U.S. Northern Border A High Security Risk
SEPTEMBER 27, 2007
While security along the U.S.-Mexico border has been fortified to combat illegal immigration and drug smuggling, security along the vast Canadian border is so scarce that smugglers could easily sneak radio active material or other lethal contraband into the country.
To document how dangerously vulnerable Americaâ??s northern border is, undercover federal investigators conducted exercises in which they easily transferred large red duffel bags meant to represent a â??dirty bombâ? at unguarded and unmonitored spots along the 5,000-mile U.S.-Canada border.
In all, tests were conducted during an eight-month span in four northern Border States, which have not been identified for national security reasons. In one crossing, investigators easily conducted a 10-minute exercise in which they set up an exchange of a red duffel bag from one side of the border to the other.
Some of the government investigators took video and photos of how easily they smuggled their bags into the U.S. and a 13-page report will be issued to Congress by its investigative division, the Government Accountability Office.
The report says that many of the border roads were unmanned and unmonitored with dismal barriers that could be driven around. In one case a citizen alerted authorities of suspicious activities but the U.S. Border Patrol was not able to locate the undercover investigators with the duffel bag.
This clearly presents a national security threat that could allow terrorists to sneak weapons of mass destruction into the U.S. After all, al-Qaidaâ??s infamous â??millennium bomberâ??â?? got busted at the Canadian border smuggling a car load of explosives into Washington State. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to 22 years in prison for plotting to blow up the Los Angeles Airport.
Perhaps this new investigation will motivate federal authorities to at least narrow the man power disparity between the southern and northern border. The 1,951-mile U.S.-Mexico border is manned by about 12,000 Border Patrol agents while the much longer Canadian border has less than 1,000.
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