each involving a child. He pleaded no contest to reduced charges — the initial charges included attempted murder because of his HIV.

The case came during a peak in the AIDS crisis and amid fears fueled by public misunderstanding that vengeful patients willfully would infect unsuspecting bystanders.

At least nine children in the small logging town of Roseburg told police that Brown molested them over the course of several months in 1992.

According to a criminal complaint, the children said Brown told them not to tell and threatened them with knives, scissors and matches. One child said Brown once burned a Bible, warning that Satan would come if they didn't do what he wanted.

Brown's wife at the time, Nancy, told The Associated Press in 1993 that her husband had contracted the disease in Southern California while he was stationed there with the U.S. Marines. A lay preacher at Fair Oaks Community Church, Brown served nine years in the Marines as a computer technician before his discharge in the early 1990s.

"God was always in the picture," Nancy Brown said about her husband's religious upbringing. "But he thought Satan would deliver the boys."

Brown spent 11 years in Oregon's prison system, accruing three years of earned time off a 15-year sentence. Prison officials said their records show Brown spent the years 1999-2004 without incurring any disciplinary infractions. Older, paper records were unavailable.

On Sunday, police said he pulled the 10-year-old boy into the fast-food restaurant bathroom and locked the door. After the boy fought back, Portland police say Brown stabbed him.

A Wendy's employee opened the locked door and Brown shoved the 10-year-old out of the bathroom but locked himself inside and told arriving officers that he had a gun.

Police evacuated the restaurant and brought in crisis negotiators. Brown surrendered. Police found a knife, but no gun.

Brown's parents could not be reached Monday by the AP.

An attorney representing Brown at the arraignment was unavailable for comment after the hearing. He declined to give his name (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Catholic Nun, 71, 'Sent Envelopes Containing White Powder' To Parliamentary Figures Including Nick Clegg Accusing Them Of Being 'Evil Devil Worshipping Freemasons'
Date: July 23, 2012
Source:
Daily Mail

Abstract: A Catholic nun is alleged to have sent six envelopes containing white powder to parliamentary figures including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, a court heard today.

The defendant, who is known as Sister Ruth Augustus, is accused of scrawling 'devil worshipping' on envelopes filled with white powder that she posted to Nick Clegg and Baroness Scotland, Harrow Crown Court was told.

The letters were intercepted, three at a time on two separate occasions, at a mail screening centre and the powder was found to be non hazardous, the court heard.

The defendant, 71, of Leyton, east London, denies six counts of hoaxes involving noxious substances or things.

Mark Kimsey, prosecuting, said Augustus accepts that she sent envelopes with letters in them but says police put the white powder in them.

Mr Kimsey said three envelopes were intercepted at a mail screening centre in east London on June 17, 2011.

A worker was checking mail at 5.30am when three envelopes raised concerns.

One was addressed to Mr Clegg and on the envelope was written 'devil worshipping', 'freemason', 'sex with thirty plus women' and 'your poor Catholic wife and children'.

The second was to Baroness Scotland, and had a swastika on it, and two crosses, and 'stop this evil devil worshipping'.

The third was to Baroness Kennedy, and was endorsed with a swastika, and 'stop these evil devil worshipping freemasons'.

The envelopes contained a gritty substance, but it was found they had already tested negative for anthrax, and specialist police who were called in found them to be non hazardous.

On October 1, at the same mail centre, three more envelopes were found, addressed to Mr Clegg, Baroness Kennedy and Edward Leigh MP.

The envelopes carried similar endorsements and slogans and contained white powder which was found to be non hazardous.

Mr Kimsey told the jury: 'The issue is whether she herself put the white powder within the envelopes, and, if so, was it with the intention to induce the recipient to fear they were hazardous.

'Albeit this is a hoax, it's a serious matter, when what was sent was white powder, with the intention to make the person believe they were receiving a noxious substance.'

On December 7, Augustus was arrested at a hotel in north west London where she was staying and told police 'It's a load of lies', Mr Kimsey said.

The court heard that Augustus told police during interview: 'I'm Sister Ruth, a 71-year-old disabled nun.'

She also said: 'I look like a terrorist, don't I, working for a charity all over the world, with orphans?'

The jury heard that she told interviewing officer Detective Constable Anne Adams: 'The police are run by freemasons. All the top women are in it.'

Asked why she had sent a letter to Mr Leigh, she said: 'He's a Catholic, and goes to Westminster Cathedral.'

As for Mr Clegg, she said he 'lied about all the tuition fees and everything else, keeping those Tory millionaires and rats in government'.

She added: 'He boasted about all the women he's had sex with. He's an atheist singing hymns in the Albert Hall.'

At one point she said: 'I'm not a Muslim terrorist, I'm a Catholic nun.'

And she said of the police: 'They opened the envelopes, and put white powder in, to frame me. I know they monitor it all.

'I'm a Catholic nun, with more brains and intelligence than the police.'

Asked if she was sending the letters for 'attention', she said: 'Of course I am. I'm deliberately writing on the envelope as well so all the postmen will know all about it.'

The trial was adjourned until 10.30am tomorrow (Daily Mail, 2012)

Title: Suspect In Hepatitis C Outbreak Wrote Suicide Note
Date: July 27, 2012
Source:
AP

Abstract: A traveling medical technician accused of causing a hepatitis C outbreak in New Hampshire wrote a suicide note saying he "couldn't handle this stress anymore" the week before his arrest, according to a police report.

David Kwiatkwoski was arrested July 19 at a Massachusetts hospital six days after police found him apparently impaired in a hotel room scattered with prescription pills, according to police in Marlborough, Mass. Kwiatkowski is being held on federal drug charges in New Hampshire, and authorities are trying to determine if he spread the virus in seven other states.

Though federal authorities previously indicated that Kwiatkowski might have tried to harm himself in the days before his arrest July 19, the Marlborough police report includes new details, including a list of six prescription drugs that were found in Kwiatkowski's hotel room. Officers also smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Kwiatkowski's breath, and he slurred his words when he spoke, police said.

Police also found a note that read, "please call Kerry and let her know I passed away. Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore." The MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass., first reported details of the note.

"It was apparent from the note, pills and alcohol that David was trying to harm himself," Officer James O'Malley wrote.

Along with those new details of Kwiatkowski's recent past, his work history stretching back more than five years also continues to be investigated, though health officials say connecting him to hepatitis C cases in other states could be difficult.

The head of Arizona's state health lab said tests of people possibly exposed to hepatitis C in 2009 and 2010 - when Kwiatkowski worked in two Arizona hospitals - could indicate whether they have the disease but not how they got it.

The virus mutates within the body, so linking any positive test results to Kwiatkowski would be more difficult over time, particularly past one year, said Victor Waddell, who has a doctorate in molecular biology and genetics.

"It's going to be very difficult if not impossible," Waddell said.

Testing has been recommended for about 4,700 people in New Hampshire alone, and officials still are determining who should be tested in a dozen hospitals elsewhere. In addition to Arizona - where he was fired from one hospital after testing positive for cocaine and marijuana - he worked in Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania before being hired by Exeter Hospital in New Hampshire in April 2011.

Though he likely came in contact with thousands of patients in those states since 2007, it's unclear when Kwiatkowski became infected. He told authorities he was diagnosed in May; investigators say he has been infected since at least June 2010.

Kwiatkowski, 33, is accused of stealing anesthetic drugs from Exeter's cardiac catheterization lab and contaminating syringes used on patients. The case bears some similarity to that of Kristen Diane Parker, who is serving a 30 year sentence in Colorado after pleading guilty in 2009 to tampering with a consumer product and illegally obtaining a controlled substance. Kwiatkowski currently faces one count each of the same charges, though prosecutors expect to bring more when they seek indictment.

Parker, a surgical technician, was accused of stealing syringes filled with painkillers and replacing them with used syringes at two Colorado hospitals where she worked. Up to three dozen patients were found to have hepatitis C after being exposed.

Jeffrey Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado, said Friday that lab testing confirmed that the victims were infected with the same strain Parker carried. All were infected during a six-month period when Parker worked at the hospitals, though under the product tampering law, prosecutors don't have to prove infection. Rather, the law applies to tampering with products with reckless disregard for the risk of death or bodily injury.

"The victims were victimized twice. They were victimized in the sense that during surgery they were deprived of pain medicine, and then some, not all, then later obtained hepatitis C," Dorschner said. "The charges that were filed were the charges most appropriate given the circumstances of the case, and that was proven by the prison sentence handed down by the judge."

In New Hampshire, U.S. Attorney John Kacavas has said that one of the strongest elements of his case against Kwiatkowski is the fact that the same strain of hepatitis C has been diagnosed in Kwiatkowski and 30 patients who were treated at the cardiac lab during his employment. Asked Friday whether other states might have trouble bringing similar charges, he acknowledged that the virus does mutate, and that the more time passes, the more difficult it is to identify the strain.

Kwiatkowski told authorities he did not steal or use drugs.

Neither his lawyer nor prosecutors would comment Friday on the apparent suicide note. According to court documents, Kwiatkowski already had been questioned by law enforcement at least twice before the hotel incident (AP, 2012)

Title: Hepatitis C 'Serial Infector' Could Have Spread Disease To Thousands
Date: July 28, 2012
Source:
Yahoo News

Abstract: The New Hampshire hospital lab technician indicted last week for infecting 31 people with Hepatitis C might have infected "tens of thousands" of patients in at least 13 hospitals, ABC News has learned.

David Kwiatkowski, a former lab technician at Exeter Hospital inNew Hampshire, had allegedly been stealing the Fentanyl syringes intended for patients, injecting his own arm and then refilling those empty syringes with another liquid-like saline, according to astatement from the United States Attorney's Office in New Hampshire.

Since Kwiatkowski tested positive for Hepatitis C in June 2010, he passed it on to the hospital patients who were injected with his used, saline-filled syringes, according to the affidavit.

"If he knew that he was infected and he put those needles back on the shelf, that is the definition of evil," Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor, told Good Morning America. "Anyone who was in those hospitals when he was working there is potentially at risk. We're talking tens of thousands of people."

Kwiatskowski, 32, was a temporary employee at Exeter Hospital who has worked in at least eight hospitals in 13 states, Besser said.

Exeter Hospital issued a press release this week, indicating that the state department of Health And Human Services and its Division of Public Health Services have decided to expand Hepatitis C testing to anyone who was a patient in one of the hospital operating rooms or the intensive care unit. Government health officials are urging about 6,000 patients to get tested in Exeter Hospital alone, according to the release.

"You go under and you wake up hours later and you don't know who was around you," a former patient told The Boston Herald on condition of anonymity this week. "I'm scared. I have no idea who was around me when I was under and unfortunately, I was there three different times."

Kwiatkowski was arrested and indicted on July 19 for acquiring a controlled substance by fraud and tampering with a consumer product with "reckless disregard" for the risk of others, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire.

"The evidence gathered to date points irrefutably to Kwiatkowski as the source of the Hepatitis C outbreak at Exeter Hospital," U.S. attorney John P. Kacavas said in a press release. "With his arrest, we have eliminated the 'serial infector' posed to public and health safety."

But Marlborough Police actually picked Kwiatkowski up at a Massachusetts Holiday Inn nearly a week before his arrest, on a July 13 medical call, according to police narrative obtained by ABCNews.com. After finding Kwiatkowski intoxicated and surrounded by pills and a note, officers determined he was "trying to harm himself."

"I noticed he was very unsteady on his feet and had a strong odor of alcohol coming from his breath," Officer James O'Malley wrote in the report.

O'Malley said he noticed pills strewn about the floor and on a glass table. He also found what appeared to be a suicide note signed by Kwiatkowski.

"Please call [redacted] and let her know I've passed away," it said. "Tell her I couldn't handle this stress anymore."

Officers took six medication bottles from the room and transported Kwiatkowski to a nearby hospital, where he was arrested a week later.

Exeter Hospital employees discovered the outbreak in May 2012, prompting an investigation that spanned several local, state and federal government agencies, including the FBI, according to court documents obtained by ABCNews.com.

Investigators wrote that they suspect Kwiatkowski grabbed the loaded Fentanyl syringes when he brought lead aprons into the procedure room, into an area he didn't need to be inside at all. They suspect Kwiatkowski then replaced the Fentanyl syringes with saline syringes that were tainted with his strain of Hepatitis C.

Fentanyl, an anesthetic more powerful than morphine.

Kwiatkowski was known for erratic behavior and suspected of abusing controlled substances, according to the affidavit. Other hospital employees said he would often sweat through his scrubs and made frequent trips to the bathroom.

One employee told investigators she saw "fresh track marks" when she tried to draw his blood. Another told investigators he remembered seeing Kwiatkowski with "a red face, red eyes and white foam around his mouth" during a shift at the lab.

Kwiatkowski also had a tendency to lie, employees told investigators. He told coworkers that he played baseball in college, and that his one-time fiancée died "under tragic circumstances," neither of which were true. He also once excused bloodshot eyes by saying he was crying all night about a dead aunt who never existed.

When his roommate inquired about the needles in his laundry, Kwiatkowski told her he had cancer and was being treated at Portsmouth Regional hospital, according to the affidavit. Investigators found no documentation to prove this.

Kwiatkowski was arrested on July 19 in Massachusetts, where he was being treated at a hospital. He faces up to 24 years in prison. Each offense could also result in a $250,000 fine.

ABCNews.com reached out to Kwiatkowski's lawyer this morning, but he was unavailable for comment (Yahoo News, 2012)

Title: Massachusetts Police Arrest Homeless Man Accused Of Threatening Teen With HIV Syringe
Date: August 16, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: Police say they have caught up with a homeless man who allegedly threatened a teenage girl with a syringe he claimed was filled with HIV-tainted blood outside a Massachusetts pharmacy.

Scott Steverding was arrested overnight by Waltham investigators in Cambridge on a warrant and is schedule to be arraigned Thursday on charges that include attempted murder, armed carjacking and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Police say Steverding, 30, threatened the 17-year-old girl on Tuesday morning, then stole her vehicle, a 1999 Jeep Cherokee, and her purse with about $200 in cash, almost striking the girl as he drove away.

Using surveillance video, police identified the suspect as Steverding.

WHDH.com reported that police say the video shows a man approach the girl and threaten her with the syringe. She got out of the car and walked behind the Jeep.

"He ended up speeding toward her, so she had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit," Detective Sgt. Joseph Guigna of the Waltham Police Department said, according to the station.

Steverding is also a suspect in a robbery at a city gas station on Monday (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Woman With Tuberculosis Sought By Authorities In Oconee And Hall Counties
Date: August 21, 2012
Source:
OnlineAthens

Abstract: Authorities in Hall and Oconee counties are searching for a 53-year-old woman they say has the potential to expose people to the potentially lethal disease tuberculosis.

An Oconee County sheriff’s deputy went before a magistrate’s judge Tuesday and obtained a warrant for reckless conduct against Reba Rene Hicks, who has been known to stay a locations near Bogart and Gainesville, according to a sheriff’s report.

The Georgia Department of Public Health had been treating Hicks for tuberculosis after she tested positive April 3, but the treatments stopped for medical concerns, according to the report. However, she was scheduled to report back for further tests July 27, but failed to make that appointment, health officials told the deputy.

“So far, she has been noncompliant with some of the testing they need to do. That is the reason for the public health department’s pickup order,” Oconee Sheriff Scott Berry said.

Deputies have been looking almost two weeks for the woman, who has been known to stay at a home off U.S. Highway 78 in Bogart, according to Berry. Hall County sheriff’s deputies have also been on the lookout for the woman there, where she had an address in Oakwood.

A reason she didn’t show up for the July 27 appointment is because she was incarcerated in the Oconee County Jail, according to the report. She was released on July 29 and did not return to her home, but told health officials by telephone Aug. 1 that she was living in Gainesville, deputies said.

Hicks called the health department Aug. 9 and told them she was again living in Oconee County, but since that date they have made numerous efforts to reach her without success, according to the report.

She has been without medication long enough now that she could be infectious again and “is potentially exposing every person that she comes into contact with (tuberculosis),” according to the deputies’ report.

“The TB bacteria are put into the air when a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, sneezes, speaks, or sings. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected,” according to a website hosted by the Centers for Disease Control.

Based on facts the deputy learned from public health officials and that Hicks appears to be avoiding further treatment, the deputy sought the reckless conduct warrant and a judge issued it. A member of the health department accompanied the deputy to the warrant hearing.

While Hicks was incarcerated in the jail in July, Berry said he believes no one was infected during that period.

“There’s no reason right now to think that any employee or inmate has been infected with tuberculosis,” he said. “We TB test all our inmates and all of our employees every year. Everybody at the sheriff’s office is offered the test.”

Deputies have been advised how to handle the suspect should they take her into custody, including wearing a mask, and how to transport a TB patient in the patrol unit.

Once the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC, TB is caused by a bacterium that typically attacks the lungs, but can infect kidneys, the spine or the brain. Without treatment, it can be fatal (OnlineAthens, 2012)

Title: Woman Sought In Tuberculosis Case Arrested Near Maysville
Date: August 22, 2012
Source:
OnlineAthens

Abstract: A 53-year-old woman sought by law enforcement because she might expose people to tuberculosis tried to run from officers Wednesday morning, but was captured minutes later in a patch of woods in north Jackson County.

“As soon as we pulled up in the yard, she ran into the woods,” Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said. “As soon as we got her handcuffed, we put a mask on her. We were wearing masks as well.”

Reba Rene Hicks, who has lived in Oconee and Hall counties, was located at a residence off Edwin Reynolds Road, a dead-end road near Maysville.

Authorities received an anonymous tip on Hicks’ whereabouts from someone who saw a story Wednesday morning in the Athens Banner-Herald about the police search for her. Police issued an arrest warrant for Hicks on a charge of reckless conduct. She was considered a public risk due to her tuberculosis and continued failures to get treatment, according to Oconee County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Lee Weems.

When the tip came in, Berry decided to check it out himself. Deputies had already been warned not to approach Hicks unless they had access to such medical gear as masks.

“I can’t ask a deputy to do something I’m not willing to do myself,” he said, adding that he and Sgt. Jeremy Wasdin were led to the location with help from a Jackson County sheriff’s deputy.

Hicks is incarcerated in medical isolation at the Oconee County Jail, where she was examined by the jail nurse and a public health nurse, Berry said.

A deputy obtained a warrant for Hicks on Tuesday, telling a magistrate’s judge that Hicks appeared to be purposely avoiding further treatments and is potentially exposing others to the disease.

Hicks was talkative on the way to jail, Berry said.

“She knew that her failure to comply would result in her going to jail. The nurse told her that, and she didn’t want to go to jail,” Berry said.

Hicks tested positive for TB on April 3. She started treatments on June 15, but later went off the treatments, according to a sheriff’s report.

“It is possible that the suspect has been without medication for a period long enough to make her infectious again,” according to the report.

Lou Kudon, a spokesman for the Northeast Health District, said Wednesday that due to regulations he could not talk about Hicks or whether an investigation is being made in regards to people who Hicks has had recent contact with.

However, he said when someone has tuberculosis in the community there is usually no risk unless there is close and prolonged contact.

“Usually when we have TB, we only test the household contacts because it does take prolonged exposure to get TB,” he said.

“If you ever feel like you’re exposed to TB, you can go to the health department and talk to a nurse about the exposure and they can arrange for a skin test,” Kudon said (OnlineAthens, 2012).

Title: Swiss Acupuncturist Charged In 16 HIV Infections
Date: August 30, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A self-styled healer has been indicted by a Swiss court on charges that he intentionally infected 16 people with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, in cases going back more than a decade, authorities said Thursday.

The unidentified man was indicted by a five-judge panel in Bern-Mitelland regional court on charges of intentionally spreading human disease and causing serious bodily harm, offenses that carry maximum penalties of five to 10 years respectively, said the regional prosecutor's office in Bern, the Swiss capital.

The office said in a statement that most of the victims attended a music school that the man operated.

A spokesman for the prosecutor, Christof Scheurer, said the man also practiced as an unlicensed, self-styled acupuncturist — a trade which he is believed to have used between 2001 and 2005 as a pretext to prick and infect some of his victims with blood that was infected with AIDS.

HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood, semen or breast milk.

The police investigation concluded that the man had used various pretexts to prick his victims, but it remained unclear exactly what objects he had used. In other cases, the investigation found, the self-described healer — who is not HIV-positive — had served his victims drinks that made them pass out so he could infect them.

"The defendant denies everything that is alleged," the prosecutor's statement added.

The cases apparently came to light when Bern hospital Inselspital began to investigate similar complaints of infections in connection with a so-called healer.

Prosecutors say the probe, which was launched after one alleged victim filed a criminal complaint in early 2005, has finally been completed, but that it took years because of a number of difficulties ranging from the use of genetic testing to identifying victims while adhering to protections for patient privacy.

Proceedings against a second suspect in the case have been permanently closed, the statement said, because his involvement could not be confirmed (Fox News, 2012)

Title: New Hampshire Attorney Says Med Tech Spread Hepatitis In 2008
Date: September 10, 2012
Source:
Fox News

Abstract: A New Hampshire attorney says a client contracted hepatitis C from a traveling hospital worker two years earlier than has been previously alleged he began spreading the disease.

Portsmouth attorney Michael Rainboth represents five patients who were allegedly infected by medical technician David Kwiatkowski, who's been charged with tampering with needles and infecting at least 31 people.

Rainboth told the Portsmouth Herald that his newest client, a 65-year-old Vietnam veteran, was infected in 2008 at the Baltimore VA Medical Center and that the hospital is taking responsibility. Prosecutors have said the earliest evidence that Kwiatkowski tested positive for hepatitis C was in 2010.

The hospital on its website says 168 patients had procedures involving Kwiatkowski in 2008, and that it's offered free hepatitis testing to 51 of them (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Man Convicted Of Mailing White Powder
Date: September 14, 2012
Source:
Fox 16

Abstract: A Siloam Springs man has been found guilty on 56 of 57 charges of mailing a white powder to a school, post office and businesses in northwest Arkansas.

U.S. Attorney Connor Eldridge says 57-year-old Philip Hanson was convicted Thursday by a federal jury in Fayetteville.

Hanson had pleaded not guilty. He represented himself at trial and did not call witnesses nor testify.

Hanson was charged with mailing the powder that turned out to be baking soda in October and November. Those receiving the letters included DaySpring Card Co., where Hanson worked for 28 years before being laid off in 2009.

Eldridge said Hanson faces five years in prison on each count for a total of up to 280 years. Eldridge said Hanson will be sentenced in six to eight weeks (Fox 16, 2012).

Title: BX Hypodermic Needle Robber Strikes Again
Date: September 18, 2012
Source:
NBC New York

Abstract: A robber threatening his victims with a hypodermic needle in the Bronx has struck again, police said.

In the most recently reported incident, last Monday at White Plains and East Gun Hill roads, the robber threatened a 16-year-old boy with a hypodermic needle and stole his iPad, police said.

The robber has struck three times so far, according to police: In the first reported incident, on Thursday, Aug. 16, he approached a man in the area of Castle Hill Avenue and East Tremont Avenue at about 11 a.m. and demanded property.

The second incident happened Tuesday, Sept. 11 at about 8:30 a.m. in the area of Roberts and East Tremont avenues, and again demanded property from a man while threatening with the needle.

No one was hurt in the incidents.

The man is described as about 40 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 120 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black leather Yankee cap, a black hooded sweatshirt, a black t-shirt with blue lettering, gray jeans and black sneakers (NBC New York, 2012).

Title: Sulfuric Acid Thrown Into Face Of Woman In San Diego; Attack May Have Been Random
Date: September 22, 2012
Source:
NBC News

Abstract:  A man allegedly threw sulfuric acid on a woman who was walking into a Golden Hill laundromat just before 6 a.m. Saturday, police confirmed.

The assault happened at 1015 25th St. The suspect fled the scene by car.

The woman was taken to a hospital and treated for second-degree burns on her face, arms and back. Officials said the victim was injured pretty badly.

She described the suspect's vehicle to police as an older model, dark blue BMW. She told police she did not know the suspect.

About 20 minutes later, police arrested a 55-year-old man in a dark blue BMW who was causing a disturbance nearby at a Shell Gas Station at 2484 F Street.

The woman positively identified the man at the gas station as the same man who threw the caustic chemicals at her in front of the laundromat. Police said the suspect’s name is Arturo Jose Reyes.

Hazardous Materials officials later identified the chemical substance thrown at the victim as sulfuric acid, police said. Hazmat crews decontaminated the scene at 25th Street following the attack.

Reyes was taken into custody and booked into San Diego Central Jail. He's being charged with assault with a caustic chemical and aggravated mayhem.

According to police, when a person is guilty of aggravated mayhem he or she intentionally causes permanent disability or disfigurement of another person, manifesting extreme indifference to the physical or psychological well-being of another person.

Reyes could face life in prison with the possibility of parole if he’s found guilty.

Police said the motive for the assault is under investigation.

The name of the victim was not immediately released.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if sulfuric acid makes contact with the skin or eyes it can lead to severe redness, pain, blisters and serious, deep skin burns. If the chemical is inhaled or ingested upon contact, it can also cause shortness of breath, shock or collapse (NBC News, 2012).

Title: Police Arrest Man In Syringe Attack On Bus Driver
Date: October 7, 2012
Source:
My Fox New York

Abstract: Police have arrested a suspect in a the syringe-wielding stabbing of an MTA bus driver in Brooklyn on September 24. 

53-year-old Shelwyn Patt was riding a B67 bus around 5:45 p.m. on Saturday.  The driver flagged a police car and  told officers the suspect was on board.  They arrested Patt.

Patt is accused of stabbing 30-year-old bus driver Marc Salandy's arm with a syringe last month when his B68 bus stopped at Prospect Park West near Greenwood Avenue. 

Salandy is still receiving treatment and undergoing tests.  

Police say Patt was taken to the 72nd Precinct and identified in a line-up. He has been charged with assault (My Fox New York, 2012).

Title: Teen Arrested After Pricking Classmates
Date: October 10, 2012
Source:
WSVN News

Abstract: An eighth-grader is under arrest after being accused of putting classmates in danger.

Several students at a Boynton Beach Charter School were pricked by another student with a medical needle, according to police.

Boynton Beach Police have a 13-year-old girl in custody. The eighth grader allegedly pricked several students with her glucose meter while she was walking the hallways at her school. Investigators said the pricking case stems from a bullying incident the female student had with another classmate.

The student, who is diabetic, uses the glucose meter to measure her blood sugar levels.

Student's said she began poking them with the needles Tuesday morning on a school bus. The girl poked him and other students with a glucose meter as well as a sewing needle. "She caught me off guard," said Rodney Bazile. "I had my hand on the bus seat and I turned around and she poked me."

Police said about 20 classmates were poked with the needle. None of the students were seriously injured, but a few of them did want to be admitted to a hospital just as precaution.

Although no students were injured, the incident was a scare for some parents and students. "I told her it's not funny," said one student. "Some people might have like HIV or AIDS or something."

Firefighters who were on the scene advised parents of those who were poked by the girls needle to followup with their family doctor to make sure that needle was not contaminated. "To come here and see all of this, is just a little upsetting," said parent Gabrielle Hines, who came to the school to check on her child.

In the meantime, the 13-year-old girl who is at a Juvenile Detention Center. She faces 20 counts of battery, one for every student she pricked (WSVN News, 2012).

Title: NYPD: Teen Attacks Another Teen With Homemade Jalapeno Pepper Spray
Date:
October 12, 2012
Source:
CBS New York

Abstract:
  A Staten Island teenager has been charged with assault following an unusual attack involving homemade pepper spray.

‘The “Pepper Spray Princess,” as dubbed by the NYPD, allegedly fired her homemade concoction at the bus stop Wednesday morning, a few blocks from New Dorp High School.

Police said 16-year-old Princess Hall threw a spray bottle with pepper spray in it at a female classmate’s eyes.

Abdal Hasan told CBS 2’s Emily Smith he saw the whole thing.

“She was cursing at everybody and these two people they were breaking it up because she sprayed it into her eyes,” Hasan said.

“I think that it hurt her pretty bad and it must’ve been embarrassing,” another student said.

According to the police report, Hall said, “I mixed it up at home. I put in jalapeno peppers and some other peppers in water. I wore gloves so I wouldn’t get it on my hands. I took it and threw it in her face.”

That’s right, the girl used jalapeno peppers – and it apparently worked. Authorities said the victim was taken to Staten Island University Hospital to have her eyes flushed with water before being released.

Area residents were stunned when told of the unorthodox attack.

“I never heard of pepper spray made out of jalapenos,” one person said.

CBS 2’s Smith tried to reach Hall and her parents at their apartment on Steuben Street on Friday, but nobody seemed to be home.

It isn’t clear what prompted the alleged attack, but it landed the teen in police custody, charged with assault and harassment.

Court records show the alleged “pepper spray princess” received a summons in May for disorderly conduct stemming from another fight (CBS New York, 2012).