Ship operators should be aware of the 'potential for use of the ship as a mechanism of terrorist activity,' and take precautions in foreign ports to limit access to the vessel, Joseph Cox, president of the Chamber of Shipping of America, told a Senate subcommittee Tuesday. Cox was one of a panel of transportation department and trade association officials who testified on security before surface transportation subcommittee of the Senate commerce committee.
In addition to posting watches on their vessels to protect against external threats, masters should cooperate with Coast Guard requests for crew lists at least 96 hours before arrival in the U.S., Cox said.Freight railroads also are taking steps to address security issues, said Edward R. Hamberger, chief executive of the Association of American Railroads. He said the group has established 'critical action teams' to look into security of communications and information technology, physical infrastructure, operations, and hazardous materials.
Another AAR action team is enhancing liaisons with the defense department to meet the transportation requirements of the military.
The subcommittee directed most of its questions to Adm. James W. Underwood, transportation department director of intelligence and security, and Amtrak chief executive George D. Warrington.
Underwood noted that passenger trains stations, in particular, were vulnerable to attack since many have no baggage check facilities.