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US Congressional Panel Warns of Possible WMD Attack Within 5 Years

A bipartisan U.S. congressional panel is warning of a possible nuclear or biological attack somewhere in the world within the next five years.

The Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism says the international community must act decisively and with great urgency to counter such a threat.

In a release Tuesday - one day ahead of the panel's formal presentation - the commission's chairman former Florida Senator Bob Graham says "our margin of safety is shrinking, not growing."

The congressional panel based its findings on interviews with more than 250 governmental and non-governmental experts.

The panel is calling on the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama to prepare, if necessary, for germ warfare.

It also calls on the administration to radically revamp its policies toward South Asian countries where terrorists find safe havens. The panel highlights Pakistan as a nation plagued by extremists where nuclear and biological materials must be better secured.

The panel also calls for a renewed focus on nuclear non-proliferation.

The congressional commission was established last year and is charged with investigating the spread of terrorism and nuclear and biological weapons.