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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Terrorists might exploit merchant marine identification

According to this
"Terrorists can exploit lax identification procedures in the merchant marine to obtain sailors' credentials and stage attacks on ships or ports, a top U.S. Coast Guard official said on Tuesday.
'Merchant-marine documents ... contain virtually no security features,' Rear Admiral Larry Hereth said in written testimony to a Senate commerce, science and transportation committee hearing.
'We cannot, and must not, continue with business as usual in the area of mariner credentialing. The specter of a terrorist obtaining and using a merchant-mariner credential to access and attack vital areas of a strategic port is one that is very real,' he said.
Hereth, the director of port security for the Coast Guard, said his agency was working with the Transportation Security Administration to help implement new identification standards for commercial sailors, but there was no timetable.
Members of the U.S. merchant marine must be U.S. citizens or permanent resident aliens. Since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, foreign commercial sailors need a U.S. visa to disembark from their ships in U.S. ports."
Hey, we can do this. First, establish a timetable. Second....

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