Obama To Appoint New Official To Fight WMD Terrorism

01/03/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

WASHINGTON - President-elect Barack Obama plans to appoint a new White House official to coordinate efforts to prevent terrorists from obtaining nuclear or biological weapons, advisers say, giving the highest priority to thwarting a catastrophic attack that a bipartisan panel warns could come in the next five years.

Naming a top deputy whose sole mission is to oversee the government's wide-ranging programs to stop such an attack would mark a significant break with the Bush administration, which in resisting such a post has maintained that US efforts to reduce nuclear stockpiles and safeguard deadly pathogens are adequate.

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