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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Port Security: Container threat thoughts


Found here:
Some politicians want to require inspectors to look inside each container before it's shipped to U.S. ports. Supposedly, this would prevent terrorists from smuggling in a weapon of mass destruction or a "dirty" bomb (a large, conventional explosive laced with radiological material). But in reality, we'd be wasting our time and money.

While it's true that a terrorist could put a bomb in a box, it's neither likely nor logical. In the case of all but a nuclear device, it would be easier and more certain to just build the weapon here.

That's especially true for conventional explosives. Biological weapons can be produced with materials and equipment bought off the Internet or shipped here via any number of cargo delivery services. Potential chemical weapons surround us: chlorine tankers, gasoline trucks, pipelines and storage facilities. All a terrorist group needs for a dirty bomb is some low-grade radioactive material stolen from a hospital or a watch factory.
UPDATE: The Democrats question Port Security here.Hey, it's their press release and their choice of "facts." I guess they need one security issue to run on and port security seems to be it. However, I question whether throwing money at it is the right approach, especially in light of a threat that seems to me to be overstated. More on this in a later post.

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