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Two potential foreign terrorists once entered Taiwan: official
Central News Agency
2013-04-22 11:14 PM
Taipei, April 22 (CNA) Two foreigners seen as potential terrorists visited Taiwan in 2009, when international events were taking place, but were deported soon after their arrival, Taiwan's security and intelligence chief said Monday. The two suspected terrorists entered Taiwan during Taipei's hosting of the Deaflympics and the World Games in Kaohsiung, said National Security Bureau Director-General Tsai De-sheng at a hearing of the Legislature's Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee. Asked by a lawmaker about the issue, Tsai said they did not cause damage during their time in Taiwan. Lawmakers at the hearing did not press Tsai to provide further details about the two individuals. Tsai also said that according to his understanding, there are currently no international terrorists in Taiwan. Monday's hearing was held to examine Taiwan's response measures to terrorist attacks and the government's inter-agency efforts to maintain public security in the wake of a failed bombing attempt in Taiwan in mid-April and the Boston Marathon bombings last week. In the incident in Taiwan, homemade bombs were planted in suitcases in a restroom on a High-Speed Rail train and in front of the office of ruling Kuomintang Legislator Lu Chia-chen on April 12, but the devices did not go off. They did, however, spark concern over public safety in Taiwan, where large-scale violent attacks are extremely rare. Aware of the potential threat to major international events, Tsai said the bureau will work closely with government agencies and local governments to ensure that events such as the Universiade Taipei 2017 take place successfully. Several lawmakers also raised concerns about whether the Cabinet's Office of Homeland Security is capable of taking proper response measures in the event of a terrorist attack in Taiwan, due to its small number of staff and low budget. Chen Hui-ying, director of the office, said the office has been allocated a budget of NT$5 million (US$167,564) for this year, and the office has an 11-member staff. The office is responsible for coordinating with other related government agencies tasked with enforcing counter-terrorist measures, she said, adding that those units have their own budgets for counter-terrorist measures. (By Elaine Hou)
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