Dr. Van Romero

Photo: Dr. Van Romero speaks to experts in Bahrain.

by George Zamora

BAHRAIN, May 14, 2004 – A team of experts from New Mexico Tech, Vanderbilt University, and the U.S. Department of Justice were in Bahrain last month sharing their knowledge and experience at a four-day conference on counter-terrorism preparedness and response.

Van Romero, New Mexico Tech vice president for research and economic development, Michael Hensley, program manager for the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), and Dennis Hunter, associate director of safety and security at the university’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), were among the select group invited to make formal presentations at the Counter-Terrorism Senior Policy Workshop in Bahrain.

The April 24-27 workshop was attended by about 65 senior Bahraini policy makers, and was deemed “by all accounts a success” in a congratulatory telegram sent by the U.S. Embassy in Bahrain to the team of counter-terrorism experts.

“The caliber of experts provided for this conference was extraordinary,” the telegram said. “The vast amount of knowledge and experience they brought to the workshop allowed the Bahrainis to ask all manner of questions and receive actionable information. More than one participant commented that all future counter-terrorism planning in Bahrain will be enhanced due to this workshop.”

The day after the workshop was completed, the Bahraini government was prompted to hold an interagency meeting to begin implementing ideas garnered from the international seminar.

Bahrain is a small Middle Eastern nation, comprised of several islands in the Persian Gulf, which are located just east of Saudi Arabia. The country’s economy is based largely on petroleum processing and shipping and international banking.