who cross U.S. border areas may be stopped and their rigs sniffed
out by dogs trained to detect terrorists trying to smuggle chemicals.
Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, which oversees roughly
300 entry points, began placing some of the dogs a couple of months
ago, the bureau's commissioner, Robert Bonner, recently said.
part of the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border
Protection is constantly striving to improve our capabilities to
detect weapons of mass destruction that terrorists may attempt to
smuggle into the United States," Bonner said.
added, "Chem dogs add to our ability to detect and seize chemical
weapons at our borders before they reach intended targets in the
interior of the United States. These dogs are helping to protect
America and our homeland."
dogs, which move from one border area to another, are trained to
detect various odors associated with a range of deadly chemicals,
including sarin gas, nerve gas and cyanide, which might be hidden
in containers or other objects that terrorists try to smuggle past
officials said that $2 million has been made available to train
the chemical-sniffing dogs: $1 million for the fiscal year ending
Sept. 30, and another $1 million, for fiscal year 2004, which begins
the next day, The Associated Press reported.
breed dogs, such as Labrador retrievers, German shepherds and Belgian
Malinois, a kind of shepherd, are used because they are easy to
train and good around people, officials said. Training started around
a year ago. The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has roughly
1,200 dogs – including the new group.