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US panel urges for new techniques to overcome poor terrorist threats assessment

By Abdul Nisar

London, Sept 17 (ANI): A US Research Council panel has slammed the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its poor assessment on terrorism threats and urged for different techniques to assess the risks posed by terrorism as its risks are "not quantifiable".

According to New Scientist, the DHS, created after the 9/11 attacks to cover national perils ranging from terrorism to natural disasters, got off to a rough start.

Although the panel finds that DHS models for natural disaster risks are well suited to assess the effects of earthquakes, floods and hurricanes, it warned that different techniques are needed to assess the risks posed by terrorism.

"Natural hazard risks are quantifiable. Many terrorism risks are not quantifiable because of uncertainties arising from having an intelligent adversary," panel chairman John Ahearne of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, said.

Standard risk models, such as those the DHS uses, assume that threat, vulnerability and the consequences of risks are constants. However, the panel noted that humans, unlike natural disasters, change their targets and tactics in response to protective measures that the authorities take against them, so the risk factors are no longer constant. The report, therefore, urged the DHS to develop risk models that react dynamically to account for this. (ANI)

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