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E-mail From Washington

From: Jamie McIntyre/CNN Military Affairs Correspondent
In: Washington
Posted: 4-30-97

Subject: Cohen Discusses Chemical, Biological Terrorism Threat

U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen said today the the United States has "a long way to go" in its ability to respond to the threat posed by chemical and biological terrorism.

Referring to the recent "bio-terrorism" scare in Washington, D.C., Cohen said, "That's precisely the reason that we have instituted the program to select some 120 cities to help coordinate activities at the local level. The [Defense] department is now in the process of helping to integrate, oversee the nature of how we can integrate these programs, training literally, helping to identify what these toxins might be, what the chemical might be, how to move them safely and treat them.

Cohen continued, "All of that takes a good deal of planning. We are now in the initial stages of that planning, we have a long way to go, but we have a program underway. We're going to do some of it this year and some if it next year and it's important we proceed with it quite vigorously."

Cohen's remarks came at a photo session with visiting Danish Defense Minister Hans Haekkerup.

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