The United States will test this month its preparedness for a large scale terrorist attack with a dirty bomb.
“TOPOFF 4″ (Top Official 4), as the exercise is called, will be held between October 15-20.
The test will be a massive simulated attack and involve setting off fake “dirty bombs” combined with conventional explosives and radioactive material in three locations: Oregon in the northwest, Arizona in the southwest and the US Pacific island territory of Guam.
“For TOPOFF 4, approximately 15,000 federal, state, territorial and local officials will participate in a robust, full-scale response to a multi-faceted terrorist threat,” Schrader told the committee in a statement obtained by AFP.
It will “accurately simulate a truly national response to these major terrorist incidents” by emergency response teams, medical units, police forces and top government officials who will have to make difficult decisions to save lives.
The latest such exercise, “TOPOFF3,” was held in April 2005 and involved simultaneous terrorist attacks in Connecticut and New Jersey.
Because of recent new stories, people have expressed concern about the possibility of a terrorist attack involving radioactive materials, possibly through the use of a “dirty bomb,” and the harmful effects of radiation from such an event. The National Terror Alert Response Center has prepared a fact sheet to help you understand what a dirty bomb is and how it may affect you in an actual terrorist strike.