The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday endorsed a bill to establish guidelines for the Homeland Security Department's participation in and assistance for efforts involving data on weapons of mass destruction-related threats (see GSN, May 14).
The Weapons of Mass Destruction Intelligence and Information Sharing Act would mandate DHS cooperation with separate U.S. intelligence entities in related activities, as well as the distribution of relevant data to relevant federal, state and jurisdictional entities.
“I’m very pleased that the House today passed this legislation without objection,” Representative Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), the bill's sponsor, said in a statement. “Loose chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria and Libya getting into the hands of al-Qaeda terrorists are cause for great concern; and a nuclear-armed Iran is a top national security threat. With multiple al-Qaeda affiliate networks around the world targeting the U.S. and our allies -- it is imperative that we remain as vigilant as ever. This bill ensures that intelligence analysis and dissemination regarding dangerous weapons continue to be a priority for our nation.”
“This legislation will better secure our homeland from terrorists seeking to deploy a weapon of mass destruction against us, a horrific scenario that the [Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism] has said is increasingly likely,” Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.) added in the press release. “H.R. 2764 will ensure that critical intelligence about chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats is shared by DHS with federal, state and local officials” (U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan release, May 30).