31 March 2004
SANTANDER – There is a greater risk of terrorists using nuclear, bacteriological or chemical weapons after the 11 March atrocity, the head of the bomb squad admitted Wednesday.
Juan Jesús Sánchez Manzano, head of the Nuclear, Bacteriological or Chemcial risk unit, spoke of the “real threat” concerning these substances in future terrorist attacks.
The unit is scheduled to begin training security forces and civil protection units in the northern region of Cantabria, so they will know how to react and which protocols to follow in the event of a nuclear, chemical or bacteriological risk alarm.
In a presentation in Santander in north-west Spain, Sánchez Manzano referred to the recent bombings in Madrid to highlight the importance of coordinated efforts, which made it possible for the situation in Madrid to return to relative normality.
He also insisted that a central command unit is fundamental in these situations to make decisions concerning the combined security forces, although each one adheres to its own chain of command.
Sánchez Manzano feels NBC risk training is necessary because the procedure employed is similar when faced with a bomb threat, and because bomb squad agents know how to react in dangerous situations.
Until now, the most significant NBC risk took place in 2001, after envelopes containing anthrax were discovered in US post offices in the months following the terrorist attacks in New York.
At the time, Spanish police specialists examined a million suspicious postal deliveries, although they all turned out to be false alarms.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news