Report to Congress on
Response to Threats of
Terrorist Use of
Weapons of Mass Destruction

January 31, 1997

To the Congress of the United States:

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 (Public Law 104-201), title XIV, section 1411 requires the President to transmit a report to the Congress that assesses the capabilities of the Federal Government to prevent and respond to terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction and to support State and local prevention and response efforts. In accordance with this provision, I transmit the attached report on the subject issue.

William J. Clinton.

The White House, February 26, 1997.

Report to Congress on Response to Threats of Terrorist Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction, January 31, 1997


As the result of recent events, significant threats over the past few years, and the increased availability and proliferation of nuclear , biological, or chemical (NBC) materials, there is an increasing concern for the potential of terrorist incidents occurring in the United States involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

Under Presidential and Congressional direction, the Federal Government has made a concerted effort to better respond to domestic terrorist incidents involving WMD. These efforts include assessing current capabilities, identifying shortfalls, and taking steps to remedy them. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), as the lead agency for crisis management in response to a domestic terrorist threat or incident, has undertaken several initiatives to prevent, mitigate, and respond to the domestic terrorism threat. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), with the responsibility for consequence management in response to a terrorist incident, has undertaken several initiatives to identify and enhance the Federal capability to respond to the consequences of a terrorist incident. Several departments and agencies, including the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are involved in enhancing overall terrorism response capabilities, with others in the Federal response planning community actively supporting this effort.

Local response to a terrorist event is critical to the success of the overall response. Even with a timely Federal response, local first responders have the immediate requirement to deal with the incident and care for victims. FEMA has been working with local and State governments to assess their response capabilities, identify shortfalls and take measures to remedy them. These activities include surveying State terrorism response capabilities, convening a focus group to discuss capabilities and needs of local government for NBC response, sponsoring a conference for fire chiefs from major metropolitan fire departments to discuss lessons learned from recent international terrorism incidents, conducting training activities, and developing exercises featuring terrorism scenarios to test various aspects of crisis and consequence management activities.

In continuation of these efforts, the Federal Government has developed a program of activities in Fiscal Year (FY) 1997 encompassing training, some equipment and capability enhancements, planning, exercises, and other activities involving Federal, State, and local governments to improve the current levels of preparedness and response. The initial focus for training and capability enhancement is to target FY 1997 funding on cities and selected jurisdictions based on population, risk and geographic distribution. The FY 1997 activities will form the basis for further training, planning, and capability building efforts in FY 1998 and beyond for a broader base of jurisdictions, depending on budget constraints and resource availability.



Recent trends indicate growing prospects for terrorist incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In 1993, a bomb rocked the World Trade Center in New York City, NY; in 1995, Japanese extremists successfully conducted a chemical attack in the Tokyo subway system and a bomb destroyed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK. The chance of a significant WMD incident occurring in the United States is heightened by several factors, including:

Inexpensive production and availability of chemical/biological (C/B) agents;

Easily obtainable chemical precursors and biological production processes;

Portability of small amounts of C/B agents especially useful for clandestine purposes;

Potential for large-scale public impact based on limited ability to quickly identify and/or contain the effects of such substances;

Increased WMD stockpiles , with the potential for theft or acquisition of the weapons by terrorists groups;

Capability of inflicting mass casualties; and,

Increased media coverage of the use of WMD.

Scope of the Report

This report responds to the requirement in the Defense Against Weapons of Mass Destruction Act of 1996, Title XIV, Section 1411 of Public Law 104-201 (also referred to as the Nunn-Lugar amendment), for the President to transmit a Report to Congress that assesses the capabilities of the Federal Government to prevent and respond to terrorist incidents involving WMD and to support State and local prevention and response efforts. Also, the report highlights results and insights gained from earlier Fiscal Year (FY) 1996 initiatives and describes what is planned or under way in FY 1997 to improve Federal, State, and local capabilities. Finally, it addresses measures to improve capabilities in future years, including funding requirements, legislative improvements, and research and development.

Lead Agency Responsibilities

The Department of Justice (DOJ), through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), has been assigned the lead responsibility for management of the U.S. Government (USG) response to terrorist incidents. The FBI derives its fundamental legal jurisdiction to deter terrorist incidents from an assortment of Federal statutes and Executive Branch directives.

The FBI has the lead agency role in crisis management which entails the process of identifying, acquiring, and planning the use of resources needed to prevent and/or respond to a potential or actual terrorist incident. The crisis management response incorporates and emphasizes prevention, crisis mitigation efforts, and criminal prosecution of terrorists. Crisis management activities include proactive measures for prevention, immediate incident response, and post-incident response, including command of the operational response as the on-scene manager for an incident, in coordination with other Federal agencies and local and State authorities.

FEMA has the responsibility for consequence management which entails preparedness and response for dealing with the consequences of a terrorist incident. Consequence management activities include measures to alleviate damage, loss of life, hardship, or suffering caused by the incident; protection of public health and safety; restoration of essential government services; and provision of emergency assistance. FEMA will act in support of the FBI in implementing consequence management response activities.

The overall goal of Administration policy is to ensure that the United States is prepared to combat domestic and international terrorism in all its forms. Measures undertaken under this policy to deal with the terrorism threat include:

Reducing vulnerabilities--To reduce vulnerabilities to terrorism both at home and abroad, all Federal department heads have been directed to ensure that their personnel and facilities are fully protected against terrorism. This activity includes reviewing the vulnerability of Government facilities and the critical national infrastructure; reducing vulnerabilities affecting civilian personnel and facilities abroad, military personnel and facilities, U.S. airports, and other transportation modes; and undertaking counterterrorism measures to reduce both the domestic and international terrorist threat.

Deterring terrorist acts--To deter terrorism, the USG has made it clear that its policies will not be affected by terrorist acts and it will vigorously deal with terrorists and their sponsors to reduce terrorist capabilities and support. In this regard, the pursuit, arrest, and prosecution of terrorists are of the highest priority. Goals include the disruption of terrorist-sponsored activity including termination of financial support, arrest and punishment of terrorists as criminals, application of U.S. laws and new legislation to prevent terrorist groups from operating in the United States, and application of extraterritorial statutes to counter acts of terrorism and apprehend terrorists outside the United States. Return of terrorists from overseas who are wanted for violation of U.S. law is of the highest priority and a central issue in bilateral relations with any country that harbors or assists them.

Responding to terrorist acts--To respond to acts of terrorism, there must be a rapid and decisive capability to protect U.S. citizens, defeat or arrest terrorists, respond against terrorist sponsors, and provide relief to the victims. The goal during the immediate response phase of an incident is to terminate terrorist attacks so that the terrorists do not accomplish their objectives or maintain their freedom, while authorities seek to minimize damage and loss of life and provide emergency assistance to the affected area. In responding to a terrorist incident, the Federal Government is working to rapidly deploy the needed Federal capabilities to the scene, including specialized elements for dealing with specific types of incidents resulting from WMD threats.

Recent Initiatives

While the primary Federal focus historically has been on developing crisis management capabilities, recent events have necessitated placing an increased emphasis on building consequence management capabilities as well. Thus, guidance provided by USG policy has resulted in a number of initiatives being undertaken in FY 1996 to continue to build crisis management capabilities and to enhance consequence management capabilities by assessing Federal, State, and local capabilities to respond to the consequences of a nuclear , biological, or chemical (NBC) WMD terrorist event. Ongoing activities through FY 1997 build upon these initiatives and respond to new legislation. Some recent initiatives include:

Development by the FBI of operational guidelines entitled Guidelines for the Mobilization, Deployment and Employment of U.S. Government Elements in Response to a Domestic Terrorist Threat or Incident.

The formulation of the FBI Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST) and the first deployment of the DEST in support of the 1996 Democratic National Convention.

Pilot test of a Metropolitan Medical Strike Team (MMST) for the Washington, DC, area and in Atlanta, GA, at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, to provide immediate on-site medical support in response to a terrorist incident involving WMD.

Multi-agency assessment of the capability of the Federal Response Plan (FRP) to respond to a WMD terrorist event.

Exercises using terrorism scenarios that address various aspects of crisis management and consequence management.

Planning, training, and exercises focusing on the terrorism threat conducted in preparation for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, national political conventions, and the 1997 Presidential Inauguration.

Survey of State terrorism response capabilities conducted in conjunction with the National Governors Association (NGA).

Focus group discussions with management and emergency responders from four major metropolitan areas on the capabilities and needs of local government to respond to NBC WMD terrorist incidents.

Conference for fire chiefs of major metropolitan fire departments conducted in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Chiefs featuring lessons learned from recent international terrorism incidents.

Conferences and exercises on health and medical requirements needed in response to chemical/biological (C/B) terrorism sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services--Public Health Service (HHS-PHS).

Numerous training activities sponsored by FEMA and the States to improve responder awareness of the terrorism threat and to begin to build the knowledge and skills required for response to such an incident.

Development of the Terrorism Incident Annex to the FRP.

Enhancement of 175 FBI Special Agents to work on WMD issues.

Establishment of the Hazardous Materials Response Unit (HMRU) to provide scientific and technical expertise to enhance FBI forensic and evidence capabilities.


Crisis Management/Prevention Capabilities

Lead Agency Role

The FBI has been designated as the lead agency for the management of the Federal response to terrorist incidents (hereafter referred to as crisis management). As the lead for crisis management, the FBI has the responsibility for proactive measures involving prevention, immediate incident response, and post-incident response, including functioning as the commander of the on-scene operational response.

The FBI On-Scene Commander (OSC) is responsible at the incident site for all decisions to resolve the terrorist incident, unless the lead agency responsibility is transferred by the Attorney General (AG) to FEMA, as warranted. In support of the FBI OSC, or as the designated lead agency after transfer of the responsibility by the AG, FEMA coordinates all Federal assistance in support of consequence management needs resulting from the incident with the affected State and local governments.

Operational guidelines (entitled Guidelines for the Mobilization, Deployment and Employment of U.S. Government Elements in Response to a Domestic Terrorist Threat or Incident) have been developed by the FBI and are awaiting final approval by the AG and the National Security Council (NSC). The Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST), an interagency support component, has been developed and is managed by the FBI.

During a significant terrorist threat or event including a WMD incident, the FBI may deploy a tailored DEST enhanced with specialized interagency components capable of responding to situations involving chemical/biological (C/B) or nuclear /radiological weapons or agents. The FBI-led response will be activated to provide a graduated, tailored response based on the type of incident, in accordance with the FBI's Nuclear or C/B Incident Contingency Plans.

The FBI OSC, as lead agency official, retains the authority to take appropriate crisis management actions at all times during the crisis management response. On-scene decisions with interagency consultation are made with the Command Group at a Joint Operations Center (JOC), which includes the OSC, on-scene principals of the DEST agencies, other Federal agency representatives, and local and State representatives.

The DEST Team Leader (DTL) is designated by the Director, FBI. The DTL is primarily responsible for providing the FBI OSC advice and guidance concerning other Federal capabilities available for use in resolving a WMD terrorist incident. This includes crisis management and consequence management assistance, technical or scientific advice, and contingency planning assistance. Upon arrival at a crisis location, the DEST conducts an initial situation assessment, develops appropriate Courses of Action (COAs), makes a consequence assessment, and provides the OSC with recommendations. The DTL coordinates this process and thereafter facilitates the implementation of the OSC's selected COA through specific taskings. The DTL ensures continuous coordination within the various DEST components and with the FBI command post elements, resolves issues within the DEST, ensures effective communications among response elements, and implements required changes within the DEST to achieve the most efficient and effective team possible.

When determined appropriate by the OSC, the FBI command post will be modified to function as a JOC. The JOC configuration includes representatives of the primary participating agencies and Command, Operations, Consequence Management, and Support Groups as described below:

Command Group--Comprised of senior officials of the FBI, DOE, DOD, HHS-PHS, FEMA, and other Federal and State agencies, as appropriate, to provide the OSC with a means to quickly coordinate and reach decisions on interagency matters that affect the resolution of the incident.

Operations Group--Contains representatives of the organizations directly involved in actions in and around the crisis site and whose actions are deemed critical to the successful resolution of the crisis.

Consequence Management Group--Contains decisionmaking and liaison representatives of consequence management organizations to provide advice on decisions that may have implications for consequence management, and to provide continuity in leadership should a consequence management response become necessary. If consequences become imminent or actually occur, State and local organizations will initiate their consequence management actions, with FEMA expediting the provision of Federal consequence management response support. The Group is coordinated by FEMA with an FBI liaison from the OSC.

Support Group--Contains representatives of organizations whose primary task is to support members of the Operations Group. Depending on the nature of the crisis, organizations represented in the Operations Group will be asked to provide staff for various support components, including Logistics, Legal, Administrative, Liaison, and Media components. The Media component serves as the single point of contact for the coordination and release of public information to the media from the incident site. DOJ/FBI, in coordination with participating DEST agencies, will develop a strategy and procedures for responding to media inquiries. The overall intent will be for the Federal Government to speak clearly with one voice regarding any response to a terrorist incident.

Lead Agency Initiatives

As a result of recent terrorist incidents, and in recognition of the emerging threat of WMD, the FBI has enhanced and modified its capabilities. Some of the changes include:

Establishment of a separate Domestic Terrorism/Counterterrorism Planning Section. This growing section includes separate units formed specifically to more effectively address Domestic Terrorism Operations, WMD, Special Events Management, and Domestic Terrorism Analysis. It is anticipated that during Fiscal Year (FY) 1997 the WMD Unit will divide into two separate units, one handling NBC proliferation matters, threats, and incidents and the other managing exercise and response components (such as the DEST) and implementing the first responder training initiative.

Establishment of the Hazardous Materials Response Unit (HRMU) within the Laboratory Division. This unit is designed to lead and augment the Federal science and technology response capability to terrorist threats/incidents involving WMD and provide a law enforcement representative in evidence issues to enhance later prosecutive effectiveness and efficiency.

Establishment of the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG) at Quantico, VA. The CIRG is recognized as an FBI entity that provides coordinated support to the FBI OSC. The Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), which has been trained to operate in a HAZMAT environment, is part of the CIRG. To assist the HRT in protracted terrorist or other criminal incidents, regional FBI Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams have been enhanced to provide additional tactical support; however, at this time only the HRT has equipment and trains in a HAZMAT environment. The CIRG provides additional operations support in the areas of negotiation, behavioral profiling and assessment, and crisis management support.

Interagency Capabilities

To successfully resolve a WMD incident, closely coordinated efforts with appropriate Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies and other authorities having emergency capabilities to respond to and mitigate the consequences of such an incident will be utilized by the FBI.

Appropriate Federal agencies will support the FBI by providing personnel and equipment that will be rapidly deployed and made available for advice and assistance, as warranted by the situation and at the request of the OSC at the incident site. In order to develop close working relationships among Federal agencies concerned with a potential WMD incident, many interagency working groups (IWGs) have been established, some of which are:

Various Coordinating Sub-Groups, including a Sub-IWG on Exercises co-chaired by the FBI, and a Sub-IWG on Nuclear Trafficking;

Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) for research and development, science, and technology devoted to counterterrorism;

Interagency Intelligence Committee on Terrorism (IICT), Chemical/Biological/Radiological (CBR) Subcommittee;

SHIELD Group dealing with C/B proliferation, chaired by the Department of State (DOS);

Nuclear Export Violation Working Group (NEVWG);

Missile Trade Analysis Group (MTAG); and

Joint Atomic Energy Intelligence Committee (JAEC).

Interagency Roles and Responsibilities

The primary agencies participating in the response to a WMD incident include DOJ, DOD, DOE, HHS, EPA, and FEMA. Depending on the specific details of an incident, the FBI may also request specialized assistance from other agencies, including the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of the Treasury, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), DOS, and the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC). The participating agencies will be incorporated into the existing onscene FBI crisis management structure, which is designed to provide the FBI OSC with a graduated and flexible response capability. For a WMD incident, the DEST will include a specially configured nuclear or C/B response component with staffing and equipment from appropriate Federal agencies, including DOD, DOE, HHS, EPA, and FEMA. Other agencies may be tasked to support the FBI on a case-by-case basis in an effort to prevent, mitigate, and/or manage a WMD incident or threat. Department and agency responsibilities include the following:

The Secretary of Defense has responsibility for:

Providing military units that can assist in both the crisis management and consequence management aspects of a WMD incident;

Designating the supporting equipment and those technical personnel who possess the required expertise to deploy with the DEST;

Designating pertinent assets for technical response, such as the identification of on-site contaminants, sample collection and analysis, limited decontamination capabilities, air monitoring, medical diagnosis and treatment of casualties, and render-safe procedures for WMD material;

Providing for the custody, transportation, and disposal of a C/B WMD when beyond the capability of an otherwise cognizant agency and after consultation with DOJ/FBI and EPA, or of nuclear and/or radiological material when beyond the capability of an otherwise cognizant agency (e.g., DOE or EPA) and after consultation with DOJ/FBI and DOE; and

Providing other support to the OSC through the use of military assets.

The Secretary of Energy has responsibility for:

Analyzing threat messages, through the Communicated Threat Credibility Assessment Program, for technical content, nuclear design feasibility, and general credibility, and for providing such analyses to the FBI;

Designating those technical personnel and supporting equipment to deploy with the DEST as the Nuclear /Radiological Advisory Team (NRAT). The NRAT will normally include a DOE Senior Official who will coordinate the overall DOE response at the scene and liaise with other agencies on matters of mutual concern. The responsibilities of the NRAT are to: Make a scientific and technical assessment of the situation, provide scientific and technical advice to the designated OSC, provide scientific and technical recommendations, including risk/consequence information and requirements for follow-on assets, support tactical operations as directed by the FBI OSC, and perform limited technical measurements and conduct liaison with appropriate DOE response assets.

Designating those specialized personnel, along with specialized instrumentation and equipment, to assist Federal agencies in locating nuclear weapons or special nuclear material that may be lost, stolen, or associated with bomb threats using the Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST). The responsibilities of the NEST are to provide for: Search of nuclear materials, identification of nuclear materials, diagnostics and assessment of suspected nuclear devices, and disablement and containment programs.

Providing scientific and technical assistance and support to the FBI, DOD, and FEMA in the areas of threat assessment and search operations, access operations, diagnostic and device assessment, disablement and render-safe operations, hazards assessment, containment, relocation and storage of special nuclear material evidence, and in post-incident cleanup;

Acquiring, maintaining, and making available any special equipment and capabilities required to provide the necessary scientific and technical assistance; and,

Providing tactical/operational advice and assistance in supporting the FBI for incidents on a DOE facility or involving weapons or material in DOE custody.

The Secretary of Health and Human Services has responsibility for:

Designating those technical personnel and supporting equipment to deploy with the DEST;

Providing technical advice and assistance, such as threat assessment, identification of contaminants, sample collection and analysis, on-site safety and protection activities, medical management plans, and the provision of health and medical care;

To support this effort, pertinent assets capable of representing the following resources will be made available to the FBI in response to a WMD incident or threat: Office of Emergency Preparedness/Office of Public Health Service (OEP/OPHS), Federal Interagency C/B Rapid Deployment Team (CBRDT), Medical Management Support Unit (MSU), Medical Response Teams and Specialty Teams, and Agency Support, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Agency For Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR); National Institutes of Health (NIH); Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

The Administrator of the EPA has responsibility for:

Designating technical personnel and supporting equipment to deploy with the DEST;

Providing technical advice and assistance, such as monitoring, identification of contaminants, sample collection and analysis, and on-site safety, prevention, and decontamination activities;

Issuing any permits required for the custody, transportation, and disposition of chemical material; and

Making appropriate assets from the following resources available to the FBI in response to a domestic WMD threat or incident: Office of the Emergency Coordinator, EPA, Environmental Response Team, Edison, NJ, Federal On-Scene Coordinators (FOSCs), located in all EPA Regional Offices, supported by technical assistance contractors to operate in contaminated environments; sample, monitor, cleanup, etc., National Response Team (NRT), the 16-agency team chaired by EPA, Regional Response Teams (RRTs), 13 teams co-chaired by EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) that support the FOSCs, Office of Radiation and Indoor Air (ORJA)/Center for Risk Modeling and Emergency Response (CRMER), Radiological Emergency Response Team, National Enforcement Investigations Center (NEIC), and laboratory support, including: Regional Environmental Services Division and contract labs, Office of Water-Technical Support Division, Cincinnati, OH, National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory (NAREL), Montgomery, AL, and Office of Radiation Programs, Las Vegas, NV.

The Director of FEMA has responsibility for:

Designating appropriate liaison and advisory personnel to deploy with the DEST; and

Coordinating on-site consequence management activities with State, local, and appropriate Federal agencies.

Consequence Management/Response Capabilities

Lead Agency Role

FEMA is responsible for the coordination of Federal emergency response activities in support of State and local governments. FEMA coordinates these activities using the concept of operations described in the interagency Federal Response Plan (FRP) and supports other Federal emergency response plans, as described below.

A WMD terrorist incident may occur without warning and immediately impact large numbers of people. The incident may affect a local jurisdiction, several jurisdictions within a State, or several States. The existing emergency response system may be severely stressed in providing a timely and effective response to the consequences of the incident. Local resources are likely to be quickly exhausted or unavailable to meet the complex requirements of such an event, including immediate needs for lifesaving resources, resulting in a requirement for Federal assistance to augment State and local resources. Due to the potentially devastating impact, coordination at all levels of Government is critical to ensuring that response needs are met. In responding to the consequences of a terrorist incident, the primary objective of the Federal response is to assist State and local governments in carrying out their responsibilities to prevent or minimize the loss of life and property.

Over the years, a significant base of capability has been developed at the local, State, and Federal levels of government for responding to natural disasters and technological emergencies, including incidents involving nuclear and chemical materials.

The current response framework includes an array of emergency plans, capabilities, and resources of local, State, and Federal governments, and of private and voluntary organizations. At the Federal level, emergency plans deriving from statutory authorities. Executive orders, national security guidance, and other guidance are used by departments and agencies to carry out their emergency response missions. Under this response framework, Federal resources and capabilities are provided to augment those of State and local responders, including private and voluntary organizations. Existing Federal plans are also being adapted for response to the consequences of a terrorist incident. Current interagency plans include:

The Federal Response Plan, supported by 29 departments and agencies, is used by FEMA for responding to any incident or situation requiring or potentially requiring Federal emergency or disaster assistance. The FRP implements the authorities of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.) to provide Federal assistance to save lives, protect property, ensure public health and safety, and recover from the impact of the incident or event.

The Stafford Act provides FEMA with the authority to assign missions to any Federal department or agency in support of a disaster or emergency declared by the President.

The Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan (FRERP), supported by 17 Federal departments and agencies, is used to coordinate the Federal radiological response to an incident involving nuclear materials. Radiological response activities under the FRERP include monitoring and assessing the situation, developing and recommending protective action recommendations for the affected population, and serving as the primary Federal source of technical and public information regarding the radiological incident.

The National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan, or National Contingency Plan (NCP), supported by 15 Federal departments and agencies, is used to coordinate the Federal environmental response to an incident involving HAZMAT, including chemical agents. Environmental response activities include monitoring, decontamination, and long-term restoration.

As a supplement to the FRP, HHS has recently developed a Health and Medical Services Support Plan for the Federal Response to Acts of C/B Terrorism to coordinate the Federal public health and medical care response to an incident involving C/B materials, including biological agents. Public health and medical care response activities include assessment, triage, treatment, transportation, hospitalization, and followup of victims of a C/B incident.

Assessment of Response Capabilities

FEMA has been tasked by the NSC to review the adequacy of the FRP to respond to nuclear , biological, or chemical (NBC) WMD terrorism incidents and to identify and remedy any shortfalls in stockpiles , capabilities, or training that would affect our ability to respond. Scenarios describing NBC WMD incidents were used to help Federal, State, and local responders focus on the capabilities that would be required and to assess the adequacy of current capabilities to meet response requirements. The Federal effort included a review of the coordination of consequence management activities with crisis management activities, an examination of the relationships among existing Federal interagency emergency plans, an assessment of the capabilities of the FRP to respond to an NBC WMD incident, the availability of medical capabilities for terrorism response, and procedures for military support of medical facilities and decontamination activities.

The assessment of the FRP and Federal capabilities focused on identifying shortfalls in stockpiles , capabilities, and training that would affect the Federal Government's ability to respond. In conducting the review and subsequent assessment, FEMA sought input from the 29 departments and agencies supporting the FRP. Comprehensive scenario-specific information was provided by key responding agencies including DOD, DOE, HHS, and EPA. Major findings from the assessment are grouped under the following categories:

Planning and Coordination

Need for baseline information on capability to respond at all levels: Emergency planners at all levels lack adequate information on how local, State, and Federal responders are organized, equipped, and trained to respond to a terrorist incident. There is a need for a carefully structured national inventory of local, State, and Federal capability to respond to NBC WMD terrorist incidents.

Need for better Federal interface with State and local authorities in planning for and developing a mutually supportive NBC WMD response capability: A comprehensive system is required to provide effective coordination across political jurisdictions for organizing, training, exercising, and responding to a credible NBC WMD terrorist threat or actual terrorist incident, including a strategy for developing and sustaining fully interoperable capability, coordinating training, exercises and evaluation procedures, and supporting mutual operations needs.

Need for a tailored and timely Federal response to support or augment local and State first responders: Emergency response actions taken during the initial minutes and hours after an NBC WMD terrorist incident are critical. The capability of local and State first responders, augmented by the use of supplemental Federal resources, needs to be effectively understood and coordinated. Initial response options may be severely limited until reliable assessments are made of the NBC WMD consequences at the incident site; therefore, the enhancement of rapid assessment capabilities, including specialized information sharing systems for rapid identification of NBC WMD agents, needs to be a high priority.

Need to finalize the FRP Terrorism Incident Annex: The draft FRP Terrorism Incident Annex responds to NSC guidance by linking existing Federal authorities, plans, and capabilities that would be implemented in response to a terrorist incident. The Annex was used to help structure preparedness measures for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and other special events.

Need to prioritize the use of the transportation infrastructure to ensure rapid movement of critical, time-sensitive response resources: Disaster response requires time-urgent actions by a large number of participants from the Federal, State, and local response communities. Unless prior planning and prioritization of critical lifesaving response resources are in place and appropriate discipline is maintained, critical elements of the coordinated Federal response in support of State and local authorities will not be available when needed. Plans for the response to an NBC WMD terrorist incident must include a prioritized listing of critical response assets and the assurance of the timely transportation, deployment, and support of time-sensitive critical resources.

Need to deal with a large number of victims impacted by an NBC WMD terrorist incident: Planning needs to address the management of large number of potentially contaminated victims and/or the disposition of human remains resulting from an NBC WMD incident. Adequate means must be developed for identifying and tracking victims who may suffer immediate or longer-term consequences from exposure to NBC WMD materials, and who experience psychological trauma from actual or perceived injury or contamination. Appropriate implementing procedures, including public information and other preparedness measures, should be included in all training and orientation efforts.

Need to manage the stringent public safety measures in response to an NBC WMD terrorist incident: Actions required to establish and maintain positive control of a potentially contaminated area involved in a terrorist incident will require aggressive and, at times, forceful action which is in sharp contrast to conventional disaster response operations. Immediate, assertive, and time-sensitive public safety actions might not be fully understood or accepted by local officials and the public. Therefore, public safety requirements need to be fully addressed in emergency and disaster planning in order to deal with the unique and demanding requirements of response to an NBC WMD terrorist incident in coordination with State and local authorities.

Need for fully coordinated, timely, and accurate emergency public information: With different emergency organizations responding, assessing, and reporting through a variety of Federal plans and programs (with many having no prior experience operating together in an NBC WMD environment), critical information may not be fully coordinated. Technically accurate, complete, and time-sensitive information will be urgently required by the OSCs, national authorities, and the public. Procedures should be established that mandate the establishment and coordinated use of a single Joint Information Center (JIC) that serves the combined response community. Sources of technically accurate information need to be identified, and where appropriate, comprehensive and time-sensitive information on NBC WMD protective measures should be developed and prepositioned to ensure immediate availability. Procedures need to ensure that the JIC is responsive to the particular threat and changing requirements of each phase of the disaster response.

Need for an electronic information management and communications capability to facilitate response coordination: There is no dedicated system for the electronic transfer of information among headquarters elements and other emergency operations centers at the national level. This lack of capability extends to State and local entities. Also, there is no national system of priority cellular access by emergency response personnel that ensures cellular access and allows coordination of critical assets within the disaster area. There is a need to continue development of an interagency electronic transfer mechanism that provides a dedicated forum for the electronic exchange of critical emergency response information among Federal departments and agencies.

Equipment and Training

Need for specialized equipment and coordinated training for response to an NBC WMD terrorist incident: Local, State, and Federal organizations and personnel, and private industry supporting critical infrastructures need to be adequately equipped and trained to respond to an NBC WMD terrorist incident. there is a lack of specialized equipment and training, as well as standardization and interoperability necessary to fully respond in a safe, timely, and effective manner. A national program is needed to provide standards and resources for the organizing, equipping, and training of emergency personnel responding to NBC WMD acts of terrorism. This approach should build upon existing national programs and capabilities wherever possible and also identify opportunities for mutual support and cost savings in the procurement of equipment, delivery of specialized training, conduct of exercises, and operational evaluations.

Need to adequately protect all responders: Safety considerations for first responders and augmentees from all sources in the initial phases of consequence management need to be a major factor in planning and preparedness.


Need for adequate medical supplies and pharmaceuticals to be available or stockpiled to respond to an NBC WMD terrorist incident in a timely manner: HHS has noted that adequate medical supplies and pharmaceuticals are not prepositioned and readily available for timely use in response to NBC WMD incidents. Mitigating and antidote medications need to be stockpiled at multiple locations throughout the United States. These stockpiled medications should include specialty medicines, antidotes, diagnostic devices, and general medications for anticipated conditions resulting from a terrorist incident. The Department of Veterans Affairs hospital centers will serve as feasible stockpile locations in view of the multiple sites in the United States and distribution channels already in place. Discussion should also be initiated with specialty medicinal manufacturers regarding internal stockpiles of medications for immediate distribution to an incident site.

Assessment Summary

An NBC WMD terrorist incident may occur as a local event with potentially profound national implications. In responding to an NBC WMD incident, first responders must be able to provide critical resources within minutes to mitigate the effects of NBC materials. As the capability of the local government to deal with the immediate effects of an incident is essential to the success of any NBC WMD response, enhancing or building and maintaining the local capability with trained and adequately equipped responders are key components of a viable national terrorist response capability.

While the assessment of the FRP and Federal capabilities found some deficiencies in overall capability, it also identified several current capabilities being built upon or expanded to ensure a more viable national NBC WMD responder capability. Current initiatives for supplementing existing plans, enhancing operations response capabilities, and increasing the availability of training are described in the Requirements for Improvements in Capabilities section of this report.


Crisis Management/Support Activities

Many law enforcement, public safety, and emergency response agencies in the United States are well trained and equipped to handle the events surrounding many natural and technological emergency situations, such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) or HAZMAT spills, without the involvement of the Federal Government. However, it is anticipated that the threatened or actual use of WMD will rapidly overwhelm local and State capabilities and require Federal assistance. In addition to advanced technological assistance available from Federal departments and agencies for the disablement, transport, disposal, and decontamination of such weapons and their effects, the primary jurisdiction for the resolution of a terrorist or criminal incident involving WMD also rests with the Federal Government; therefore, a Federal response deployment will be needed to augment the initial local response.

As the actions taken and notifications made within the first minutes of a response are critical to the ultimate resolution of the incident, first responders to a WMD incident need specialized training and equipment to ensure that their activities in response to the discovery or use of WMD are done in a manner that facilitates transition to Federal response operations. The FBI engages in a number of activities with State and local agencies to prevent and respond to acts of WMD terrorism, including planning, training, exercises, task forces, and intelligence sharing.


The FBI has been involved throughout the United States in developing plans to respond at a local level to a WMD event. Numerous FBI field offices have worked with State and local law enforcement and other emergency response agencies in planning the response to an event that incorporates the wide variety of resources that would be brought to bear on such an event. These plans are updated through continuous coordination and tested through various exercises.

Police, fire, and emergency medical personnel need to better understand the FBI's role in coordinating the response to a WMD threat or incident. To that end, the FBI is in the process of coordinating and disseminating national and local-level plans for a WMD event relevant to the activities of First responders. This effort is further described in the section on Requirements for Improvements in Capabilities. As discussed below, the FBI also has dedicated significant resources for planning the design and content of a first responder training initiative.

Training and Exercises

This past year, the FBI tasked all 56 of its field offices to conduct C/B WMD terrorism exercises in each of their regions in accordance with guidelines set forth in the FBI's C/B Incident Contingency Plan. This includes coordination and participation by other public safety agencies that would be involved in a C/B WMD incident, including first responders, regional offices of supporting Federal agencies, and State emergency management agencies involved in consequence management. Each of the 56 field offices has taken action in response to this tasking, and all are in the process of planning and conducting C/B WMD exercises.

The FBI is actively engaged with FEMA and other Federal agencies in developing WMD training for State and local emergency First responders. In training First responders throughout the country, this program will incorporate material from all aspects of the response to WMD terrorism, including both local crisis and consequence management activities. The approach to training and equipping Federal, State, and local officials for managing a crisis involving a use or threatened use of a WMD, including the consequences of the use of such a weapon , necessarily requires an understanding of the training mechanisms and delivery systems already in place that address target audiences on related matters and, which, with some adaptation, could accommodate the WMD subject matter. Thereafter, an assessment of the audiences and curricula that remain unaddressed can then be made. Many excellent training courses are currently available across the nation from Federal agencies including FEMA, DOD, DOE, EPA, and various State agencies. The FBI is working to incorporate law enforcement concerns into such training, including evidence protection and preservation .

Another successful training initiative has been the DOE Nuclear Emergency Search Team (NEST), which supports the FBI as lead Federal agency in various threats involving nuclear material. Through an ongoing cooperative FBI/DOE program, nuclear -related briefings are provided by NEST personnel at FBI field offices throughout the country. As part of this program, the field offices invite State and local law enforcement agencies, as well as first responders, to these briefings. Through these briefings, participants are made aware of the resources available and are provided with an overview of how the Federal Government investigates, manages, and responds to nuclear -related events. To date, 40 FBI field offices, including the largest metropolitan divisions, have received NEST briefings, and additional field offices are being briefed each month.

In preparation for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the FBI conducted a series of NBC-related counterterrorism exercises, including tabletop, command post, and full-field exercises. These exercises included participation by FEMA, EPA, HHS-PHS, DOD, and DOE; Georgia and Alabama State public safety and emergency management agencies; as well as city and county public safety and emergency management agencies. In addition, the FBI actively participated in several exercises hosted by other Federal agencies in preparation for the Olympics that focused on possible terrorist incidents, including WMD scenarios.

The FBI actively runs the Awareness of National Security Issues and Response (ANSIR) program. The ANSIR program disseminates information to industry and the public in general concerning national security matters, particularly key issues dealing with terrorism, espionage, proliferation, economic espionage, targeting of the national information infrastructure, targeting of the U.S. Government, perception management, and foreign intelligence activities.

Task Force/Intelligence Sharing

The most effective response to any potential or actual WMD incident is a well-integrated effort across local, State, and Federal agencies. The FBI has been involved in a number of actions related to recent events within the United States. For example:

Federal and local components of the FBI participated in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA, including pre-event WMD training scenarios previously discussed, various interagency task forces involved with event management and intelligence activities, and other activities in support of the event.

Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST) components deployed in support of the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, IL. This deployment was the first of its kind under the DEST concept.

The FBI is participating in the development of the Metropolitan Medical Strike Teams (MMSTs), organized by HHS to respond to incident health and medical services requirements.

The FBI manages 12 standing law enforcement task forces throughout the country. These task forces include both local entities such as sheriffs and State police, as well as local representatives of Federal agencies such as the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Secret Service, and the U.S. Marshals Service. These task forces are prevention-oriented groups that allow the exchange and coordination of intelligence and activities across the law enforcement community.

Consequence Management/Support Activities

Any assessment of Federal capabilities to support State and local response efforts must address the abilities of State and local governments to respond to an incident and their expectations related to Federal response and support. Obviously there is great variation in response capabilities between jurisdictions at both the State and local levels of government. Local and State capabilities to respond to the consequences of such an event also vary with the particular agent used and whether it involves NBC material. For
example, States and communities in proximity to nuclear power plants have better developed capabilities for responding to nuclear incidents than those that are not. Similarly, States and communities in proximity to chemical weapon disposal sites will have expanded capabilities for responding to a terrorist event involving a chemical weapon . Finally, States and communities that have hosted special events that might pose a target for terrorism, such as the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, national political conventions, or high-visibility national conferences and gatherings, are likely to have more complete terrorism response plans than those that have not planned for such events.

FEMA has been working closely with State and local governments to determine the extent to which their response capabilities are adequate to meet the challenges of responding to a WMD incident. Results from a National Governors Association (NGA) survey, a training focus group involving metropolitan area jurisdictions, and discussions with fire and emergency management constituencies provide good feedback on general State and local capabilities and support requirements. The scenarios describing WMD terrorist events involving NBC agents used in the Federal assessment also were used to help State and local responders focus on the capabilities that would be required and to assess the adequacy of their current consequence management capabilities. While the formats used for assessing the capabilities differed, the findings from the local and State efforts were surprisingly similar to the Federal findings.

The following summarizes the findings regarding capabilities and deficiencies obtained from the NGA State survey and the metropolitan area training focus group under the categories of planning and guidance, response resources, and training and exercises. Included is an assessment of Federal support capabilities required in each area.

Planning and Guidance

The majority of the 22 States responding to the NGA survey and all 4 of the cities participating in the terrorism focus group indicated that their plans address or include response to a terrorist incident; however, the responses also indicated that current planning is not adequate. Many participants in the metropolitan area focus group had limited understanding of the provisions of the Stafford Act (which authorizes and funds support for Federally declared disasters) and the assistance available under the Federal Response Plan. The metropolitan areas in general did not have a good understanding of the resources and support which the Federal Government could provide and how they would go about accessing those resources. The need to continue to stress the importance of communication and coordination between those responsible for crisis management and consequence management at all levels of government was noted by both State and local officials.

Other planning-related requirements included a need for a more thorough assessment and inventory of local response capabilities and expertise, expanded public awareness of the terrorism threat, additional planning for medical treatment and decontamination procedures (including management of mass fatalities), and legal guidance on the liabilities and authorities for governmental jurisdictions associated with response to NBC incidents. Many of these planning-related requirements parallel deficiencies noted in the State survey and the previously noted Federal assessment.

Significant progress has been made in defining the responsibilities of various Federal agencies in a terrorist event through planning initiatives, exercises, and Administration guidance. While Federal agencies are assisting their various counterparts at the State and local levels in terrorism planning to the extent that their resources allow, continuing integration of Federal planning with State and local planning is needed to ensure interoperability between plans at the various levels of government.

Response Resources

Resource requirements identified by both State and local governments include detection equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), decontamination equipment and techniques, medical supplies, and access to technical information and additional trained response personnel. Most Sates and communities have some resources and capabilities in each of the above areas, but given the possible magnitude of the incident and the involvement of unfamiliar and potentially lethal agents, most local responders felt that their existing capabilities were either inadequate (for certain C/B agents) or would be rapidly overwhelmed.

While the Federal Government, especially DOD, DOE, HHS, and EPA, has relevant expertise and possesses some specialized equipment and supplies, the adequacy of the necessary equipment, supplies, and personnel to meet potential requirements and the Federal ability to get them to the incident site vary with both the particular resource required and the geographic location of the incident. Delays associated with getting the required equipment and technical expertise to the site where they are needed will likely result in increased fatalities; however, costs associated with providing appropriate equipment and supplies to all localities nationwide are extremely high.

Training and Exercises

Most States and major metropolitan areas have personnel trained in emergency response and disaster management with training delivery systems. In terms of nuclear and chemical WMD, many of the principles of HAZMAT and radiological incident response (e.g., scene management, decontamination, etc.) will apply with some modifications or enhancements. Training developed by FEMA and the DOD Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP) has direct applicability to terrorist events using chemical agents; however, relatively little training exists on management of incidents involving a biological agent. This is an area of concern for both State and local responders.

Most requirements noted by both the States surveyed and the metropolitan focus groups addressed the unique characteristics of C/B WMD agents and the associated protective measures for response personnel, incident management skills to deal with potentially large numbers of casualties, and the political and public affairs challenges associated with a terrorist incident. Specifically, they noted a need for (1) additional training for first responders on response actions for incidents (where the hazard is known versus unknown) and use of the appropriate PPE for the various agents; (2) training on how to use the media effectively, coordinate media messages, and minimize public panic; (3) training on how to plan for and manage victim and family assistance in a mass casualty event; (4) training and assistance on medical management issues including triage and decontamination procedures, using available medical resources, and how to deal with immediate and long-term treatment issues; and (5) multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional training and exercising to clarify roles and responsibilities and improve interoperability of plans and procedures.

With the possible exception of biological terrorism, there is considerable technical expertise and many existing training materials within the Federal community to address most of the requirements cited above; however, the size and diversity of the target audience compared with the resources available to deliver the training and to exercise plans limits the Federal Government's capability to provide the required support immediately, thus making this a multi-year effort.


Assessments of Federal, State, and local capabilities to respond to WMD terrorist incidents have identified several areas where improvements are required. FY 1997 funds have been allocated to several agencies for WMD-related activities. The FBI has received $133.9 million for Counterterrorism (CT) enhancements. These funds include increased staffing to conduct CT field investigations regarding WMD threats, infrastructure vulnerability, key assets, and international terrorism; resources for improving forensic and crisis management capabilities including specialized equipment, deployable laboratories and teams, training, and forensic database development; and other staffing and resources for improving WMD prevention and response.

Some $15 million has been allocated to FEMA for consequence management planning and coordination, assessment and training, personnel and protective measures, and grants for specialized training and equipment for firefighters. Besides the above, additional funds have been allocated to DOD, HHS, DOT, and other Federal agencies for terrorism-related activities.

Several activities and initiatives are already under way to address requirements to improve capabilities for responding to the threat or occurrence of a WMD incident, focusing on training, equipment and capability enhancements, planning, exercises, new initiatives, and research and development to improve the overall local, State, and Federal response capability. All of these activities are being closely coordinated with those of local and State governments to ensure optimal sharing of knowledge and expertise in WMD, while deriving maximum benefit from available resources.


This area involves training for individuals involved in all areas of WMD prevention and response. It includes developing and implementing an interagency strategy for meeting priority training requirements efficiently. Several facets of current training activities are described below.

The FBI is pursuing significant efforts to prevent a WMD incident from occurring through continued proactive and interactive training, planning, exercising, intelligence gathering, and technology applications involving crisis management and consequence management agencies.

The FBI continues with WMD-related interagency training involving nuclear and C/B incident contingency planning for FBI Headquarters personnel and field office managers.

The FBI continues to coordinate with DOD and other government agencies to determine the best equipment, protective gear, and training available. Ongoing training related to successfully operating in a hostile WMD environment will be required for the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) and other FBI tactical personnel. Equipping and training of selected FBI field office Evidence Response Teams (ERTs) to augment the Hazardous Materials Response Unit (HMRU) in the forensic exploitation of potentially contaminated crime scenes will also be an ongoing activity.

DOD, in coordination with DOE, FEMA, and other Federal agencies, including the FBI, is providing WMD training to State and local first responders, including local and State police, and fire and emergency medical personnel who would most likely represent the initial response at the site of a WMD incident.

Since first responders will be required to establish preliminary perimeters, provide triage to victims, and conduct initial interviews, among other actions, their value to the ultimate success of the Federal Government in managing a WMD incident cannot be overestimated. Presently, most first responders have little, if any, specialized training in the WMD area, and as such, would become casualties at the incident scene.

FEMA, DOE, DOD, HHS, EPA, and the FBI support training to develop a strong State and local first responder infrastructure. Some generic training is already being recast to address WMD requirements. For instance, FEMA and DOD currently have in place a training program for first responders in areas near chemical weapon storage sites under the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP). A training program based on CSEPP and tailored for police/fire/rescue personnel in all jurisdictions is in the initial stages of coordination with FEMA, FBI, and DOD. FEMA is also building on its training for first responders conducted through its National Fire Academy and Emergency Management Institute. In addition, other agencies, such as DOE, DOT, and EPA provide training through their normal programs that are applicable to terrorism response.

Funding targeted for training in WMD response is being provided through several different sources, as listed below by amount and agency:

$51 million from DOD to the Nunn-Lugar;

$5.3 million from FEMA in training grants, including firefighter training and equipment, to the States; and

$5 million from the Department of Justice (DOJ) for responder training and equipment.

Federal resources must be used effectively in meeting priority training needs of responders to the consequences of a WMD incident.

Federal resources will not meet all of the anticipated requests for dealing with the terrorist threat, especially in the area of training. To ensure a coordinated training approach, FEMA convened a Senior Interagency Group (SIG) on consequence management to provide policy-level guidance in the development of a Governmentwide terrorism training strategy, as well as to address other issues related to consequence management. In support of the SIG, an interagency Training Task Group (TTG) was established to identify training audiences and performance requirements, suggest training design (including delivery methodology), define the relationship to existing and ongoing training and capabilities, and set training priorities and plans for short-term and long-term activities. The SICG will continue to monitor results from the TTG and other task groups and provide additional guidance for implementation of an interagency training strategy, which includes the following elements:

Prioritize training under Nunn-Lugar: In response to DOD's request for guidance from FEMA and the interagency community on the most appropriate way to allocate training resources to meet training requirements specified in Nunn-Lugar, Section 1412, Emergency Response Assistance Program, the interagency strategy calls for allocation of Nunn-Lugar resources (including those provided to HHS for the development of the MMSTs in FY 1997) to target these resources to the 20 largest cities, plus any cities identified by the FBI as being at particularly high risk.

Participating cities will be asked to complete an initial training needs assessment and Federal resources and expertise will be applied to meeting those needs, using existing training resources to the extent possible. This focus of Nunn-Lugar resources on the 20 largest cities will in no way preclude other target audiences (States, communities, etc.) from eligibility for other training available from FEMA and other Federal agencies or for training resources that may become available in the future.

Continue to analyze training needs on the basis of performance requirements: Using the training requirements identified during the FY 1996 assessment initiatives as a base, a list of performance goals for communities in preparing to respond to WMD incidents will be developed to serve as a basis for a community's own
needs assessment efforts; however, needs assessment must be an ongoing process, since training needs will evolve over time as new equipment is fielded and experience gained.

Compile a compendium of existing training: As noted earlier, many courses and training materials already exist that, with minor modifications, can begin to meet immediate training requirements. FEMA will serve as the repository for information on existing training courses and materials.

Share courses and delivery systems among agencies: The previously noted compendium of training resources maintained by FEMA will facilitate sharing of courses and expertise among agencies, thus reducing duplication of efforts.

Deliver existing or modified training in non-traditional ways: Alternative delivery strategies will be needed to reach more people than are currently reached with classroom, instructor-based training. Use of independent study, computer-based training, satellite broadcasts, etc., will be considered in the overall delivery strategy.

Develop new training for unmet needs: It is anticipated that FY 1997 will be used for assessment and delivery of existing training and that development of new training will begin in earnest during FY 1998.

Enhance interface with States and cities: To increase the success of the Federal interagency effort, full partnering with the States and communities and constituencies will help ensure that limited resources are applied most effectively.

Equipment and Capability Enhancements

This area involves identifying equipment and capabilities needed for a WMD response. It includes stockpiling specialized equipment, enhancing the medical response system to include developing specialized teams and managing mass casualties for a WMD incident, developing a master inventory list of equipment and assets that can be accessed by local and State responders, and undertaking other initiatives to improve operational procedures, including rapid deployment of resources to the incident site and improving communications access.

The FBI is addressing the need for additional equipment for specialized teams operating in a WMD environment: While the FBI relies on the support of other Federal agencies possessing specific technical expertise and equipment to respond to an NBC incident, those agencies do not have the law enforcement authority or expertise to collect and preserve evidence at a crime scene, nor to testify in court proceedings. In addition to the critical issue of evidence collection, the FBI may be faced with an incident that requires a tactical response in an environment contaminated with NBC material. The FBI currently possesses a limited capability to operate in such an environment; recent acquisition of funds will allow the for the purchase of HAZMAT protective suits and equipment for HRT and all field Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Teams. This acquisition followed by training will allow the FBI to enhance its capabilities to operate in a WMD environment.

HHS is enhancing the capabilities of the medical response system to address WMD requirements: The requirement for immediate and significant medical response to save and protect lives in incidents involving C/B WMD agents has led to several HHS initiatives to enhance the capabilities of the existing medical response system.

The enhanced system would include trained and equipped local first responders, MMSTs, specialized medical teams for use in areas without MMSTs, Chemical/Biological Rapid Deployment Teams (CBRDTs), enhanced Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs), patient evacuation and definitive care capabilities of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), pharmaceutical caches, and a nationwide network of facilities with specially trained staff equipped to treat WMD victims. Some of these activities are described below:

HHS continues work on developing MMSTs composed of technical and medical resources for responding to C/B incidents. The MMSTs provide a mechanism for immediate medical response while additional Federal resources are being mobilized and deployed. Each MMST operates as a specially organized, trained, and equipped team and includes capabilities for agent detection and identification, patient decontamination, triage and medical treatment, patient transportation to hospitals, and coordination with local law enforcement activities. After testing the concept in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area and at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, the Washington, DC, MMST established its initial operational capability in January 1997, and was available to support the 1997 Presidential Inauguration. The goal is to establish a total of 100 MMSTs in the next 5 years.

HHS is developing three specialized national response teams, dispersed geographically throughout the nation, to augment local capabilities in areas without MMSTs.

The CBRDT is another capability developed by HHS providing a highly specialized, Federal, multi-agency C/B terrorist incident response, medical and health care, and technical assistance that supports the OSC for both crisis management and consequence management response.

HHS is enhancing 21 of the highest readiness level NDMS DMATs with specialized equipment and training to provide further response augmentation.

In concert with activities to enhance the medical response system, HHS is addressing the need to develop local response systems for the care of WMD victims. HHS is developing procedures for the handling of mass casualties that may result from an WMD incident to ensure that Federal resources will be available to augment local and State resources for dealing with a health problem of a large scale; however, a timely Federal response can only argument existing local capability and may not meet the needs of all of these victims.

Federal logistics support capabilities are being enhanced for WMD response: FEMA is working with DOD, DOT and the General Services Administration (GSA) to enhance basic logistics support capabilities by developing a disaster transportation management system. The system will include a Time-Phased Force Deployment Data and List (TPFDDL) to pre-identify logistics requirements for specialized teams, equipment, and supplies needed to respond to an NBC incident and to then optimize their movement to an incident site on a priority basis. A Movement Coordination Center (MCC) is also being developed to coordinate the transportation and movement activities of the critical resources to the affected area.

FEMA is developing and implementing a Rapid Response Information System: FEMA is developing guidance and format with data requirements for each FRP department and agency to use in compiling an inventory of its equipment and assets that could be made available to aid State and local officials in responding to a WMD incident. FEMA is working to ensure that FRP departments and agencies develop, maintain, and provide to FEMA their inventory lists for inclusion in a comprehensive Master Inventory, to be initially published by December 31, 1997, with annual updates. FEMA also will develop guidance on accessing and using the physical equipment and assets on the Master Inventory List, including a system to give Federal, State, and local officials controlled access. In coordination with DOD,
FEMA will also prepare a database on C/B agents and munitions characteristics and safety precautions for civilian use. The initial design and compilation of this database is to be completed not later than December 31, 1997.


This area involves enhancing Federal contingency plans as well as national and regional response plans to better address the WMD threat. It also includes the development of guidance for local and State responders.

Each FBI office is developing contingency plans for response to WMD incidents: Each FBI field office has been requested to furnish an updated plan yearly with points of contact and area facilities that could pose a threat of a WMD incident, or could supply the agents needed for a WMD incident and resources that can be utilized to respond to the incident. Additionally all field offices have been tasked to maintain contingency plans that identify points of contact with regional emergency response agencies and to engage with local authorities in planned WMD exercises, review nuclear facility response plans, and proceed with other proactive initiatives to counter the threat of a WMD incident.

All FBI field offices with DOE or NRC facilities within their territory maintain site-specific nuclear contingency plans that are updated annually. These plans ensure that the FBI possesses all necessary information regarding each DOE or NRC site to enable an effective FBI response to an incident at any of these sites. Classified and unclassified Nuclear and C/B Incident Contingency Plans have been updated, revised, and disseminated to all FBI Offices and OSCs. This year, all FBI field offices were tasked to provide unclassified versions of these plans to management levels of first responders, i.e., police, fire, and emergency medical personnel, to ensure their understanding and coordination during a unified Federal response.

Federal emergency response plans are being refined to address WMD consequences: The PDD-39 assessment validated the need to amend the FRP with incident-specific annexes to better address the unique aspects of the response to a terrorist event. The FRP Terrorism Incident Annex describes the concept of operations for a terrorism response involving the crisis management response, led by the FBI, and the consequence management response, led by FEMA. The Federal interagency community has concurred on the annex and it is scheduled for publication in early 1997.

FEMA is also developing planning guidance on terrorism response for use by FEMA Regional Offices to incorporate into their interagency Regional Response Plans that describe how the FRP is implemented at the regional level.

A draft FRP Radiological Incident Annex has been developed that describes the relationship of the FRP to the FRERP, which is used to coordinate Federal monitoring, assessment, and other technical resources in response to a radiological incident, including a WMD involving nuclear materials. The draft annex is being validated in several radiological incident exercises this year and is expected to be published in 1997.

State and local governments are being supported in improving plans for responding to the consequences of a WMD incident: States and localities face new planning challenges in preparing for response to a terrorist event using WMD. FEMA's experience in Oklahoma City and the feedback from the metropolitan area focus groups indicate a need for additional guidance by States and local governments for responding to a terrorist incident, including notification procedures, interface with law enforcement personnel, and access to unique Federal capabilities and resources. This is especially true for major metropolitan areas, where direct interface with Federal response personnel and unique Federal resources is more likely in a terrorist event than in a typical natural disaster; therefore, a terrorism supplement to the recently published Guide for All-Hazard Emergency Operations Planning is a priority for FY 1997. In addition to operational planning guidance, there is a need to ensure that Governors and other State senior policy officials are familiar with the challenges they may face in responding to a terrorist event. To meet this need, a popular NGA handbook, A Governor's Guide to Emergency Management, will be updated to address terrorism-specific issues.


Improved plans and access to technical information, equipment, and supplies will do little to improve terrorism response capabilities without trained personnel who have had the opportunity to test plans and procedures and assume their roles and responsibilities in exercises. Therefore, while one goal for FY 1997 addresses the development of an interagency strategy for the delivery of training to State and local responders, a related goal focuses on a coordinated approach to exercising plans and procedures.

Agencies must test and evaluate plans, procedures, and coordination mechanisms for responding to a WMD incident: Interagency WMD terrorism exercises are expensive and require extensive planning to ensure that all participating agencies most effectively test and evaluate their plans, procedures, and coordination mechanisms for responding to a WMD incident as part
of the Domestic Emergency Support Team (DEST). Interagency participation in these exercises is vital to familiarize all members of the crisis management community with the command structures and functions of the various components.

Despite the high costs, continuous efforts must be made to exercise for possible WMD contingencies. The FBI is co-chair and an active member of an interagency planning group for exercises, which includes all Federal agencies with a role in response to terrorism as members. WMD scenarios have been the focus of most of the recent exercises and continue to be highlighted in future exercise planning. The FBI Crisis Incident Response Group (CIRG) plays a critical and essential role in all exercise planning deployments and response to credible incidents.

The FBI exercises with other Federal agencies extensively and anticipates participating in up to eight federally coordinated exercises and numerous State/local exercises annually. A full-field exercise should be scheduled and completed within the next two fiscal years.

Exercises will be used to test and improve consequence management response capabilities: This effort addresses the need for improved understanding of and interoperability between response plans at various levels of government and responds to the previously noted requirement for multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional training and exercising to clarify roles and responsibilities and improve interoperability of plans and procedures. FEMA's interagency National Exercise Schedule provides a mechanism for documenting and disseminating information on planned unclassified terrorism WMD exercises involving multiple agencies and/or levels of government.

Recognizing that terrorism consequence management plans and procedures are either under development or just being finalized, the FY 1997 Federal emphasis will be on tabletop exercises in each FEMA Region to familiarize regional and State responders with the new FRP Terrorism Incident Annex and associated roles and responsibilities. This will culminate in a functional consequence management exercise, ILL WIND, which is scheduled for late FY 1997 in the Washington, DC, area. In addition, FEMA and some States and localities will be involved in exercises sponsored by other agencies that will likely address both crisis and consequence management issues.

DOD recommends a multi-agency series of field exercises covering a wide range of C/B scenarios in order to build a solid understanding of potential C/B terrorism, and to systematically evaluate improved countermeasures to prevent and respond to such incidents.

Finally, the SIG has expressed interest in reviewing a coordinated terrorism exercise strategy similar to that developed for training. In interfacing with State and local governments, given the very limited resources available, Federal coordination on planned exercises and priorities for addressing deficiencies is essential. This Federal coordination will occur in the Interagency Working Group-Counterterrorism (IWG-CT) Exercise Subcommittee.

New Initiatives

Stemming from the FY 1995 National Defense Authorization Act is a joint FBI and DOD initiative, in coordination with the State Department, DOE, the U.S. Customs Service, the Department of Commerce (DOC), and the Intelligence Community (IC) to provide law enforcement officials, judges, and prosecutors from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) and Eastern Europe with training in countering nuclear /radiological smuggling/trafficking and C/B proliferation.

This 3-year initiative, which includes the training of officials from 3 to 12 FSU/Southern Tier countries at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) in Budapest, Hungary, or at the DOD facilities in Garmisch, Germany, is now under way. The initiative will also provide WMD detection equipment and training to law enforcement officials in their respective countries and undertake a review of each country's laws to recommend statutory changes to complement enforcement and training, as warranted.

The FBI Laboratory Division has developed the Hazardous Materials Response Unit (HMRU) to resolve scientific and technical aspects of illegal acts involving NBC and environmental incidents. The Laboratory Division has also coordinated with DOD and the Commonwealth of Virginia for training of FBI first responders and the Evidence Response Teams (ERTs) on how to function in tandem with the military in the hostile environment of a WMD incident. In this manner, a sworn FBI evidence expert will direct the collection and preservation of evidence, while at the same time, rely on military advice and assets in order to mitigate a C/B agent and for transport of C/B agents for examination purposes. To date, more than 50 ERT members from 6 major metropolitan field offices have been trained and equipped with HAZMAT protective suits.

Research and Development

The FBI is currently pursuing a number of research and development (R&D) efforts to enhance detection capabilities, disablement tools, advanced render-safe techniques, and new forensic tools for identifying terrorist bombings. R&D projects include development of explosive detectors, research on explosives residues, and development of a portable device for the analysis of explosives, drugs, and chemical warfare agents using Raman Spectroscopy. Other R&D projects aimed at providing first responders with the technical capabilities to safely and effectively contain a WMD incident include development of explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) countermeasures for large vehicle bombs, development of an affordable miniaturized robotics vehicle capable of delivering explosive disablement tools, identification of render-safe procedures for improvised C/B devices, enhanced explosive detection capabilities for civilian bomb technicians, and the development of methods to identify forensically and capture residues left by improvised explosive charges used by terrorists.

A number of agencies throughout the counterterrorism community participate in the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG), a subgroup of the NSC Interagency Working Group on Counterterrorism. The TSWG has the specific mission of conducting rapid research, development, and prototyping of counterterrorism technologies. Several different subgroups exist beneath the TSWG focusing on various aspects of counterterrorism. Continued funding of the TSWG and other research and development programs is critical to developing field-deployable technologies to deter, detect, prevent, and resolve potential WMD terrorist threats and incidents.


Building upon current activities, the following describes the requirements for continued funding, legislative improvements, authorities, and research and development (R&D) initiatives to enhance current weapons of mass destruction (WMD) prevention and response capabilities.


FY 1997 funding is supporting a variety of activities deriving from existing NSC guidance, Nunn-Lugar initiatives, and other programs to determine requirements, assess and remedy shortfalls, and enhance capabilities for WMD prevention and response. To maintain and enhance capabilities, continued funding in FY 1998 and beyond is required to support training, equipment and capability building, planning, and exercises. This requirement for continued funding assumes that State and local governments are also willing to share some of the costs of the capability building.

In FY 1997, the coordinated interagency training strategy proposes to target the largest 20 cities to receive the majority of training and assistance provided via Nunn-Lugar, with the remaining resources spread among the many other jurisdictions and response groups. In FY 1998, additional jurisdictions are being added to increase the overall preparedness level of local governments to deal with WMD requirements. In support of this effort, training materials will need to be updated as plans and procedures are refined and responder needs are better defined.

Specialized equipment and protective gear for personnel operating in a WMD environment are required by the FBI and other agencies. The Rapid Response Information System will require annual updating to ensure that the resource and capability information being accessed by local and State response agencies is accurate and complete.

Continued interagency planning will be required to ensure close coordination among Federal departments and agencies and State and local emergency management agencies in dealing with WMD requirements.

Finally, most of the exercises planned for FY 1997 are Federal/State tabletop exercises that are relatively inexpensive to plan and deliver. In subsequent years, functional and full-scale exercises involving all levels of government will need to be developed and implemented to ensure full capability.


On April 24, 1996, the President signed into law the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act. This legislation, which was initially proposed by the President in the State of the Union Address in January 1995, represents the most significant and comprehensive antiterrorism legislative package ever enacted in the United States. Legislative proposals that remain relate to items that Congress dropped from the 1995 Administration proposal, or highly focused issues that have arisen in the course of administering existing law. Within this context, it is anticipated that DOJ will propose several items of legislation designed to enhance the Government's ability to combat terrorism.

The first priority for additional legislation remains Senate ratification of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The CWC is the best means to ensure the nonproliferation of chemical weapons and their eventual destruction by all nations. This Convention makes it illegal to develop, produce, acquire, stockpile , retain, transfer, use, own, or possess any chemical weapon , or to knowingly assist, encourage, or induce any person to do so, or attempt or conspire to do so. U.S. compliance with the CWC will require that changes be made to the existing criminal statutes relating to use of chemical weapons , 18 U.S.C. Section 2332c, and use of WMD, 18 U.S.C. Section 2332a. These legislative amendments have been drafted within DOJ and are currently undergoing review. Submission of such a legislative proposal would have to be closely coordinated with the Administration's efforts to achieve ratification of the CWC.

Although the CWC was not designed to prevent chemical terrorism, certain aspects of the Convention, including its implementing legislation and nonproliferation provisions, will augment existing law enforcement efforts to fight chemical terrorism. Implementing legislation required by the CWC will strengthen legal authority to investigate and prosecute violations of the treaty and raise the level of public alertness to the threat and illegality of chemical weapons . For example, the proposed U.S. implementing legislation contains the clearest, most comprehensive, and internationally recognized definition of a chemical weapon available, far more precise than the term `poison gas' contained in Title 18 of the Criminal Code. The definition contained in the implementing legislation will enable an investigator to request a search warrant on the basis of suspicion of illegal chemical weapons activity (such as production of a chemical weapon agent), rather than suspicion of conspiracy to commit terrorism, as exists under current U.S. law. By providing investigators and prosecutors a more precise legal basis for pursuing the development, production, transfer, or acquisition of chemical weapons , CWC implementing legislation improves prospects for detection, early intervention, and possibly even prevention of chemical terrorism in the United States.

Research and Development

New or enhanced technical capabilities needed to counter increasingly sophisticated terrorist organizations include the ability to intercept advanced telecommunications, with a primary focus on wireless and satellite-based systems; improved tracking and physical surveillance technologies for weapons , explosives, etc.; automatic language translation and text/key word recognition; and technology to support surreptitious entry.

Current research and development funding is not adequate. Additional funding is needed to continue work on an indepth chemical characterization of foreign explosives and for continued development of contraband detection technology. Additional funding would accelerate development in a number of key technologies, particularly communications interception, tracking, covert communications, and surreptitious access. These technologies are critical to the support of counterterrorism investigations, especially WMD-related threats.