"The nation's air, land, and marine transportation systems are designed for accessibility and efficiency, two characteristics that make them highly vulnerable to terrorist attack. While hardening the transportation sector from terrorist attack is difficult, measures can be taken to deter terrorists. The dilemma facing Congress is how best to construct and finance a system of deterrence, protection, and response that effectively reduces the possibility and consequences of another terrorist attack without unduly interfering with travel, commerce, and civil liberties. Aviation security has been a major focus of transportation security policy following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. In the aftermath of these attacks, the 107th Congress moved quickly to pass the Aviation and Transportation Security Act (ATSA; P.L. 107-71) creating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and mandating a federalized workforce of security screeners to inspect airline passengers and their baggage.. The act gave the TSA broad authority to assess vulnerabilities in aviation security and take steps to mitigate these risks. The TSA's progress on aviation security has been the subject of considerable congressional oversight. Funding authorization for the TSA's aviation security functions is set to expire at the end of FY2006. The July 2005 bombing of trains in London and the bombings of commuter trains and subway trains in Madrid and Moscow in 2004 highlighted the vulnerability of passenger rail systems to terrorist attacks. […] This report replaces CRS [Congressional Research Service] Issue Brief IB10135, 'Transportation Security: Issues for the 109th Congress.'"
CRS Report for Congress, RL33512
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