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· Identify at least four structural and four nonstructural mitigation measures to prevent or reduce the impact of a portable nuclear weapon used by the Al-Qaida group.

In any terrorist disaster mitigation plan, there should be four phases involved, namely hazard mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.  Frequently, hazard mitigation tends to be overlooked and the other three phases tend to be given a greater amount of importance.  A thorough analysis needs to be conducted before any structural and non-structural measures are placed.  Hazard mitigation involves taking certain interventions in order to reduce the impact of a potential disaster.  It is of two types namely structural mitigation and non-structural mitigation.  Structural mitigation involves reinforcing, bracing, anchoring, strengthening or replacing a part of a structure that is vulnerable to a terrorist attack.  This includes:-

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·         Having reinforced building with strong walls and roofs

·         Having strong foundations

·         Having an underground facility to provide extra-protection during a nuclear attack

·         Using radiation proof shutters for doors and windows

Non-structural mitigation measures mainly include operative measures to help reduce the impact of a nuclear terrorist attack.  It includes certain principles such as retrofit, replacing, relocating and choosing a backup plan.  They do not contribute towards structural integrity.  The non-structural mitigation measures includes:-

Medical equipment – to help people affected from the nuclear attack to recover faster
Removing hazardous material which can increase the dangers of the nuclear attack
A fire-protection system
Having protective film to prevent glass from breaking
Securing and reinforcing all heavy objects
Alternative means of communications, power generation, vital systems support, etc

· Describe barriers in implementing these mitigation measures.

There could be several problems in implementing the mitigation measures.  These include:-

High costs of developing radiation protection features
Difficulty in incorporating certain characteristics as the building has already been constructed
Difficulty in changing several structures within a short period of time
Coordinating the various mitigation measures

· Describe implementation strategies to overcome these barriers.

Prioritizing the implementation of mitigation measures in certain buildings
Having more effective surveillance, preparedness, response and recovery strategy in order to overcome the limitations in hazard mitigation
Shifting the operations of certain vital organizations to newer building which have incorporated the mitigation measures
Giving greater amount of importance to insurance from terrorist attacks

· Do you believe that an organization such as the European Police Office (Europol) can be potentially more effective in preventing a nuclear device used as a terrorist weapon than the system that has developed in the United States?

To a certain extent, The European Police Office (Europol) have learnt from the mistakes made by their American counterparts that finally led to the 911 attacks.  However, the United States police departments have stepped up their police operations strategy against terrorism.  The Europol have developed an international network formed between member nations that could effectively help tackle international terrorism.  They have recognized terrorism as an international issue and have pledged cooperation in this regard.  On the other hand, the United States have kept their security an internal issue.  The Europol have concentrated on three issues regarding their police force:-

Structural condition
Operations against crime
Collaborations
The Europol have been a greater amount of freedom from the government.  They can plan and strategies so that crime can be detected and handled appropriately.  As several nations are involved in the Europol, the intellectual capacities can be put together and the police effectiveness in handling terrorist issues would be greater.  In Europe, anti-terrorist operations are given an international importance, and in coordination with the local agencies their enforcement is more effective.  Europe culture is diverse and is made up of a number of linguistic groups.  Frequently, some of the terrorists arise from these linguistic groups, and in such cases Europol has hired staff from these groups who are better able to understand how these terrorists function.  On the other hand, the US is less likely to understand the basic functioning of these terrorist groups.

References:

Baird, Z. Et al (2006). Mobilizing Information to prevent Terrorism, Markle Foundation, July 2006. http://www.markle.org/downloadable_assets/2006_nstf_report3.pdf

Mathieu Deflem (2006). Europol and the Policing of International Terrorism: Counter-Terrorism in a G. Justice Quarterly: JQ; Sep 2006; 23, 3; Research Library, pg. 336.  (ProQuest article) http://www.cas.sc.edu/socy/faculty/deflem/zeuroterror.htm

HDR Engineering (2006). Benton County Hazard Mitigation Plan, Retrieved on June 15, 2008, from HDR Engineering Web site: http://www.bces.wa.gov/Terrorism.pdf

Holdren, J.P. (1996).  Reducing the Threat of Nuclear Theft in the Former Soviet Union.  Russia.  Arms Control Today, 26 (2).  Retrieved January 25, 2004, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb

Meade, C. Et al (2006). Considering the Effects of a Catastrophic Terrorist Attack, Retrieved January 25, 2004, from RAND Web site: http://www.rand.org/pubs/technical_reports/2006/RAND_TR391.pdf

Office of Emergency Services (2002). Clinic Disaster Plan Guidance – June 2002, Retrieved on June 15, 2008, from GOES Web site: http://www.oes.ca.gov/Operational/OESHome.nsf/PDF/ClinicDisasGuide/$file/ClinicDisasGuide.pdf

OHanlon, M. (2002).  Protecting the American Homeland.  The Brookings Review, 20 (3).  Retrieved January 25, 2004, from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb

Rollins,J., Wilson, Clay (2007) Terrorist Capabilities for Cyberattack: Overview and Policy Issues, CRS Report for Congress, Updated  January 22, 2007.  Retrieved on February 29, 2008 at http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/terror/RL33123.pdf

 

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