In New York City there may soon appear a team of experts on weapons of mass destruction.
The city is considered the United States' No. 1 target for terrorists.
Known as a Civil Support Team and made up of 22 members of the Army and Air Force National Guard, the "elite terror response team" would be on call for any crisis involving chemical, biological or radiological agents that could inflict mass casualties. The move still needs approval and money from Congress.
Republican representatives Vito Fossella and Peter King announced the move. A similar team has existed in New York state since 2001 and has responded more than 60 times to incidents, but officials decided it was not enough to cover the entire state. Fifty-five such teams exist around the United States.
New York's Congressional delegation has complained vigorously to the administration of President George W. Bush that homeland security money was going to states where the actual terrorist threat was minimal compared to New York, where the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks killed nearly 2,800 people.
"While we have not been attacked since 9-11, we must be prepared for any possible scenario," Fossella said.
In a WMD-related crisis, the response team uses a mobile laboratory to identify chemical, biological or radiological contaminants and toxic substances, offers medical and technical expertise and establishes communications links with other agencies.
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