FBI hosts attack preparedness training in New Jersey

The FBI's Newark, N.J., field office hosted a training simulation of an attack on a public venue on Sunday.

Local law enforcement and first responders participated in the exercise, which was held at the Jersey Gardens outlet mall in Elizabeth, N.J. The FBI said that "every effort" was made to not interfere with the mall's normal operations. The public and media were advised to avoid the area during the simulation.

Participants in the exercise included the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New Jersey State Police and the Union County Prosecutor's Office.

"We are extremely enthusiastic about participating in this joint training exercise with partners including the FBI and local, county, state, and regional police and SWAT forces," acting Union County Prosecutor Grace H. Park said. "Union County features large hubs of transportation and commerce coordinated via ground, sea, and air, and that's why counterterrorism ranks high among our top priorities."

The simulation was the final phase of the FBI's Complex Mall Attack initiative, which was designed to improve preparedness in the face of an attack. Every FBI field office hosted discussions with state and local authorities in 2013 focusing on response and recovery efforts.

The FBI hosted another complex mall attack scenario in Oklahoma City, Okla., on April 29.