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IP: FBI Says Some U.S. Cities Vulnerable To Attack

From: [email protected]
Subject: IP: FBI Says Some U.S. Cities Vulnerable To Attack
Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 17:56:32 -0500
To: [email protected]

Source:  Fox News - Reuters

FBI Says Some U.S. Cities Vulnerable To Attack
            2.13 p.m. ET (1814 GMT) October 16, 1998

 WASHINGTON  Some U.S. cities are unprepared for an attack by weapons of
mass destruction with biological agents a greater danger than nuclear or
chemical weapons, an FBI official said Friday. 

 "Some American communities are very unprepared. They certainly don't have
the equipment and resources necessary to handle a major attack,'' Robert
Blitzer, chief of the FBI's domestic terrorism section, said. 

 "The real weakness that we have right now is the ability to detect and
counter a (biological weapons attack) because it's much more insidious and
much more difficult to detect,'' he said. 

 The FBI official, who was unable to give numbers on how many cities were
unprepared, said communities were better able to deal with chemical and
nuclear weapons attacks. 

 Many fire departments have units that deal with hazardous materials and
are ready to handle chemical weapons, he said. 

 "On the nuclear side, there's a pretty robust capability to handle those
kinds of issues and has been for many years,'' Blitzer said. 

 He appeared at the weekly Justice Department news conference with U.S.
Attorney General Janet Reno, who announced a new office at the FBI to help
state and local governments better respond to terrorist attacks with
weapons of mass destruction. 

 Reno said the office would help create training standards for local
police, firefighters and rescue squads and would try to make sure they have
the necessary equipment. 

 "I want this new office to be a center for assistance and solutions, not a
new bureaucracy,'' she said. "We are not interested in a top-down,
one-size-fits-all solution.'' 

                      Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved
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