Friday, August 15, 2008

Terrorism and Transportation Conference

More than 700 law enforcement personnel, intelligence professionals and private sector officials attended the Terrorism and Transportation Conference in New York, hosted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). This four-day conference was brought together terrorism first responders, private industry representatives and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) experts. The event was the largest-ever sponsored by the FBI and TSA to jointly address terrorism and transportation.

Keynote speakers included FBI NY Assistant Director in Charge Mark Mershon, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley, New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly, United States Coast Guard Commandant Thad Allen and Port Authority of NY/NJ Superintendent Samuel J. Plumeri, Jr.

Invited panelists addressed prevention, preparedness and response to terrorist acts involving buses, airplanes, subways, freight trains, shipping and other transportation modes, with an emphasis on law enforcement coordination, cooperation, preparedness and prevention.

Members from several federal, state and local law enforcement departments and private industry partners participated in the conference. In addition, international law enforcement officials were in attendance from Spain, United Kingdom and Japan.

"Unfortunately, 9/11 changed the way everyone, not just Americans, think about their vulnerability aboard airliners. Tokyo, Madrid and London further illustrated that the rails and buses were not immune from terrorist attack," Mershon said. "Our goal is to ensure we coordinate to the fullest extent possible with our law enforcement partners, including first responders and WMD experts. We want to ensure preparedness in combating the growing threat of transportation sector terrorism."

"Counter terrorism today is a team activity," Hawley said. "TSA's strategy is to start with intelligence — partner with law enforcement, airports, our international colleagues and industry partners, and the public — and use security measures that are flexible, widely deployable, mobile and layered to cover our open transportation network. If the terrorists' strength is that they have no deadlines, rules, or borders, ours is that this is our turf, there are a lot of us, and we have a lot of resources."

Source: Government

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