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Jihad against terrorismı (2) GENERAL INTEREST * Century of biological and chemical weapons [General account from the BBC of the history of these weapons] * Disposal of Chemical Arms in U.S. Lags as Costs Mount [Amazing story of the US armyıs problems in disposing of 31,496 tons of chemical weapons at an estimated cost of $24 billion] * Get educated [Bibliography of books on Osama bin Laden, Central Asia, terrorism, fundamentalism] http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1562000/1562534.stmTu esday, 25 September, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK * CENTURY OF BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL WEAPONS BBC, 24th September A World Health Organisation warning has renewed fears about chemical or biological weapons being used by groups like the one which targeted America. The United States takes the threat seriously enough that it has grounded crop-dusting planes - a possible means of delivery of deadly agents - and gas masks are reported to have sold out in New York shops. The vast majority of chemical attacks to date have been by governments in wartime. Chemical weapons were used widely in World War I following their introduction by German forces at the beginning of 1915. The British and French were using them by the end of the year as well, and by the end of the war in 1918, roughly one-quarter of all shells fired contained chemical weapons. Some 100,000 people were killed and up to one million injured by gas attacks. The 17 different gasses used in the war fell into three categories: * Tearing agents, much like the tear gas used for personal defence or crowd control today * Asphyxiants, designed to choke the enemy, against which gas masks offer some protection * Blistering agents, such as mustard gas, which burns any exposed skin, lungs and eyes. Gas masks offer only very limited defence. The chemical weapons used in World War I were unreliable. The first time British forces used them in September 1915, wind blew the gas back at the soldiers who had fired it. The Geneva Protocol of 1925 outlawed the use of chemical and biological weapons in war, but did not actually prevent their use. But the personal experience of one World War I German soldier may have helped prevent the battlefield use of poison gas in World War II. As a sergeant in the Kaiser's army, Adolf Hitler was gassed by British troops in 1918, and the experience may have caused him to refrain from using it as a tactical weapon himself. The Nazis did, of course, use poison gas on civilians in death camps. Chemical weapons were used in a further 11 campaigns after World War I, according to the Federation of American Scientists - often delivered from aircraft rather than artillery, thus reducing the fear that it would rebound against those who used it. Mustard gas was used by British forces intervening in the Russian Civil War in 1919 and by Soviet forces in China in the 1930s. Spanish and Italian troops used it in north African campaigns between the world wars, as did Japanese soldiers in China during World War II. The US used a chemical defoliant, Agent Orange, in Vietnam throughout the 1960s, which proved to have harmful effects on people as well as the plants it was intended to clear. Iraq under Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against both Iran in the 1980-88 war and simultaneously against Iraqi Kurds in 1987-88. Despite Israeli fears that Iraqi Scud missiles would be tipped with chemical or biological agents during the Gulf War, there is no evidence Saddam Hussein fired non-conventional weapons at the Jewish state. Chemical campaigns World War I: Both sides Spanish in Morocco, 1923-26 Italian in Ethiopia, 1935-40 Soviets in China, 1934, 36-37 Japanese in China, 1937-45 US in Vietnam, 1961-69 Iraq in Iran and Iraq, 1983-88 Source: Federation of American Scientists While some soldiers who fought in the Gulf War say they were exposed to chemical or biological weapons, resulting in Gulf War Syndrome, there is no solid proof of that assertion. But UN inspections of Iraq after the Gulf War showed that Saddam Hussein had no fewer than five laboratories working to develop chemical and biological weapons. Some 130 countries signed a protocol banning the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons in January 1993. Biological weapons had been banned under an earlier treaty, in 1975. With states having pledged to put chemical and biological weapons beyond use, concern now focuses on militant groups and other so-called "non-state actors". One militant group, the Japanese sect Aum Shinrikyo, released nerve gas on the Tokyo subway in 1995, killing 12 and injuring thousands. The militant leftist German group the Red Army Faction is believed to have tried to develop botulism toxin - with some success - in the 1980s. A raid on a Red Army Faction safe house in Paris in 1984 uncovered a makeshift laboratory containing toxins. Members of a religious cult in the US state of Oregon succeeded in poisoning local restaurant salad bars with salmonella in 1994, injuring more than 700 people. No one is believed to have died as a result of the attack. A militant group would encounter significant difficulties if it wanted to use chemical or biological weapons. Developing and storing them would require sophisticated facilities. There are concerns that they could be stolen from countries that have them. Even if a militant group obtained non-conventional agents, it would find them difficult to deliver effectively. That is the source of worry about reports that one of the World Trade Center hijackers was interested in learning about crop dusters - they are designed specifically to disperse chemicals over a large region. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la 000077883sep29.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dnation * DISPOSAL OF CHEMICAL ARMS IN U.S. LAGS AS COSTS MOUNT by ALAN C. MILLER and MYRON LEVIN Los Angeles Times, 29th September WASHINGTON -- The nation's chemical weapons stockpiles, perceived as a potential security threat following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, will cost billions of dollars more and take years longer to destroy than the Army has previously told Congress and the public, according to government records and Pentagon officials. After insisting that the Army was on schedule with the destruction of the weapons, defense officials have privately acknowledged that significant delays and dramatic overruns will raise the price of the program by about $9 billion and push its completion well past an international treaty deadline of 2007, according to an internal memo obtained by The Times. This would come as unwelcome news to communities where the weapons are stored and where there is already uneasiness about the risk that an accident or an attack could unleash a deadly cloud of nerve or mustard agents. This last week, hundreds of Army troops were dispatched to guard the stockpiles at eight chemical weapons depots throughout the U.S. At the same time, terrorism fears could change the political dynamics of the debate over incineration, the Army's preferred disposal method. The desire to eliminate the weapons as quickly as possible could help the Army overcome resistance to incineration in communities where that battle is being fought. The concerns could also lead to expedited environmental reviews. The ballooning costs and timetables are likely to prompt fresh criticism of the program to eliminate the nation's 31,496 tons of chemical weapons. In recent months, members of Congress and other critics have accused top Army officials of duplicity for understating the price tag and time needed to destroy the lethal munitions. Interviews and documents obtained by The Times show that senior officials have concluded that costs will ultimately rise to about $24 billion, up from an earlier estimate of $15 billion. Pentagon sources said the revised timetables are expected to show that work will not be completed at some of the sites until between 2008 and 2012. The updated estimates were developed as part of a high-level Pentagon review of the weapons disposal program. A senior Pentagon official said the review has confirmed that Army officials have long realized that the projected cost of $15 billion and the 2007 deadline were far too rosy. "People have known for a long time that wasn't going to happen," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The Army denies it provided misleading estimates. Millions of rockets, bombs and projectiles, along with drums of nerve and blistering agents, await destruction at weapons sites in eight states. They are stored in igloo-like concrete bunkers that are covered by earthen mounds and surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. Many were produced 50 years ago or earlier. The Army has already destroyed more than 23% of its chemical weapons at incinerators in Tooele, Utah, and at Johnston Atoll in the Pacific. Additional incinerators are under construction at weapons sites in Anniston, Ala., and near Umatilla, Ore. and Pine Bluff, Ark. Chemical neutralization plants are being built to destroy liquid agent stockpiles at Newport, Ind., and Aberdeen, Md. At the remaining sites--Pueblo, Colo., and Blue Grass, Ky.--a disposal method has not yet been chosen. The overruns are the latest blow for a program that has repeatedly come under fire from government investigators, Congress and environmental groups. The $24 billion figure represents a 14-fold increase from an original estimate of $1.7 billion when the program began in 1985. At the time, the Army said it would complete destruction by 1994 of the stockpiles of mustard gas, sarin and VX nerve agent, along with rockets, land mines and other delivery systems. An international chemical weapons treaty, ratified by the U.S. in 1997, requires that weapons stockpiles be destroyed by 2007, but provides a five-year extension for countries that cannot finish on time. Russia, which has a larger chemical weapons stockpile than the U.S., has said it will seek this additional time. The new estimate of $24 billion was cited in a Sept. 6 memorandum by a top aide to Edward C. "Pete" Aldrich, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. The memo, which was obtained by The Times, summarizes the findings of a Pentagon team that completed its review of the program this summer. [.....] http://salon.com/books/feature/2001/09/28/booklist/index.html * GET EDUCATED Salon, 28th September Sept. 28, 2001 | While the identity of those who organized the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 remains unclear, there's much of value to be learned about the man declared by U.S. officials to be their "prime suspect," Osama bin Laden, and the historical, political and cultural factors contributing to Islamic militancy in the Middle East and Central Asia. Salon's staff offers this partial list of recommended books for readers who want to know more. A word of warning, though: Most bookstores and online booksellers are out of stock on these and other related titles, and while publishers are going back to press on almost all of them, they may be hard to find for a few weeks. In the meantime, try checking with your local used bookseller. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban Usama Bin Laden's Al-Qaida: Profile of a Terrorist Network by Yonah Alexander and Michael S. Swetnam (Transnational, 2001) Although intended for a somewhat specialized audience of experts, this is a well documented reference work about the activities of bin Laden's loose-knit web of terrorist cells. Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America by Yossef Bodansky (Prima Publishing, 1999) A detailed narrative account of bin Laden's life and the militant Islamic fundamentalist milieu in which his terrorist network functions. The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism by Simon Reeve (Northeastern University Press, 1999) This book by a former Sunday Times of London writer views the bin Laden organization's techniques through the lens of Yousef, the engineer of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia by Ahmed Rashid (Yale, 2000) By a Pakistani journalist who has interviewed several of the Taliban's leaders, this book describes how the fundamentalist group rose to power in Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew in 1989, and why their repressive government was welcomed by many war-weary Afghans. Particular attention is given to the role of the opium and oil trades in the region. Afghanistan and Central Asia The Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan by Artyom Borovik (Grove Press, 2001) Borovik visited Afghanistan before and during the withdrawal of Soviet troops and pairs novel-like writing and momentum with lucid firsthand accounts of the dramatic and dreary business of fighting a ground war in the country's daunting terrain. Read Salon's review. Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism by John K. Cooley (Pluto Press, 1999) A foreign correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor and ABC News relates the history of the U.S. relationship with Afghanistan during the Cold War and after. An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan by Jason Elliot (Picador, 2001) A British journalist who has visited Afghanistan several times and fought alongside the mujahedin recalls the land he came to love in the years before Taliban rule. Read an interview with Jason Elliot. The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia by Peter Hopkirk (Kodansha, 1992) A history of the struggle between Britain and Russia for control of Central Asia in the 19th century, this tale of espionage and intrigue shows how the fate of the peoples of Central Asia has long been toyed with in the strategic battles of world powers. Terrorism The Ultimate Terrorists by Jessica Stern (Harvard, 1999) A balanced and blessedly concise examination of the potential for terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction. Written by a former fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, this book was an early warning of the new threat. Read Salon's review. Terrorism & The Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security by James X. Dempsey and David Cole (First Amendment Foundation, 1999) While the authors are primarily concerned with the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1996, they provide a cautionary counterpoint to the current rush to gain security at the price of the liberties that are a signal part of American life. Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War by Judith Miller, Stephen Engelberg and William Broad (Simon & Schuster, 2001) A trio of New York Times reporters lay out the recent history of biological warfare and the lack of preparation on the part of the U.S. government for just such an attack -- against American troops overseas as well as within our borders. Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind by Walter Reich, editor (Woodrow Wilson Center Press, 1998) This collection of essays about how terrorists think (opposing theories are presented) includes case studies in the factors leading to political violence. Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda by Khidr Abd Al-Abbas Hamzah with Jeff Stein (Scribner, 2000) A briskly paced, first-person account of an atomic scientist's experience designing a nuclear weapon for Saddam Hussein, this is a chilling portrait of the dictator of Iraq and his military aims. Fundamentalism The Battle for God by Karen Armstrong (Knopf, 2000) An erudite, lively discussion, by the noted British scholar of religion, of fundamentalism in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Armstrong sees fundamentalism in all three religions as a struggle against modernity itself, which threatens the way religion has primordially helped people make sense of the world. Triumph of Disorder: Islamic Fundamentalism, the New Face of War by Morgan Norval (Sligo Press, 1999) A provocative and somewhat controversial exploration of violent fundamentalist Islam. Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism Are Reshaping the World by Benjamin R. Barber (Ballantine, 1995) In this snappily titled, far-ranging treatise, Barber envisions the clash between the spread of global consumerism and the fundamentalism that rises up to beat it back as the central conflict of contemporary life. His definition of "jihad," very loosely used, refers to a wide range of reactionary responses, not just to Islamic fundamentalism. 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