Dirty Bomb

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Radiological Dispersal Devices: A "Dirty Bomb" Scenario: In March 2002, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) "assembled a team of security professionals to conduct in-depth research on Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDDs/dirty bombs), which resulted in a realistic terrorist attack scenario to address a plausible, large, cross-jurisdictional crisis in Washington, DC. The comprehensive scenario involves an explosive device detonated in the area of the National Capitol Mall and includes a radiological event (dirty bomb). The scenario addressed recovery issues and the complexities of command, control, and communications between federal, state, and local governments, the private sector, and the general public."[1]

"In March, 2002, CSIS led a Crisis Planning Workshop for federal and local officials and emergency personnel from Metropolitan Washington, DC. Participants were presented with the key findings from research that produced a D.C.-based scenario, which was followed by a discussion addressing regional preparedness, impacts on key infrastructure and effects on the local economy, as well as communication and coordination challenges and communicating risk to the public. The dirty bomb scenario and findings from the workshop were also presented to the NYPD senior leadership." (Philip Anderson, Senior Fellow, International Security Program)[2]

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  • Philip Shenon, Terrorism Drills Showed Lack of Preparedness, Report Says, New York Times, December 19, 2003: "A classified Bush administration report has found that the largest counterterrorism exercise conducted by the federal government since the Sept. 11 attacks was marred by communications problems, serious shortages of medical supplies and hospital rooms and confusion over where the residue of a radiological attack would spread, administration officials said on Thursday. ... The five-day exercise last May in Chicago and Seattle, known as Topoff 2, tested the response of federal agencies and local governments to nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks using biological agents and a so-called dirty bomb, a crude radiological device."