Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Massive US Terrorism Simulation Involving Foreign Agencies Begins Today
Monday, July 27, 2009
A huge simulation coordinated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun today with no mainstream media coverage at all.
The security exercise known as National Level Exercise 09 (NLE 09) will last for five days and will involve foreign security officials working in conjunction with the US military, as well as Federal, State, Local Tribal and Private Sector representatives.
According to a factsheet in the recesses of the FEMA website, the agency will host National Level Exercise 2009 (NLE 09) on July 27 through July 31, 2009:
“NLE 09 will be the first major exercise conducted by the United States government that will focus exclusively on terrorism prevention and protection, as opposed to incident response and recovery,” the factsheet states. It is designated as a Tier I National Level Exercise, or TOPOFF, which are exercises conducted annually in accordance with the National Exercise Program (NEP), “which serves as the nation’s overarching exercise program for planning, organizing, conducting and evaluating national level exercises,” according to FEMA.
NLE 09 “will focus on intelligence and information sharing among intelligence and law enforcement communities, and between international, federal, regional, state, tribal, local and private sector participants”.
The FEMA information sheet states that the exercise involves a scenario that begins “in the aftermath of a notional terrorist event outside the United States, and exercise play will center on preventing subsequent efforts by the terrorists to enter the United States and carry out additional attacks. This scenario enables participating senior officials to focus on issues related to preventing terrorist events domestically and protecting U.S. critical infrastructure.”
The exercise will also include agencies in Britain, Mexico, Canada and Australia, the Department of Homeland Security has said. The Navajo Nation will also participate.
“This year the United States welcomes the participation of Australia, Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom in NLE 09.” The FEMA factsheet does not explain why the participation of foreign officials is necessary, nor does it elaborate on the roles they will play.
Canadian federal involvement was today confirmed in a press release attributed to “Public Safety Canada”. The Press release also noted the involvement of the United Kingdom, Australia and Mexico.
An independent reporter from Oklahoma (or FEMA region VI) was informed that NLE 09 is not “media friendly” because it largely involves people looking at computer screens in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.
After asking if it would be possible to sit in on the exercise, Andrew W. Griffin
of Red Dirt Report was told by Brook Arbeitman, the public information officer for the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security, that this was not possible and that the exercise is mostly decompartmentalized.
Arbeitman, interestingly enough, could not answer some more in-depth questions about NLE 09 because she is a role player in the exercise, playing – you guessed it – a public information officer for Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and as a result “is not privy” to some of the specifics.
“We will be playing along with everybody to whatever extent the exercise” proceeds, Arbeitman said.
According to FEMA, the Departments of Homeland Security, Defense, Justice, and State, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and a broad spectrum of component agencies, offices and commands will all participate in the exercise.
NLE 09 activities will take place at command posts, emergency operation centers, intelligence centers and field locations throughout the country, including federal headquarters facilities in the Washington, D.C. area as well as facilities in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and California.
In our previous story on NLE 09, we noted that this exercise is a continuation of previous simulations under FEMA and the DHS that have involved the rounding-up and internment of American citizens labeled as “suspected terrorists”.
Under REX 84 and other operations, FEMA, in association with 34 other federal civil departments and agencies, has consistently trained to detain large numbers of Americans.
We also noted that several recently leaked Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and local law enforcement documents have stated that the focus of security operations should be “rightwing extremists” who support the Second Amendment and states’ rights and oppose abortion and open borders.