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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Port Security Conference considers "Worst Cases"

Reported here:
The biggest weakness in the system, some officials at the two-day conference warned, is a lack of "aggressive" intelligence gathering to head off terrorism before it reaches U.S. ports.

"We have the operational capabilities to defeat any of these threats _ WMD, conventional mines _ if we see the threat approaching," said Paul McHale, Assistant Defense Secretary for Homeland Defense.

Though the approach of a dirty bomb can be detected with static sensors, McHale said, "the most important thing we can do is to dramatically improve our overseas intelligence collection, with a specific orientation toward the maritime threat."

"If we count on a close-in defense, we may catch some of the terrorist threats and defeat them, but there will be leakers," he said.

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