A GAO report released today states current Homeland Security protocols intended to monitor illegal cargo and deter terrorisn, is flawed and may allow terrorists to funnel illegal arms into our country. The federal program largely relies on voluntary self-reporting from importers – the GAO report calls for independent audits and stricter compliance oversight. From NJ.com:
“This report is a troubling reminder of the potential homeland security loopholes present at New Jersey’s ports,” Pascrell (D-8th Dist.) said in a statement. “Congress has made significant strides in enacting the 9/11 commission’s recommendations to tighten port security, but the Bush administration has failed over the years to provide adequate resources and personnel for U.S. Customs and other agencies to fulfill their mission.”
While government and private companies must work together to tighten security, Pascrell added, “it is the duty of the federal government to ensure each side upholds its end of the bargain.”
…The DHS has said that while the likelihood of terrorists smuggling weapons of mass destruction into the United States in cargo containers is low, the nation’s vulnerability and consequences of such an attack are potentially high.