Napolitano says bioterrorism an increasing risk

Janet Napolitano, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, recently made remarks prior to the joint meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe about forming a partnership against terrorism.  

Napolitano said that the DHS and OSCE have the opportunity to strengthen a partnership that could improve the abilities of both organizations to combat terrorism. She also said that of all the threats that face the two organizations, the changing sectors of terrorism, crime and biological weapons may be the most urgent.  

"Of the many challenges we share, I believe there are none more pressing than the evolving transnational threats that we confront, including threats from: terrorism and organized violent crime; narcotics smuggling and human trafficking; the proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons; and the emerging threats from cyberspace,” Napolitano said.

Napolitano said that the DHS will participate in future seminars planned by the OSCE and the U.N. Office of Disarmament affairs that will bolster the defense against those building weapons of mass destruction. She said the DHS looks forward to participating in future partnerships with the OSCE to increase cross-border interdiction efforts against the spread of WMD. Napolitano stressed that only by working together can the two organizations most effectively stop these and other transnational threats.

“Given the evolving nature of the threats we face today – from terrorism and organized crime to weapons smuggling, human trafficking, and cyber attacks – the expertise and adaptability of the OSCE and its tools become vitally important,” Napolitano said. “These threats are real, and threaten us all. They demand our vigilance, including vigilance in the protections of the values we cherish. They demand our willingness to learn and adapt. And they demand our continued cooperation. The United States shares the goal of combating transnational threats, and we share a common commitment to comprehensive security. We believe the OSCE offers an ideal platform for enhanced cooperation, particularly with our European, Russian, Central Asian, and Afghan partners, to ensure our common security.”