S. Hrg. 108-55: Cargo Containers: The Next Terrorist Target? Hearing before the Committee on Governmental Affairs, United States Senate, One Hundred Eighth Congress, First Session, March 20, 2003   [open pdf - 3MB]

S. Hrg. 108-55: From the opening statement of Susan M. Colins: "Whether the threat is nuclear, chemical, or biological, and whether it comes from a terrorist network such as Al Qaeda or a terrorist state such as Iraq, cargo containers offer a frighteningly simple and anonymous way to smuggle weapons of mass destruction into the United States. They arrived by sea, by road, and by rail. Compared to the aviation industry, however, containerized cargo shipments are less regulated, less standardized, and far less secure. For years, criminals have used cargo containers to smuggle narcotics, firearms, and people into our country. Last year, for example, four men pled guilty for their involvement in a scheme that smuggled seven cargo containers packed with stowaways to West Coast ports on five separate occasions. Human trafficking is believed to be an $8-billion-a-year business. Containers have also been used to smuggle a wide array of contraband, including illegal firearms and drugs, into our country. Our challenge is to prevent terrorists from exploiting the global system for moving goods as a means for attacking our Nation. The good news is that our government has been working to anticipate and respond to this threat. Since September 11, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has nearly doubled the percentage of containers examined from fewer than 2 percent in 2001 to nearly 4 percent in the first quarter of this year." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Susan M. Collins, Norm Coleman, Frank Lautenberg, Mark Pryor, Daniel K. Akaka, Peter G. Fitzgerald, Joseph I. Lieberman, Thomas R. Carper, Asa Hutchinson, Peter W. Hall, Stephen E. Flynn, Jeffrey W. Monroe, and Michael O'Honlon.

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S. Hrg. 108-55; Senate Hearing 108-55
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