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India calls for vigilance against terrorists acquiring chemical, biological weapons

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United Nations:  Indian authorities are startled by the potential threat of terrorists and non-state actors acquiring chemical or biological weapons,calling upon international authorities to be alert.

“The international community should continue to be vigilant on non-state actors and terrorist groups seeking or using chemical weapons,” India’s delegate Abhishek Banerjee told the General Assembly committee on disarmament Thursday.

Citing “the new challenges to international peace and security emanating from proliferation trends, including the threat posed by terrorists or other non-state actors seeking access to biological agents or toxins for terrorist purposes,” Banerjee said India wanted the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) strengthened.

An All India Trinamool Congress member of the Lok Sabha representing Diamond Harbour in West Bengal, Banerjee is one of the five members of parliament from the ruling and opposition parties who have been deputed to India’s delegation to the UN.

Banerjee proclaimed the two conventions against chemical and biological weapons as exemplars of non-discriminatory treaties in the field of disarmament and said they can be “a model for the future elimination of the other type of weapons of mass destruction-nuclear weapons.”

Unlike the other two treaties, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) allows a select group of nuclear weapon states that also happen to be permanent members of the Security Council to possess and develop nuclear weapons while banning them for the rest. This makes the elimination of nuclear arms impossible. India has not signed the treaty citing these two factors.

Banerjee noted that India had destroyed its stockpile of chemical weapons in 2009 and had contributed to the efforts of the UN and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to eliminate Syria’s chemical armaments.

The Chemical Weapons Convention should not be implemented in a manner that hinders legitimate activities, especially in countries like India with a large and growing chemical industry, he added.

(IANS)

 

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Weapons, Bombs Easily Detected by Wi-Fi: Study

The study was performed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. It also received the best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference.

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Wi-Fi can now detect weapons and bombs. Flickr

Interestingly, ordinary Wi-Fi can easily identify weapons, bombs and explosive chemicals in bags just anywhere, be it a crowded stadium, or museums, theme parks, schools and other public spaces, a new study reveals.

The researchers’ suspicious detection object is easy to set up, reduces security screening costs and avoids invading privacy such as when screeners open and inspect bags, backpacks and luggage. Traditional screening generally requires high staffing levels and costlier specialized equipment.

“This could have a great impact in protecting the public from dangerous objects. There’s a growing need for that now”, said study author, Yingying Chen.

Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags, Pixabay
Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags, Pixabay

The study reveals that Wi-Fi, or wireless, signals in most public places can penetrate bags to get the dimensions of dangerous metal objects and detect them, including weapons, aluminium cans, laptops and batteries for bombs. Wi-Fi can also be used to estimate the volume of liquids such as water, acid, alcohol and other chemicals for explosives.

This low-cost system requires a Wi-Fi device with two to three antennas and can be integrated into existing Wi-Fi networks. The system analyzes what happens when wireless signals penetrate and bounce off objects and materials.

Experiments were done with 15 types of objects and six types of bags demonstrating detection accuracy rates of 99 percent for dangerous objects, 98 percent for metal and 95 percent for liquid. For typical backpacks, the accuracy rate exceeds 95 percent and drops to about 90 percent when objects inside bags are wrapped.

Wifi, Weapons
“We wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower,” concluded Chen. VOA

“In large public areas, it’s hard to set up expensive screening infrastructure like what’s in airports. Manpower is always needed to check bags and we wanted to develop a complementary method to try to reduce manpower,” concluded Chen.

Also Read: The Japanese Bombings and American Falsification

Next steps include trying to boost accuracy in detecting objects by imaging their shapes and estimating liquid volumes.

The study was performed at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. It also received the best paper award at the 2018 IEEE Conference on Communications and Network Security on cybersecurity. (IANS)