RealNews

US to Test Readiness with Simulated Terror Attacks

The United States will launch simulated radiological and biological attacks on two cities next week in its first major test of disaster preparedness since the deadly Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on America. The $16 million simulation — the largest homeland security exercise ever undertaken in the United States — will take place from May 12-16 in Seattle, Washington and Chicago, Illinois and will spread into Vancouver, Canada. Officials and analysts say they hope to see some improved responses during the Congressionally mandated drill, dubbed “Topoff 2” for “Top Officials 2,” over those from Topoff 1 — a similar exercise carried out in May 2000. In 2000 when the domestic terrorism threat was not viewed as a top priority, very few top officials participated in the drill. The exercise, similar to what will be played out next week, exposed major communications and coordination problems between federal, state and local officials. Full Story

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