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FBI Official Says Ag Threat Still Exists

Talk of bioterrorism issues highlight international symposium this week where an FBI deputy director issues continued warnings.

Agriculture is not safe from the threat of agroterrorism, and according to FBI Deputy Director John Pistole the threat is "real and the impact could be devastating," according to remarks he made to the Associated Press.

Pistole was taking part in the second International Symposium on Agroterrorism being held in Kansas City this week. He notes the costs are too high for the threat and while terrorist groups may have weakened in some parts of the world they're not gone.

He warns the threat could come from any direction - both foreign and domestic - and he points out that while Al-Qaida has been weakened it remains organized and could still strike. According to the AP report, Pistole notes that "agriculture, just like buildings, bridges and tunnels, is a critical infrastructure in need of defense."

He advises building partnerships before an attack and to prepare at all levels from small producers up to law enforcement agencies. The idea would be creating a plan to detect an attack and look for ways to minimize its impact and recover quickly.

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