U.S. to Boost Number of Armed Air Marshals

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge on Tuesday announced plans to make 5,000 more armed law enforcement agents available to act as federal air marshals on commercial airliners.

Ridge announced a reorganization of resources within his sprawling department that will result in cross-training of other federal agents who can be deployed to serve as air marshals. The reorganization includes a transfer of the federal air marshal’s service and explosives unit to the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement from the Transportation Security Administration. After the transfer, ICE agents will also be trained in air marshal’s duties so they can be called on during times of heightened terror alert or if there is intelligence that shows increased vulnerability to U.S. airlines or specific routes. Full Story

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