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The Long War

May 3, 2011

(cc) JC Shepard

Homeland Security came into our hazard mitigation vocabulary after the horrors of 11 September 2001.  Many of us involved in mitigating the effects of natural hazards, such as flooding and drought, tornadoes and wildfire, found a world of technological hazards added to our mitigation mission.  We’ve taken on activity to prevent or minimize effects of infectious disease and meth labs and domestic and international terrorism.

This week, close to 10 long years of the war on terror yielded a victory for light and hope.  This long war is not over.  We can not slack in our vigilance.  However, it is a good time to take a long breath, revisit our mitigation plans and activities, and hope for a better tomorrow.

NATIONAL DOMESTIC PREPAREDNESS COALITION (NDPCI) is a 501(c) 3, non-profit organization that was
established shortly after the September 11th, 2001 attacks, created by responders for responders.

Today, an FBI and the Department of Homeland Security joint bulletin to law enforcement obtained
by CBS warned of possible retaliation from the killing of Osama bin Laden.  The bulletin notes that
federal law enforcement officials are more concerned about possible retribution from "homegrown
violent extremists" than organized plots from al-Qaeda. They say they expect to see an increase in
"violent extremist rhetoric calling for retaliation".  Law enforcement notes that there are "no
indicators of advanced al-Qaida plotting in the United States," but they caution, "the remaining
members of al-Qaida core could accelerate any ongoing plotting..."  The bulletin indicates law
enforcement believes the two most active al-Qaeda affiliates capable of planning an attack are 
alQaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and an "ally" of Al Qaeda Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
which they note is responsible for the May 1, 2010 attempted car bombing in Times Square.

The U.S. forces who killed Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad compound were more than expert
marksmen. Some of them were forensics experts as well, using sophisticated tools to ensure that they
got the right man.  Speaking at a White House briefing, counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said
he had “99 percent” certainty the commando team killed bin Laden, thanks to “facial recognition,
[his] height, [and] an initial DNA analysis.”  The initial DNA analysis appears to have been done far
from the scene, by “CIA and other specialists in the intelligence community” on Monday, according
to an intelligence official who briefed Pentagon reporters, and it returned a “virtually 100 percent
DNA match.”  Press reports say the DNA used to identify bin Laden may have come from one of his
sisters, who allegedly died at Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital. (However, hospital
spokeswoman Katie Marquedant wouldn’t confirm this, telling Danger Room, “We have no
information at all.”)

Be prepared.

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