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Town purchased for anti-terror simulations

According to an article syndicated in the New Hampshire Union Leader, a town in New Mexico has been bought by the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and turned into one big site for anti-terrorist exercises and simulations. Unfortunately, some people still live there...

Bought with a $5m grant from the US Department of Homeland Security (who else?) the town, Playas in New Mexico, is reportedly "part of a network of academic institutions that specialize in training emergency workers to respond to various threats".

(Am I alone in thinking that the DHS's open pockets are creating something similar to the 'dotcom boom' a few years ago?)

People who still live in Playas face
(a) compulsory relocation to a small part of the town
(b) no newcomers allowed to move in
(c) no visitors allowed on exercise days
(d) being stopped by armed soldiers etc
(e) tanks and weapons in the streets

But they can earn $10 an hour acting as hostages.

New Mexico Tech describes itself as "an undergraduate and graduate university specializing in science and engineering education and research". "The Playas facility will expand New Mexico Tech's capabilities to do both fundamental and applied research in support of homeland security," according to Van Romero, vice president for research and economic development at New Mexico Tech, in a 2003 press release.

NM Tech publishes a brochure about the town, describing its potential. "Consider the possibilities!" this enthuses, listing:
- "ecosystem/ environmental experiments"
- "suicide bomber prevention training"
- "guerilla warfare tactics (including simunitions)"
as possible uses.

Sounds fun.


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