NC officials prepare for terrorist attack

February 3, 2010 10:02:20 AM PST
Some of North Carolina's elected officials gathered for a terrorism response drill Wednesday at the RBC Center in Raleigh.

Officials want to show they can work together in the event of a terrorist attack.

The drill focused on what would happen if someone disrupted the state's infrastructure and other key resources.

Law officers, health experts and high level state authorities learned ways to combat domestic terrorism. "You can't be too prepared," Gov. Beverly Perdue said. "We saw what happened over Christmas, we know what the national leaders are telling us about the likelihood of an attack."

The brainstorming session followed Tuesday's warning from the federal government.

"They said three to six months, some kind of incident was likely," Perdue said. "And I've never heard folks be that bold. So this morning is critically important to us."

The drill was so critical that no cameras or recording devices were allowed when the group began discussing ways to bolster security.

The Governor said NC already benefits from the State's work.

"The work that's being done by our Terrorism Task Force and through the resources of the Attorney General, is critical work," Perdue said. "We have had a long standing partnership with the federal agencies and the FBI."

That partnership resulted in very high profile arrests last year of suspected homegrown terrorists.

"We have assisted with investigations of the FBI, the US Attorney's Office and other Federal agencies that have led to the arrests of those alleged to be plotting terrorist act," NC Attorney General Roy Cooper said.

The Governor says the bottom line is "North Carolina has always been prepared, and we will be prepared, if something happens here."

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety were the lead agencies in the exercise.

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