November 25, 2005

Interpol, UN to test attack readiness

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - Interpol will hold a global
simulation under the auspices of the United Nations to test the
world's readiness to deal with a natural disaster or terrorist
attack, a top official said on Friday.

"Basically it's looking at what we think will be a real
incident, then having a real time response," Lord John Stevens,
head of Interpol's Strategic Advisory Panel, told Reuters.

The 10-member panel of senior figures in international law
enforcement is meeting in Cape Town to help chart a global
police response to security threats.

Earlier this week, Interpol Secretary-General Ronald Noble
said there was a real risk of an international biochemical
attack, while security officials remain on high alert for bomb
attacks following recent incidents in Britain, Bali and Egypt.

Stevens, a former London police chief, said the panel had
unanimously endorsed the proposed exercise, which was likely to
happen in New York early next year.

Representatives from police forces and international
organizations such as the World Health Organization and Civil
Aviation Authority would take part.

"This will be the first time ... that we will have a
world-wide link into a table-top exercise ... it will certainly
be next year and perhaps even in the first part of next year,"
Stevens said.

All the lessons that had been learned from last year's
Indian Ocean tsunami and from the attacks in New York, London
and Bali would be tested again to enhance the response to
future events, he said.