Homeland Security Network Blog
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'El Chapo’ trial is treated as a nuclear and conventional terrorism target
Los Angeles Times
At the downtown Brooklyn federal courthouse where Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is on trial, New York Police Department snipers roam the rooftops and K-9 units prowl the halls.
The Brooklyn Bridge closes whenever the defendant is transported to court from Manhattan, and even attorneys must take off their shoes at the new TSA-style checkpoint outside the courtroom.
With such a conspicuous show of force, it’s easy to overlook the two or three servicemen at a small fold-out table near the X-ray machine in the lobby, quietly scanning the Eastern District of New York courthouse grounds for explosives, biological weapons and dirty bombs.
The soldiers and airmen are members of the National Guard’s 24th Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team — “Civil Support for short, so it’s less scary,” their spokesman said — an elite corps of threat specialists who headline counter-terrorism efforts at the city’s biggest events.
Members of the strike team stationed at the courthouse last week said they also provided security for the U.N. General Assembly, New Year’s Eve in Times Square and the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens.