The security measures we took after 9/11 helped prevent another such tragedy. However, the threat of nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological weapon attack still exists. Some of these weapons, such as anthrax and sarin are relatively difficult to deploy. This is because these agents must remain in high-enough concentrations to be harmful even after being dispersed in air or water -unless they are used in confined spaces. Security experts are more worried about portable nuclear weapons or radioactive material being detonated by conventional explosives, producing a “dirty bomb.” It is possible a dirty bomb may not kill many people but it could disrupt and contaminate a large area. Improved radioactivity monitoring at our ports has reduced the risk of nuclear devices being smuggled into our country. Many nations have taken steps to prevent the theft of radiological material. We have also had some success securing this surplus material from other nations. Analysts claim these are the reasons we haven’t yet been attacked by terrorists using nuclear or radiological devices. However, there still remains much of this material worldwide and terrorists are actively trying to acquire it. Security analysts say gathering information on terrorists and sharing it between law enforcement agencies is one of our best tools for thwarting terrorist plots. There have been times when this tool has not been employed, most notably in the months before 9/11 when critical information about the hijackers was not shared between law enforcement agencies. This blunder was blamed on inter-agency rivals and suspicions. Some say our FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and its fusion centers have created a new and different culture which shows a willingness to share information amongst agencies and across all levels of government.

Pending Legislation:
Senate version of H.R.2200 - CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2015 (passed House 6/25/15)

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Poll Opening Date
February 13, 2020
Poll Closing Date
February 19, 2020

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