The Department of Homeland Security will begin releasing a dead bacteria into the Boston subway tomorrow in an operation it says will test sensors designed to detect biological agents that could be released as part of a terrorist attack.
Little is known about what exactly the bacteria consists of, and the DHS has not been very forthcoming with information, saying only that it is a “non-infectious” material that has been “approved as a food supplement”.
The tests will begin Wednesday and will be held periodically over the next year at the Harvard and Porter Square stations in Cambridge and the Davis Square station in Somerville.
“A rapid alert from a detection system can locate and identify these materials and provide for immediate and appropriate response to protect people and contain the hazard,” stated DHS scientist Anne Hultgren in the agency’s press release.
“This detection system will be one of the first such installed in the country, and, if it proves to be effective, could serve as a model for other mass transportation venues throughout the nation and the world,” said MBTA Transit Police Chief Paul MacMillan in the joint press release Monday.
Back in May when the plan was announced, Federal officials said that they were to release a bacteria called B-subtilis, noting that it “has been rigorously tested and has no adverse health effects for low exposure in healthy people.”
What effect the tests will have on unhealthy people or those exposed to higher doses is unknown.
The DHS has released a 28-page summary entitled ‘Environmental Assessment for Bacillus subtilis Particles to Challenge Bio-Detection Sensors in Subway Stations’ (PDF).
Given the federal government’s ominous record in releasing biological agents into subway systems and other transport hubs, it’s no surprise that this latest example is sure to cause consternation.
During a Senate hearing in 1977, it was revealed that the Pentagon had conducted numerous secret germ “attacks” on cities without public knowledge in an effort to test the threat posed by biological agents. These tests “may have caused outbreaks of disease which occurred in some of the test areas,” writes Leonard A. Cole, citing the Senate inquiry.
These “attacks” included a 1964-65 program carried out by the U.S. Army which involved unsuspecting travelers being sprayed with bacteria-laden mist at Washington’s National Airport.
Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan 2016-04-28 20:10
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North.
The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night.
A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked.
The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons 2016-04-28 20:48
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough.
Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield.
Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims 2016-04-27 2:23 St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ 2016-04-27 2:09
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop 2016-04-25 23:10
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.