What Does Bin Laden's Death Mean for Chemical Security?
By now the whole world has heard about the death of the world's most well-known terrorist - Osama Bin Laden. His demise ends an era for many Americans who suffered great losses during the 9/11 attacks, for those who put themselves at risk working at ground zero searching and cleaning up and for all of our men and women in the armed forces who have supported the search for Bin Laden and the War on Terrorism. We have heard how Bin Laden's hiding place was identified and how the attack was planned and carried out. The question is what now? How will this change how we deal with terrorism?
No doubt, overall we are safer without the infamous Al Qaeda leader in the world. But, in the short run we will have to be very vigilant and extra cautious. For a very few, death may make Bin Laden a martyr. Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, the committee that is considering new CFATS legislation, said that he feared the possibility of a "lone wolf" type terrorist conducting an attack as revenge for the death of Bin Laden. For those of us in the chemical industry, we will have to make sure we are taking the necessary precautions. We will need to be on our guard. Security measures are being heightened in transportation, public areas and government installations.
Bin Laden may be gone, but there will be others behind him. Maybe not as effective, but we will have to continue the work we all started after 9/11 and that is protecting our infrastructure from terrorism and malicious attacks. Undoubtedly, there will be some changes in the way we approach terrorism and the legislation we pass, but I don't think we will see a lot of change in how chemical security and CFATS are handled. The industry has made great strides in taking on the responsibility to harden chemical facilities and make them safer and more secure. Those are all positive changes that have made facilities and the surrounding communities safer and better protected.
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