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Homeland Security

CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS POSE THREAT (House of Representatives - March 21, 1995)
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The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 4, 1995, the gentleman from Alabama [Mr. Browder] is recognized during morning business for 5 minutes.

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Mr. BROWDER. Mr. Speaker, I was not surprised by yesterday's nerve agent incident in Tokyo. Now I am concerned about what might happen here in the United States.

Let me read, Mr. Speaker, from a special inquiry which I chaired in 1993 dealing with the growing threat of chemical and biological weapons. One of our conclusions was,

The prospects for chemical and biological terrorism have probably increased as terrorists and sponsors of terrorism acquire chemical and biological warfare agents and weapons. As a consequence, the possibility of terrorist use of such agents against the United States or one of its allies cannot be discounted and should not be ignored. The United States should strengthen emergency planning to respond to a potential terrorist use of chemical or biological weapons.

Well-trained and equipped military personnel can survive and fight a chemical war, but civilians cannot deal with chemical attack. Chemical weapons have been called the poor man's atom bomb because they are cheap and easy to make and because civilians are thoroughly panicked by chemical weapons.

Look at today's headlines.

The Washington Post, `Nations Unready To Thwart Mass Poisoning.'

The Washington Times, `Subway Gassing Called a Preview of Terrorist Future.'

USA Today, `Transit System Alert Urged. Officials Fear Copycat of Japanese Gas Attack.'

The New York Daily News says, `New York's Subway Riders' Nightmare. We Have No Plan.'

Mr. Speaker, it is only a matter of time before terrorists, extortionists or deranged individuals and groups targeted Americans. That is why I am asking American defense intelligence and emergency preparedness officials to tell me and the American people just what our Government is doing to prepare for chemical and biological terrorism here in the United States.


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