Freeh: U.S. Can Cope with Terrorism

Article excerpt

FBI Director Louis J. Freeh told a Senate subcommittee yesterday that the government is prepared to combat the threat of biological and chemical terrorism within the United States with the necessary resources to "anticipate, prevent wherever possible, and resolve terrorist acts."

Mr. Freeh told the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on technology, terrorism and government information that the Justice Department was working with other agencies, including the Defense Department, to coordinate domestic guidelines for operational responsibilities in responding to a terrorist threat or act within the United States.

"The potential consequences of a single act of terrorism can be absolutely enormous," he said, noting the death and destruction that resulted from the bombings of the World Trade Center in New York and the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.

"Yet each of those terrorist tragedies was carried out using conventional explosives technology," he said. "As chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction become more accessible, we face the potential of even more catastrophic acts of terrorism."

Subcommittee Chairman Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, said a classified intelligence briefing on Tuesday painted what he described as a "sobering picture of growing proliferation networks, aggressive [chemical and biological warfare] development programs, and increasing levels of violence and lethality associated with terrorism. …