Skip to comments.Goldsby selected for bioterrorism drill (Oklahoma)
Posted on 02/07/2003 10:21:22 AM PST by berkeleybeej
The U.S. Army will dump powdered egg whites, grain alcohol and several other substances on the town of Goldsby as part of a mock bioterrorism attack, state officials confirmed Thursday.
The Homeland Security Chemical/Biological Umbrella will be conducted by the Army and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Residents of Goldsby, a town of about 800 in northern McClain County, started receiving letters explaining the procedure this week, state Environmental Quality Department spokeswoman Monty Elder said.
The letter says the Army will conduct tests over "rural areas southwest of Oklahoma City."
The letter says airplanes will release "small amounts of harmless materials" over the area. The materials are intended to mock chemical or biological agents and test the ability of weather radar to detect them.
The materials also include powdered clay, polyethylene glycol and an inactive pest control called Bacillus thuringiensis.
"These materials were selected because they are harmless to humans and the environment and because their physical properties allow radar to 'see' them just like materials that might be used in a terrorist attack," according to the letter.
The Oklahoma City area was chosen because of its sophisticated weather radar networks, according to the letter.
A similar test was conducted in April near Key West, Fla.
Employees at Goldsby businesses said they view the test as a positive.
"It's kind of exciting for the area," said Marcum's Nursery employee Deanna Bevel, who received a letter showing a map of the area where material would be dropped. "If they use what they say they're going to use, there's no problem with it."
Libby Adkins, owner of Libby's Kitchen, joked that townspeople could use some excitement.
"It wouldn't bother me," Adkins said.
The tests will be conducted Feb. 24 to March 7 and April 21 to May 7 and will involve an airplane dropping material along a half-mile path from about 1,000 feet above the ground.
The dropped material should not show up at ground level, according to the letter, but EPA officials will be on site as monitors.
McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett said he had not seen the letter and is worried people might be unaware of the test.
"I guarantee you, we're going to get 500 phone calls," he said. "And they should be calling about something like that."
Hewett said the airplanes will take off and land at Goldsby Airport.
The Army and the EPA have scheduled open houses from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 14 and 15 for the public to learn about the project. The events are at Norman's Max Westheimer Airport.
Wonder what the "several other substances" might be.
regards - red
Thank you for the clarification. What with the heightened terrorist alert status, I concur with your last statement...betcha law enforcement will get lots of phone calls.
Interesting. The 20th hijacker lived in Norman and Moussaoui had information on crop dusting when he was detained.
In a purified form, some of the proteins produced by Bt are acutely toxic to mammals. However, in their natural form, acute toxicity of commonly-used Bt varieties is limited to caterpillars, mosquito larvae, and beetle larvae. Bt is closely related to B. cereus, a bacteria that causes food poisoning and to B. anthracis, the agent of the disease anthrax.
Few studies have been conducted on the chronic health effects, carcinogenicity, or mutagenicity of Bt. People exposed to Bt have complained of respiratory, eye, and skin irritation, and one corneal ulcer has occurred after direct contact with a Bt formulation. People also suffer from allergies to the "inert" (secret) ingredients. People with compromised immune systems may be particularly susceptible to Bt.
the way the winds blow in oklahoma, this stuff is liable to end up anywhere from OKC to Kansas City.
Personnally, I would not rule out hot air balloons, since plans for such a weapon were found in al Qaeda hands in Afghanistan.
My sentiments exactly.
Didn't these folks also release a "harmless" bacteria in the San Francisco area a long time ago? Seems to me there were some illnesses, maybe a death or two, associated with it.
And we should not rule out helicopters, either.
The seeds of a tragedy
The concept of hijacking and employing passenger airliners in a suicide role can be traced back to the Middle East. The idea developed in two phases. In the first phase, the terrorists attempted to develop an air capability. Middle Eastern terrorist groups acquired and deployed light air vehicles in transport roles, primarily to gain access from Lebanon into Israel. Towards this goal, terrorists experimented, trained, rehearsed and deployed a variety of air vehicles ranging from weather balloons to microlights and remotely guided aircraft
. . . Several Palestinian terrorist groups based in Lebanon planned, prepared and launched air vehicles to gain access into Israel by air throughout the 1980s. Largely due to the alertness of the Israelis and the unreliability of light air vehicles, their cross-border operations were failures. However, throughout the 1990s, the technology of light air vehicles and the quality of training of the terrorist pilots improved.
Increasing sophistication, but tighter security Terrorist groups with access to resources from state sponsors continued to experiment with a new generation of air vehicles. Israeli intelligence reported that the Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF) procured about 100 light aircraft and gliders from Europe with Libyan financing. The aircraft were adapted to be able to carry two men and 180kg of explosives. The Libyan-trained pilots in Lebanon were expected to fly explosives-laden aircraft against targets in Israel.
Although the terrorist capability improved with experience, better technology and training, two factors disrupted the terrorists airborne infiltration: tight Israeli security cordons and the lack of aerodynamic stability of the light aircraft. After realising that it was not a cost-effective tactic, both Lebanese Hizbullah and Palestinian groups abandoned the concept. However, other terrorist groups procured private aircraft for travel and experimented with light aircraft for offensive operations. For instance, the Al-Qaeda network led by Osama bin Laden purchased a military training aircraft (T-39) from the USA. After it was converted to a civilian aircraft, Bin Ladens personal pilot, Essam al-Ridi, flew it through Canada and Europe to Sudan. Al-Ridi, a former flight instructor at the Ed Boardman School of Aviation in Texas, was also a procurement officer for Al-Qaeda. Al-Ridi crashed the aircraft at Khartoum International Airport less than a year after it was purchased.
Our second day in London begins with a meeting with Sheik Abu Hamza al Masri, the infamous leader of the Finsbury Park Mosque in North London. The "20th hijacker," Zacarias Moussaoui, and Richard Reid, the shoe bomber, were among his congregation. Like Saad, he likes to talk to the media. But he tells us a slightly different story.
Sheik Abu Hamza al Masri.
The doorbell rings in our suite, and we find Abu Hamza escorted by a young jihadist wearing combat gear and a khafiya. Hamza is a barrel-chested man that looks every bit like a 21st-century pirate. But I actually like him. He is open and blunt and unapologetic.
"The Koran instructs us to terrorize the tyrants. ... The Koran does not distinguish between civilians and combatants. ... Sept. 11 was a reaction to the acts of war that we have endured for years. ... The United States' arrogance is the root cause of all of this."
It is fascinating to me to hear the mindset of a true jihadist. Here is a man who fought in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and even though so much of what he says would make the average American's stomach curdle, I find him quite reasonable. Until he tells us about how he has taught techniques of self-defense in his mosque, like mining the skies with hot air balloons filled with explosives that will bring down spy planes trying to patrol the skies.
he has taught techniques of self-defense in his mosque, like mining the skies with hot air balloons
Not to worry--the key word is inactive , meaning that they've killed the bacteria for the test, I think. As far as where it's going to end up, that's what they need to find out.
I'd forgotten about Moussaoui having info on crop dusting. I'm guessing they think that area is now a potential target since we know there was an Iraqi cell there for OKC. But their info about that area having the most sophisticated weather radar also makes a lot of sense.
(But I don't understand why they think that disgruntled white loner, Hatfill, with the whole crew of Amerithrax watching him, is going to break loose and manage to rent a crop duster and release his store of basement lab anthrax over Kansas City :)
On a side note, the WP has a story today that says the gov't has appealed the decision that Moussaoui can talk to Binalshib; and that, if they lose the appeal, they may move the trial to a military tribunal--which is where it should have been to begin with.
"Ramzi Binalshibh, a former aide to top al-Qaida operative Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, said Mohammed provided Moussaoui with contacts in the United States, said officials speaking on the condition of anonymity."
Binalshibh is closely connected to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was the mastermind of the Middle Eastern participation in the OKC bombing. Perhaps that explains these new developments.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.