who and what are COBRA?

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who and what are COBRA?

Post by Janey on Thu Feb 10, 2011 3:58 am

When a major terror alert or incident occurs in the UK, it is often reported on the news that COBRA are convening a meeting. I often get asked who are COBRA?

Contrary to popular belief, COBRA is not in itself an anti-terror agency or some clandestine operation. The name is drawn from Cabinet Office Briefing Room A, which as the name suggests is a government briefing room buried deep in Whitehall.

In fact COBRA, is just that a meeting of senior officials usually chaired by the Prime Minister. In terrorism cases senior military, intelligence and police officers will attend this meeting. In essence, COBRA provides a unified command structure for dealing with a major incident. All of the appropriate agencies convene pretty much constantly during a crisis to coordinate a plan of action. As all of the agencies are present, everyone is singing from the same song sheet and working together.

The actual attendees of COBRA meetings is related to the incident at hand. In the foot and mouth crisis, for example, which was none terror related, most of the attendees were agriculture and veterinary related people. It is important to realise that COBRA deals with any crisis, be it terror or natural disaster.

So, COBRA just refers to a group of senior officials headed by the Prime Minister of the UK, that are summoned to deal as a group with a major crisis.

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Re: who and what are COBRA?

Post by Lime Flavoured on Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:39 am

I knew this already, but I'm guessing a lot of people don't.

It is usually reported afterwards that they have met.

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Re: who and what are COBRA?

Post by Janey on Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:54 am

Lime Flavoured wrote:I knew this already, but I'm guessing a lot of people don't.

It is usually reported afterwards that they have met.

yup, I get asked a lot of questions on this, so thought it would be good to have an answer here

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Re: who and what are COBRA?

Post by Joe Bese on Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:57 am

Janey wrote:
Lime Flavoured wrote:I knew this already, but I'm guessing a lot of people don't.

It is usually reported afterwards that they have met.

yup, I get asked a lot of questions on this, so thought it would be good to have an answer here

Thanks Janey, I had no idea.
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