Identifying WMDs

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We've heard the phrase, “a lot in the last couple of years”, but weapons of mass destruction are a lot closer to us than we think.

a homeland security grant now allows college campuses to host day-long sessions, like one held Wednesday at Marietta College, explaining to law enforcement and security officials how to determine whether a dangerous chemical is in our presence.

"It isn't just as we think, the large-scale explosion or the type of element that is used for WMD," says Howard Korn, Marietta College's Director of Campus Security. "It doesn't have to be what we refer to as a nuclear type of act. It can be a very simple device we find around our area all the time."

When we think of weapons of mass destruction, our thoughts turn to the aftermath of the last year's invasion of Iraq, but the events immediately following September 11th reminded us that they're closer to us then we think.

The anthrax scares of the fall of 2001 provide lessons not only for the professionals, but for all of us.

"The most recent escalation of alert and the follow-up of information as to why this was all happening, was really a first for the government," Korn says, "and a really positive step, so the population understands what is going on, what is involved, and becomes actual participants and helps themselves."

Five hundred of the same type of sessions are being taught on college campuses throughout the country.