Jim Kouri
Cruise ship security enhanced, but some concerns remain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+
By Jim Kouri
May 17, 2010

Pirates have trolled the coast of Somalia for several years now, leading to warships from 16 nations patrolling the area in an attempt to deter hijacks. Unfortunately, according to a government terrorism report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police, the sea gangs are now searching for victim ships farther from the African coast.

The pirate gangs and their backers within war-torn Somalia have made tens of millions of dollars in ransoms so far. Last year, Somali pirates hijacked a US flag ship. These Somali pirates also attacked a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia.

Over 9 million passengers departed from U.S. ports on cruise ships in 2008 and, according to Homeland Security officials, cruise ships are attractive terrorist targets.

The U.S. Congress requested a study by the Government Accountability Office to review cruise ship security. The GAO analysts addressed the extent to which the Coast Guard, the lead federal agency on maritime security, assessed risk in accordance with the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) guidance and identified risks; and that federal agencies, cruise ship and facility operators, and law enforcement entities have taken actions to protect cruise ships and their facilities.

The GAO reviewed relevant requirements and agency documents on maritime security, analyzed 2006 through 2008 security operations data, interviewed federal and industry officials, and made observations at seven ports. GAO selected these locations based on factors such as the number of sailings from each port.

The Coast Guard has assessed the risks to cruise ships in accordance with DHS guidance — which requires that the agency analyze threats, vulnerabilities, and consequences — and, with other maritime personnel, identified some concerns.

Specifically, agency officials reported in January 2010 that there had been no credible threats against cruise ships in the prior 12 months, but also noted the presence of terrorist groups that have the capability to attack a cruise ship. The Coast Guard, cruise ship and facility operators, and law enforcement officials generally believe waterside attacks are a concern for cruise ships.

Agency officials and terrorism researchers also identified terrorists boarding a cruise ship as a concern. The Coast Guard has also identified the potential consequences of an attack, which would include potential loss of life and economic effects. Federal agencies, cruise ship and facility operators, and law enforcement entities have taken various actions to enhance the security of cruise ships and their facilities and implement related laws, regulations, and guidance, and additional actions are under way.

The Department of Homeland Security and its component agencies have taken security measures such as the Coast Guard providing escorts of cruise ships during transit, and Customs and Border Protection's review of passenger and crew data to help target passenger inspections. Cruise ship and cruise ship facility operators' security actions have included developing and implementing security plans, among other things. The Coast Guard is also in the process of expanding a program to deter and prevent small vessel attacks, and is developing additional security measures for cruise ships.

In addition, CBP's 2005-2010 Strategic Plan states that Customs and Border Protection should seek to improve identification and targeting of potential terrorists through automated advanced information. CBP, however, has not assessed the cost and benefit of requiring cruise lines to provide passenger reservation data, which in the aviation mode, CBP reports to be useful for the targeting of passengers for inspection. GAO's previous work identified evaluations as a way for agencies to explore the benefits of a program.

If CBP conducted a study to determine whether collecting additional passenger data is cost effective and addressed privacy implications, CBP would be in a better position to determine whether additional actions should be taken to augment security.

© Jim Kouri

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)


Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Jim Kouri: Click here

More by this author

September 10, 2017
Trump Justice: 'Dreamer' wanted for murder nabbed by feds in NJ and extradited


July 26, 2017
NJ 12-year-old's suicide a plea for cyber-bullying law: GOP candidate Heather Darling


June 12, 2017
Obama hampered law enforcement investigation of Iranian terrorism funding


June 2, 2017
Prez of Young Democrats and Mayor de Blasio staffer busted for kiddie porn; one victim 6-mos. old


May 29, 2017
The conservative approach to taxation and a healthy business climate


May 24, 2017
U.S. intelligence reports warn of cyber "Cold War"


March 3, 2017
Media attack Trump's terrorism expert Dr. Sebastian Gorka


December 23, 2016
Trump's border wall: The bill was passed and signed into law


December 22, 2016
Dem lawmakers demand commission to probe Trump-Russia conspiracy


December 14, 2016
Outraged Vets: VA hospital death touted as proof of Obama and Democrats indifference


More articles

 

Stephen Stone
'The fervent prayer of the righteous'

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
Busted: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Coups in America? Surely not!

Judie Brown
Cardinal Wilton Gregory’s travesty

Tom DeWeese
We must demand legal action on election fraud

Tabitha Korol
Palestine: A self-imposed prison

Selwyn Duke
Me, Über Alles: The maddening reason politicians break their own lockdown rules

Timothy Buchanan
Truth hangs in the balance...again

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Bowed but not broken under a wintry blast

Jake Jacobs
There is a specter haunting America; it is the specter of LEFTISM!

Laurie Roth
Just as the flag flew boldly on Sept 14, 1814, it waves in freedom for Trump and America now

Tom DeWeese
What do I mean by a Freedom Pod?

Joan Swirsky
Tucker goes Megyn

Mark Shepard
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) ridicules CA Gov. Gavin Newsom for his idiotic Covid edicts [VIDEO]
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Jamie Freeze Baird
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites