Michael Webster
March 1, 2009
Alert: Bomb threats and dangerous explosives being stolen by armed robbers along the U.S. Mexican Border
By Michael Webster

This week, bomb threats brought about the closing and evacuation of the international airport in CD. Juarez Mexico. For several hours both the Juarez' airport and the federal courthouse was under threat. A third bomb threat also caused the closing of the Paso del Norte international border crossing bridge between El Paso and Juarez.

All this took place while Mexican President Calderon's top level National Security Cabinet was meeting at a heavily guarded hotel in Juarez to inform the local leaders that more Mexican troops are on the way. That meeting was also attended by the governor of Chihuahua, the mayor of Juarez and Mexican and U.S. law enforcement.

Bomb threats are not new to Juarez and other Mexican cities, however this time the threats were taken even more seriously as highly explosive materials have been taken recently by what many Intel types believe are related to the powerful Mexican Drug Cartels whom are warring with the Mexican Government.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reports that recently, there has been a series of armed thefts of dangerous explosives from storage sites in Mexico many of these robberies occurred just across the border along the southwest U.S. Mexican border. The (ATF) is reminding all Federal explosives licensees and permittees of the importance of security at their explosives storage sites, and are advising all industry members to take heightened security precautions in light of these thefts. The ATF says "this advisory is a precaution and not due to any criminal intelligence."

Law enforcement on both sides of the border have been notified and alerted to the thefts.

The ATF along with licensees and permittees connected to the explosives industry are to protect the public and as part of this ongoing effort, industry members are being commended by the ATF for their voluntary reporting of explosives thefts that occurred in Mexico to the U.S. Bomb Data Center. Federal explosives licensees and permittees are encouraged to continue the voluntary reporting of explosives thefts that occur in Mexico.

ATF is working with and advising the explosives industry on new developments or methods to prevent thefts and to prevent terrorists, the Mexican Drug Cartels and those with criminal intent from gaining access to explosive materials. Therefore the ATF have created the attached checklist of steps that you can take to make your business more secure. Please review this checklist and ensure that your business is doing everything it can to secure your explosives.

The ATF also is asking that all licensees and permittees review ATF P 5400.15, a publication that we produced in partnership with the Institute of Makers of Explosives and the International Society of Explosives Engineers. We believe this information can identify potential weaknesses in security and offer security precautions to prevent thefts and the illegal use of explosives.

While these recommendations are mostly voluntary, the ATF says they appreciate the continued support and welcome any comments or suggestions you may have for future initiatives. Should you have any questions regarding this notice or these recommendations, please contact your local ATF Field Office.

Security Checklist

© Michael Webster

 

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Michael Webster

Michael Webster's Syndicated Investigative Reports are read worldwide, in 100 or more U.S. outlets and in at least 136 countries and territories. He publishes articles in association with global news agencies and media information services with more than 350 news affiliates in 136 countries... (more)

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