Cover Image

PAPERBACK
$54.25



View/Hide Left Panel

The Role of Science and Technology in Homeland Security and Countering Terrorism: Overview of Key Activities at the National Academies1

Wm. A. Wulf

National Academy of Engineering

PREFACE

This document provides an overview of National Academies’ activities that are relevant to various aspects of homeland security and countering terrorism, particularly catastrophic acts of terrorism. A longer report summarizes a number of individual reports; here we only list their titles.

While much of the National Academies’ work—as well as interest in that work—has occurred since September 11, 2001, this paper includes relevant studies and other activities many years before that infamous date. This summary also identifies activities other than studies resulting in academy reports, such as workshops, roundtables, and colloquia that have been and are currently being carried out across the National Academies in this area. Finally, a number of activities in the advanced planning stages are identified.

Many of these activities were spawned directly or indirectly by the delivery of the June 2002 National Academies report, Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism.2

This summary is not exhaustive, especially as to planning efforts. However, it is extensive, including many of the past, present, and planned efforts across the National Academies in these important areas.

1

Activities as of May 2004.

2

NRC Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism. 2002. Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop The Role of Science and Technology in Homeland Security and Countering Terrorism: Overview of Key Activities at the National Academies1 Wm. A. Wulf National Academy of Engineering PREFACE This document provides an overview of National Academies’ activities that are relevant to various aspects of homeland security and countering terrorism, particularly catastrophic acts of terrorism. A longer report summarizes a number of individual reports; here we only list their titles. While much of the National Academies’ work—as well as interest in that work—has occurred since September 11, 2001, this paper includes relevant studies and other activities many years before that infamous date. This summary also identifies activities other than studies resulting in academy reports, such as workshops, roundtables, and colloquia that have been and are currently being carried out across the National Academies in this area. Finally, a number of activities in the advanced planning stages are identified. Many of these activities were spawned directly or indirectly by the delivery of the June 2002 National Academies report, Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism.2 This summary is not exhaustive, especially as to planning efforts. However, it is extensive, including many of the past, present, and planned efforts across the National Academies in these important areas. 1 Activities as of May 2004. 2 NRC Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism. 2002. Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop INTRODUCTION The horrific events of September 11, 2001, overshadowed much in all of our lives for many months following. Many in the science and technology community have held that while advanced technology often is used as an instrument of terrorism, technological tools can also be a vital source of prevention and deterrence of, and defense against, acts and agents of terrorism. The National Academies responded to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in several ways. First, the presidents of the National Academies at the time, including National Academy of Sciences (NAS) President Bruce Alberts,3 National Academy of Engineering (NAE) President Wm. A.Wulf, and Institute of Medicine (IOM) President Kenneth Shine,4 convened a meeting of leaders from the science, technology, and health care communities with leading former government officials to consider initiatives that might be carried out by the National Academies that would benefit the nation. This meeting, the Presidents’ Meeting on Countering Terrorism, was convened on September 26, 2001, just two weeks after the terrorist attacks. A number of key activities resulted from the presidents’ meeting, the most prominent of which was the initiation of a major National Academies’ fast-track study, A Science and Technology Agenda for Countering Terrorism, aimed at defining very quickly (within six months) a research agenda for enhancing the role of science and technology in countering terrorism in the United States. That study resulted in the previously mentioned landmark report, Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism. That report was used prominently in developing the legislation establishing the mission, structure, and other features of the Science and Technology Directorate in what was to become the U.S. cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security (DHS). As the U.S. government began to implement various measures for homeland security, the implications for the scientific and engineering community became clearer, and in October 2002 the presidents of the National Academies issued a statement on behalf of the National Academies, “Science and Security in an Age of Terrorism.”5 In addition, as federal agencies began reorganizing activities in waging the war on terrorism, including the 22 agencies that would ultimately comprise DHS, the new focus in government precipitated a variety of other activities across the National Academies. These complemented the significant number of relevant 3 Bruce Alberts’ term as NAS president was from July 1, 1993–June 30, 2005, and he was succeeded by Ralph J. Cicerone on July 1, 2005. 4 Kenneth Shine’s term as IOM president concluded on June 30, 2002, and former Harvard University Provost Harvey Fineberg was appointed the IOM’s seventh president, beginning a six-year term on July 1, 2002. 5 Available on the National Academies Web site: www.nationalacademies.org.

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop National Research Council (NRC) projects that predated the events of September 11, 2001, including completed reports and work under way. As a result, there is now a very substantial portfolio of relevant products, projects, and other activities, including the continuing initiation of new work to aid the nation’s response to the threat of catastrophic terrorism. This document summarizes the current portfolio of completed reports, other products, current projects, projects in preparation, and other efforts in support of government agencies and other sponsors. COMPLETED REPORTS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES Some of the activities initiated at the National Academies in recent years have been aimed at providing immediate near-term advice to the government, some refocused ongoing efforts to better meet the needs of federal agencies after September 11, 2001, and some were aimed at helping design a long-term agenda for the role of science and technology in countering catastrophic terrorism. The list is long and growing. A Science and Technology Agenda for Countering Terrorism This keystone project, noted earlier, initiated in the weeks following September 11, 2001, was aimed at helping the federal government, and more specifically the Executive Office of the President through the Office of Science and Technology Policy and Office of Homeland Security, to use effectively the nation’s and the world’s scientific and technical community in a timely response to the threat of catastrophic terrorism. A committee of distinguished scientists and engineers, supported by similarly distinguished panels, developed an integrated science and technology program plan and research strategy. In all, 164 distinguished and knowledgeable individuals, comprising 24 committee members, 94 members of the supporting panels, and 46 expert reviewers, contributed to the effort, which was sponsored entirely by internal resources from the National Academies. The final report, Making the Nation Safer: The Role of Science and Technology in Countering Terrorism, was released in June 2002. The report provides a framework for the application of science and technology for combating terrorism and proposes research agendas in nine key domains: biological; chemical; nuclear and radiological; information technology; transportation; energy facilities, cities, and fixed infrastructure; behavioral, social, and institutional issues; robotics; and systems analysis and engineering. Through its influence on the programs and planning within government agencies that have responsibilities for homeland security and countering terrorism, this report has provided the context for many of the follow-on efforts described in this document.

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop Near-term Assistance to the U.S. Government To provide timely assistance on those urgent topics where the government needs immediate assistance, the National Academies initiated a new kind of activity. The National Academies’ management and staff called upon and continue to call upon a formidable network of scientific, engineering, and health expertise to arrange one-day meetings between scientific experts and government representatives in areas where urgent knowledge was being sought by government agencies. Although no written reports have been produced and no formal advice is provided, the dialogue has proved to be very beneficial to federal agencies, especially the interagency Technical Support Working Group (TSWG) on counterterrorism, the intelligence community, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Postal Service, and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The meetings arranged to date in the areas of homeland security and countering terrorism include the following agencies and topics: Postal Service on sanitizing the mail (November 14, 2001) FAA on analyzing human factors for the FAA’s sky marshal program (December 5–6, 2001) DOJ on analyzing the anthrax-infected letter to Senator Leahy (December 7, 2001) TSWG on surveying the state of the art on biological and chemical forensics (December 11, 2001) TSWG on surveying the state of the art on biological and chemical decontamination (December 14, 2001) TSWG on through-structure imaging and explosives detection (March 26, 2002) GAO on biometric identification (April 25–26, 2002) and on privacy concerns and policy implications of new biometric technologies (May 16–17, 2002) Federal Bureau of Investigation on high-performance computing (September 4–5, 2002) GAO on assessment of cybersecurity technologies for critical infrastructure protection (October 1–2, 2003) GAO on assessment of DHS/Transportation Security Administration (TSA) transportation security research and development (March 2, 2004) GAO on security efforts for federal real property (March 4–5, 2004) Some of these efforts have led to more extensive National Academies projects.

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop Reports Available from the National Academies Press In response to requests by government agencies, the National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine have initiated new activities and called upon a substantial body of work already completed. Many of these requests and responses are designed to result in traditional NRC or IOM committee reports. The following compilation is a collection of reports and other documents relevant to the subjects of homeland security and countering terrorism that are available from the National Academies Press.6 The documents are grouped in general chronological order, but substantively span the following five principal areas, although many of these reports (and other activities) cover more than one topic area. The principal areas covered are the following: critical infrastructure protection detection and mitigation of catastrophic terrorist threats, including radiological and nuclear, chemical, biological, and explosives border and transportation security information analysis, management, and infrastructure protection threat and vulnerability, testing, and assessment, including addressing the root causes of terrorism, coping with new risks, emergency preparedness and response, and international issues Reports Published in 2004 Forensic Analysis: Weighing Bullet Lead Evidence Distribution and Administration of Potassium Iodide in the Event of a Nuclear Incident Advanced Energetic Materials Improving the Characterization Program for Contact-Handled Transuranic Waste Bound for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism University Research Centers of Excellence for Homeland Security: Summary Report of a Workshop The Mathematical Sciences’ Role in Homeland Security: Proceedings of a Workshop Advancing Prion Science: Guidance for the National Prion Research Program Summary of the Power Systems Workshop on Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community: October 9-10, 2003, Washington, D.C. 6 Either in printed form from the National Academies Press or the Joseph Henry Press, or available on the National Academies Press Web site at http://www.nap.edu. The Terrorism and Security Collection may be viewed at http://www.nap.edu/collections/terror/index/html.

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop Overcoming Impediments to U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation: Report of a Joint Workshop Terrorism—Reducing Vulnerabilities and Improving Responses: Proceedings of a U.S.-Russian Workshop Reports Published in 2003 Review of EPA Homeland Security Efforts: Safe Buildings Program Research Implementation Plan A Review of the EPA Water Security Research and Technical Support Action Plan: Parts I and II Assuring the Safety of the Pentagon Mail: Letter Report Preparing for the Psychological Consequences of Terrorism: A Public Health Strategy Cybersecurity of Freight Information Systems: A Scoping Study—Special Report 274 Who Goes There? Authentication Through the Lens of Privacy An Assessment of Non-Lethal Weapons Science and Technology Science and Technology for Army Homeland Security: Report I ISC Security Design Criteria for New Federal Office Buildings and Major Modernization Projects: A Review and Commentary Tracking and Predicting the Atmospheric Dispersion of Hazardous Material Releases: Implications for Homeland Security Critical Information Infrastructure Protection and the Law: An Overview of Key Issues The Internet Under Crisis Conditions: Learning from September 11 Information Technology for Counterterrorism: Immediate Actions and Future Possibilities National Security and Homeland Defense: Challenges for the Chemical Sciences in the 21st Century Microbial Threats to Health: Emergence, Detection, and Response Accelerating the Research, Development, and Acquisition of Medical Countermeasures Against Biological Warfare Agents: Interim Report Advancing Prion Science: Guidance for the National Prion Research Program—Interim Report Reports Published in 2002 Countering Agricultural Bioterrorism Cybersecurity Today and Tomorrow: Pay Now or Pay Later IDs—Not That Easy: Questions About Nationwide Identity Systems Countering Terrorism: Lessons Learned from Natural and Technological Disasters

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop Biological Threats and Terrorism: Assessing the Science and Response Capabilities: Workshop Summary Protecting Our Forces: Improving Vaccine Acquisition and Availability in the U.S. Military The Anthrax Vaccine: Is It Safe? Does It Work? Countering Bioterrorism: The Role of Science and Technology An Assessment of the CDC Anthrax Vaccine Safety and Efficacy Research Program Summary—Assessment of Technologies Deployed to Improve Aviation Security: Second Report: Progress Toward Objectives Preparing for Terrorism: Tools for Evaluating the Metropolitan Medical Response System Program Discouraging Terrorism: Some Implications of 9/11 High-Impact Terrorism: Proceedings of a Russian-American Workshop Summary—Assessment of the Practicality of Pulsed Fast Neutron Analysis for Aviation Security 2001-2002 Assessment of the Army Research Laboratory7 Letter Report of the Committee on Assessment of Technologies Deployed to Improve Aviation Reports Published in 2000 and 2001 Protecting People and Buildings from Terrorism: Technology Transfer for Blast-effects Mitigation Firepower in the Lab: Automation in the Fight Against Infectious Diseases and Bioterrorism Summary of Discussions at a Planning Meeting on Cyber-Security and the Insider Threat to Classified Information Blast Mitigation for Structures: 1999 Status Report on the DTRA/TSWG Program Reports Published Before 2000 Improving Surface Transportation Security: A Research and Development Strategy, 1999 Fire- and Smoke-Resistant Interior Materials for Commercial Transport Aircraft, 1995 Improved Fire- and Smoke-Resistant Materials for Commercial Aircraft Interiors: A Proceedings, 1995 7 This report is not available on the National Academies Press Web site, and may be accessed by contacting the Public Access Records Office of the National Academies at 202-334-3543.

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop New Materials for Next-Generation Commercial Transports, 1996 Protecting Buildings from Bomb Damage: Transfer of Blast-Effects Mitigation Technologies from Military to Civilian Applications, 1995 Use of Underground Facilities to Protect Critical Infrastructures: Summary of a Workshop, 1998 Airline Passenger Security Screening: New Technologies and Implementation Issues, 1996 Black and Smokeless Powders: Technologies for Finding Bombs and the Bomb Makers, 1998 Chemical and Biological Terrorism: Research and Development to Improve Civilian Medical Response, 1999 Configuration Management and Performance Verification of Explosives-Detection Systems, 1998 Containing the Threat from Illegal Bombings: An Integrated National Strategy for Marking, Tagging, Rendering Inert, and Licensing Explosives and Their Precursors, 1998 Detection of Explosives for Commercial Aviation Security, 1993 The Practicality of Pulsed Fast Neutron Transmission Spectroscopy for Aviation Security, 1999 Balancing Scientific Openness and National Security Controls at the Nuclear Weapons Laboratories, 1999 Computers at Risk: Safe Computing in the Information Age, 1991 Computing and Communications in the Extreme: Research for Crisis Management and Other Applications, 1996 Cryptography’s Role in Securing the Information Society, 1996 Realizing the Potential of C4I: Fundamental Challenges, 1999 Summary of a Workshop on Information Technology Research for Crisis Management, 1999 Trust in Cyberspace, 1999 Assessment of Future Scientific Needs for Live Variola Virus, 1999 Assessment of Technologies Deployed to Improve Aviation Security: First Report, 1999 Aviation Fuels with Improved Fire Safety: A Proceedings, 1997 Fluid Resuscitation: State of the Science for Treating Combat Casualties and Civilian Injuries, 1999 Improving Civilian Medical Response to Chemical or Biological Terrorist Incidents: Interim Report on Current Capabilities, 1998 Proliferation Concerns: Assessing U.S. Efforts to Help Contain Nuclear and Other Dangerous Materials and Technologies in the Former Soviet Union, 1997 Protecting Nuclear Weapons Material in Russia, 1999 The Protection of Federal Office Buildings Against Terrorism, 1988

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop Other Projects Safety of the Nation’s Water Supplies Forum on How Natural Disaster Research Can Inform the Response to Terrorism Interdependent Vulnerabilities for Critical Infrastructure Protection Balancing National Security and Open Scientific Communication: Implications of September 11 for the Research University General Education of the Media and Public on Terrorism Vulnerabilities and Responses Forum on Microbial Threats IOM Council Statement on Vaccine Development Scientific Openness and National Security Additional International Projects International Workshop on Implications of Trends in Chemical Science and Technology for Chemical Weapons and Chemical Terrorism Facilitating International Scientific Meetings in the United States Monitoring Foreign Students U.S. Government Efforts/Needs to Restrict Dissemination of Data in Light of New National Security Concerns ONGOING NATIONAL ACADEMIES ACTIVITIES A wide range of traditional NRC/IOM studies and other activities are under way in the general area of counterterrorism. The following summarizes many of those activities. Active Committees and Reports in Preparation Army Science and Technology for Homeland Defense: C4ISR-Phase II An Assessment of Naval Forces’ Defense Capabilities Against Chemical and Biological Warfare Threats Improving Cybersecurity Research in the United States U.S. Government Research and Development in Support of Cyberassurance for the Critical Infrastructure of the United States Nanotechnology for the Intelligence Community Review of Testing and Evaluation Methodology for Biological Point Detectors Assessment of Technologies Deployed to Improve Transportation Security Educational Paradigms for Homeland Security Safety and Security of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Storage Establishing Priorities for U.S.-Russian Cooperation in Countering Radiological Terrorism

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop Review of Research Proposals for Cooperation with Former Soviet Biological Weapons Personnel and Institutes Future Contributions of the Biosciences to Public Health, Agriculture, Basic Research, Counterterrorism, and Nonproliferation Activities in Russia Roundtable on Scientific Communication and National Security Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Workshop to Counter Terrorism Protection, Control, and Accounting of Nuclear Materials: International Challenges and National Programs—Workshop Summary Advances in Technology and the Prevention of Their Application to Next Generation Biowarfare Threats Other Activities Under Way or in Advanced Planning Stages In addition to traditional NRC studies and related program initiation activities, many units across the National Academies have initiated other kinds of activities relevant to the general area of countering terrorism. The follow summarizes some of those projects. The News Media and First Response Transportation Research Board (TRB) Cooperative Research Programs National Cooperative Highway Research Program Security Projects Transportation Security A State DOT Field Personnel Security Manual Methods for Determining Transportation and Economic Consequences of Terrorist Attacks Secure Communication Infrastructure Emergency Traffic Operations Management Transportation Response Options: Scenarios of Infectious Disease, Biological Agents, Chemical, Radiological, or Nuclear Exposure Bridge/Tunnel/Highway Infrastructure Vulnerability Assessment Workshops Transit Cooperative Research Program Security Projects A Guide to Public Transportation Security Resources Prevention and Mitigation Security-related Training and Customer Communications: Lessons Learned from September 11 by Transportation Providers Intrusion Detection for Public Transportation Facilities Emergency Response Mobilization Strategies and Guidelines for Transit Use of Portable Explosive Detection Devices Robotic Devices

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop Communication of Threats: A Guide Transit Security Use of Dogs: A Guide In response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, TRB initiated a number of new activities and expanded existing activities aimed at providing tools to assist state, local, and national transportation agencies in deterring, preventing, detecting, mitigating, responding to, and recovering from terrorist attacks. These tools include the following: TRB Transportation Security Web site Transportation Security A Guide to Updating Highway Emergency Response Plans for Terrorist Incidents A Guide to Highway Vulnerability Assessment for Critical Asset Identification and Protection Methods for Improving Transit Security Emergency Preparedness for Transit Terrorism Terrorism Prevention and Mitigation for Transit Systems Public Transportation Security, Volume 1: Communication of Threats Future Tools and Resources TRB Program Initiation Activities PROSPECTIVE ACTIVITIES: NRC/IOM STUDIES AND OTHER WORKSHOPS, MEETINGS, AND PROJECTS IN PLANNING STAGES Reducing the Physical and Economic Vulnerability of the United States to Threats to the Chemical Supply Chain Joint Committee on U.S.-Russian Cooperation on Nuclear Nonproliferation Response to Global Terrorism: Continuation of the U.S.-Russian Interacademy Project on Conflicts in Multiethnic Societies Science and Technology in U.S. Foreign Assistance Programs—Implications for AID and its Partners U.S.-Russian Interacademy Project on Counterterrorism International Forum on Biosecurity Indo-U.S. Cooperation to Counter Infrastructure Terrorism: Workshop on Threats to Communications Systems and Public Transportation Systems Emergency Preparedness for Terrorist Events: Emerging Opportunities for Science and Technology Understanding Terrorism Examining the Science Base for Microbial Forensics Policy Consequences and Legal/Ethical Implications of Offensive Information Warfare Maintaining the Safety and Security of U.S. Water Systems

OCR for page 116
Countering Urban Terrorism in Russia and the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop Understanding, Coping with, and Combating Terrorism: Potential New Initiatives in DBASSE CONCLUDING COMMENTS Defining the role of science and technology in homeland security and countering terrorism has emerged over the past year as a prominent theme of activities across the National Academies. The National Academies portfolio spans the spectrum to varying degrees of the domains of prevention, detection, response, and recovery as well as analyzing key areas of potential terrorist threat, including biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological threats; cyberterrorism; and vulnerability of the nation’s infrastructure, including transportation, energy facilities, cities, and other fixed infrastructure. Finally, the portfolio also includes a number of efforts aimed at a better understanding of the root causes of terrorism. The heightened sentiments regarding sensitive but not classified features of many of these activities have added a dimension of complexity to the National Academies’ approach to dealing with these issues, which had traditionally fallen fairly clearly into classified and unclassified domains with routine procedures for handling information and disseminating reports in either case. This complexity is exacerbated in the context of our public disclosure obligations under Section 15 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act. Many officers and staff are involved in fashioning ways to function in the new environment, while federal policy continues to evolve.