Risk of terror attack still real: US experts

ABU DHABI - Though the US has recently decreased the alert level to Code Yellow, the possibility of a terrorist attack, however, is still real and is a nightmare for everyone.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sun 15 May 2005, 11:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 8:26 PM

"Never say never," said Lt-Col Thomas Gorry of the U.S. Marines, when asked whether Friday's security scare after a small aircraft penetrated deep into restricted airspace above Washington was the result of the September 11 nightmare.

"There is a very real threat. Terrorism is a concern and we take it seriously," added the Marines officer who is part of a 10-member group of the National War College (NWC), currently visiting the country as part of a tour of the region.

Richard Mills of the US State Department agreed that there is a threat but said that September 11 was not nightmare for the Americans only but for the whole world.

"It wasn't the Americans only who were terrified by the attacks. The victims were not only Americans but from a 120 nationalities," he noted.

Mr Mills however said chances were now smaller for terrorists as a result of international cooperation in the US-led war against terror.

"There is greater international awareness and cooperation in the war against terrorism. The US war on terror has enjoyed tremendous response especially in the fight against terrorism-financing," he stated. He pointed out to the efforts made by the UAE in this regard.

Another officer said the US administration had started to learn from previous lessons. "We started to balance our priorities for security and at the same time change our attitude towards others.

The officials were talking to this reporter at a reception hosted by US Ambassador to UAE Michele J. Sison at her residence, in honour of the group.

The UAE is the second leg of the group's tour which started with Kuwait and will end with Bahrain.

The tour is part of a programme of the NWC which is a school in the National Defense University.

The College is concerned with grand strategy and the utilisation of the national resources necessary to implement that strategy. Its graduates will exercise a great influence on the formulation of national and foreign policy in both peace and war.

Most mid-level and senior military officers take a course of study at college in preparation for higher staff and command positions.

"We are a group of many groups visiting 22 countries around the world to study national security as well as strategic issues. We also study a host of issues including economic, social and political aspects," the officials said.

Every year a group from the college comes to the Gulf whereas other groups travel to other parts of the world, they said.

In the UAE, the group focused on studying the political side and the unique nature of the political structure.

When asked whether the trip was in line with the US reforms strategy, the officials said one of their tasks was to study implications of reforms and what was needed to be done in countries of the region.

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