DHS to inspect small boats, private jets

Published 23 October 2007

DHS is turning its attention to better screening of private boats and planes entering the U.S.; small boat inspection to begin with a pilot program in San Diego

What are DHS’s immediate priorities? We glean the following from a speech last fraidy by DHS secretary Michael Chertoff, in which he also said that the United States faces a “heightened threat of terrorist attack for the foreseeable future”:

* Screen and inspect small boats for bombs (“Are there going to be some squawks? Absolutely,” Chertoff said). DHS will launch its small boats initiative with a pilot program in San Diego.

* Intensify screening of foreign private jets flying into the United States and of individuals entering the country under the Visa Waiver Program

* Defend against nuclear and chemical attacks by monitoring more closely access to radiological materials, and dangerous chemicals such as propane and chlorine

* Teach suppliers and distributors “what to look for” when individuals try to acquire the substances because sometimes behavior can be a “giveaway.”

* Train airport screeners how to search luggage for the presence of peroxide, the hard-to-detect material used in the 2005 bombing of the London subway