Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Another Chlorine Bomb Attack in Iraq

Al Qaeda continues to work on the "chlorine truck bomb" attack:

Insurgents with two chlorine truck bombs attacked a local government building in Falluja in western Iraq on Wednesday, the latest in a string of attacks using the poisonous gas, the U.S. military said.

It said 15 Iraqi and U.S. soldiers were wounded in the blasts and many more suffered chlorine poisoning.

"Numerous Iraqi soldiers and policemen are being treated for symptoms such as labored breathing, nausea, skin irritation and vomiting that are synonymous with chlorine inhalation," a U.S. statement said.

U.S. commanders and the Iraqi government have blamed al Qaeda militants for several recent attacks using chlorine gas in Anbar.

The U.S. military said it discovered an al Qaeda car bomb factory last month near Falluja with chlorine tanks.
Given the wide availability of chlorine in the U.S., a chlorine attack may be attractive to jihadists if and when they decide to attack the U.S. again. They wouldn't have to import anything - they could just use what's already here, just as they did on 9/11. The fact that they keep trying chlorine attacks in Iraq suggests that they see a strategic benefit from this type of attack, and they want to refine their methods. They also share information on tactics and methods over the Internet, so any successes in Iraq could be replicated elsewhere.

Here are a few questions for local homeland security professionals:
  • Where are the stocks of chlorine or other dangerous chemicals in your area?
  • What healthcare resources are available if an attack like this were to happen?
  • Are first responders prepared for this type of event?
See this post and this post on the earlier chlorine attacks in Iraq.

No comments: