June 12th, 2007 05:53 EST
Nuclear Terrorism Law: Talking Prevention in Miami
This week in Miami, representatives from nearly 30 countries have gathered to talk shop on how to combat nuclear terrorism in a first-of-its-kind international conference led by the FBI and its Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate.
The "Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism Law Enforcement Conference"-attended by some 450 public and private sector officials from law enforcement, intelligence, border control, nuclear security, and related professions-is an outgrowth of an agreement signed by Russia and the U.S. last summer to build multinational cooperation on the issue.
Countries attending include the U.S., Russia, Canada, China, the U.K., Egypt, Morocco, Germany, France, Israel, Japan, and others.
The conference`s primary objective: to build the capabilities of partner nations to investigate, prevent, and respond to sudden strikes by terrorists using nuclear devices or other radioactive materials. To make that happen, the conference will include:
Detailed briefings that put the latest information and best practices in the hands of the participants;
" A complex table top exercise involving fictitious characters from different countries plotting and eventually carrying out a nuclear attack, all designed to help participants talk through and better understand the many issues involved;
" A live demonstration in Miami`s Orange Bowl of the collective ability of the FBI and its partners to respond to a threat involving a weapon of mass destruction; and
" Case studies covering different aspects of the threat.
Among the highlights of the conference on the first day:
" Remarks by FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Colonel General Vladimir Ivanovich Bulavin, the Deputy Director of Russia`s Federal Security Bureau;
A live feed from Astana, Kazakhstan, where representatives from nearly 40 countries are gathered in a parallel initiative to discuss diplomatic and other issues surrounding nuclear terrorism;
" An intelligence briefing on the threat by Clyde Layne, Chief Scientist of the Sandia National Laboratories, who detailed the pursuit of nuclear and radiological weapons by bin Laden and other terrorists, previous incidents and accidents, and the myth that al Qaeda possesses a suitcase nuke that was trafficked on the black market by the Russian mafia;
" An overview by Robert Wesley of the International Atomic Energy Agency on the illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials; Wesley indicated that more than a thousand incidents were reported from 1993 to 2006, with more than a quarter involving unauthorized possession and/or criminal activities.
We`ll be covering the conference here on this website over the coming week. We encourage you to check back for continuing updates.