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Old 03-29-2006, 05:36 AM   #1
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2 Dirty Bombs Snuck Into US

Or it might as well be
Testers Slip Radioactive Materials Over Borders

Undercover Congressional investigators successfully smuggled into the United States enough radioactive material to make two dirty bombs, even after it set off alarms on radiation detectors installed at border checkpoints, a new report says.

The test, conducted in December by the Government Accountability Office, demonstrated the mixed progress by the Department of Homeland Security, among other federal agencies, in trying to prevent terrorists from smuggling radioactive material into the United States.

Nationally, at a cost so far of about $286 million, about 60 percent of all containerized commercial goods entering the United States by truck or ship and 77 percent of all private cars are now screened for radioactive material.

But flaws in the inspection procedures and limitations with the equipment mean that nuclear materials may still be able to be sent illegally into the country through seaports or land borders, the study found. And because the program for installing radiation detectors is far behind schedule, many border crossing points, including many seaports, still have no detection equipment, the report says.

"We suffer from a massive blind spot in our cargo security measures," Senator Norm Coleman, Republican of Minnesota, said in a statement that accompanied the report, which will be released Tuesday morning at a Senate hearing.

In the test case, undercover investigators bought a small amount of radioactive material, most likely cesium. Then on Dec. 15, they drove across the border at undisclosed locations from Canada and Mexico, intentionally picking spots where the detection equipment had been installed.

The alarms went off in both locations, and the investigators were pulled aside for questioning. In both cases, they showed the agents from the Customs and Border Protection agency forged import licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, based on an image of the real document they found on the Internet.

The problem, the report says, is that the border agents have no routine way to confirm the validity of import licenses. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it says, also improperly allows the sale of small amounts of radioactive materials without a permit, substances that can be used in industrial equipment, like a medical device, but that can also be used to create terrorist weapons.


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Old 03-29-2006, 07:00 AM   #2
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Ah yes. It's an election year. Let the canned hysteria begin.

Of course, if Democrats are smart, they should make a point that Republicans have had six years to correct that and haven't.


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Old 03-29-2006, 08:30 AM   #3
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Originally posted by melon
Ah yes. It's an election year. Let the canned hysteria begin.

Of course, if Democrats are smart, they should make a point that Republicans have had six years to correct that and haven't.

This incident will make the immigration legistlation tougher to pass without stronger border protection. Democrats can't make political hay out of this incident because they've been too busy playing the race card anytime border security is suggested.
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Old 03-29-2006, 08:12 PM   #4
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this is surely good information for terrorists!

so why isn't the administration up in arms
and starting an investigation into who "leaked" this?
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Old 03-29-2006, 10:13 PM   #5
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Interesting.....but no Wiki link......

{Melon......is your avatar really Orson Welles......i must know}.......
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