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FBI worst-case exercise tests response to chemical attack

The FBI recently led an exercise in Houston designed to test emergency responders in the event of a chemical attack.

The day-long exercise was designed by the FBI’s Chemical Countermeasures Unit and focussed on a hazardous waste disposal company near Houston. This unlucky organization ‘experienced’ a break-in, a fire, and the theft of a chemical agent that would be intentionally released at a popular waterfront amusement park, sending a poisonous plume across the region.

The exercise was attended by various local, state, and federal agencies raised important crisis management issues, such as: Who has jurisdiction? Who is the lead investigative agency? Who is qualified to appropriately respond?

The exercise also “showed how private industry has an important seat at the table in dynamic events like this, since they know their materials and vulnerabilities better than anyone else, and they are most likely to be the first to recognize suspicious activity related to their own operations.”

•Date: 2nd December 2014 • US •Type: Article • Topic: Terrorism

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