1. #1
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    Post French Test terror tactics

    PARIS (AP) - This much is known: The attack is to begin at
    midnight, when terrorists release deadly gas into the Paris subway.
    What's not so clear is whether France's security and rescue
    services are fully ready to respond. In an anti-terrorism exercise
    overnight Wednesday to Thursday, they'll find out.
    In the simulated attack near the Foreign Ministry, police said
    500 emergency services agents will be asked to pretend that
    terrorists have released sarin gas into the subway.
    Sarin, a deadly nerve agent developed by the Nazis in World War
    II, was used in a 1995 attack on the Tokyo subway by doomsday cult
    Aum Shinri Kyo that killed 12 people and sickened thousands.
    It was one of the worst acts of urban terrorism until the Sept.
    11, 2001, attacks in the United States.
    The fake chemical attack being staged in Paris will target the
    Invalides Metro and suburban train station. Tourists may know it:
    The station on the Seine's left bank is close to Les Invalides, a
    gold-domed former hospital that houses Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb.
    Pretend "victims" will be treated and decontaminated in
    special tents erected on a park next to the station, police
    officials said. In summer, Parisians flock to that park to sunbathe
    and play soccer. The station and park will be closed for the
    duration of the exercise, which is expected to last a maximum of
    five hours, ending before dawn Thursday.
    Officials are not releasing many details: They said they wanted
    to keep an element of surprise that would make the exercise more
    realistic for the fire, police, hospital and other officials who
    will rush to the scene.
    Police stressed that the simulation, which has been planned for
    months, was not being carried out because of a specific threat.
    Rather, it is designed to test plans prepared over the past two
    years for dealing with terror attacks involving nuclear, chemical
    or biological weapons.
    The exercise, the first of its kind in the French capital, comes
    less than a week after France reduced its terror alert status to
    the lowest level, signaling that the risk of attacks has receded.
    But officials and experts say France needs to remain on guard.
    Last December, French authorities dismantled what they said was
    a terror cell with ties to Chechen rebels and al-Qaida that planned
    bomb or toxic gas attacks in France and Russia.
    "It's about time we had one of these exercises," said Francois
    Heisbourg, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research
    think-tank. While France has proved itself capable of coping with
    natural disasters, it has not had to face terror attacks with mass
    destruction weapons.
    "It's one thing to be technically well prepared ... It's
    another to be operating in an urban environment, in very confined
    spaces, having to worry about people and traffic," Heisbourg said
    in a phone interview.
    Police in London underwent a similar exercise on the Underground
    there in September, decontaminating scores of "casualties" from a
    simulated chemical weapons attack.

    APTV 10-22-03 0207EDT
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
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    Post

    PARIS (AP) - Victims writhed in agony, police wrestled a
    suspected terrorist to the ground, deadly gas spread through the
    subway and rescue workers in white chemical suits rushed to the
    scene.
    Training for a nightmare officials hope will never come, but
    fear nonetheless, Paris police and rescue services carried out
    their first full-scale exercise Thursday to test their response to
    a chemical attack.
    The simulation started on time, just before midnight, with
    suspected terrorists spilling a liquid that simulated the release
    of gas in the Invalides Metro and suburban train station on Paris'
    Left Bank.
    Pretend victims, wearing signs around their necks which listed
    their symptoms, littered the platform and a train that had pulled
    in. The station is close to Les Invalides, a gold-domed former
    hospital that houses Napoleon Bonaparte's tomb.
    The imaginary attack, which was to involve 500 police and rescue
    service officers, illustrated the extent to which the French
    consider themselves a potential terrorist target. Over the past two
    years, police have dismantled alleged terror cells and uncovered
    potential attack plots.
    Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who was to attend the
    exercise, said the simulation came out of a request law enforcement
    had made to President Jacques Chirac.
    "This exercise is a way of being ready, even if there is no
    specific threat," he told the National Assembly on Wednesday.
    Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin was also scheduled to attend.
    The simulation will be followed by some 50 similar exercises
    around France next year, Sarkozy said.
    Trying to make the exercise as real as possible, police
    officials updated reporters on their progress as the simulation
    unfurled. After about an hour, police announced that tests had
    determined that the toxic gas had been identified as sarin. That
    was, of course, make-believe but sarin has already been proven to
    be a deadly threat.
    The nerve agent, developed by the Nazis, was used in a 1995
    attack on the Tokyo subway by doomsday cult Aum Shinri Kyo that
    killed 12 people and sickened thousands. The assault was one of the
    worst acts of urban terrorism until the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in
    the United States.
    Police said the simulation, which has been in the works for
    months, was designed to test a plan, dubbed Piratox, put in place
    last year for dealing with a terror attacks with chemical weapons.
    France also has plans for dealing with attacks with biological and
    nuclear weapons.
    The exercise, the first of its kind in the French capital, comes
    less than a week after France reduced its terror alert status to
    the lowest level, signaling that the risk of attacks has receded.
    But officials and experts say France needs to remain on guard.
    Last December, French authorities dismantled what they said was
    a terror cell with ties to Chechen rebels and al-Qaida that planned
    bomb or toxic gas attacks in France and Russia.
    "It's about time we had one of these exercises," said Francois
    Heisbourg, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research
    think-tank. While France has proved itself capable of coping with
    natural disasters, it has not had to deal with terror attacks with
    mass destruction weapons.
    "It's one thing to be technically well prepared ... It's
    another to be operating in an urban environment, in very confined
    spaces, having to worry about people and traffic," Heisbourg said
    in a phone interview.
    Police in London staged a similar exercise on the Underground
    there in September, decontaminating scores of "casualties" from a
    simulated chemical weapons attack.

    (Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
    Proudly serving as the IACOJ Minister of Information & Propoganda!
    Be Safe! Lookouts-Awareness-Communications-Escape Routes-Safety Zones

    *Gathering Crust Since 1968*
    On the web at www.section2wildfire.com

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