Rough Waters Ahead For Port Security

The anniversary of 9/11 has historically been not only a time to mourn those we lost on that day, but also a time to reflect on the extent to which we’ve made meaningful progress on stopping the next catastrophic attack.  That reflection has included assessing the present state of transportation security, with aviation security understandably foremost on experts’ minds.  On the heels of the recent discovery of five explosive devices at an Elizabeth, New Jersey train station, and with the attack on a Brussels rail station last March still resonating, the safety of rail transportation has also been a prominent feature of that discussion in recent weeks, as it ought to be.

Against this backdrop, is another anniversary — the October 12th sixteenth anniversary of the attack on the USS Cole, during which Al Qaeda operatives rammed an explosives-laden motorboat into the Navy vessel, which at the time was docked for refueling in Aden, Yemen.  Seventeen sailors were killed. On that day, terrorists acted on their interest and capability to attack a significant maritime target using asymmetric tactics – that, and their record for targeting the transportation sector, should be taken as indicators that they remain interested in maritime attacks, likely now with a view to domestic targets including civilian ships and the ports servicing both passengers and freight.

The full article can be read at Homeland Security Today.

About Ben Lerner

Ben Lerner is the Vice President for Government Relations at the Center for Security Policy, where he manages the Center's educational efforts and interactions with the federal government. His articles have appeared in The American Spectator, The Washington Times, Townhall, The Washington Examiner, and inFocus Quarterly. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University, and received his bachelor's degree in political science, with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan.