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FBI, NYPD conduct "realistic" nuclear disaster drill

Using what New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said was a “realistic training environment,” about 400 NYPD officers, some 300 FBI agents and analysts, as well as “an elite unit of federal weapons experts,” (probably a NEST team but reports have not specifically indicated their participation) took part in a counterterrorism exercise late Tuesday night that snarled traffic and caused confusion and frustration among motorists.

The New York Daily News reported that “cops and agents used radiation detection equipment to find an undercover police SUV carrying the bogus bomb.”

Operating as if they had “received a tip that someone was driving around the city with a weapon of mass destruction,” officers and agents fanned out with portable radiation devices in hand, looking for the suspect vehicle.

Despite a few angry commuters, the training appears to have been a success — FBI and NYPD are presently conducting an after-action assessment of the exercise.

The Associated Press said that there have been “no specific threats against New York City” but that law enforcement at the federal and local level have “repeatedly warned that the city remains atop terrorists’ hit lists — and that a radiological or nuclear device could be in their arsenal.”

Joseph Demarest, head of the FBI’s New York office said in that AP story, “It's something we're very concerned about.”

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