Countering Terrorism & Ensuring Domestic


Incidents of domestic and international terrorism over the past several years have made it clear that the federal government must do all it can to prepare at the federal, state, and local levels to respond more quickly to these incidents and to ensure the safety of our citizens. As a result, the federal government has been called upon to play a larger role in mitigating and responding to all types of human-caused violent events and disasters. As part of this, the federal government has dramatically increased its activities with state and local jurisdictions to enhance their abilities to prepare for and respond to these incidents.


Since the inception of the Office for State and Local Domestic Preparedness Support (OSLDPS), it has trained over 60,000 emergency responders, including firefighters, law enforcement, EMS, HAZMAT, and emergency management personnel. First responders were trained through OSLDPS programs in the areas of awareness, technician, operations, and terrorist incident command. Training is provided through a variety of resources, including the Metropolitan Firefighter and Emergency Medical Services Program, the U.S. Army's Pine Bluff Arsenal, the National Terrorism and Prevention Institute, the Center for Domestic Preparedness, and the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium. The National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (NDPC), which was formally organized on June 11, 1998, brings together several federal and local agencies receiving funding under OJP's domestic preparedness initiative into a singular, coordinated, and integrated training program. One Consortium member, OJP's Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP), was established as an OJP component on June 1, 1998 and operates as part of OSLDPS. Currently, OSLDPS offers 16 domestic preparedness training courses, a televised distance learning initiative, and three videos and booklets for use by public safety officials. OSLDPS is developing additional courses, videos, and other training materials.


OSLDPS funds state and local agencies to enhance the nation's first responder capabilities through equipment acquisitions that will help the first responders' response to incidents of domestic terrorism involving chemical and biological agents, as well as radiological and explosive devices.

In FY 1999, OSLDPS developed two levels of grant equipment programs to cover more of the country than under its FY 1998 initiative. The FY 1999 equipment grants reached out and funded additional counties and, for the first time, states. The first of these grant equipment programs, the FY 1999 County and Municipal Agency Domestic Preparedness Equipment Support Program, provided direct grants totaling $30.7 million to 157 of the most populated cities and counties in the nation for the procurement of basic defensive level equipment. Also, in FY 1999, OSLDPS awarded $51.8 million through its State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program to the nation's 50 states and the District of Columbia to purchase personal protective, chemical, biological, and radiological detection, decontamination, and communications equipment. This funding is administered by a governor-designated state agency. In FY 2000, territories were also included in the State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program.

To qualify for OSLDPS assistance, the states, territories, and the District of Columbia are required to undertake a Threat, Risk, and Needs Assessment and to develop a Three-Year Statewide Domestic Preparedness Strategy to plan the allocation of OJP and other resources. A Web-based data collection tool was created to allow states and local jurisdictions to submit their assessment data and statewide strategic plans on-line. To assist in this effort, OSLDPS released the following publications: State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program Assessment and Strategy Development Tool Kit, and Guidance for the Development of a Three-Year Statewide Domestic Preparedness Strategy. FY 2000 and FY 2001 State Equipment funding will be awarded after OSLDPS receives the completed assessments and the Statewide Domestic Preparedness Strategy from each state. The 50 states will receive a total of $70,103,000 in equipment grants through FY 2000 funds. It is projected that states will receive $78.4 million in FY 2001.

BJA continued its support of the State and Local Anti-Terrorism Training (SLATT) Program, the only ongoing training and technical assistance counterterrorism initiative specifically designed for state and local law enforcement and prosecution authorities. Working in close cooperation withe FBI and its National Security Division Training Unit, the SLATT program delivers specialized executive, investigative, intelligence, and officer safety training, with an emphasis on lesser populated jurisdictions.


OSLDPS continues to work with state and local jurisdictions, as well as with its federal agency partners, to assist in preparing and developing responses to potential terrorist acts. In May 2000, OSLDPS worked with more than 25 federal organizations and several states and local communities to conduct the TOPOFF (Top Officials) 2000 exercise, the most comprehensive counterterrorism exercise conducted to that point in time in America. The exercise simulated a chemical weapons attack on Portsmouth, New Hampshire and a biological attack on Denver, Colorado. More than 1,000 federal, state, and local officials participated in the exercise, which was co-chaired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The National Capital Region (NCR) 2000 counterterrorism exercises in Washington, DC also ran concurrently with the TOPOFF 2000 exercises. NCR 2000 simulated radiological attacks at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, DC and the U.S. Air Arena in Landover, Maryland. The NCR 2000 exercises were directed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

TOPOFF 2000 was conducted to assess the ability of federal, state, and local assets working together to mitigate the consequences of a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) attack. The exercise spanned a 10-day period during which local, state, and federal personnel were challenged to employ the measures they normally would in the event of a real incident or attack involving chemical or biological agents. An after-action report detailing the lessons learned and making recommendations for future counterterrorism activities will be released. A second TOPOFF exercise is being planned for 2002.

Also in 2000, OSLDPS assisted the City of Seattle and King County, Washington in the SEAKING 2000 exercise. As a result of this exercise series, the area's capability to respond to a WMD event has been greatly enhanced. OSLDPS, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is currently working with the City of New York to develop and test a biological incident response plan. These efforts will continue in 2001.

During the past fiscal year, OJP, through a partnership between OSLDPS and the National Institute of Justice's Office of Science and Technology (OST), continued to fund the work of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism and the Dartmouth Institute for Security Technology Studies. Both institutes will be co-managed by OSLDPS and OST and asked to undertake projects to address current and emerging needs in the nation's response to incidents of domestic terrorism. Principal areas of concentration will be in technology testing, equipment standards development, and overall technology research and development.


State and local capacity building requires listening to and working with the state and local communities and the entire emergency response community to formulate and guide program activities. OJP/OSLDPS works as a partner with those on the front lines of WMD response. This outreach takes two forms, meetings and conferences and assessments. OSLDPS has held several conferences - National Stakeholders Conference (August 1998 and May 1999), State Terrorism Policy Summit, Executive Session Series at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Regional Policy FY 2000 Conferences, and Executive Training meetings for the National Sheriffs' Association. The goal of OSLDPS' efforts is to focus policy makers on WMD issues.

In addition to working with the field, OSLDPS is committed to helping states and localities better understand their current states of readiness for a WMD event. Assessments are an essential means for doing this, for gathering information and understanding the current threats and risks, and for helping guide program direction and development, including decisions for prioritizing and allocating the resources (training, equipment, and exercises). Assessments ensure that measures taken to reduce vulnerabilities are justifiable and that resources are appropriately targeted. Formal assessments have been largely absent from most federal programs directed at addressing WMD terrorism. OSLDPS is changing that. During FY 1999, OSLDPS undertook a major, two-phase nationwide needs assessment. Phase I of this assessment entitled, Responding to Incidents of Domestic Terrorism: Assessing the Needs of State and Local Jurisdictions, was released in June 1999. Phase II of the report was released in March 2000.

OSLDPS is currently focused on these assessments at the state and local levels. As part of the OSLDPS FY 1999 State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program, states will be required to conduct individual needs and risk assessments and, using the information gathered, develop individual state strategies addressing issues of training, equipment, and technical assistance needs. These assessments, collectively known as the OSLDPS State Domestic Preparedness Equipment Program Needs Assessment and Strategy Development Initiative, will result in detailed information for each of the 50 states. In FY 1999, to assist states in completing this project, OSLDPS provided both planning grants and technical assistance, including assessment tools and instruments.

These OSLDPS state-based needs assessments are intended to provide a national survey of the current WMD response environment. Working closely with other federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the FBI, OSLDPS will engage city, county, and state emergency managers, law enforcement officers, and public health officials to help individual jurisdictions pinpoint vulnerabilities and develop plans for countering WMD terrorism. The assessment results will serve, not only as a roadmap for program planning, but also as a benchmark for measuring program effectiveness. Each state, as part of its responsibilities under the OSLDPS FY 1999 Equipment Program, will use the assessments as the basis for developing a Three-Year Strategy, which will be carried out in 2001. To facilitate the process, OSLDPS sponsored a series of regional workshops.


Training and Other Resources in the Field

The better state and local emergency response agencies are prepared to do their jobs, the better they can ensure public safety. For instance, evidence found at arson, bombing, and other incident sites is critical in identifying, charging, and ultimately convicting suspected criminals. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that the evidence is collected in a professional manner that will yield successful laboratory analyses. One way to ensure that is to follow sound protocols in investigations. To assist first responders - fire fighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical technicians - in locating, identifying, collecting, and preserving critical bombing and fire scene evidence, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) released two guidebooks: A Guide for Explosion and Bombing Scene Investigation and Fire and Arson Scene Evidence: A Guide for Public Safety Personnel. The reports were released in June 2000.

Both guides include information on the role of the first responders who arrive on the scene, as well as guidance in:

In addition, OSLDPS, in partnership with the FBI, is working on developing training courses for state and local emergency response personnel on evidence collection and preservation. Further, OSLDPS has developed two "pocket-sized" field aids, or "job aids," for distribution to emergency response personnel.

Identifying and Developing New Tools

In its Second Report of the President's Advisory Panel to Assess Domestic Response Capabilities for Terrorism Involving Weapons of Mass Destruction, the Gilmore Commission noted that "a national strategy for combating terrorism should emphasize programs and initiatives that build appropriately on existing state and local capabilities for other emergencies and disasters." Pursuant to the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-132), NIJ's Office of Science and Technology has been actively involved in providing public safety agencies with better tools to deal with such incidents, addressing both the unique needs of law enforcement and those shared with other types of public safety agencies.

Public safety agencies play a leading role in this effort by defining their requirements and testing the new tools being developed by NIJ and its technology partners. Partnering to take advantage of related research and development efforts is a major part of NIJ's development strategy. NIJ partners include: the Technical Support Working Group (TSWG), the Sandia National Laboratory, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the FBI, FEMA, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Other partners include: the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Dartmouth College's Institute for Security Technology Studies (ISTS), the Oklahoma Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT), and Eastern Kentucky University. NIJ's efforts are also coordinated with the National Domestic Preparedness Office (NDPO), OSLDPS, and the Interagency Board for Equipment Standardization and Interoperability - the responder community's forum for standards-related issues.

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