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The goal is to protect more cities against dirty bombs

Washington (DC) In a unanimous vote, the House Committee on Homeland Security passed this week H.R. 2611, a measure which would authorize the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Securing the Cities’ (STC) initiative. The bill includes an amendment offered by Congressman Al Green (TX-09) that would expand the scope of the STC program to include at least two additional cities in the program.

Launched in 2006, STC is a unified effort among federal, state and local law enforcement in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to defend against the threat of a radiological or nuclear device. Currently, STC only operates in New York City and its surrounding areas.

“While New York City may remain a prime target for terrorist activity, other densely populated areas and those housing a lot of critical infrastructure should also be protected from dirty bombs to the best of our ability. My amendment would benefit even more high-risk urban areas by providing the necessary resources to detect and intercept illicit radiological material before it could be used in a weapon by would-be terrorists,” said Congressman Green.

STC builds “rings” around New York City to provide a layered defense against the smuggling of a nuclear weapon. The basis of the program is that, the more law enforcement officials are on the lookout for nuclear material outside of New York City, the better chance law enforcement has to prevent a successful nuclear attack.

“Same as New York City, Houston is among the highest threatened cities in the nation. Our region is extremely dense with critical infrastructure assets, including our large energy and petrochemical sectors. By replicating the success of STC in more places like Houston or Los Angeles, we can bolster law enforcement capabilities to combat potential terrorist activity and protect our communities,” concluded Congressman Green.

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