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Behind The NYPD Drill To Locate Fertilizer Bomb
Stopping terrorist attacks not only requires focusing on the known threats from potential attackers, but also foiling the plots that law enforcement doesn't see coming.
To that end, the New York City Police Department conducts terror drills to see how the department reacts to potential disaster on a moment's notice.
Jonathan Dienst and the Investigations Unit of WNBC have obtained videotapes that show the NYPD in action during such drills
The first tape shows how authorities react to a 'dirty bomb' threat. As Dienst showed in his report on June 27,
they were able to find the SUV involved in the test.
Images: 'Dirty Bomb' Detection Test
Another tape shows a drill called "Operation Kaboom." The premise: to see how easy it would be to make and transport an ammonium nitrate-based bomb into Manhattan.
In this test, officers not trained in bomb-making built explosives using supplies available to all consumers. They bought ammonium nitrate fertilizer upstate -- no questions asked -- despite the fact that they had New York City-area identification.
They built the bomb in a Bronx storage unit, near the Triboro Bridge, with the door wide open for anyone to look in and see. They mixed ammonium nitrate with fuel oil and other chemicals.
Ammonium nitrate is a cheap fertilizer that is used in farming across the country, but it was also a key ingredient in the bombs used in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, the Oklahoma City bombing, and more recent attacks in Bali and Morocco.
In this case, after mixing it all together, officers loaded it into a van, drove it into the city and went through the motions terrorists would if they wanted the device to explode.
Later, they drove over the Triboro Bridge to a location NewsChannel 4 has agreed not to disclose for security reasons. No one caught on, and the truck was able to park on the street without any questions.
New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said afterward, "These were detectives who had some fairly basic training, and they were able to do it with disturbing ease."
Kelly said there are nine farm suppliers in New York alone that sell large amounts of ammonium nitrate. There is a lobbying group, The Fertilizer Institute, that now supports a bill requiring buyers and sellers to register.
New York Sen. Charles Schumer said this should serve as a wakeup call.
"Until we are registering this chemical and able to trace it and see who is buying it and in what quantities, it's going to be hard to police."
Philippines weighs war drills with Australia, US
The Philippine military is looking at the possibility of organizing joint war drills with US and Australian troops to bolster the regional battle against terror groups, a military official said Wednesday.
The Philippines holds several military exercises each year with the United States, its longtime ally, under a 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty and two other security accords.
Last month, it signed a Status of Forces Agreement with Australia that would allow large-scale exercises with Australian troops. (Cont..)
Local Post Offices Conduct Anthrax Drill
Hawaii postal employees took part in an extensive and realistic drill Wednesday to be ready for a bio-terrorism attack.
Fourteen federal, state and local agencies took part in the training exercise at the Honolulu Airport post office. The exercise simulated a full evacuation after a package of anthrax was found by a bio-hazard detection system (cont..)
Detrick gears up for emergency drill
FORT DETRICK -- From a hurricane tearing through Frederick to a bomb exploding at Fort Detrick, the coordination among city and post officials during a crisis would be critical.
This concept was the basis for a seminar Fort Detrick held Tuesday and Wednesday. Staff and local officials prepared for larger-scale emergency training in September.
"We can rely on each other to prevent, deter and detect, and then recover from whatever happens," said Ray Wharton, a Fort Detrick antiterrorism officer.
MPRI, an Alexandria, Va.-based training and simulation defense contractor, led the Installation Force Protection Exercise classroom sessions. (Cont..)