States is placing a renewed emphasis on the possibility that trucks carrying
nuclear bombs could be triggered by remote control after they leave busy ports
in Los Angeles and New York City, according to CNN, The Associated Press and federal officials.
a small percentage of shipping containers is opened and inspected.
ships more likely to be inspected are from ports in Africa and the former
Soviet Union, Coast Guard officials said Sept. 9.
attention results from the failure of 17 countries to confirm they meet new
international port security standards that took effect July 1.
The Coast Guard
will also board more vessels that sail under the flags of 13 countries –
including Russia, the Netherlands and Thailand – because their compliance with
the new security standards has been below average. The standards require every
ship to have a security officer, an alarm system, access restrictions to the
engine room and bridge and a method of checking IDs of people who come aboard
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard on Sept. 10 issued a list of
countries whose vessels will be targeted for increased boarding because for two
months there’s been below average compliance with international security
200 vessels call on U.S. ports every day,” said Adm. Thomas H. Collins, Coast
Guard commandant. “We must focus our resources on those ships that present the
greatest risk. The past compliance of vessels from these countries shows us
that they haven’t implemented basic security measures, increasing the security
risk posed to our ports when they arrive here.”
specified ports in Africa and the former Soviet Union are more likely than
other vessels to be boarded and inspected when they enter U.S. ports, the Coast
9/11 commission report adds to cargo
commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks said current efforts
to protect the United States’ 361 ports from terrorists are inadequate. In a
recently released addendum to its original report, the commission said the
Homeland Security Department, which oversees the Coast Guard, should “bolster
efforts to identify, track and screen suspicious cargo entering the country
from foreign ports.”
countries that have not reported that their ports comply with international
standards are Albania, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea,
Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Madagascar, Mozambique,
Nauru, Nigeria, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, the Solomon Islands and
The flag states whose vessels will be targeted for increased
boardings are Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia, the Cayman Islands, the Cook
Islands, Cyprus, Honduras, Hong Kong, Malta, the Netherlands, Panama, Russia,
Singapore and Thailand.