Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dirty Bomb Materials Roll Across the Border

Here's more proof that our porous, ineffectively guarded fronteras are a national security issue:

Undercover investigators bought radioactive ingredients needed to make a dirty bomb and drove them into the USA past border security agents, a government report said Monday.

The GAO said its investigators bought the radioactive material over the phone while posing as employees of a fictitious company, then had the material shipped to Washington, D.C. Several companies sell such material to buyers who have legitimate medical and business reasons for using it.

The material was apparently allowed to cross into the U.S. despite setting off radiation alarms at the checkpoint. The forged paperwork provided to border security agenst by the undercover team enabled the dirty bomb precursor materials to pass muster and enter the United States.

The test shows that measures are being put in place to tighten security along our borders. These radiation detectors are a new protective measure, something that most people did not even consider (other than in working groups far removed from policy makers) prior to Sept 11.

However, this test demonstrates that personnel with malicious intent are able to penetrate our border with enough radioactive material to conduct a serious terrorist attack on one of our cities. A dedicated, well funded terrorist cell, with time on its hands, could likely penetrate the border in the same way, with more materials to conduct a spectacular attack. Obviously, much more work needs to be done to secure our borders and protect our society.

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