17 June 2003 16:23 [Source: ICIS news]
PHILADELPHIA (CNI)--A US Secret Service official urged US chemicals manufacturers here Tuesday to make effective use of their own employees and local security forces to best protect their facilities from the threat of terrorism.
Zachary Ainsworth, Intelligence Research Specialist with the Secret Service's intelligence division, told the first annual US Chemical Security Summit (CSS) here today that the "most important" measure industry officials could implement is to "observe, collect and share information" among themselves and with local law enforcement.
Ainsworth told the some 350 chemical industry executives attending CSS that "there is no single, 'correct' security protocol that will fit every situation, simply because every situation is different." But a common denominator in all good security assessments and preventive measures, he said, is identification of potential adversaries.
Toward that end, he said, it is important for chemical industry leaders and site operators to:
He said the development of personal relationships in each of these areas is key to success.
Ainsworth reviewed a broad array of potential terrorist threats and groups, ranging from a possible 5000 members of Al Qaida being resident in the US to environmental radicals such as the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). He cautioned that the ELF, which thus far in the US has chiefly targeted buildings or other structures for attacks, has given several indications that it may soon resort to armed attacks on individuals.
In terms of most probable terrorist attack threats, Ainsworth said increased US domestic security and the pattern of recent terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia and Morocco suggest that the most likely form of terrorist attack in the US would be "a vehicle-born bomb."
He said such a vehicle-born bomb would more than likely be composed of conventional explosives, but that terrorist acquisition and use of biological or chemical weapons "cannot be ruled out and must be considered in implementing security measures."
Convened by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (SOCMA), the CSS runs through Thursday.
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