October 21, 2007

Portland's Dog Day Afternoon

Real alert ties up Topoff 4 exercise
Security - Bomb-sniffing dogs 'alert' on a car shortly before the top Homeland Security official is to arrive
Friday, October 19, 2007, JOSEPH ROSE, The Oregonian Staff
Topoff 4, the gigantic what-if exercise with fictional terrorists detonating a radioactive weapon in downtown Portland, turned into a real-life bomb scare Thursday afternoon. Just before 1 p.m., as police ran a security sweep before Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff's arrival at the DoubleTree Hotel near Lloyd Center, something about a car in the parking garage sent bomb-sniffing dogs into a frenzy.
…That something turned out to be the cops and soldiers gathered at the hotel for Topoff. It's likely, police said afterward, that one -- or several -- of the participants who train with explosives had inadvertently left residue on or in their car.

…By the time authorities had figured out the source, Topoff activities at the hotel -- a news briefing and a paper exercise dealing with the aftermath of the mock "dirty bomb" -- had been long since canceled. Chertoff had bailed out.

Just like he did after Katrina slammed those folks on the Mississippi. Heck of a job, Mickey!

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