Trucking industry advised of protective measures
Feb 14, 2003 12:00 PM
The current High Security Threat level (orange) of the Homeland Security Advisory System remains in effect. Al-Qaeda is reported to be actively seeking opportunities to launch attacks using both traditional (explosives) and non traditional (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) weapons, according to information from the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) of the FBI.
As part of the advisory system, the information includes guidance for trucking industry companies and owner-operators. The FBI warns of potential threats that could involve weapons of mass destruction, as well as protective measures to take based on the heightened threat condition.
To contend with the possible threats, trucking operations are advised to consider the following actions:
•Consider previous unusual incidents, such as possible surveillance, when evaluating the operation or the company’s customers as to whether they are potential targets.
•Consult information that is readily available regarding the operations and facilities that may be a potential target, particularly on the Internet, and consider how that information might assist terrorists interested in planning an attack. Terrorists will likely research potential targets extensively prior to an attack. Consider revising or removing such information from public access.
•Vary security routines and recommend customer's facilities take similar steps. Terrorists, like criminals, look for routines they can identify and exploit.
•Consider the potential for threats from "insider" personnel employed at target facilities, as terrorist groups may attempt to infiltrate a facility or potential target.
•Most CBRN threats represent an inhalation or contact hazard. To minimize further contamination, individuals who come in contact with an unusual substance should cover their mouths with a cloth while leaving the area, avoid touching surfaces, and wash their hands thoroughly.
Al Qa'ida and affiliated groups continue to enhance their capabilities to conduct effective mass-casualty chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear attacks, according to the FBI information.
Presently, al Qa'ida and associated groups possess at least a crude capability to use chemical, biological, and radiological agents and devices in their attacks. Several al Qa'ida-affiliated cells have attempted to carry out attacks in Europe with easily produced chemicals and biological toxins, according to the information.
While these attacks are best suited for assassinations and small-scale dispersal, they can potentially cause hundreds of casualties and widespread panic if used in multiple, simultaneous attacks.
Al Qa'ida also is interested in radiological dispersal devices (RDDs) or "dirty bombs." Construction of an RDD is well within the group's capabilities, as radiological materials are widely available and acquisition relatively easy.
Al Qa'ida operatives also may attempt to launch conventional attacks against the US nuclear/chemical-industrial infrastructure to cause contamination, disruption, and terror. Based on information, nuclear power plants and industrial chemical plants remain viable targets.
Spray devices disbursing biological or chemical agents could potentially contaminate a wide area. Before the September 11, 2001, attacks, al Qa'ida operatives expressed interest in crop dusters, raising concerns that al Qa'ida has considered using aircraft to disseminate biological and chemical agents.
Information indicates the group has experimented with procedures for making blister (mustard) and nerve (sarin and VX) chemical agents.
The NIPC encourages individuals to report information concerning suspicious activity to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) office. They can reach the NIPC watch and warning unit at 202-323-3205, toll free at 888-585-9078, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Individuals can also contact other appropriate authorities.