• Napolitano says Israeli-style security is not suitable for U.S.

    DHS secretary Janet Napolitano is in Israel on a visit; during her private briefing with Israeli officials at Ben-Gurion Airport, they discussed cargo screening and how to stop non-metallic explosives, such as those used in the recent plots, from getting onto a plane; Napolitano was also briefed on other airport security measures used in Israel; Napolitano said, however, that what is effective in Israel, a nation of 7.3 million, would not necessarily work for 310 million Americans; Ben-Gurion is Israel’s only major international airport; the United States has 450 such facilities; about eleven million people pass through Israeli airports each year, while seventy times that many passengers go through American airports each year

  • Overflights over U.S. are not top-priority security concern

    Terrorists who are trying to exploit cargo planes to launch an attack on the United States may find a security weakness in screening of cargo planes flying over, though not into, the United States; planes that go over the United States but are not supposed to land here are not routinely screened according to U.S. standards; U.S. officials say terrorist networks are trying to exploit cargo planes because it is so much harder to get operatives onto U.S. flights with weapons or explosives; security experts say targeting overflights for protection is a waste of scarce resources; a former TSA intelligence official said that part of the reason behind the lesser concern with overflights is that the “vast majority” of overflights originate in Canada, and the Canadians know how to screen; it is “not some Third World country,” according to the official

  • UN agency wants new rules on air cargo security

    The International Civil Aviation Organization concentrate (ICAO) is pushing new guidelines for cargo security to counter al Qaeda’s new mail-bomb strategy, but is stopping short of calling for 100 percent screening of packages, as pilots and some U.S. lawmakers have urged

  • Mail bomb timed to explode over eastern U.S.

    British police investigators say that forensic evidence showed the explosive device hidden inside an ink cartridge, originally sent from Yemen by way of Cologne, Germany, was timed to be detonated about six to seven hours after the cargo aircraft carrying it left the United Kingdom for the United States — meaning that it could have exploded over the East Coast of the United States; the UPS cargo plane intercepted in England left the country without the package at 11:20 p.m. ET on 28 October, two hours after landing, police said; the device was timed to be activated at 5:30 a.m. ET, said British police

  • Shippers campaign against full screening of cargo on planes

    The TSA decided that starting last August, it would mandate the screening of all cargo on passenger planes loaded in the United States; it said its rule would not apply to cargo placed on U.S.-bound passenger flights overseas, or to cargo-only flights; the Obama administration announced new cargo rules Monday banning freight out of Yemen and Somalia; it also restricted the shipment of printer and toner cartridges weighing more than a pound on all passenger flights and some cargo flights; the overall cargo security rules were unchanged

  • 100 percent air-cargo screening is going smoothly -- so far

    On 1 August a law mandating 100 percent screening of cargo transported on passenger aircraft took effect; the shipping industry says that, so far, are off to a good start; experts point out that August is relatively slow shipping month, and that the real test will come in mid-September, when the busy air cargo shipping season begins

  • GAO: TSA is yet to conduct risk assessments for U.S. transportation systems

    GAO criticizes TSA for taking its time conducting comprehensive risk assessments across the transportation sectors it is responsible for securing; according to the GAO, DHS still does not use a comprehensive risk management framework to secure intermodal facilities across aviation and surface transportation sectors

  • U.S. unveils Caribbean basin security plan

    The deteriorating situation in the Caribbean region reflects the drug trade’s deep entrenchment, with high murder rates becoming a fact of life in the tourist havens that traffickers use as transit points for South American drugs bound for Europe and the United States; Caribbean islands had one of their bloodiest years on record in 2009

  • Transport Canada turns inspection of air freight over to shippers

    Transport Canada initiates a new air cargo security system requiring all companies involved in a supply chain to be part of inspecting the goods; critics say the program means that companies will be policing themselves; says once critic: “It’s like me showing up at an [airport inspection] line and saying, ‘Hey guys, there’s no change in my pockets and I don’t have any fluids, so I’m okay to get on the plane.’ I don’t think they’d let me on”

  • TSA: Tablets and Netbooks need not be taken out of their cases to be screened

    TSA allows that electronic items smaller than the standard sized laptop need to be removed from a bag or a case at an airport security check-point to be scanned; TSA says this applies to the Apple iPad and netbooks, as well as the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble nook, and other e-book readers

  • Art world worried about new rule on air cargo

    As of 1 August, all items shipped as cargo on commercial passenger airplanes will have to go through airline security screening; as much as 20 percent of art shipped around the world travels this way, and museums, galleries, and collectors are worried: even the faint possibility of an airline inspector with a screwdriver uncrating a Calder sculpture or an early Renaissance tempera painting is enough to keep many in the art world awake at night

  • Partnership aims to help air shippers meet security deadline

    Congress has mandated that by August 2010, 100 percent of cargo on passenger planes must be screened; companies begin to position themselves to take advantage of the business opportunity involved in offering secure cargo warehousing and shipping

  • Researchers propose a new way to scan cargo containers

    In 2007 the U.S. government set itself the goal of screening all aviation cargo loaded onto passenger planes and all maritime cargo entering the country for both explosives and nuclear materials; this is an ambitious goal: there are more than ten millions containers entering the United States every year through sea ports and land border crossings, and there are more than 28,000 commercial flights

  • 2010: Topics for homeland security discussion

    The only thing we can say for sure about 2010 is terrorists, criminals, and mother nature will surprise us at some point during 2010; still, based on what we do know, we offer a short list of topics we predict will dominate the homeland security discussion in the coming year – from whole-body scanners to 100 percent air cargo screening to social Web sites to communication interoperability to the consequences of climate change (or is there a climate change?)

  • DHS IG says U.S. air cargo vulnerable to tampering

    DHS IG on the state of air cargo handling: “Without regular vigilance, practice, and enforcement of access controls, TSA and the regulated entities provide opportunities for individuals to introduce explosives, incendiaries, and other destructive items into air cargo, potentially creating risks for the traveling public”