Tags: U.S. | Making | Plans | Counter | Domestic | Terror | Attacks

U.S. Making Plans to Counter Domestic Terror Attacks

Monday, 08 August 2005 12:00 AM

The crisis scenarios range from relatively modest crowd-control missions to a full-scale response to catastrophic attacks, such as the release of a biological agent or the explosion of a radiological device.

Some scenarios anticipate dealing with three attacks at the same time, according to the Post.

The plans indicate an historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to participate in domestic operations and is legally barred from taking part in law enforcement within the U.S.

Officials told the Post that the troops would for the most part play a supporting role in emergencies, backing up police, firefighters and other response groups. But the officials acknowledge the likelihood that troops will have to take charge in certain situations that could overwhelm civilian resources.

The National Guard would be the primary military force called into action to deal with the crises. But the Northcom commander can also call on active-duty forces. Adm. Timothy J. Keating, the head of Northcom, has immediate access to four active-duty Army battalions based around the country.

NewsMax.com reported in early July that secret plans being considered by the Pentagon could lead to a relaxation of the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act's restrictions on using U.S. military forces to enforce laws within the country.

The use of ground troops to respond to terrorist attacks, as envisioned in the new war plans, would most likely be justified by the president's authority under Article 2 of the Constitution to serve as commander in chief and protect the nation, according to the Post.

And National Guard troops, acting under state control, are exempt from Posse Comitatus restrictions.

Said James Carafano, who follows homeland security issues for the Heritage Foundation: "For the Pentagon to acknowledge that it would have to respond to catastrophic attacks and needs a plan was a big step."

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The crisis scenarios range from relatively modest crowd-control missions to a full-scale response to catastrophic attacks, such as the release of a biological agent or the explosion of a radiological device. Some scenarios anticipate dealing with three attacks at the...
U.S.,Making,Plans,Counter,Domestic,Terror,Attacks
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2005-00-08
Monday, 08 August 2005 12:00 AM
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