January 19, 2005- Markey Calls for Security Upgrades for "Dirty Bomb" Materials

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the Homeland Security Committee, today issued the following statement in response to reports of an alleged terrorist attack in Boston using dangerous materials.

“These reports of a terrorist plan to attack Boston remain unconfirmed and uncorroborated. Nevertheless, this incident highlights the importance of having a much stronger system in place to prevent or cope with the problem of explosive materials that could be used in a dirty bomb. Press reports have suggested that so-called ‘nuclear oxide’ may be an ingredient that terrorists planned to use to attack Boston. If that is true, these reports are another reminder that we need to secure the many unguarded sources of radiological materials that are too readily available to a potential terrorist. We also need to provide local and state officials the training and resources they will need should they ever face a dirty bomb attack.

“Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has tried to eliminate the primary federal government program intended to provide funding to state and local first responders so that they can develop plans to coordinate their efforts in event of a terrorist attack using a dirty bomb. We must increase security surrounding radioactive materials that could be used by terrorists to develop radiological dispersion devices, or so-called “dirty bombs”.

“I hope this alleged plot remains not only unconfirmed, but also unrealized. I also hope, that this report triggers renewed interest by the Bush Administration in addressing the dirty bomb problem boldly and comprehensively.”

January 19, 2005

 CONTACT: Mark Bayer
David Moulton