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May 12, 2016

West Texas Investigation Highlights Vulnerability of Critical Infrastructure

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-LA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies, sent a letter to Thomas E. Brandon, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) on the April 2013 West Fertilizer Facility fire and explosion in West, Texas. The ATF announced yesterday that their investigation resulted in the conclusion that the explosion, which killed 15, was intentionally set. In the letter, the Representatives request a briefing on the results of the investigation.

Congressman Thompson and Congressman Richmond released the following statement on the letter:

“News that the 2013 West, Texas fertilizer explosion was intentionally set only further highlights the vulnerability of our nation’s critical infrastructure, which includes chemical and fertilizer facilities.  Because this explosion may be determined to be an act of terrorism, it is imperative to understand the level of collaboration between ATF and the Department of Homeland Security to prevent deadly incidents similar to this from happening in the future.”

Link to Letter

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(Thompson) Adam Comis at 202-225-9978
(Richmond) Brandon Gassaway at 202-225-6636