Oman Hosts Bio-Terrorism Prevention Workshop


The three-day meeting, which began at Crowne Plaza is aimed at educating senior law enforcement officials in areas relating to bio-terrorism prevention and response with input from international scientific and legal experts.

The workshop is being attended by all the top officials of the various law enforcement agencies in Oman, undersecretaries, ambassadors, experts in health sciences, bio-safety, bio-security, legal communities, and international police delegates.

Participants from 15 countries will take part in a simulation of a major bio-terrorism event to underline the importance of inter-agency cooperation on regional, national and international levels.

In his opening remarks, Lieutenant-General Malik bin Sulaiman Al Ma’amari, inspector-general of police and customs said preparation was key.

“Biological terrorism poses a serious challenge before the law enforcement agencies, because it is an indiscriminate aggression. This workshop is held in Oman at a time in which there is an exigent need for such workshops to help in the protection against terrorism in general and bio-terrorism in particular,” he said.

“We, in Oman, are reassured and thankful to God that our country is clear of any terrorist organisations or violent acts at the individual or group level. Our security agencies always work to reinforce the pillars of security, justice and peace under the wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said,” Ma’amari said.

Interpol Secretary-General Ronald K. Noble in his comments said: “I have no doubt that the threat of bio-terrorism is real and that we need to do more to prepare countries.”

“This is why Interpol has organised workshops around the world, bringing together international experts in law enforcement, health, science and academia to ensure that police worldwide can benefit from their expertise and further develop their own.”

“However it is only when governments implement the appropriate laws and provide the necessary funding for law enforcement that a country can say they are taking the necessary steps to protect their citizens and that significant advances in preparedness will be made.”

As part of the organisation’s ongoing support to member countries, the Interpol Bio-terrorism Incident Pre-planning and Response Guide is now available in all four of the organisation’s official languages, Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

Compiled by experts from Interpol member countries, the guide is a comprehensive, step-by-step manual for law enforcement in preparing for, and dealing with, a bio incident.

The Bio-terrorism Prevention Resource Centre, which provides training materials, scientific documents, planning and crisis-management guidelines, and other vital information has also been created and can be accessed via Interpol’s website

Since March 2005, four workshops have been held in South Africa, Singapore, Chile and Ukraine following the launch of Interpol’s Bio-terrorism Prevention Programme in 2004 with a grant from the Sloan Foundation, which has committed a total of $2.5 million.

The regional workshops attracted a total of 130 countries and over 300 participants in less than two years.

Some of the highly-qualified professionals who will be speaking in the meet include John Abbott, chair of the Interpol’s steering committee; Adrian Baciu, head of Interpol’s bio-terrorism prevention unit; Dr Michael Alswede, an expert on strategic medical issues; and Professor Barry Kellman, one of the world’s foremost legal experts on bio-terrorism prevention.


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