HC Deb 20 May 2004 vol 421 cc1130-1W
Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what role officials from(a) his Department, (b) the Home Security Services and (c) members of the Joint Terrorism Control Unit played in the simulation exercise to counter nuclear-armed terrorists carried out at the NATO headquarters on 4 May; and what assessment he has made of its applicability to situations in the United Kingdom. [172313]

Mr. MacShane

I have been asked to reply.

Officials from the Cabinet Office represented the UK Government at a seminar hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Brussels on 3 May. In total, over 55 officials and experts from 15 countries and half a dozen international bodies were present at the event.

The seminar addressed issues associated with the terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction in Europe, and focussed on the means by which terrorists might be prevented from acquiring and using such weapons.

The Government already has an extensive programme to develop our ability to manage threats posed by terrorism. This includes regularly-reviewed preparations to deal with the consequences of a Chemical/Biological/Radiological/Nuclear (CBRN) attack. The Government also takes seriously the threat posed by poorly secured CBRN material, and has worked with others to improve security in countries holding such material.

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