DHS official discusses nuclear terrorism prevention at congressional hearing

Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) Huban Gowadia detailed radiological prevention and preparation efforts on June 12 at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Gowadia described DNDO's focus on the prevention of nuclear terrorism as distinct from that of DHS, which focuses on all manner of threats. DNDO utilizes intelligence, law enforcement and technology to detect and interdict nuclear threats.

"In doing so, we apply detection technologies in intelligence-cued searches conducted by well-trained law enforcement and public safety officials," Gowadia said. "Contributions from our state and local partners are vital to the domestic component of the global nuclear detection architecture."

Gowadia cited specific examples of DNDO's work with state and local partners, including the development of radiological and nuclear detection programs in 29 states, as well as the Securing Cities program, which has created regional detection programs in the New York/New Jersey and Los Angeles/Long Beach areas.

DNDO also created a standardized system for training state and local law enforcement officials to recognize indicators of terrorism-related activity and deployed 70 Homeland Secure Data Network systems to jurisdictions throughout the U.S. to distribute classified information at the local level.

Gowadia stressed the continued use of technology, information and training to protect the U.S. from radiological and nuclear terrorism.