RealNews

Better intelligence needed to protect port

Acknowledging that new fences lining the port of Baltimore aren’t enough to stop a terrorist’s bomb from reaching the shores of Maryland, federal and state officials said Monday that the emphasis in protecting the waterfront will shift to better intelligence work. Various agencies will have to cooperate in an unprecedented fashion to thwart threats from chemical, biological or nuclear weapons before they sail into Baltimore or any of the nation’s other 360 ports, said the officials, who briefed members of Congress Monday at the port about their progress. The Baltimore region has received about $14 million in state and federal money that went toward a patrol boat, fencing and new technology. An undetermined fourth round of dollars will available soon. Some of the money will be used to implement security plans required of 50 public and privately owned terminals and vessels that operate in the port of Baltimore. All major terminals and vessels were required to turn in a plan to enhance security by December, which Coast Guard officials said they did, and to implement it by July. The new technology will include a better tracking system to monitor cargo on each vessel coming into the port and X-ray machines to see inside containers that are flagged as suspicious. On average, about 6 percent of containers are now inspected by U.S. Customs officials at ports nationwide. But Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, the Baltimore Democrat, said he believes Baltimore’s average is higher, although the number varies depending on the perceived threats. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.