Public/private partnerships with hazardous material motor carriers creating incentives to increase Security Through Assessed Risk (STAR)
Colsky, Andrew E.
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On September 11, 2001, terrorists used commercial airliners as weapons of terror inside the United States, and America's approach to security was forever changed. While commercial airliners were the weapons of choice on that day, the 9/11 Commission recognized that Al Qaeda and other groups had, prior to the use of airlines, used suicide vehicles, namely, truck bombs, to commit terrorist acts. The threat from hazmat trucks continues today. There can be no doubt that terrorists are interested in using hazmat trucks as weapons within the borders of the United States. In 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Iraq was punctuated by a fuel-truck attack that burned a section of Baghdad. More recently, terrorists in Iraq have used chlorine-based truck bombs repeatedly as a weapon in the Iraq war. The Department of Transportation (DOT) recognizes that hazmat trucks are "dangerous and ready-made weapons" and are "especially attractive" to terrorists. Stephen Gale, a University of Pennsylvania professor and terrorism expert, agrees that hazmat trucks are essentially ready-made bombs that are "tailor-made" for terrorists to conduct an attack at the lowest cost and with the greatest impact. In fact, terrorism experts consider trucks to be one of the best tools a terrorist can use to breach security measures and carry explosives since the U.S. airline industry significantly increased security procedures. The ability of the government to secure every hazardous materials motor carrier against terrorist attack is severely limited, yet the potential that hazardous materials trucks will be used in terrorist attacks is great. Therefore, it is important to consider whether the security of hazardous materials motor carriers can be improved voluntarily and quickly by realigning existing resources and instituting a plan that leverages market forces and other incentives. This thesis introduces a unique voluntary incentive-based program, Security Through Assessed Risk (STAR) that can be used to increase security for a vast number of presently under protected hazardous materials motor carriers. It explains how TSA can leverage existing resources as well as successful ideas from both private sector and governmental programs to rapidly and significantly enhance the security of hazardous materials motor carriers.
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