Note: April 22, 2008
INTECSEC 2001 was hosted by the Canadian Diplomatic Technical Security Service. The meeting was planned to be held in the L. B. Pearson Building at 125 Sussex Drive at Ottawa, Canada. The meeting was relocated to the National Research Council library building directly across the street because of a information picket line which had been established by members of the PSAC (Public Service Alliance of Canada) around the L.B. Pearson Building. As usual, the sessions were scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday.
The NRC Library and the L. B. Pearson buildings are depicted in this unique photo. The short building at the left is the NRC.
The Director of Physical Security and Personal Safety for the Department of Foreign Affairs crossed the street to interrupted the opening session when he learned the North Tower of the World Trade Centre tower in New York had been struck by an aircraft. The meeting was suspended and the delegates reconvened in the adjacent media centre of the Canadian Space Agency where large screen projection TV monitors enable the delegates to witness commercial TV coverage of the attacks.
Shortly afterwards the PSAC Shop Steward allowed the delegates to enter the L. B. Pearson Building where they would have access to secure communications systems connecting to their own headquarters in Wellington, Canberra, London and Washington.
As air traffic over North America was suspended, the senior members of the US Delegation made arrangements to return by rental car to their Washington headquarters where they would be better able to respond to and direct operations during the aftermath. The rental agency offered to waive the "drop-off" charge.
Arriving at Dulles Airport, they were initially refused access to their personal vehicles. However after calls by airport security officials confirmed they were in some instances very senior executives of their respective security agencies they were allowed to fetch their cars and continue to their offices. Some of them worked 6 days straight with their staff.
The 9/11 tragedies certainly shocked the remaining delegates but since they were unable to make air travel plans themselves they unanimously agreed to continue with the INTECSEC sessions. In fact, INTECSEC continued with increased resolve.
Some of the remaining delegates were unable to return home for a week after the conference as air traffic slowly resumed.
Memorabilia from agencies supporting INTECSEC
© OFARTS Canada 2006-2009 Old Foreign Affairs Retired Technicians, Canada