Bush creates new office to fight domestic terrorism

President Bush announced plans Tuesday to counter weapons of mass destruction through a new Office of National Preparedness at the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Bush ordered FEMA Director Joe Allbaugh to create the new office, which will coordinate all federal programs dealing with terrorist threats and incidents involving weapons of mass destruction. Vice President Dick Cheney will oversee the effort. "Prudence dictates that the United States be fully prepared to deal effectively with the consequences of such a weapon being used here on our soil," the President said. In February, FEMA teamed up with five federal agencies to develop the Interagency Domestic Terrorism Concept of Operations Plan, which outlines how the federal government intends to respond to terrorism, particularly acts that involve chemical or biological weapons. It also provides guidance for federal, state and local agencies on preparing for and dealing with potential threats and incidents. The FBI and the Departments of Defense, Energy and Health and Human Services, along with the Environmental Protection Agency are also involved in the plan. The development of the new office will have no direct impact on the Concept of Operations Plan, according to Marc Wolfson, a spokesman on domestic terrorism for FEMA. "The vice president has been asked to lead this effort and they are going to be looking at everything," Wolfson said. "I'm sure they will be looking at that plan." On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary began a series of hearings to examine the efforts of more than 40 different federal agencies with responsibility for combating domestic terrorism. In a written statement released prior to the hearings, Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., the committee's chairman, expressed concern about the nation's level of preparedness for such attacks. "Our lack of preparedness stems in part from the inability, and sometimes unwillingness, of the federal agencies to coordinate their efforts," Gregg said. The General Accounting Office released a report in March that found that government agencies are better prepared to respond to terrorist attacks because of FEMA's guidance.
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.