VIEWS: 78 PAGES: 117

December 2011                                                           Issue 67

         Niagara, Ontario         Tel: (905) 228-6888     Fax: (905)892-2249
         Orchard Park, New York   Tel:(716) 508-4432      Fax: (888)393-6421

     The National Security Group
     The Best Way to Predict the Future is to help Shape it Yourself

     Ottawa, Ontario………….613-213-4200; snewark.nsrc

Border Security (and Beyond)
Details of Canada-US Border Agreement released
Chinese plans to build ‘golf course’ in Iceland rejected
China build satellite monitoring centre in …Australia
Thales under US investigation for sale of satellite technology to China
Transit Security
Buses becoming preferred terrorist targets
Rebels blow up rail link in Burma
Air/Marine Security
Canadian report on automated analytical radar performance at G-20 summit
An Assessment of the terrorist threat to aviation security
Coming security technologies for airports
Congressional reports blast TSA performance
Expansion of CATSA private security contracting system urged for TSA
Russia set to enact law regulating northern sea passage
EU-US near deal on passenger info sharing
Piracy updates
Marine Domain awareness: a clear need for automated analytical radar and data
China-US launch nuke detection screening at Shanghai port
Boeing creates autopilot system to prevent aircraft takeover and crash
Continuing threat to Nigeria’s airports
Remote underwater drones used in NYC
NATO fuel tankers set ablaze in Pakistan
ACI Europe on aviation security issues
Pakistani airports under terrorism alert
Iran’s use of cargo containers to move weapons
Domestic Infrastructure Security
BC First nations divided over Canadian pipeline to Pacific
Critique of Shell’s performance in Nigeria
World oil supply under increasing cyber attack
Jordan looks for new gas supplier as pipeline from Egypt under frequent attack
Chronology of offshore energy attacks
PLA Engineering Corps busy on infrastructure projects in Pakistan
China agrees to build road link to Bangladesh through Myanmar
Report on SCADA systems vulnerabilities
Russian offshore oil platform capsizes
Dutch ‘researchers’ create deadly avian virus
US oversight agency (CFATS) of chemical industry security failing to deliver as required
Nuclear Security
Japan to introduce nuke security measures
Satellite photos confirm NK continuing work on nuke plant
NK working on missile delivery system to hit….US
Another mysterious nuke plant explosion in Iran
Greenpeace breaches French nuke security…the old fashioned way
US investigates Iranian involvement in cyber plot against nuke facilities
Canada to participate in combating radiological terrorism meetings
Iranian bound Nuke material caught at Russian airport…or not
Iran moves nuke production to avoid attack vulnerability
Global review of Highly enriched uranium storage problems

Border Security (and Beyond)
Canada-U.S. border deal aims to strengthen
North American perimeter while unblocking trade

WASHINGTON — Canada and the United States unveiled plans Wednesday for an
unprecedented joint approach to border protection aimed at developing common practices to
screen travellers and cargo, with both governments promising the measures will better guard
against terrorism and speed up cross-border traffic.

The much-touted border-security deal, unveiled Wednesday at the White House by Prime
Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama, comes 10 months after both
leaders launched negotiations to strike an accord.

The result of those talks is a two-part "action plan" that maps out efforts to harmonize
regulations across a spectrum of trade goods while increasing the amount of information
shared between the two countries about both legitimate and suspect travellers.

"These agreements create a new, modern order for a new century," Harper said at a joint
news conference with Obama. "Together, they represent the most significant steps forward
in Canada-U.S. co-operation since the North American Free Trade Agreement."

The reforms — many of them involving pilot projects that might not see full implementation
for years — aim to integrate programs for Canada-U.S. perimeter security and to streamline
the flow of goods between the two countries through pre-inspection and pre-clearance.

"Put simply, we're going to make it easier to conduct the trade and travel that creates jobs
and we're going to make it harder for those who would do us harm and threaten our
security," said Obama.

The success of the new strategy will hinge on the results of the pilot projects that are rolled
out over the next two years, and the action plan also concedes that progress on many
initiatives will depend on "the availability of funding."

Among the highlights of the new "Beyond the Border" plan:

- Enhanced tracking of travellers in both countries, and both nations will try to identify
threatening people who seek to "enter the perimeter" of both countries so they can be

- An entry-exit system will be established in which both countries share information on when
their citizens have crossed the border;

- Each country will obtain more information, including biometric data, from people in foreign
nations seeking to come to the U.S. and to Canada;

- Each country will share more information about criminals in their countries who might be
seeking to cross the border;

- Security officials, including armed police officers, will work as teams on either side of the
border — with Canadian and American police officers venturing together into the territory of
each nation;

- There will be joint screening of cargo coming from foreign countries to Canada and to the
U.S., so that it is screened just once for both nations;

- Some companies in either Canada or the U.S. that ship goods across the border will be
given "trusted" status so that the shipment is pre-screened at the factory instead of at the

- There will be more opportunities for Canadian travellers to obtain NEXUS cards to gain
faster clearance at border crossings, and governments will commit more funds to open more
lanes for quick clearance at air and land crossings.

The entire exercise, say Canadian officials, is meant to open the clogged border — a
problem they say costs the Canadian economy $16 billion annually because of delays.

"I want to make a pitch: We want even more Canadians visiting the United States — and
please spend more money here," Obama said.

The border security actions came in tandem with a separate action plan to create
harmonized approaches to regulatory approval of products.

The two countries have identified 29 initiatives where Canada and the U.S. will "align" their
regulatory approaches in four areas: agriculture and food; transportation; health and
personal care products and chemical management; and the environment.

They said this will lead to lower costs for consumers and reduced barriers to trade, but won't
compromise either country's health, safety or environmental protection standards.

As he stood next to Obama at the White House ceremony Wednesday, Harper declared the
action plans to be a smart teaming of partners.

"Canada has no friends among America's enemies," said Harper. "What threatens the
security and well-being of the U.S. threatens the security and well-being of Canada.

"Nevertheless, measures to deal with criminal and terrorist threats can thicken the border,
hindering our efforts to create jobs and growth."

Harper said Canada and the U.S. are now taking "practical steps" to "reverse that direction."

Just as "threats" should be stopped at the joint Canada-U.S. perimeter, "trusted travellers"
should cross the 49th parallel more quickly, Harper said.

"These priorities are complementary. The key that locks the door against terrorists also
opens a wider gate to cross-border trade and travel."

Harper said the joint initiative on regulatory harmonization will be done to streamline
standards "where it makes sense" but that "no loss of sovereignty is contemplated by either
of our governments."

"Where no adequate reason exists for a rule or standard, and that standard hinders us from
doing business on both sides of the border, that rule needs to be re-examined."

Obama also praised the action plan, saying it will help push forward his top priority — to
create jobs.

"The prime minister and I are determined not only to sustain this trade but to grow it faster,"
said the president.

In a bid to prevent "inadmissible persons" before they breach the Canada-U.S. perimeter, the
Harper government will screen visa-exempt foreign nationals for criminal behaviour through
an Electronic Travel Authorization program.

It will use an Interactive Advance Passenger Information system to screen passengers on
international flights to Canada, giving the government authority to tell airlines whether the
person can board the plane.

Canada also will share information with the U.S. about foreign nationals who have been
denied admission or a visa to enter the country.

White House officials applauded the Harper government for undertaking the new screening
measures. One senior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the measures will
"allow us to be able to have understanding and confidence" that Canada can identify people
who present potential threats.

Obama and Harper also touted plans to establish a comprehensive, co-ordinated system to
track travellers as they enter and exit Canada and the U.S.

Beginning in 2012, Canada and the U.S. will begin to "systematically record and exchange
the entry information of all persons" crossing at the land border between the two countries.
Entrance into one country will serve as "record of exit from the other country," the action plan

Canada has committed to collecting exit information from airlines about travellers who leave
Canada by plane, starting in June 2014. That information, however, "will not automatically be
shared with the U.S., but will be used to enforce Canadian law," the plan says.

Canadian business leaders were quick to applaud the new accord, saying it will open the
border for businesses, boost the economy and reduce the waiting time for cross-border

"Some days, governments get it right," said Perrin Beatty, president of the Canadian
Chamber of Commerce. "And this is one of those days."

John Manley, president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, said there have been
"challenges" at the border over the last decade, and that Harper deserves credit for striking a
deal that will provide "impetus" to solve the problem.

Manley said the challenge for Canada now will be to keep the pressure on the U.S. — where
the border is less of a priority — to follow through with initiatives in the accord.

On Parliament Hill, opposition parties were critical.

NDP foreign affairs critic Helene Laverdiere said Canada made too many concessions and
that national sovereignty is in peril.

"The major concession is we're sharing even more information with U.S. authorities, but what
are we getting?"

Interim Liberal leader Bob Rae said he didn't view the accord as a major step forward, noting
it is based on pilot projects.

"We really can't see the major breakthroughs that the prime minister is going to claim he won
at the bargaining table," said Rae.

The NDP's trade critic, Brian Masse, was equally unimpressed. He said there are "more
questions today" than answers on privacy issues.

"A lot of Canadians will be wondering if I'm going to take my son or my daughter or my family
to Disney World, what type of biomedical information am I going to have to disclose or give
up to the United States and how is that going to be used, where it's going to be processed
and what the fate of it will be after a number of years?"

Council of Canadians chairwoman Maude Barlow said Canada gave up too much for what
would essentially be negligible gains given that U.S. politics are responsible for the problems
facing the border.

"Once again, we're bending over backwards to try to get something from the U.S. that we're
not going to get," she said.

Ever since the perimeter security talks were announced earlier this year, they have been
shrouded in secrecy and critics have complained of potential intrusions into the privacy rights
of individual Canadians, as well of a loss of national sovereignty.

Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart released a statement saying she and her officials
will conduct a complete review of the deal.

She said the action plan will take years to implement and noted with "encouragement" that
both countries have committed to develop a joint statement of privacy principles by next May.

"Overall, we must note that the mere fact that the initiatives proposed will result in
unprecedented information sharing requires vigilance from a privacy standpoint," said

Both governments, in their action plan, pledge to protect privacy and maintain national

"Our countries have a long history of sharing information responsibly and respecting our
separate constitutional and legal frameworks that protect privacy," concludes the action plan.

The electronic version of both the Border Action Plan and the
Regulatory Cooperation Council are available at:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper's statement on
Beyond the Border

Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Wednesday made the following statement as details of
the Beyond the Border perimeter security and trade deal between Canada and the United
States were unveiled in Washington.

"Today, we are pleased to announce ambitious agreements on perimeter security and
economic competitiveness, as well as on regulatory co-operation.

"These agreements create a new, modern border for a new century.

"Together, they represent the most significant steps forward in Canada-U.S. co-operation,
since the North American Free Trade Agreement.

"The first agreement merges U.S. and Canadian security concerns with our interest in
keeping our border as open as possible to legitimate commerce and travel.

"As I said in February . . . Canada has no friends among America's enemies.

"What threatens the security and well-being of the U.S., threatens the security and well-being
of Canada.

"Nevertheless, measures to deal with criminal and terrorist threats can thicken the border,
hindering our efforts to create jobs and growth.

" Today, our two governments are taking practical steps to reverse that direction.

"We are agreed, for example, that the best place to deal with trouble is at the continental
perimeter . . . That smarter systems can slash the needless inconvenience posed to
manufacturers and travellers by multiple inspections of freight and baggage.

"We also believe that, Just as threats should be stopped at the perimeter, trusted travellers
should cross the border more quickly.

"Indeed, these priorities are complementary: The key that locks the door against terrorists
also opens a wider gate to cross-border trade and travel.

"The second joint initiative will reduce regulatory barriers to trade, by streamlining and
aligning standards where it makes sense to do so.

"Naturally, in this area, as in all others, no loss of sovereignty is contemplated by either of
our governments.

"However, every rule needs a reason.

"Where no adequate reason exists for a rule or standard, and that standard hinders us from
doing business on both sides of the border, that rule needs to be re-examined.

"Ladies and gentlemen, today's agreement will yield lasting dividends to travellers, traders,
manufacturers, — in fact everybody — whose legitimate business or pleasure takes them
across the border.

"And we take these steps — both of us — to protect jobs, to grow our economies, and to
keep our citizens safe.

"I say "we," because we are each other's largest export customers.

"The benefits of co-operation will therefore be enjoyed on both sides of the border.

"So, let me take this opportunity, Barack, to recognize your leadership in this work.

" It reflects the vision — the large vision - you have for continental trade and security, and
your commitment to jobs and growth.

" And it is, I believe, the next chapter in a relationship that is a shining example to the world."

Are Chinese golf plans in Iceland a water hazard for
John Ibbitson Dec. 04, 2011 G&M

Over at National Defence Headquarters, there‘s considerable interest in some real estate
that a Chinese tycoon tried to buy in Iceland. Senior figures in Canada‘s military believe
this is why Canada needs more ice breakers, ships and submarines.

Huang Nubo is a billionaire property developer who recently offered to purchase a vast
tract of land in northeastern Iceland equal to 0.3 per cent of that country‘s land mass.

Mr. Huang said he wanted to build a hotel and golf course. The Icelandic government
turned down his offer last week, saying its laws don‘t permit foreigners to own that much
land. Some officials in Reykjavik also suspect Mr. Huang wanted the land for more than
a golf course. Canadian military planners agree.

While most of us wonder whether the Arctic ice will melt sufficiently to make the
Northwest Passage commercially navigable, one senior military official, who was not
authorized to speak publicly on this matter, dismissed the passage as ―a twisty, rural
backwoods road‖ compared to the real northern passage that a warming planet will
eventually open up: over the Pole.

And some people believe that China thinks the same thing. That country is ravenous for
oil and gas, and the Far North has plenty. Its economy depends on importing natural
resources and exporting finished goods. Navigable Arctic sea lanes would make both
much cheaper.

The country is investing heavily in a polar research institute. It has one icebreaker and is
building another. It maintains a permanent Arctic research station. China has asked for
(but not been granted) observer status on the Arctic Council. And it proclaims that the
Arctic, its oil and gas resources and any future navigable sea lanes, should be considered
a ―shared heritage of humankind.‖ (Which is not quite how it views the South China

Acquiring Icelandic real estate, military officials suspect, is part of a Chinese plan to
position strategic assets that could be converted to ports and staging facilities in pursuit of
oil and gas exploration, and to ease the passage of vessels through a future trans-polar
shipping route.

This analysis, not coincidentally, comes as DND struggles to find ways to meet the
budget cuts that the Conservative government is demanding of every department. Prime
Minister Stephen Harper has been asking sharp questions about whether the problem-
plagued Victoria-class submarines purchased from Britain more than a decade ago will
ever put to sea.

The Navy promises that HMCS Victoria will be fully operational and patrolling off the
West Coast by this time next year, and the Windsor will be doing the same in the

In this new Great Game that is emerging in the Arctic, the military insists Canada must
be able to assert sovereignty in the air, on land, on the sea and beneath the sea.

Rob Huebert agrees. Prof. Huebert is a political scientist at the University of Calgary who
specializes in Arctic geopolitics. ―Any time you reorient your trade [as Canada is doing
toward Asia] you inevitably become a player in the geopolitics of that region,‖ he said in
an interview. When conflicts emerge, as they inevitably will, ―you‘re going to get drawn
in one way or another,‖ which means ―you need to have forces to defend your interests.‖

But in a time of slow economic growth, high unemployment and worrying deficits, how
much can the Canadian government afford to spend defending those interests?

While we debate that question, a disappointed Mr. Huang says he is looking at other
Nordic sites for his golf course.

China Reform Monitor- November 5/11
China has had a space-monitoring facility built in western Australia to maintain
direct communication with its satellites and spacecraft and decode and encrypt
the stream of information they send to earth. China has several other overseas
ground stations, reports the South China Morning Post,including a huge facility in
Karachi, Pakistan, that track the whereabouts of civilian satellites and command
military ones.
The Swedish Space Corporation, which has served NASA, the European Space
Agency, and Japan's space program, built the Dongara station for China.

Local Australian officials approved construction of the facility in March. A dozen
NASA and European Space Agency stations for tracking satellites are located
near the new Chinese installation.

[Editor‘s Note: A U.S. congressional report released this month asserts that
hackers from China hijacked two U.S. government satellites through a ground
station in Norway and manipulated their operations.

The report says the breaches were in line with Chinese military writings that
advocate disabling an enemy‘s space systems through ―ground-based
infrastructure, such as satellite control facilities.‖]

U.S. probes French tech sales to China
Satellite maker not cooperating
By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
Tuesday, December 20, 2011

U.S. lawmakers and Obama administration officials say France has stymied a 3 1/2-year State
Department investigation into whether a French defense contractor illegally gave U.S. satellite
technology to China.

The officials also say Obama administration political appointees derailed efforts by career State
Department security officials to impose sanctions on Thales Alenia Space (TAS), fearing the
penalties would undermine a White House-led effort to loosen technology export controls.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of their access to details of the
investigation, said the French government has refused to allow the company to cooperate in the

Congress was alerted to the case by security officials in the administration who are concerned
about apparent interference from political appointees in the State Department opposed to
sanctioning the French firm.

On Monday, three senior House Republicans wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
stating that the satellite exports to China appear to be illegal under U.S. trade controls.

According to administration and congressional officials, the State Department‘s investigation of
Thales began in May 2008 and has been stymied by the French government‘s refusal to allow the
company to cooperate in the probe.

China was blocked from buying U.S.-origin military goods, including satellites, in 1989 after the
Chinese military‘s bloody crackdown on unarmed protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) also requires export companies to obtain licenses
for sales of military-related U.S. goods to China directly or via re-export from third countries.

U.S. officials are concerned that China's military will use the technology.

China‘s space program is run by the Chinese military, which is building up space
communications, intelligence, navigation and targeting systems for use with its anti-ship ballistic
missiles and other high-tech weapons.

The investigation was launched by the State Department‘s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
after Thales offered satellites for sale, specifically the Spacebus 4000 C2, as ―ITAR-free,‖ or
freely exportable under U.S. rules.

U.S. officials, however, say the satellites sold to China contain restricted high-tech parts that
require licenses before they are exported to third countries.

A State Department official confirmed the investigation.

―The department continues to look into exports of items regulated under the U.S. Munitions List to
Thales Alenia Space to see if there is any definitive evidence that would contradict claims that the
satellites were ‗ITAR-free,‘ ‖ the official told The Washington Times.

State Department technology security officials ―met with TAS officials as recently as this month
and continue gathering information with an eye toward resolution of this matter,‖ the official said.

House Republicans expressed in their letter to Mrs. Clinton concern for ―efforts to protect the
United States from the increasingly aggressive activity in space of the People's Republic of

Members of the House and Senate were briefed twice this year on the probe, they said.

―Given that this investigation has been open since 2008, and State Department personnel appear
to have concluded that there is a high probability that TAS illegally exported ITAR-controlled
technology to China, when does the Department expect to take a final action which, under law,
may include a denial of any licenses for the export of United States Munitions List (USML)
technology?‖ the lawmakers wrote.

―The misperception that there is an ITAR-free satellite on the market is of deep concern to U.S.

A Thales spokesman referred questions to the company‘s director of communications, Markus,
Leutert, who did not return an email or telephone call seeking the company‘s response.

TAS spokeswoman Sandrine Bielecki also did not return several calls and emails.

Spokesmen for the French and Chinese embassies could not be reached for comment.

The letter to Mrs. Clinton was signed by Republican Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida,
chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Michael R. Turner of Ohio, chairman of the
House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee; and Frank R. Wolf of Virginia, chairman of
the House Appropriations subcommittee on commerce.

The lawmakers also asked the State Department to provide a copy of the Counter Space
Technology List, which identifies technology that could be used in space warfare.

―As you know, China is actively engaging in cyberespionage against American companies and
the U.S. government,‖ the House Republicans said.

―China frequently uses this technology to bolster its military and to aid its commercial enterprises.
That is among the reasons that the State Department‘s enforcement of the U.S. export control
regime, including the ITAR, is of significant importance to the national security and economic
competitiveness of the United States.‖

A congressional commission headed by then-Rep. Christopher Cox, California Republican, in
1998 determined that two U.S. satellite makers, Loral Space & Communications Ltd. and Hughes
Electronics, damaged U.S. national security by illegally transferring space-launch and satellite
know-how to China.

According to U.S. officials, satellite launches by or for China that contained embargoed
technology since 2005 include the APSTAR 6, Chinasat 6B, Chinasat 9, Palapa-D, W3C,

A State Department cable made public by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks said that Thales
would not provide details on three telecommunications satellites - APSTAR 6, Chinasat 6B and
Chinasat 9 - sold to Chinese and Hong Kong companies because they were ―constrained by
French law and commercial secrecy considerations.‖

A U.S. official said the State Department is ―troubled by the perception of TAS‘ continued lack of
cooperation, particularly given that the SB 4000 C2 is not in fact ‗ITAR-free‘ and was exported to

Between 1999 and 2008, nearly 60 U.S. export licenses and agreements worth an estimated $42
million were approved for Thales to buy hardware and technology for Spacebus 3000 and 4000
series satellites.

A congressional aide said administration officials are blocking the imposition of penalties against
Thales because they are concerned that it will undermine the effort to loosen controls on high-
technology U.S. exports.

President Obama in August 2010 announced a major program to reform U.S. export controls as a
way to increase U.S. competitiveness.

Security officials opposed to the reform effort say it will result in the loss of cutting-edge U.S.
defense and commercial technology to adversaries.

A second congressional official also familiar with the probe said the Thales case highlights the
difficulty of loosening controls on sensitive U.S. space technology.

―It shows what happens when sensitive U.S. technology leaves the country. Even France is
incapable of controlling it,‖ the official said.

Transit Security
Authorities Warn Terrorists Increasingly Eyeing Attacks
on Buses Over Other Transit Targets
By Catherine Herridge- Published November 11, 2011 |

In the lead-up to one of the busiest travel weeks of the year, a new intelligence bulletin obtained
by Fox News warns that terrorists have targeted bus networks more than any other mode of
surface transportation.

The two page assessment, sent to law enforcement in the nation‘s capital, says in part, ―bus
systems are considered attractive terrorist targets because they are relatively soft targets.‖

Earlier this week, Transportation Security Administration Director John Pistole underscored the
threat to reporters in Washington.

―It's something that we've seen in reporting over time that terrorists around the world clearly are
interested -- because of the accessibility, the open architecture -- both of buses and rail.‖

The bulletin, called ―Terrorist Concerns Regarding Mass Transit Bus Systems,‖ was sent to law
enforcement in the nation's capital on Nov 3. It says bus attacks, similar to an attack by a suicide
bomber using an explosive-laden backpack in 2005, are more widespread than attacks on the
airline industry. The assessment says over 725 such attacks have been documented from 2004
through 2009.

While improvised explosive devices are common, the feds warn that the Al Qaeda affiliate in
Yemen, through its online magazine Inspire, ―advocates the use of vehicle ramming attacks
against crowds, buildings and other vehicles."

Pistole said the intelligence was sent to local partners to reinforce the view that terrorists are not
fixated on aircraft.

―We actually reissued not just bus but mass transit [bulletins], just being cognizant of what goes
on around the world as we enter the busy holiday season,‖ he said.

Fox News has also learned that intelligence obtained from Usama bin Laden's compound shows
he even considered using buses to attack Americans, by ramming the buses into buildings.

―He always felt that he wanted to leverage his targets,‖ Chuck Pfarrer, author of ―Seal Target
Geronimo,‖ told Fox News. ―Both to use a soft target, one that he had access to, and one that was
spectacular because you know terrorism it has to resonate within the world of ideas. It's political
theater, and he had a really good grasp of that.‖

Homeland Security and TSA officials say there is no credible intelligence that terrorist groups
have immediate plans to hit the bus network, but the law enforcement bulletins warn of terrorist
groups trying to recruit employees or ―insiders‖ who work in the bus, train and airline industry.

Kachin Rebels Blow Up Major Railway

By BA KAUNG                                                           Friday, November 11, 2011

Rebels from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), an ethnic armed group,
destroyed a section of a major railway in northern Burma on Wednesday in an
effort to deter the Burmese military from resupplying its troops in Kachin State.

A section of the commercially-strategic railway from Mandalay—Burma‘s second
largest city—to Myitkyina in Kachin State was blown up by KIA troops at
midnight on Wednesday to prevent a cargo train suspected of carrying
government military supplies from passing, said KIA spokesman La Nan.

There are reports that the attack, which occurred in Mogaung Township in
Kachin State, injured at least one civil railway staff onboard the train. The KIA
spokesman, however, claimed that the attack did not target the train and did not
cause any injuries or deaths.

―We just bombed the railway section, as the government troops and arms
supplies have been reinforced in Kachin State on a large scale,‖ La Nan said,
adding that there were more than 160 armed clashes between the Burmese
military and the KIA in October alone, during which 14 KIA rebels were killed
and 26 wounded.

                                                                          Many similar armed
                                                                          clashes continue to
                                                                          break out in Kachin
                                                                          and Shan States, and
                                                                          the conflict between
                                                                          the KIA and
                                                                          government troops
                                                                          has created
                                                                          thousands of refugees
                                                                          along the China-
Map showing the route to be followed by the China-Burma oil and gas
pipelines. (Photo: Shwe Gas Movement)
                                                                          Burma border. In

addition, human rights groups claim that serious human rights violations, such
as rape and the burning of villages, have been perpetrated against locals by the
government troops.

To independently verify such reports is almost impossible since the conflict zones
near the China border are located in difficult terrain and are thus inaccessible to
the local and international media. The Burmese authorities have also denied
international aid groups access to the conflict zones.

Both the Burmese and Chinese governments have avoided official media coverage
of the clashes, which began in June after the collapse of a 17-year-old ceasefire
between the KIA and the Burmese government. It is important to both
governments to stabilize the region, through which an oil and gas pipeline that is
being built by China and a railway from Burma‘s coast on the Bay of Bengal to
China's landlocked Yunnan Province will pass.

The US $2.6 billion pipeline project is currently under construction and is
expected to become operational by 2013, while construction on the $20 billion
railway will begin in December.

KIA sources said that the continued fighting will pose difficulties for Burma and
China in completing these projects.

Founded in 1961, the 10000-strong KIA is fighting for autonomy for the Kachin
people and has rejected the current military-drafted Constitution as not granting
equal rights to the ethnic groups. The KIA also did not accept recent offers from
Burma‘s new quasi-civilian government to participate in the national Parliament
and have said that a political dialogue with Naypyidaw is a requirement for any
renewed ceasefire.

Recently, Naypyidaw has signed renewed ceasefire pacts with other ethnic armed
groups, including the United Wa State Army, the country‘s largest ethnic armed
group which operates in Shan State, and a breakaway faction of Democratic
Karen Buddhist Army in Karen State.

The clashes in Kachin State have created a sense of caution amidst the optimism
of the international community over certain reformist steps recently taken by the
Burmese government, including overtures to opposition leader Aung San Suu

Reflecting the contrast between the reform measures and the continued armed
conflicts, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that the
government needs to take more steps in its reform process.

―Now, many questions remain, including the government‘s continued detention
of political prisoners, and whether reform will be sustained and extended to
include peace and reconciliation in the ethnic minority areas,‖ she said.

Air/Marine Security

Border Integrity Capability: Enhancements of Multi-
jurisdictional Situation Awareness on Lake Ontario
during the G20
Border Integrity Capability: Radar-based Enhancements of Multi-jurisdictional Situation
Awareness on Lake Ontario During the G20 Summit [PDF]

Defence R&D Canada – CSS
Technical Memorandum
DRDC CSS TM 2011-12
June 2011

Abstract ……..
While improvements have been made on Border Integrity Capabilities over time, significant gaps
remain, particularly along the Great Lakes and St Lawrence Seaway. This study reports that, for
the first time in Canada, law enforcement authorities on the Great Lakes and St-Lawrence
Seaway were able to demonstrate the capability of wide-area surveillance and maritime domain
awareness through the use of networked radar technology.

While a recent study (PSTP-08-103BTS) demonstrated the technology‘s ability to detect and
track small vessels and low-flying aircraft, the G20 Summit in Toronto, a major complex national
event, offered the opportunity to extend the above study and test the contribution of the
technology to border integrity under multi-jurisdictional operational conditions.

This major event included a large number of users and stakeholders (RCMP, Great Lakes Marine
Security Operations Centre, Toronto Police Services, and Department of National Defence) and
provided a unique opportunity to test the value of the system in an international operational
setting. While it was not possible to collect quantitative data during G20 Summit, it was agreed
that qualitative data would be collected as part of the study.

The results indicated that the networked radar technology increased the operational effectiveness
as well as cost-effectiveness of the marine security efforts.

Because the technology enabled: 1) maritime domain awareness 2) common operating picture
(―common language‖ in multi agency operations) and 3) seamless web-enabled sharing of radar
tracks overlayed on Google Earth™, users reported the ability to interdict vessels during the G20
Summit that may otherwise not have been. The technology was successful in detecting and
tracking vessels of interest with respect to International cross border activity. Due to their
continued engagement in the technology, users have suggested a number of improvements, which
are documented in this report.

Terrorist Threats to Commercial Aviation: A Contemporary Assessment
CTC Sentinel, Vol. 4, Issue 11-12 (November, 2011)

Nov 30, 2011- Author: Ben Brandt

Ten years ago, al-Qa`ida utilized four U.S. commercial airliners to destroy the World
Trade Center‘s towers, damage the Pentagon, and kill close to 3,000 people. This attack
spurred the United States to convert its counterterrorism efforts into a sustained war on
terrorism, resulting in the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the capture or killing of
hundreds of al-Qa`ida members, and the eventual death of al-Qa`ida chief Usama bin
Ladin. There has been extensive reflection in recent months regarding the implications of
Bin Ladin‘s death and the Arab Spring to al-Qa`ida and its affiliated groups.

Two critical issues, however, have been partially sidelined as a result. How has the
terrorist threat to commercial aviation evolved since the events of 9/11? How have
actions by the U.S. and other governments worked to mitigate this threat?

This article offers a thorough review of recent aviation-related terrorist plots, subsequent
mitigation strategies, and current terrorist intentions and capabilities dealing with
commercial aviation. It concludes by offering three steps security experts can take to
reduce the terrorist threat to commercial aviation.

Aviation-Related Plots Since 9/11 and the Regulatory Response
A number of al-Qa`ida-affiliated plots sought to target commercial aviation since 9/11. A
sampling of these include the ―shoe bomber‖ plot in December 2001, an attempt to shoot
down an Israeli airliner in Kenya in 2002, the liquid explosives plot against transatlantic
flights in 2006, the Christmas Day plot in 2009, and the cargo bomb plots in 2010. Other
prominent operations attempted or executed by Islamist extremists during this period
include a 2002 plot to hijack an airliner and crash it into Changi International Airport in
Singapore, the 2002 El Al ticket counter shootings at Los Angeles International Airport,
the 2004 bombings of two Russian airliners, the 2007 Glasgow airport attack, a 2007 plot
against Frankfurt Airport by the Sauerland cell, a 2007 attempt by extremists to target
fuel lines at JFK International Airport in New York, the 2011 suicide bombing at
Moscow‘s Domodedovo International Airport, and the 2011 shootings of U.S. military
personnel at Frankfurt International Airport.

In response to these incidents, the U.S. government and many other countries have
dramatically increased aviation security measures to prevent or deter future attacks. Many
of these measures are well known to the public, including: the hardening of cockpit
doors; federalization of airport security screening staff and the creation of the
Transportation Security Administration (TSA); deployment of federal air marshals
(FAMs) and federal flight deck officers (FFDOs) aboard aircraft; implementation of new
detection equipment and methods, such as advanced imaging technology (AIT), often
referred to as ―body scanners‖; increased amounts of screening for cargo; explosive trace
detection (ETD), full body ―patdowns,‖ and behavioral detection officers (BDOs);
enhanced scrutiny for visa applicants wanting to travel to the United States; and the use

of watch lists to screen for terrorists to prevent them from boarding flights or from
gaining employment in airports or airlines.

Certain measures—such as invasive patdowns, AIT scanning, inducing passengers to
remove jackets, belts, and shoes for inspection, and requiring them to travel with minimal
amounts of liquid in their possession—have drawn widespread complaints regarding their
inconvenience, as well as questions about their supposed efficacy. The reactive nature of
many such measures has been widely noted as well, with some security practices
designed to counter highly specific attack techniques utilized in past terrorist plots. Al-
Qa`ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) sarcastically commented on this tendency in its
online magazine Inspire, rhetorically asking the U.S. government whether it thought the
group had no other way to conceal explosives after the TSA prohibited passengers from
carrying printer cartridges.

Current Threats to Aviation
Despite the strenuous efforts by governments to harden commercial aviation in the post-
9/11 era, the number of plots illustrates that al-Qa`ida core, its affiliates, and numerous
other Islamist extremist groups and self-radicalized individuals maintain a high level of
interest in attacking aviation. Despite the organizational disruptions caused by the deaths
of numerous senior al-Qa`ida leaders in 2011, and the current preoccupation of several al-
Qa`ida affiliates with local conflicts, this ongoing interest in attacking aviation is unlikely
to dissipate in the long-term. Furthermore, the evolving tactics utilized in these various
plots lend weight to AQAP‘s contention that government regulators suffer from a lack of
imagination in anticipating and mitigating emergent and existing threats. As indicated by
numerous accounts, including the description of the cargo plot contained in Inspire,
terrorists constantly seek to analyze existing aviation security measures to probe for
weaknesses and develop countermeasures. Terrorists‘ ongoing efforts to study and defeat
security are further exemplified by the arrest of Rajib Karim, a former information
technology employee at British Airways; prior to his arrest, Karim maintained an
ongoing dialogue with AQAP operative Anwar al-`Awlaqi and attempted to provide al-
`Awlaqi with information on aviation security procedures.[1]

Therefore, despite government efforts to improve aviation security, a number of critical
tactical threats remain.

Insider Threats
Rajib Karim sought to stage a terrorist attack on behalf of AQAP, seeking to become a
flight attendant for British Airways to stage a suicide attack. He also attempted to recruit
fellow Muslims (including a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport and an employee of
airport security) to stage an attack.[2] Coupled with the aforementioned 2007 JFK airport
plot, which involved at least one airport employee, and a reported 2009 plot by
Indonesian terrorist Noordin Top to target commercial aviation at Jakarta‘s main airport,
which included assistance from a former mechanic for Garuda Indonesia,[3] this
illustrates the primacy of the so-called ―insider threat‖ to aviation.

Although TSA and U.S. airports currently conduct criminal and terrorist database checks
on potential airport, airline, and vendor employees who are to be granted access to secure
areas, there are significant vulnerabilities in this approach,[4] which has proven notably
unsuccessful at stopping members of street gangs from gaining employment and carrying
out criminal activities such as narcotrafficking, baggage theft, and prostitution at airports
nationwide. In 2010, an individual named Takuma Owuo-Hagood obtained employment
as a baggage handler for Delta Airlines, then promptly traveled to Afghanistan where he
made contact with the Taliban, reportedly providing advice on how to effectively engage
U.S. troops.[5]

The magnitude of this vulnerability is compounded because most airport employees
working in secure areas do not undergo security screening prior to entering their
workspace due to practical constraints. Additional measures, such as random screening
and security probes, are unable to effectively mitigate this threat. The insider threat
becomes markedly worse at non-Western airports in regions such as West Africa or
South Asia, where local authorities‘ ability to effectively screen prospective airport
employees is frequently negligible due to incomplete or poorly structured terrorist and
criminal intelligence databases.

Threats from Ranged Weapons
MANPADS, or man-portable air defense systems, have been described as a growing
threat to commercial aviation following the outbreak of Libya‘s civil war in early 2011
and subsequent news reports claiming that al-Qa`ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has
obtained surface-to-air missiles.[6] Some reports suggest that missiles stolen from Libyan
arsenals have spread as far as Niger, the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula. In addition
to AQIM, al-Shabab has been known to possess advanced MANPADS, allegedly
provided by Eritrea.[7] Given that AQAP maintains ties to al-Shabab and has reportedly
taken over multiple military depots in Yemen following the outbreak of civil unrest
there,[8] it is not implausible to assume that AQAP could acquire additional MANPADS.
There are also reports that the Taliban acquired MANPADS from Iran,[9] making it
conceivable that elements of the group sympathetic to al-Qa`ida‘s aims could provide al-
Qa`ida with MANPADS for a future attack.

Although MANPADS are unable to target aircraft at cruising altitudes, commercial
aircraft would become vulnerable for several miles while ascending and descending,
particularly due to their lack of countermeasure systems.

In addition to the MANPAD threat, a significant variety of ranged weapons could be used
to target commercial aircraft, particularly when taxiing prior to takeoff or after landing.
Rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), for example, are inaccurate at extended ranges;
however, they have been used to shoot down rotary wing aircraft in combat zones, and
have been used in at least one plot against El Al aircraft.[10] The Irish Republican Army
(IRA) used homemade mortars to attack Heathrow Airport in the 1990s, while heavy
anti-material sniper rifles such as the Barrett M82 fire .50 caliber rounds to a range of
more than one mile and have been previously used by non-state actors, such as the IRA
and the Los Zetas drug cartel.[11]

Evolving Threats from Explosive Devices
Terrorist groups, particularly AQAP, have continuously refined their ability to conceal
improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from security screening equipment, as shown by the
2009 Christmas Day plot, where a would-be suicide bomber concealed explosives in his
underwear, and the 2010 cargo bomb plot, where bombmakers hid explosives in printer

Following the 2009 plot in particular, TSA, foreign regulatory agencies, and some
airlines sought to increase safeguards against passenger- or cargo-borne IEDs by the
deployment of AIT and ETD equipment. IEDs, however, are likely to remain a
significant threat to commercial aviation due to limitations in current screening
technology. AIT can be defeated by concealing IEDs internally, either by the frequently
discussed stratagem of surgically implanting devices in a would-be suicide bomber or by
the simpler route of secreting the device within a body cavity. Alternately, IEDs
concealed within complex electronic devices are likely to defeat all but the most thorough
visual inspection, as illustrated by explosives experts‘ initial failure to detect the devices
used in the 2010 cargo plot.[12] AQAP has shown itself to be particularly adept at
concealing IEDs within electronic devices such as printers and radios, which it will likely
continue to use in the future.

ETDs and explosives detection dogs, meanwhile, can be defeated by numerous
countermeasures. For example, many (though not all) ETD devices detect only two
popular explosive compounds. ETD equipment is also not designed to detect the
components of improvised incendiary devices (IIDs), making the use of these
correspondingly attractive to terrorists. Lastly, IEDs can be sealed and cleaned to degrade
the ability of ETD equipment to detect explosive vapors or particles.[13]

Nor is behavioral profiling likely to provide the solution to passenger-borne IEDs and
IIDs. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab underwent two interviews by security staff prior to
staging his attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in 2009. Similarly, a GAO report
examining the TSA‘s use of BDOs noted that the scientific community is divided as to
whether behavioral detection of terrorists is viable.[14]

Threats Against Airline Facilities and Airports
One aspect of aviation security that is not frequently addressed is the potential for
terrorists to strike other aspects of aviation infrastructure beyond aircraft. Commercial
airlines are highly reliant upon information technology systems to handle critical
functions such as reservations and crew check-in, a fact not lost upon Rajib Karim when
he suggested in correspondence with Anwar al-`Awlaqi that he could erase data from
British Airways‘ servers, thus disabling the airline‘s website.[15] Such an approach
would mesh closely with al-Qa`ida core‘s and AQAP‘s stated aims of waging economic
jihad against the West. The operational control centers operated by air carriers are
another significant point of vulnerability, which conduct the airlines‘ flight control,
meteorology, and emergency management functions. Despite their criticality to flight
operations, these control centers are rarely heavily guarded, meaning that a team of
attackers equipped with inside knowledge could temporarily shut down the global

operations of a major air carrier, particularly if backup facilities were to be targeted as

Another threat to commercial aviation is the increasing number of plots and attacks
targeting airports themselves rather than aircraft. There have been two significant attacks
staged at international airports thus far in 2011 in Frankfurt and Moscow. Attacks against
airports have been planned or executed using a variety of tactics, such as firearms, car
bombs, suicide bombers, and hijacked aircraft. The targets have included airport facilities
such as fuel lines, arrival halls, and curbside drop-off points. Terrorists could also breach
perimeter fencing and assault aircraft on runways, taxiing areas, and at gates. This tactic
was used during the 2001 Bandaranaike airport attack in Sri Lanka, when a team of Black
Tigers[16] used rocket-propelled grenades and antitank weapons to destroy half of Sri
Lankan Airlines‘ fleet of aircraft.[17] More recently, Afghan authorities announced the
discovery of arms caches belonging to the Haqqani network near Kabul Airport and
claimed that the group had planned to use the caches to stage an assault on the
airport.[18] The actions of activist groups—such as Plane Stupid, which has breached
perimeter fencing at UK airports so that activists could handcuff themselves to aircraft in
a protest against the airline industry‘s carbon emissions[19]—demonstrate the viability of
such an attack in the West as well.[20]

The trend toward attacking airports rather than aircraft has likely been driven by a
number of factors, particularly increased checkpoint screening measures and terrorists‘
growing emphasis on decentralized, small-scale attacks on targets of opportunity.
Firearms will likely prove to be a key component of future attacks, given their relative
ease of use compared to explosives, as well as their wide availability in the United States
and many other countries. This trend was exemplified by the 2011 Frankfurt attack,
which was conducted by Arid Uka, an employee at the airport‘s postal facility, who shot
and killed two U.S. soldiers at a bus at the terminal. Although deployment of plainclothes
security personnel and quick reaction teams can help ameliorate the impact of attacks on
airports, their ease of execution and the impossibility of eliminating all airport queues (be
they for drop-off, check-in, security screening, baggage claim, or car rentals) make this
tactic a persistent threat.

Required Steps to Improve Aviation Security
Given the breadth and complexity of threats to commercial aviation, those who criticize
the TSA and other aviation security regulatory agencies for reactive policies and overly
narrow focus appear to have substantial grounding. Three particularly serious charges can
be levied against the TSA: it overemphasizes defending against specific attack vectors
(such as hijackings or passenger-borne IEDs) at the expense of others (such as insider
threats or attacks on airports); it overemphasizes securing U.S. airports while failing to
acknowledge the significantly greater threat posed to flights arriving or departing from
foreign airports; and it has failed to be transparent with the American people that certain
threats are either extremely difficult or beyond the TSA‘s ability to control. Furthermore,
the adoption of cumbersome aviation security measures in the wake of failed attacks
entails a financial burden on both governments and the airline industry, which has not
gone unnoticed by jihadist propagandists and strategists. While the U.S. government has

spent some $56 billion on aviation security measures since 9/11, AQAP prominently
noted that its 2010 cargo plot cost a total of $4,900.[21]

With this in mind, there are several measures that could be undertaken to improve U.S.
aviation security. First, policymakers must recognize the timely collection and
exploitation of intelligence will always be the most effective means of interdicting
terrorist threats to aviation, whether by disrupting terrorist leadership in safe havens,
breaking up nascent plots, or preventing would-be terrorists from boarding aircraft. The
successful exploitation of intelligence gathered from the Bin Ladin raid in May 2011 has
likely done far more to defend commercial aviation from al-Qa`ida than the use of
advanced imaging equipment and patdowns.

Second, the TSA and other aviation security regulators must increase their liaison with
the airline industry regarding the development of risk mitigation strategies, as airlines are
far more aware of the vulnerabilities inherent to commercial aviation, as well as the
practical constraints on proposed security measures.

Third, rather than increasing spending on screening equipment and employees deployed
in the United States, the TSA and other regulators should instead provide financial
support for airlines attempting to improve security for their overseas operations. This
could include subsidizing background checks on airlines‘ international employees and
vendors, paying for armed guards at ticket counters, helping upgrade security for airlines‘
computer networks and control centers, and paying for the deployment of ETD screening
equipment. Aviation security regulators should also work to improve the quality of threat
information shared with airlines, which is frequently dated, irrelevant, or inaccurate.

Most importantly, the TSA and policymakers must publicly acknowledge that it is
impossible to successfully protect every aspect of commercial aviation at all times.
Intelligence gaps will occur, watch lists will not always be updated, scanners will fail to
detect concealed items, and employees will become corrupt or radicalized. As politically
painful as such an admission may be, it is essential to scale back bloated security
measures that add significant expense and inconvenience to commercial aviation without
materially reducing risk. The TSA‘s leadership has begun to take small steps in this
direction, such as a current pilot program designed to prescreen travelers to facilitate
expedited screening, but more must be done to ensure that commercial aviation remains
both secure and commercially viable.

Ben Brandt is a director at Lime, a political risk consultancy based in the United Arab
Emirates. Prior to joining Lime, he worked as a threat analyst for a major U.S. airline,
as well as at the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness. Mr. Brandt
holds an MA in Security Studies from Georgetown University.

[1] ―BA Worker to Stand Trial on Terror Charges,‖ CNN, March 26, 2010.

[2] Vikram Dodd, ―British Airways Worker Rajib Karim Convicted of Terrorist Plot,‖
Guardian, February 28, 2011.

[3] ―Terror Suspect Top Said Planning Attack on Airline – Indonesian Police Chief,‖
BBC, September 1, 2009.

[4] For example, it is difficult to conduct effective background screening on immigrants
who have migrated to the United States from countries with poor records systems.

[5] Alissa Rubin, ―Tangled Tale of American Found in Afghanistan,‖ New York Times,
October 11, 2010.

[6] See, for example, ―Qaeda Offshoot Acquires Libyan Missiles: EU,‖ Agence France-
Presse, September 6, 2011.

[7] ―Report of the Monitoring Group on Somalia,‖ UN Monitoring Group on Somalia,
July 18, 2007.

[8] Fawaz al-Haidari, ―Blast at Qaeda-Looted Yemen Ammo Plant Kills 75,‖ Agence
France-Presse, March 28, 2011.

[9] Declan Walsh, ―Afghanistan War Logs: US Covered Up Fatal Taliban Missile Strike
on Chinook,‖ Guardian, July 25, 2010; ―Afghanistan War Logs: Anti-Aircraft Missiles
Clandestinely Transported from Iran into Afghanistan – US Report,‖ Guardian, July 25,

[10] Richard Cummings, ―Special Feature: The 1981 Bombing of RFE/RL,‖ Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty, February 9, 1996. Some news reports claim that Islamic militants
planned to target an El Al flight with rocket propelled grenades in Switzerland in 2005 as

[11] Scott Kraft, ―New IRA ‗Spectaculars‘ Seen Stalling Peace,‖ Los Angeles Times,
March 19, 1994; Samuel Logan, ―Los Zetas: Evolution of a Criminal Organization,‖ ISN
Security Watch, March 11, 2009.

[12] ―Failure to Find Airport Bomb ‗a Weakness,‘ Expert Says,‖ BBC, November 1,

[13] For details, see Brian Jackson, Peter Chalk et al., Breaching the Fortress Wall (Santa
Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 2007).

[14] ―Aviation Security: Efforts to Validate TSA‘s Passenger Screening Behavior
Detection Program Underway,‖ U.S. Government Accountability Office, May 2010.

[15] Alistair MacDonald, ―U.K. Prosecutors Tie BA Employee to Awlaki,‖ Wall Street
Journal, February 2, 2011.

[16] The Black Tigers were a specially selected and trained group of suicide operatives
deployed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam during their insurgent campaign in Sri

[17] Celia W. Dugger, ―Rebel Attack on Airport Shocks Leaders of Sri Lanka,‖ New
York Times, July 25, 2001.

[18] Matt Dupee, ―NDS Smashes Haqqani Network Plots in Kabul,‖ The Long War
Journal, July 31, 2011.

[19] See, for example, Helen Carter, ―Plane Stupid Demo at Manchester Airport
Increased Emissions, Court Hears,‖ Guardian, February 21, 2011.

[20] Ibid.

[21] See, for example, Bruce Riedel, ―AQAP‘s ‗Great Expectations‘ for the Future,‖ CTC
Sentinel 4:8 (2011). For details on the $56 billion, see Ashley Halsey III, ―GOP Report:
TSA Hasn‘t Improved Aviation Security,‖ Washington Post, November 16, 2011.

Technology key in airports development
04:20 24 Nov 2011

Meeting future demand, be it increasing numbers of passengers and their ever-smarter
mobile devices or airline business partners seeking to improve efficiency, is a critical
preoccupation for many airport IT bosses.

Their vision of an integrated airport environment that offers a seamless customer
experience is edging closer to realisation. Airports around the globe are reporting
successes over the past year focused on IT infrastructure upgrades, common-use and self-
service, and mobile services for both passengers and staff.

Combine these wins with, admittedly nascent, activity around in e-gates, passenger flow
management, radio frequency identification (RFID) and the toolkit for enhancing -
performance is taking shape.
However, the pace of technological change is picking up all the time, so working out how
to prepare for growth without creating logjams in the current service or boxing yourself
into a technological corner is no mean feat.

Furthermore, the astute deployment of technology will never be enough to fulfil the
vision. Meeting future demand will require a collaborative airport environment, which
means bringing your customers, consumer and commercial, with you on the journey.
The challenge of growth cannot be understated. "The fact there will be over five billion
arrivals and departures from airports this year alone means airports must manage
growth," says Ilya Gutlin, vice president of Airport Solutions Line, SITA. "They can do
this by leveraging the convergence of three trends: passenger self-service, mobility and

collaborative decision-making to create a smart predictive environment for the most
effective flow of passengers and cargo through an airport."

The first stage to achieving SITA's "Intelligent Airport" vision is a foundation of robust
infrastructure and integrated systems. Systems and processes that have evolved
independently, or with minimal communication, or inefficient overlaps of data and
resources, "fail to address the airport as an integrated time-based supply chain", says
Gutlin. No surprise then that 74% of airports will be pumping money into refreshing their
IT infrastructure over the next three years according to the 2011 Airline Business/SITA
and ACI World Airport IT Trends Survey.

Among those already reporting infrastructure wins is Spain's airport authority AENA,
which earlier in the year set up AENA Aeropuertos to manage the country's 47 airports as
a step towards part privatisation.

A key achievement for director of information systems Eloy Barragán has been adapting
the enterprise systems to AENA's new model. At an airport level, the successes have
focused on supplying the IT infrastructure, including data centre, airport operational
database and flight information displays, to new area terminals in Alicante, Santiago and
La Palma. "The benefits have been to increase capacity in these airports and adapt the -
systems to the new fares," he says, while conceding co-ordinating IT infrastructure
activities with the builders to ensure there were no delays to the schedule was not without

For San Diego International Airport, initiating a capital improvement project to upgrade
the airport-wide network to ensure redundancy and move from a 1GB backbone to a
10GB backbone is already delivering benefits. "The improved network greatly enhances
the airport network reliability and ability to handle newer technologies such as voice over
internet protocol telephony and network-based cameras," says Howard Kourik, director
of information technology at San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

San Diego is in the throes of a $1bn "Green Build" sustainability project to construct new
gates, enhanced kerbside check-in, plus other terminal improvements, which will increase
capacity from nearly 17 million passengers last year to 27-33 million by 2030.
Common-use self-service is a cornerstone to the Green Build focus on more efficient use
of resources and has proved a significant achievement for Kourik and his team, with the
last year seeing them add low-cost carriers Volaris and Spirit into the existing common-
use terminal equipment (CUTE) system at four gates.

But the greater victory has been gaining buy-in from the airport community to move to
the IATA/ACI Common-Use Passenger Processing System (CUPPS) standard. The
upshot is after the Green Build is activated in 2013, San Diego will provide CUPPS at 23
out of 51 gates. It will also supply a common-use infrastructure, which will mean the IT
team providing a range of telecoms services directly to concessions and carriers that they
currently only provide to airport personnel.

CUPPS is not difficult technically; the real challenge comes with the move from
dedicated airline equipment to a common-use airport environment. But mindsets in the
USA are evolving rapidly on both sides from the historic divide between government-
entity-landlord airport and long-leaseholder airline.

"Times have changed. With airline mergers, bankruptcies, alliances, etc, the airports'
perception is that it has to think long-term about providing service to the community,
whereas the airline, of necessity, has to think short-term about profitability," says Kourik.

"I foresee airports taking more and more of the tasks traditionally defaulted to the
airlines, and thus becoming fully engaged partners with the airlines in the business of
processing passengers from door-to-door. We will also look very hard at using this
technology to help generate additional revenue: CUPPS enables us to be more financially
attractive to new entrants by reducing airline's start-up costs and personnel needs."

Top technology projects overall, according to this year's Airport IT Trends Survey, are
providing mobile (data capable) device-based services for staff and offering mobile
device-based services for passengers, attracting resource from 84% and 80% respectively.
Mobile services are establishing themselves as a vital tool for airports to communicate
with customers in a service-centric environment, even more so when, like Dallas-Fort
Worth International (DFW), you are working through a seven-year terminal renewal
programme. Construction has been underway at Terminal A since May and in September
work started to add 54,000 square feet of landside interior space to Terminal E. But a
focus on the hospitality to enhance services to all customers, passengers, airlines and
concessions, combined with imaginative application of mobile technology is helping
DFW go several steps further.

Upgrading DFW's mobile site this year has increased visits by 31% to 4,000 per day. A
touch-screen digital signage pilot in Terminal D, which allows passengers to pick and
choose the various places in the airport they want to find and see where they are, has now
been rolled out onto iPads and smart phones via an app developed in-house.

"One of the things we are focused on is how to communicate with these customers and to
co-operate with them, with their devices and needs every day," says William Flowers,
vice president of information technology systems and chief information officer at DFW.

In August, DFW added social networking into the mix for the 84% of its passengers
using smart phone devices. Location-based apps Foursquare and Facebook Places are
now integrated with offers from DFW concessionaires. This allows customers checking
into these social networks in any of DFW's five terminals to receive special deals on an
offer within a few yards of their location. In the first five weeks, there were 5,000 active
check-ins taking on concession deals.

"The current media interest is smart phones and the next generation, that's all they do.

And the way that information is dispersed across the world will be through these devices.

That will be the change of the future," says Flowers. He observes: "One of the great
things about technology when it's done well is it is completely ubiquitous and invisible.
So we try to make sure when we install technology is to enhance the customer

Mobile devices for operational staff offer considerable potential for generating
efficiencies. "Mobility will impact four million employees working for airport operators
and other companies at airports, and these solutions deliver operational efficiency while
reducing costs," says Gutlin at SITA. "In airport ground operations, the major cost driver
is employee related; 65% to 75% of the overall cost is tied to salaries and time
compensation so productivity can be enhanced using mobile work solutions."

DFW senior staff have iPads to enable them to access information and make decisions
rapidly, and now the airport is piloting a project with its customers service airport
ambassadors so they can quickly call up information to share with passengers, do surveys
or take images to allow colleagues to immediately make decisions about situations.

Doha International Airport is already reaping the customer service benefits of equipping
ground staff in Qatar Airways' Premium Terminal with mobile devices to provide
individual information on first and business class passengers.

Akbar Al Baker, chief executive for the airport and Qatar Airways, says: "This new
technology significantly personalises the service and increases business efficiency as staff
will always be able to access the latest flight and passenger information. It will also help
to cut down on printing costs."

The airport has been juggling making IT improvements including mobile-based boarding
cards, off-site check-in, automated baggage handling, in-line baggage scanning combined
with RFID, with readying the first phase of the New Doha International Airport (NDIA)
for completion in 2012 with an initial capacity of 24 million passengers a year, rising to
50 million when it is fully operational in 2015.
Nevertheless, upgrading on two fronts generates challenges. "With the NDIA project in
the advanced stage of completion, it is a challenge to balance spending efforts and costs
between strategic and tactical initiatives to ensure smooth operations at the current Doha
International Airport," says Al Baker.

A smooth migration of operations to NDIA will be a focus in the coming months. And -
ongoing initiatives at Doha International will improve operational efficiency via
collaborative decision-making tools, biometric technology, staff mobility and
management information systems.

Doha is also among those airports pioneering the way with more nascent technology,
making a significant investment in automated self-service immigration gates for Qatar
residents to support seamless travel.

In Europe, Vienna International this autumn began installation of self-service common-
use electronic gates for self-boarding throughout its terminals, including the new Skylink
terminal project, with 92 e-gates in operation by the time Skylink opens in 2012. These
initiatives are all part of Vienna's agenda to handle future growth. "One of our main
strategies is to increase our service quality and passenger travel experience," explains
Vienna's chief operating officer, Julian Jäger, adding, "This new boarding solution will
substantially contribute to our objectives."

SITA has been the airport's partner on the project and Gutlin sees e-gates as yet another
element of the intelligent airport vision to "shorten queues and take the hassle out of the
passenger experience". He adds: "Our research shows that 70% of passengers are willing
to use self-boarding."

Hong Kong International Airport pioneered the integration of RFID baggage
reconciliation and management and is now planning to review its use of RFID to identify
further improvements.

"In future, this RFID technology may have much wider application in the aviation field
such as cargo handling; freight management; asset and inventory control; passenger
services and passenger tracking etc.," the airport says. Hong Kong International Airport is
investigating a number of nascent technologies including GPS and wireless triangulation
for improved understanding of the location of both passengers and physical assets. A
real-time decision support system, based on the latest business intelligence platforms, is
under evaluation with the aim of allowing operations staff to make critical decisions
based on more data.

"The use of technologies will help to realise the vision of an intelligent airport through
which operational stability and efficiency can be enhanced and increase passengers'
satisfaction," the airport says. "In the future, we have plans to use more new technologies
in meeting the airport's community needs."

SITA's Gutlin observes: "Whether for tracking passenger movements, end-to-end
situational awareness of key assets and resources, or rapid real-time collaborative
decisions, new technology combined with passengers' desire for more self-service options
has the power to unite the operational practices of airlines, airport operators, ground
handlers and others within the airport."

IT TRENDS SURVEY: Verbatim comments
What have been the major successes and challenges over the last 12 months?
Major IT successes:

Self check-in and drop-off implementation process. Sorting baggage process

Network upgrade, completion of construction and shared-use systems, mobile

The launch of the instant feedback system for customer service

Bar-coded boarding pass processing for security and airport fee collection

Major IT challenges

Payment card industry data security standards compliance

Cost cutting exercise, which resulted in many IT initiatives being deferred to 2012

New projects being started without adequate information systems input

Mobile device connectivity - so many different devices now and coming

Looking to Streamline Airport Security
December 20, 2011- NYT


Travelers in the midst of another holiday season of shuffling shoeless through seemingly interminable

airport security lines may find it difficult to imagine a future where screenings are not only speedy but


But Kenneth Dunlap, director of security at the International Air Transport Association, a global airline

lobbying group, suggested just such a situation, seemingly straight out of the 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger

film ―Total Recall.‖ In it, travelers would stop only briefly to identify themselves before entering a tunnel

where machines would screen them for metals, explosives and other banned items as they walked through.

Such a vision may remain just that, a relic from a 20-year-old movie. But with global air traffic approaching

2.8 billion passengers a year and growing steadily about 5 percent a year, industry executives and security

experts say a fundamental rethinking of today‘s security checkpoints is inevitable.

What is less clear, however, is when — and to what degree — technology, regulation and public acceptance

may come together to create nuisance-free security screening worldwide. Moreover, critics of the current

system, including aviation security consultants, airport executives and passenger advocacy groups, say the

innovations may not be any more likely to thwart a determined terrorist than today‘s systems.

As to the air industry group‘s idea, ―it is a concept that has been growing in popularity,‖ said Norman

Shanks, an aviation security and airport management consultant near London. ―Technically, it is feasible.

But practically, it‘s fraught with problems.‖

There is little disagreement over the need for vigilance at airports. But after the British authorities uncovered

a plot in 2006 to bomb passenger planes bound for the United States using liquid explosives and an attempt

in 2009 by a Nigerian man to ignite a bomb hidden in his underwear, new security measures have

proliferated, stretching checkpoint wait times.

According to the airline group, airport checkpoints globally cleared an average of just 149 people an hour in

2011, down from 220 people an hour five years ago. At peak travel periods like Christmas, the number of

passengers cleared has slowed to as few as 60 an hour at certain airports.

Many of the technologies that would be needed to drive a reliable walk-through security checkpoint are still

laboratory prototypes. Others, like full-body scanners, biometric identification and various liquid and

conventional explosives detection systems and even infrared lie detectors, are already in use or being tested

in airports. But public concerns about privacy and the potential health effects of repeated exposure to X-rays,

for instance, have led many governments to tread carefully.

―With any new technology, you get a certain amount of ‗What is this about?‘ ‖ Janet Napolitano, the

Homeland Security secretary, said in an interview. She said that the 500 or so body scanners in place at

more than 100 airports in the United States had recently been equipped with software that generated a

generic outline of passengers to protect their privacy. And while she played down the potential health risks

linked to certain types of body scanners that use X-ray technologies, she acknowledged that ―there is always

a certain reticence when radiation is involved.‖

To many security experts, however, improving both waiting times and security has less to do with rolling out

sophisticated new machines and more with gathering information about passengers before they even arrive

at the airport.

In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration has begun to shift to a more ―risk-based‖

method of screening airline passengers, with the premise that the overwhelming majority of travelers pose

no threat, yet must still be screened.

The first small step in this direction is a new program called PreCheck. Also known as the ―trusted traveler

program,‖ it provides airport security agents with the kind of information airlines routinely collect and store

on their frequent fliers, including how they paid for their tickets, the history of their past flights and personal

information like their home addresses.

The T.S.A. started the program in October by working with Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. Both

airlines were asked to select some of their elite travelers and ask them whether they wanted to enroll in

PreCheck, which currently offers faster screenings at a handful of airports. The agency plans to expand the

program, which has 85,000 members, to other airports and other airlines.

―What we are trying to do is find that needle in the haystack,‖ said John S. Pistole, the head of the T.S.A. ―If

we can reduce that haystack, it can help us. We have to have a starting point someplace. The intelligence tells

us a number of things, but the great likelihood is that a very frequent flier is not going to be a terrorist.‖

Mr. Dunlap, of the airline trade group, said PreCheck was the only program of its kind. It was modeled on

other programs that expedite clearance through customs and immigration checkpoints in more than 25

countries worldwide, including GlobalEntry in the United States, Privium in the Netherlands and Nexus in

Canada, he said.

The trade group estimated that 30 percent of all air passengers now had sufficient data records and

willingness to take part in a trusted traveler program. Not surprisingly, those passengers are generally

business travelers who average about five airline trips every 18 months.

The T.S.A. took another small step toward speeding up the security process in September when it stopped

requiring most children under 12 to take off their shoes while going through the checkpoints. It also said it

had modified its procedures to reduce the likelihood that children would be subjected to a pat-down if they

set off the metal detector.

The agency has also begun a test at some airports of exempting airline pilots, a low-risk group by definition,

from going through security. (Flight attendants, though, must still follow the same drill as regular

passengers.) Uniformed members of the military can keep their boots on, though they, too, still must go

through security.

Critics argue that while such programs help ease the pain for millions of air passengers, they are not


―I don‘t believe that we can rely on people who have a clean history, because that can be abused,‖ said Mr.

Shanks, the consultant in London. ―Either by a terrorist sleeper who builds up a long travel record to escape

suspicion, or by some innocent person who is forced to carry something through because their family is

being held hostage by terrorists.‖

Mr. Shanks and others argued that training airport security agents in techniques like behavior analysis

would go a long way toward identifying travelers with possible ill intent.

―It is a process which is reasonably noninvasive and could be tied into the system to select people to go into a

particular lane‖ for enhanced screening, he said.

A growing number of airports have started to do that. The T.S.A., for example, has trained 3,000 of its agents

in techniques meant to detect suspicious behavior by passengers. The agency says this has resulted in the

arrest of over 2,000 people — although those were all for criminal conduct, not suspicion of terrorism. Still,

civil liberties advocates question whether that might eventually lead to the profiling of passengers based on

their ethnicity or race and might violate their civil rights.

The airline group estimated that 3 to 9 percent of passengers are now singled out for enhanced screening,

chosen on the basis of behavioral analysis, government watch-list data or at random. The group has called

for the creation of separate checkpoint lanes for processing those higher-risk passengers. If this was

combined with a known-traveler lane, the group estimated, average checkpoint waiting times could be

reduced about 30 percent within two years.

In the meantime, governments and industry are seeking other ways to reduce the inconvenience for

passengers. The European Union and Australia, for example, have vowed to eliminate all restrictions on

carrying liquids, gels and aerosols in hand luggage beginning in 2013 by deploying new X-ray scanners that

can detect liquid explosives. The T.S.A. has said the liquid scanners do not yet meet its reliability standards,

though Ms. Napolitano said the United States ―would like to work toward‖ an alignment of those rules.

Such international disagreement, security experts said, was evidence of the obstacles to making even small

changes in screening procedures.

―In the end, changing a checkpoint is a political process, not a technological process,‖ Mr. Dunlap said.

―Getting the changes to the laws needed and getting regulators to go along with it is the real challenge.‖

Report Blasts TSA Revolving Door; Agency Defends
Security Measures
By: Kenric Ward | Posted: November 29, 2011
  A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform
Ten years after it began operations, the Transportation Security Administration
has devolved into "bureaucratic morass and mismanagement," according to a
scathing new congressional report.

"Since its inception, TSA has lost its focus on transportation security. Instead it
has grown into an enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy, more
concerned with human resource management and consolidating power," charged
the report by two House committees.

The report was promptly rejected by TSA officials, who called the nation's
aviation system "safer, stronger and more secure" than it was a decade ago.
(See the report called "A Decade Later: A Call for TSA Reform" in the attachment

The congressional analysis -- conducted by the Committee on Transportation
and Infrastructure and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform --
alleged numerous shortcomings at TSA. Among them:

      Staffing: "TSA is a top-heavy bureaucracy with 3,986 headquartered
         personnel and 9,656 administrative staff in the field." With more than
         65,000 employees, TSA is now larger than the departments of Labor,
         Energy, Education, Housing and Urban Development and State
      Turnover: "More employees have left TSA than are currently employed at
         the agency." TSA has had five administrators in less than a decade,
         with occasionally long vacancies between appointments.
      Mission: "TSA has failed to develop an effective, comprehensive plan to
         evolve from a one-size-fits-all operation -- treating all passengers as if
         they pose the same risk -- into a highly intelligent, risk-based operation
         that has the capacity to determine a traveler's level of risk and adjust the
         level of screening in response."
      Security: "More than 25,000 security breaches have occurred at U.S.
         airports in the last decade," despite a 400 percent increase in
         manpower." The report said 17 "known terrorists" have traveled on 24
         different occasions through security at eight airports where TSA
         operated a Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques
         (SPOT) behavior detection program.
      Partnership: "TSA has continuously thwarted the adoption of the
         Screening Partnership Program and has a history of intimidating airport
         operators that express an interest in participating in the SPP." TSA
         Administrator Joe Pistole halted expansion of the program that utilizes
         private screening contractors, despite a covert TSA test in 2007 that
         showed significantly higher screening detection capabilities at San
         Francisco International, an SPP aiport, than at Los Angeles
         International, where screening is provided by TSA.

The congressional report zeroed in on TSA's handling, or mishandling, of
explosive-detection measures.

Fewer than half of the nation's 35 busiest airports have explosive-detection
systems, the report stated. Meantime, TSA spent more than $39 million on
Explosive Trace Detection Portals ("puffers"). After deploying 101 of 207 puffers,

"the agency belatedly discovered they were unable to detect explosives," the
report said.

Personnel issues present another ticking time bomb, the congressional study

"Despite TSA's claims that it operates as an intelligent risk-based organization,
TSA advertised for employment at the Washington Reagan National Airport on
pizza boxes and on advertisements above pumps at discount gas stations in the
D.C. area," the study noted derisively.

The cost of hiring and training new employees was pegged at $17,500 per hire,
for a total of $2.4 billion since 2002. That's in addition to the $57 billion the
agency spent ostensibly securing America's transportation network.

"After countless expensive detours, it is time for TSA to refocus its mission based
on risk, and develop common-sense security protocols," said Rep. John Mica, R-
Orlando, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

In a statement, TSA spokesperson Sari Koshetz rebuffed the House committees'

"At a time when our country‘s aviation system is safer, stronger and more secure
than it was 10 years ago, this report is an unfortunate disservice to the dedicated
men and women of TSA who are on the front lines every day protecting the
traveling public.

"In the past decade, TSA has developed a highly trained federal work force that
has safely screened over 5 billion passengers and established a multi-layered
security system reaching from curb to cockpit. Every day, we see the
effectiveness of these security measures with TSA officers preventing more than
1,100 guns from being brought onto passenger aircraft this year alone."

To improve the agency, the congressional committees outlined 11 proposed
reforms, including:

      Expanding and revising the Screening Partnership Program so that more
         airport authorities can transition airport screening operations to private
         contractors under federal supervision.
      Setting performance standards for passenger and baggage screening
         based on risk analysis and common sense.
      Dramatically reducing the number of TSA administrative personnel.
      Requiring that screening of all passengers and baggage on in-bound
         international flights be equivalent to U.S. domestic screening standards.

       Developing an expedited screening program using biometric credentials
          that allow TSA to positively identify trusted passengers and crew
          members so that the agency can prioritize its screening resources
          based on risk.

As an immediate $20 million cost-containment measure, the report suggested
that spending on the SPOT program be frozen at 2010 levels until a validation
study is completed.

TSA said it recently implemented several "risk-based security measures
designed to maintain a high level of security, while improving the overall travel
experience, whenever possible."

Among them, the agency says it added enhanced privacy software to its
advanced imaging technology units; launched the TSA Pre-check pilot, which
prescreens eligible passengers to "potentially expedite their physical screening";
and modified screening procedures for children.

"Each of these initiatives moves us away from a one-size-fits-all approach and
enhances our ability to provide the most effective security, focusing on those who
present the highest risk, in the most efficient way possible," the agency said in a

Andrew Nappi, a Libertarian-leaning critic of TSA, said the agency is trampling
constitutional rights with its VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response)
teams, consisting of federal air marshals, surface transportation security
inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detention officers and
explosive detection canine teams.

"It isn't enough that TSA violates our Fourth and 10th Amendments at airports,
which, by the way, are usually not federal property. Its VIPR teams are now
intruding upon us in surface transportation modes and highways," said Nappi,
Florida director of the Tenth Amendment Center.

Just How Good Are the TSA’s Body Scanners?
by Michael Grabell
ProPublica, Dec. 22, 2011, 10:17 a.m.

It was the end of a four-hour congressional hearing, and Florida Rep. John Mica was fuming at
Transportation Security Administration officials.

The TSA had begun deploying hundreds of body scanners [1] to prevent suicide bombers from
smuggling explosives onto planes. But Mica, the Republican chairman of the House
Transportation Committee, had asked the Government Accountability Office to test the machines.
The results, he said, showed the equipment is "badly flawed" and "can be subverted."

"I've had it tested, and to me it's not acceptable," Mica said at the hearing earlier this year. "If we
could reveal the failure rate, the American public would be outraged."

Mica's comments received almost no press coverage. But his outrage, together with other reports
by government inspectors and outside researchers, raise the disturbing possibility that body
scanners are performing far less well than the TSA contends.

The issue is difficult to assess since the government classifies the detection rates of the devices,
saying it doesn't want to give terrorists a sense of their chances of beating the system.

But the evidence is mounting.

Just last week, Department of Homeland Security investigators reported that they had "identified
vulnerabilities [2]" in the scanners' detection capability, though the specifics remain classified.
Previous research cast doubt on whether the scanners, which are designed to see underneath
clothing, would detect a carefully concealed plastic explosive like the one used by the underwear
bomber on Christmas Day 2009. One study suggests the $170,000 scanners would likely miss
some explosives that could be found during a pat-down.

And recently, Mica and other members of Congress were briefed by the GAO on the full findings
of its covert tests. The results, Mica told ProPublica, are "embarrassing."

Other lawmakers who have also been briefed declined to comment.

How effective the machines are at thwarting terrorism is critical for evaluating whether the TSA is
making airline passengers more secure or wasting taxpayers' money -- and possibly jeopardizing
their safety. Research shows that one type of scanner, which uses X-rays, could slightly increase
the number of cancer cases [3]. The other scanner, using millimeter waves, has been hampered by
false alarms [4] caused by folds in clothing and even sweat.

The TSA says the body scanners are the best technology available and an improvement by leaps
and bounds over the metal detectors, which cannot detect explosives or other nonmetallic

The agency says its body scanners have found more than 300 dangerous or illicit items --
everything from a loaded .380-caliber Ruger handgun [5] to exotic snakes [6] that a man tried to
smuggle inside his pants.

Last month, TSA administrator John Pistole boasted to Congress that a scanner had picked up a
piece of Nicorette gum [7]. And in Buffalo recently, a passenger who was caught with a ceramic
knife [8] after a pat-down admitted that he had opted out of the scanner because he figured it
would find the knife.

Although the TSA's machines have yet to find an explosive, screeners frequently come across
bottles of alcohol and drugs, which could easily have been a powder or liquid explosive,
spokesman Greg Soule said.

Two homeland security officials, who asked not be identified speaking about vulnerabilities, said
recent intelligence that terrorists are considering implanting explosives [9] inside their bodies
shows that the scanners are forcing would-be suicide bombers to adapt their methods. The body
scanners see only underneath clothing, not inside the body. Carrying out an attack with an
implanted weapon, the officials said, would be technically more difficult than if an attacker had a
bomb strapped to their chest.

The GAO reported [10] in 2010, however, that it was "unclear" if the scanners would have caught
the explosive PETN that underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate on a
Northwest Airlines flight over Detroit.

After the failed attempt, the TSA ramped up its deployment of two types of body scanners [11] --
one using backscatter X-rays and another using low-powered electromagnetic waves, known as
millimeter waves. The TSA says both are highly effective, but a small number of studies that have
been released publicly raise questions about each machine's ability to detect explosives.

Last year, Leon Kaufman and Joe Carlson, two physicists at the University of California, San
Francisco, simulated what the backscatter X-ray scanners might see if a passenger carefully
molded explosives to blend in with the human body. The machines were effective for seeing metal
objects hidden on the human body and could detect the hard edges of organic materials, such as a
brick of explosives, according to the study published last year in the Journal of Transportation
Security [12].

But a thin, irregularly-shaped pancake taped to the abdomen would be invisible in images
because it would be easily confused with normal anatomy, Kaufman and Carlson wrote. "Thus, a
third of a kilo of PETN, easily picked up in a competent pat-down, would be missed by backscatter
'high technology,'" they concluded.

"The amount of contrast between an explosive and tissue is very, very low and not in the range
where someone viewing the images could discriminate it by eye," Carlson said in an interview.

Peter Kant of Rapiscan Systems, which makes the backscatter machine, declined to comment on
the researchers' study but said the scanner "has exceeded all aviation security detection testing

No recent study of the millimeter-wave machine, manufactured by L-3 Communications, could be
found. But initial tests at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in 1996 showed a detection rate of
73 percent.

Bulk plastic explosives were the hardest threat to detect, according to the study by researchers at
the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Screeners who were new to the machine found nearly
all the Glock pistols in the images, but they were able to identify the bulk explosives only 56
percent of the time.

Another study a few years later tested a primitive version of the privacy software now used in
airports in which detection is performed by a computer, not a person. The detection rate was
comparable, the researchers concluded, but the test did not break down the results by type of

"Certain objects are tougher to find than others," said Tom Ripp, president of L-3's security and
detection division. "I would think that both technologies have the capability to find these threats.
Is it easy to find these threats? I would not say it's easy to find these threats. But they can be

Prompted by an outcry over the graphic images the body scanners produce, the TSA began
installing privacy software [13] on all of its millimeter-wave machines this summer. Instead of
creating an image of the passenger's body, the machines now display a generic outline of a human
body with potential threats highlighted by yellow boxes.

"The TSA has said that automated detection had to be as good as or better than the required
detection by an operator," said Bill Frain, a senior vice president at L-3. "Right now, we're on

The X-ray body scanner, however, still produces images of passengers' bodies, which are
examined by TSA screeners in a separate room. Rapiscan has developed an automated system,
but it is undergoing tests in TSA research labs.

Before such software was developed, many security and imaging experts believed the backscatter
X-ray machine produced sharper images than the millimeter-wave machine. Millimeter waves
have longer wavelengths than X-rays, resulting in a lower resolution.

But with automated detection software, the machines would no longer produce images, and the
ability of the machines to detect threats is more dependent on the algorithms used in the

The TSA has spent more than $100 million on the body scanners and plans to spend hundreds of
millions of dollars more as it outfits nearly every airport security lane with a scanner by 2014.

Push on to expand private TSA baggage screeners
By Bart Jansen, USA TODAY
Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., wants more airports to join the little-known TSA program that
hires private screeners — rather than government workers — at 17 airports so far.

"Frankly, competition is a good thing in almost all places," Blunt says.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican candidate for president, said in a CNN debate Nov.
22 that he would privatize TSA security "as soon as I could. … It makes abundant good

But TSA Administrator John Pistole rejected a handful of applicants in January, saying
there's no proof that private companies operate better or cheaper than TSA. Despite his
reservations, he's allowing the existing programs to continue. "What I'm looking for: Is
there a clear, substantial advantage to the taxpayer and to the traveling public, obviously,
in terms of security and efficiency?" he told a Senate hearing Nov. 9.

Private screening

Congress created TSA a decade ago to federalize luggage screening, which had been
handled by airlines before the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001.

Even then, lawmakers allowed TSA in 2004 to hire private screeners that are almost
indistinguishable from federal officers in San Francisco; Kansas City, Mo.; Jackson Hole,
Wyo.; Rochester, N.Y.; and Tupelo, Miss.

Another 12 airports have joined the program since then. The additions range from seven
small airports in Montana to a heliport in New York City. Other participants are in
Sonoma County, Calif.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Roswell, N.M.; and Key West.

Contracts vary with companies such as Covenant Aviation Security, Trinity Technology
Group and FirstLine Transportation Security. TSA budgeted about $144 million this year
for private screeners. Each time an airport asked to participate in the Screening
Partnership Program, TSA sought bids from private security firms and awarded contracts.

The contracts call for the same pay as TSA and the same federal standards for screening.

Airport directors say the biggest advantage to contractor screening is flexibility in
moving security workers around. In Jackson Hole — the only airport in the country
where the airport board itself is the contractor — about 80 security workers can be shifted
around during lulls between flights to tidy up or collect data about how the airport is

"Particularly in a smaller airport, we can task them to do what we want," says Ray
Bishop, airport director.

Kansas City has a challenging layout, where three terminals have a total of 14 security
checkpoints because each airline has its own. The 500 slots for private FirstLine staffers
can be filled with part-timers, who can be shifted from one place to another more easily
than federal workers, according to Mark VanLoh, the aviation director. Private workers
also can be fired more easily, he says.

San Francisco joined because of concerns about troubles with federal turnover of
immigration and customs officials, blamed on the high cost of living, according to airport
spokesman Michael McCarron.

With Covenant's 1,100 screening slots, nearly 20% of the workforce is part time,
McCarron says. Besides that flexibility, the contractor can offer financial incentives that
the government can't. "That really allows us to get our peaks and valleys throughout the
day fully staffed," McCarron says.

Disputed value

TSA officials disagree strongly with lawmakers who support private security about
whether the program costs more or less than federal security.

TSA had estimated in 2007 that the private contracts cost 17% more than having the
government perform the job, according to a Government Accountability Office report in
January. But after skepticism from GAO and lawmakers, TSA estimated that contractors
cost 3% more.

"It still does cost taxpayers more to have the privatized workforce," says Pistole, who can
distribute classified security-threat information more easily among government workers.

But the chairman of the House transportation committee, Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., argues
that private workers are cheaper. Mica produced a 137-page report in June that projected

the country could save $1 billion over five years by hiring private security for the
country's 35 largest airports.

Projected savings would come largely from avoiding federal pensions and reducing
overtime and turnover, according to Mica's report. "TSA cooked the books when
conducting past cost comparisons," Mica says.

Federal vs. private

TSA is a lightning rod for criticism. Even its supporters note that the agency must strike a
difficult balance between providing security and whisking people to their planes.

But the debate about screeners boils down to a question of whether this is a government
job or not.

John Gage, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, the union
representing TSA workers, says it would be impossible to monitor different security
companies at 400 airports nationwide.

"What the private sector would bring to national airport security is a fractured approach,"

Gage says. "This isn't like being a hamburger vendor in an airport. I think it's work that is
inherently governmental."

Mica says he doesn't want to abolish TSA but simply to reduce the staff and turn the
agency into a supervisor and auditor of private screeners. He would slash the nearly 4,000
workers in the Washington headquarters.
"You do need federal supervision," Mica says. "You need the federal government setting
the standards."

Private contractors have been well-received. J.D. Power and Associates, a market-
research firm, called Kansas City the best midsize U.S airport for customer satisfaction
last year for performing particularly well in security, baggage checking and accessibility.
"I think a lot of that has to do with our screeners and the friendliness and how well the
system works here," VanLoh says.

Law on the Northern Sea Route in the pipeline

                                             As the longest Arctic sailing season ever has
                                             come to an end, Russia is about to pass a law

that is meant to regulate traffic along the Northern Sea Route.

The Russian State Duma has passed a bill on the Northern Sea Route in a first reading.
According to the bill, transport operators, including foreign companies, should have the
same access to the Northern Sea Route. A centralized administration for the transport
system will be established, but where this administration will be located, remains
unknown. The bill also includes articles on navigation, environmental protection and
icebreaker assistance, the Ministry of Transport‘s website reads.

The bill states that security and icebreaker assistance on the Northern Sea Route is a
matter of state monopoly and will be regulated after Russian law on monopolies.

Read also: Record long Arctic navigation season

Russia‘s fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers is operated by Atomflot in Murmansk.
Local authorities in Murmansk believe the increased traffic along the Northern Sea Route
will have a big impact on the development of Murmansk, as practically all vessels enter
the port of Murmansk on their way along the sea route:

- The increased number of sailings along the Northern Sea Route is an important factor
for Murmansk, says Deputy Minister of Economical Development in Murmansk Oblast
Viktor Gorbunov to MBnews. – Having the icebreaker fleet in full-time occupancy
directly impacts the speed of development of the fleet‘s base itself and of other,
associated services.

This season there have been 29 transports along the whole route from Murmansk to the
Strait of Bering. In addition, there are is a high number of vessels sailing between
Murmansk and towns and oil bases along the northern coast of Russia.

U.S., Europe near deal on trading air
passenger information
By Bart Jansen, USA TODAY

The United States and the European Union are nearing completion of an updated
agreement for sharing information about airline passengers.
The governments have agreed since 2007 to share information that enables the United
States to compare names of European travelers against watch lists.

But the latest agreement, negotiated in the past year, aims to better balance privacy
concerns in the collection of information that U.S. officials routinely use in terror

The European Commission approved the agreement Wednesday. Ministers of the 27
member countries will be the next to consider it, followed by a vote in the European

"It's not a done deal yet, but we are halfway through and are quite confident that we will
have a successful conclusion," Cecilia Malmström, the European Union's Commissioner
for Home Affairs, said after meeting last week with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The passenger-name records cover 19 pieces of data when a traveler buys a ticket,
including the itinerary, means of payment and contact information. Key parts of the
agreement initialed by negotiators last week include:

•Requiring airlines to provide information about passengers to the Department of
Homeland Security for sifting, rather than allowing the government to pull the
information directly from airline reservation systems.

•Allowing U.S. investigators to use the information only for crimes punishable by at least
three years in prison.
•Masking personal identification data such as name and contact information after six
months. After that, data would be stored for 10 years for suspects in most serious crimes
and 15 years for terrorists. The existing agreement has a blanket 15-year limit without
any removal of identifying details.

Chris Calabrese, legal counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union, says, "There are
definitely some positive new elements in the agreement." But he says the length of time
data are stored remains far longer than the week the U.S. government keeps it for the
secure-flight program. "In terms of retention limits, that sort of jumps up and smacks you
in the face," he says.

The quality of data is also a concern if people are delayed by being incorrectly linked to a
criminal. U.S. officials say passengers will be able to fix incorrect information, but
Calabrese is skeptical about how easy that will be.

Jim Dempsey, vice president for public policy at the Center for Democracy &
Technology, says passengers might not be aware of being flagged on a watch list, and it
can be difficult to straighten things out. "How do you know you have a problem?" he
says. "You go through several miserable hours trying to clear it up."

U.S. officials have described the data as vital to protecting against terrorism. Passenger-
name records were used 3,000 times in investigations during 2008 and 2009, according to
David Heyman, assistant secretary for policy at Homeland Security. The information
helped identify attempted New York subway bomber Najibullah Zazi; attempted Times
Square bomber Faisal Shahzad; and David Headley, accused in the 2008 Mumbai attack.

Shippers mull armed guard ramifications
 Written by defenceWeb Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:26
 The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), which represents (65%) of the world‘s
 shipping, says it is proceeding with the development of a standard contract for the employment of
 armed guards on board ships and says this is aimed at weeding out ―second rate‖ security firms.

 ―With the increasing use of armed guards on ships and the fear that second-rate security firms
 may take advantage of the piracy situation, BIMCO is forging ahead with the development of a
 standard contract for the employment of armed guards,‖ the organisation said in a statement.

 The new contract, which will be drafted by a team of experts of shipowners, lawyers and
 underwriters, and with the assistance of the International Group of P&I [Protection and
 Indemnity] Clubs (IG), will require private security firms offering armed guards to follow the
 International Maritime Organisation guidelines for owners on the use of privately contracted
 armed security personnel on board ships.

 ―Of major importance is ensuring that security contractors have in place proper and sufficient
 public and employers‘ liability insurance – which is a concern recently raised by the IG. While
 much of the new BIMCO contract will deal with operational aspects of employing armed security
 guards, issues of liability and responsibility will be of prime importance,‖ BIMCO said.

 It added that new private maritime security firms are springing up almost daily to meet ship
 owners‘ growing demands for their services for vessels operating in high risk areas. ―It is very
 important that this new sector is regulated and that harmonised terms are developed and agreed.
 BIMCO has given this project the highest priority so that the standard contract can be published
 as soon as possible – most likely within the next two months.‖

 Among security firms now seeking to provide armed guards to ships sailing pirate-infested
 Somali waters is British-based G4S. The company provides services ranging from airport and
 sports event security to prison management and cash transportation, has been in the vessel
 security market since 2003, but only recently switched to using armed guards.

 "We've been doing it at an increasing level basically as a response to customer demand because
 of the threat posed off the coast of Somalia and the Indian Ocean generally," a G4S spokesman
 told Reuters, adding that the FTSE 100 firm sees combating pirates as a big commercial
 opportunity, Reuters reports. G4S is the world's largest security company measured by revenues
 and has operations in more than 125 countries, including South Africa. With over 630 000
 employees, it is the world's second-largest private sector employer after WalMart.

 G4S, currently providing services to two large Far Eastern shipowners, says it may also offer
 armed protection to shipping off the west coast of Africa and the Strait of Malacca, off Malaysia,
 both scenes of increasing pirate activity. It is providing armed protection, as well as tactical and
 strategic advice on board large vessels such as oil tankers and container ships. The company says
 it has averted a number of attempted pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean in recent months.

 The switch in favour of armed vessel security comes after Britain and the United States last
 month reversed their opposition to it amid growing acceptance that weapons could be the best
 deterrent to Somali gangs who have been seizing ships and holding their crews and cargo to
 ransom for the last five years. Traditionally, shipping companies and their insurers have fretted

that having armed personnel onboard boats could escalate violence in the event of a pirate attack.

Other private security contractors offering protection against pirates include Typhon, a start-up
chaired by Simon Murray, the ex-military chairman of commodities trading giant Glencore.
Typhon, backed by two major Asian shipping companies, plans to protect convoys of up to ten
ships with an armed vessel complete with helicopter, chief executive and founder Anthony
Sharpe told Reuters. "There are some guys that say they don't like arms because it escalates the
situation, but sadly it's a necessary evil. It does deter piracy," Sharpe said.

A report earlier this year estimated that maritime piracy costs the global economy between US$7
billion and US$12 billion through higher shipping costs and ransom payments.

EU faces warship shortage for Somali piracy mission
Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:39am GMT

By David Brunnstrom

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is short of warships for its counter-piracy mission off
Somalia and is unlikely the fill the gap until March given economic constraints, the top EU military
officer said on Tuesday.

Swedish General Hakan Syren, chairman of the EU Military Committee, said the shortage would
be a "problem", without going into further details.

An EU military official later played down the challenge, saying the shortfall would coincide with a
period when pirate attacks normally declined and the bloc would be able to sustain the mission.

Pirates operating from the Somali coast have raked in millions of dollars in ransoms from
hijacking ships and a total of 243 hostages and 10 vessels are currently being held, according to
figures from EU Navfor, the EU's anti-piracy task force.

A report earlier this year estimated maritime piracy costs the global economy between $7 billion
and $12 billion through higher shipping costs and ransom payments.

Syren said the EU operation, codenamed Atalanta, had a normal minimum force requirement of
four to six warships, depending on the time of the year, and this would not be met in the period
from December until March.

"The ... commander has a minimum level of both maritime patrol aircraft and ships; and during
quite a limited time ... the number of ships is below the red line," he told a news conference after
a meeting of defence chiefs of the 27 EU states.

"It's a problem. I am telling you the facts and it is really a problem ... and we have faced this
before," he said.

Syren blamed the economic crisis, as well as fatigue from NATO's Libya operation, in which
European NATO members maintained a seven-month sea mission to enforce a U.N. arms
embargo up until the end of October.

 "I can imagine there are many different reasons for this, but one is of course economy - the
 budget cuts," Syren said.

 "The last year of course ... many countries with these kinds of assets ... felt insecure about the
 situation in the Mediterranean Sea connected to the Arabian Spring and the Libyan crisis. But
 primarily it's a question of resources."

 On the plus side, Syren said, an EU training mission intended to help improve security within
 Somalia was making progress, and was now training a third batch of almost 700 Somali soldiers.

 According to Navfor, 165 attempted attacks have taken place this year, with 24 actually resulting
 in the hijacking of a vessel.

 British Prime Minister David Cameron announced last month that British merchant ships sailing
 off the coast of Somalia would be able to carry armed guards to ward off pirate attacks, bringing it
 into line with many other countries.

 Pirates hijack Chevron vessel off Nigeria:
 Fri, Nov 18 2011
                     men boarded an oil supply vessel contracted by U.S. energy
 ABUJA (Reuters) - Armed
 company Chevron off the Nigerian coast early on Friday, shipping and security sources

 This would be the second attack by gunmen on Chevron contracted vessels off the coast
 of President Goodluck Jonathan's home state of Bayelsa this month.

 "The MV Endeavour was off the coast, serving Chevron's Agbami field, when gunmen
 boarded it in the very early hours," one security source told Reuters. Two other sources
 close to the incident confirmed the details.

 One of the sources said three men may have been kidnapped. Chevron said it was
 investigating the situation but had no further comment.

 Experts say recent attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea threaten the region's position as
 an emerging trade hub that is an increasingly important source of oil, metals and
 agricultural products such as cocoa for world markets.

Nigerian, Benin navies capture pirates; to receive gunboats
 Written by defenceWeb Thursday, 17 November 2011 11:56
 The Joint Military Task Force established by Nigeria and Benin to patrol the Gulf of Guinea has
 arrested eight suspected pirates, officials report.

 The Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Emmanuel Ogbor told
 Nigeria‘s Daily Sun that the pirates were arrested off the coast of Benin.

Ogbor said that four of the detained pirates were handed over to Benin officials for prosecution
while the other four have been handed over to Nigerian authorities.

―The presence of the Joint Task Force has deterred criminals within the waters and every thing
within the area which hitherto had bothered that country has normalized. The good thing about
this operation is that its not restricted to Beninois waters and they come out, they patrol up to
Nigeria‘s territorial waters and go back, it does not extend to territories within the Benin
Republic, it also extends to Nigeria,‖ Ogbor said.

Nigeria and Benin launched joint sea patrols on September 28. Around 100 military personnel
from the two countries embarked on three patrol boats and four fast attack craft at the Cotonou‘s
naval base. Operation Prosperity is designed to last six months.

The joint patrols "are not aimed primarily at arresting the sea pirates but to prevent them from
attacking the ships", Benin Navy Chief of Staff Maxime Ahoyo told AFP.

Last month Benin‘s Chief of Defence Staff Boni Mathew said that the joint anti-piracy patrols
were bearing fruit, as attacks had dropped significantly. ―Currently there is an ongoing naval
operation in our seas, so as to deter pirates from operating in our territorial waters. I think this has
so far been successful, as there has been no more attacks, apart from some minor incidents here
and there.‖

Mathew said the joint operation with Nigeria had also succeeded in ensuring safety along the
borders of both countries and had helped curb such crimes and weapons smuggling.

The Gulf of Guinea has seen a dramatic increase in the number of attacks on ships this year –
Benin has seen around 20 incidents of piracy this year, compared to none last year. London‘s
maritime insurance market recently added Benin to a list of areas deemed high risk for ships.

Benin, which exports cotton and is an entry port for land-locked countries such as Niger, Chad
and Burkina Faso, collects about 100 billion CFA francs (US$218 million), or some 40 percent of
government receipts, from port activities each year.

Joseph Ahahanzo, managing director of the port of Cotonou, which is managed by the Bollore
Group, recently warned that 80-85 percent of customs duties were collected in the country's ports
and business had already been hit.

Michael Howlett of the International Maritime Bureau, speaking to the press, said the increase in
attacks off Benin ―is very much a cause for concern,‖ and that, ―The security arrangements in
Nigeria have been beefed up and that may have forced or displaced the problem temporarily to

Benin and Nigeria are getting new vessels to help patrol the Gulf of Guinea. Ogbor said that
Nigeria will receive six patrol boats from the Netherlands before the year is out.

On May 13 the former US Coast Guard Cutter Chase (WHEC-718) was handed over to the
Nigerian Navy (NN) as an excess defence article under the US Foreign Assistance Act. The
Hamilton class was renamed NNS Thunder and will enter service later this year.

―Training has commenced for selected female personnel to serve onboard the NNS Thunder. As
you may have known, the ship is configured to embark female officers and ratings. In the same
vein, combatant training for female officer cadets has commenced in the Nigerian Defence
Academy. This is with a view to producing combatant female regular commissioned officers for
the Armed Forces of Nigeria,‖ Ogbor said.

Nigeria has been strengthening its military its military capabilities over the years and has paid
particular attention to improving security in the Niger Delta and off its 780 kilometre long coast,
where it has numerous oil installations. In March 2007 it signed a US$73 million contract for two
ATR 42MP maritime patrol aircraft to join its Dornier 128s. The first ATR was delivered in
December 2009 and the second in March last year.

The Nigerian Navy has received 10 donated vessels to enhance operations in the Niger Delta. The
navy has also established new base in Lokoja known as NNS Lugard and another in Ikot Abasi
known as NNS Jubilee.

The force is seeking government approval to acquire up to 49 ships and 42 helicopters over the
next ten years to police the nation‘s territorial waterways and Gulf of Guinea.

Meanwhile the US envoy to Benin told Reuters that Benin was seeking to buy aircraft to shore up
its coastal surveillance as pirate attacks spike.

Nigeria and Benin have also been assisted by foreign nations. Earlier this month it emerged that
France had launched a three-year plan to train local forces and provide surveillance for anti-
piracy operations in Benin, Togo and Ghana.

French aid comes after the United Nations Security Council last month pledged to look at ways of
tackling the problem, which has long affected Nigeria's Niger Delta region but has spread, hurting
Benin's shipping industry in particular.

France has pledged to spend 5.2 billion CFA francs (US$10.8 million) on training local forces
and buying two surveillance aircraft from French firm LH Aviation, the ambassador said.

France earlier this year sent the patrol frigate Germinal to the region, where it patrolled the coasts
of Benin, Togo and Ghana in an effort to combat piracy and train foreign naval personnel.

Meanwhile, the US Navy‘s HSV Swift was recently deployed to the Gulf of Guinea as part of its
Africa Partnership Station project.

In September China provided a grant of four million euros for the purchase of a patrol boat for

Pirates sentenced to 10 years in Yemeni jail
Yemen Times, Malak Shaher, 2011 11 22
Sana'a –

Ten pirates were sentenced to 10 years each in jail by a Yemeni criminal court in Al-
Mukala, Hadramout governorate.

The Yemeni Coast Guard (YCG) arrested the pirates on 18 January, according to
Shuja'a Al-Deen Al-Mahdi, the head of the operational unit at the YCG.

Al-Mahdi said that the 10 pirates were caught in Yemeni waters, at least 12 miles off Al-
Mukala coast. Usually, pirates attack ships in non-Yemeni regional waters, according to
the Coast Guard Authority (CGA). The Yemeni waters run up to 12 miles from the coast,
beyond which are international waters.

Al-Mahdi explained that some pirates "play fishermen" when they feel that they might be
caught, however, these pirates did not expect to be caught.

Success rate of maritime hijacking falls to 15 pct this year: envoy
Yonhap English News, Staff Reporter, 2011 11 23
Seoul –

International collaboration on combating piracy off the coast of Somalia and elsewhere
has nearly halved the success rate of hijackings on vessels, a Seoul official in charge of
the issue said Wednesday, pointing to South Korea's growing contribution to the global

In a high-profile operation lauded by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, the
country's naval commandos in January rescued all 21 crew members aboard a hijacked
Korean freighter in the Arabian Sea, while killing eight Somali pirates and capturing five

This and other hijackings on the high seas have prompted the Seoul government to be
active in the global fight against piracy in waters off the coast of Somalia and near the
Gulf of Aden.

UK security firms take up arms against pirates
By Neil Maidment and Myles Neligan Reuters Mon Nov 21, 2011 10:42pm IST

LONDON (Reuters) - Security firms led by G4S are providing armed guards to ships sailing
pirate-infested Somali waters, with one start-up kitting out a gunboat to lead World War II style
convoys, as shipowners step up their response to constant attacks.

G4S, which provides services ranging from airport and sports event security to prison
management and cash transportation, has been in the vessel security market since 2003, but
only recently switched to using armed guards.

"We've been doing it at an increasing level basically as a response to customer demand because
of the threat posed off the coast of Somalia and the Indian Ocean generally," a G4S spokesman
told Reuters, adding that the FTSE 100 firm sees combating pirates as a big commercial

G4S, currently serving two large Far Eastern shipowners, said it may also offer armed protection
to shipping off the west coast of Africa and the Strait of Malacca, off Malaysia, both scenes of
increasing pirate activity.

The switch in favour of armed vessel security comes after Britain and the United States last
month reversed their opposition to it amid growing acceptance that weapons could be the best
deterrent to Somali gangs who have been seizing ships and holding their crews and cargo to
ransom for the last five years.

Traditionally, shipping companies and their insurers have fretted that having armed personnel
onboard boats could escalate violence in the event of a pirate attack.

Other private security contractors offering protection against pirates include Typhon, a start-up
chaired by Simon Murray, the ex-military chairman of commodities trading giant Glencore.

Typhon, backed by two major Asian shipping companies, plans to protect convoys of up to ten
ships with an armed vessel complete with helicopter, chief executive and founder Anthony
Sharpe told Reuters.

"There are some guys that say they don't like arms because it escalates the situation, but sadly
it's a necessary evil. It does deter piracy," Sharpe said.

A report earlier this year estimated that maritime piracy costs the global economy between $7
billion and $12 billion through higher shipping costs and ransom payments.

The International Maritime Organisation said it does not condone or condemn the use of armed
guards, but has issued guidelines for shipowners who do decide to seek armed protection.

G4S said it was providing armed protection, as well as tactical and strategic advice on board
large vessels such as oil tankers and container ships. It said it had averted a number of
attempted pirate attacks in the Indian Ocean in recent months.

Somali pirates were holding as many as 16 vessels hostage as of Nov. 7, including the Blida, a
20,586-tonne Algerian-flagged carrier with 27 crew members.

Earlier this year, a seafaring Somali gang seized the oil tanker Irene almost 1,000 miles from the
coast of Somalia in their most long-range attack to date.

G4S, which is worth around 3.3 billion pounds, made headlines earlier this month after scrapping
a planned 5.2 billion pounds ($8.2 billion) acquisition of Danish cleaning firm ISS following
investor opposition to the company moving away from its security heritage.

Gulf of Guinea Piracy: "Nigerian Navy seizes three ships, arrests 11 involved
in illegal oil trade"

Defence Web, 01 December 2011

Nigerian naval forces reportedly seized three ships and arrested 11 crew members
after they were caught stealing oil from the Bayelsa region off the Nigerian coast on
Monday. The capture comes amid efforts by the Nigerian Navy (NN) to strengthen
its security capabilities in Bayelsa, one of three states in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger
Delta, where oil theft, pipeline sabotage and kidnappings are common. The NN is
reportedly seeking government approval to acquire 49 ships and 42 helicopters over
the next 10 years that would be used to police territorial waterways and the Gulf of

Somali Piracy: "Somali pirate attacks sharply down in November" & "Royal
Marines capture suspected Somali pirates after high-speed chase" &
"Somali pirates jailed in France for kidnapping couple" & "Somali pirates
release Singapore ship, keep 4 crew captive" & "China invited to set up anti-
piracy base in Seychelles" & "German Navy Frigate FGS LUEBECK joins EU

BBC News, 05 December 2011 & The Guardian, 01 December 2011 & BBC News, 30
November 2011 & Defence Web, 02 December 2011 & Defence Web, 06 December
2011 & EU Naval Force Somalia, 05 December 2011

According to reports released by the European Naval Force (EUNAVFOR), the number
of hijackings by Somali pirates fell sharply last month compared to the same period
last year. Reports indicate that of the 12 attempted pirate attacks last month, only
one was partly successful, compared to last year's 35 attempted pirate attacks where
seven were successful. The success rate has been attributed to a number of factors,
including: vessels being better protected with razor wire; water cannons; and in
some cases, armed guards. The success has also been attributed to ongoing efforts
by naval forces, such as the successful operation launched by forces from the Royal
Navy (RN) on Tuesday. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessel Fort Victoria reportedly
launched its Lynx helicopter after the crew saw two suspected pirate skiffs flee a
Spanish fishing vessel that was believed to be under attack. The helo reportedly
fired multiple warning shots across one of the pirates' skiffs bow, forcing them to

stop and allow an RN boarding team to investigate. The seven suspects have been
taken to a port in Seychelles where they will be handed over to police for
prosecution, which will mark the first such case to be brought against suspected
pirates since the UK and the Seychelles signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) in July 2009.

Five Somali men have been sentenced between four and eights years in prison in
Paris last week, marking France's first prosecution of Somali pirates. The men, all
found guilty of hijacking, kidnapping, and armed robbery, have been charged for
their involvement in the attack on the 50-foot yacht, Carre d'As, and the kidnapping
a French couple for a USD $2 million ransom off the Horn of Africa in September
2008. Two weeks after the attack, French navy commandos launched an operation
that successfully freed the couple, killed one suspected pirate, and captured six of
the 20 pirates on board; the sixth suspected pirate was eventually acquitted. While
prosecutors originally asked for jail sentences up to 16 years, defence lawyers
reportedly urged the court to show leniency, saying the sentences were
disproportionate to the crime given that the suspects did not have "blood on their
hands." There are currently three piracy cases awaiting trial in France, one of which
includes six suspected Somali pirates believed to been behind the 2008 hijacking of
Le Ponant and her 30-member crew. The suspects are to appear in court in May

In other news, the 30,000-ton chemical tanker MT Gemini and 21 people from its 25-
member crew were released from pirate control last Wednesday, approximately 210
days after it was hijacked off the east African coast. The pirates reportedly kept four
South Korean seamen, including the captain, captive despite earlier agreements that
the entire crew were to be released. While there were no further reports concerning
a paid ransom, officials have confirmed that they are working to secure the release
of the four remaining hostages.

Meanwhile, the Seychelles officially invited China to establish a military presence on
the island of Mahe in the Indian Ocean to assist in counter-piracy operations. The
invitation came shortly after General Liang Guanglie arrived in Seychelles, the first-
ever trip by a Chinese defence minister, during which the two sides renewed their
2004 military cooperation agreement. Details of the proposal were minimal however
the offer highlights the growing cooperation between China and the African island
nation; last November the People's Liberation Army Navy‟s hospital ship Peace Ark
visited Seychelles as part of "Mission Harmony-2010".

The German frigate FGS Luebck and her 219-crew joined the EU Naval Force
(EUNAVFOR) Somalia on Saturday to begin her two-month operation in the Indian
Ocean, Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea as part of Operation Atalanta. The 3,700-
ton vessel, which is equipped with two Sea-Lynx helicopters, has been tasked with
counter-piracy patrols in the region, as well as escorts for the World Food Program
(WFP) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) vessels.

Iran ship has machine guns, India protests
Indian Express, PranabDhalSamanta, 2011 11 29
Mumbai –

India has lodged a strong protest with Iran after the Navy confirmed that its vessel off
Lakshadweep is armed with heavy machine guns.

The ship, MV Assa, has been anchored there for over a month, without any proper
explanation to Indian authorities, as first reported by The Indian Express.

The Iranian ambassador to India, sources said, was summoned to South Block last week
and told that the ship should be moved from its current location because India faces grave
terrorist threats from the sea and an armed ship in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
for such a long time is a security threat.

Iran's "technical" defence is that India cannot object to a ship in its EEZ. India's territorial
waters end at 12 nautical miles, beyond which lies the EEZ up to 200 nautical miles.

While India has full rights over resources in its EEZ, the water is free for navigational

The Iranian side, sources said, argued that the ship is armed to counter the pirate threat.
New Delhi says that the area is clear of pirates.

Maritime Domain Awareness: Facing the New Threat Matrix
Amidst dangerous seas, new tools are providing sailors with the means to stay informed, alert
and aware.

By: Philip Leggiere- 11/21/2011 ( 8:30am)

On Friday, Feb. 18, 2011, an American couple, Scott and Jean Adam, along with two traveling
companions, were sailing in the seemingly smooth Indian Ocean waters off the east coast of
Africa on their 58-foot sloop, The Quest. As they reached a point near the Somali coast, 19
armed pirates attacked the boat, boarding it and holding the four Americans hostage at

A four day standoff began. While negotiations were conducted, The Quest was followed closely
by a flotilla of US Navy warships and a high-flying drone aircraft.

It was all for naught.

On the following Tuesday morning, as negotiations stalled, the pirates fired a grenade
launcher at one of the warships. A split second later, gunfire was heard. When US naval forces
reached and boarded the ship they found the four Americans already dead.

The Quest incident was a vivid and tragic demonstration that US citizens are not immune from
the epidemic of piracy off the coast of Africa, which has spiked in the past decade. More than
that, however, it demonstrated how radically the threat matrix at sea has shifted in an
emerging world of non-state actors and irregular warfare.

A wider range of threats

For most of American history, security at sea has pivoted around military readiness to engage
battleships and naval force from hostile nation-states. While threats from nation-states at sea
remain, thinking about the sea in the context of homeland security in the 21st century is a far
more complex undertaking, according to Guy Thomas, science and technology advisor to the
Coast Guard and one of the world‟s leading authorities on maritime technology.

“Among the many lessons 9/11 has taught is the one that the United States is a vulnerable
nation,” Thomas said in an interview with Homeland Security Today. “This is especially true on
its sea frontiers.”

“The United States has 185 deep-water ports,” he explained, citing a 2003 study he wrote for
the Naval War College titled A Maritime Traffic-Tracking System—Cornerstone of Maritime
Homeland Defense. The study found that every day more than 200 commercial vessels and
21,000 containers arrive at 18 of these deep-water ports. Additionally, about 5,000 vessels of
all types—pleasure boats, fishing boats, tugs with or without tows, oilfield-support vessels and
research ships—are active every day in the vast area from 50 to 1,000 nautical miles offshore.

“All of these vessels are large enough to carry significant cargoes,” the study noted. “Some of
these vessels, which are of all sizes and types, are involved in illegal activities such as drug
and immigrant smuggling, illegal fishing or environmental pollution.”

“Tens of ocean-crossing-capable commercial vessels disappear every year,” Thomas added.
“Some sink because of weather or unseaworthiness. Others probably „disappear‟ for insurance
purposes. More than a few are attacked by pirates. Additionally, older but serviceable ships of
considerable size can be purchased in many places for less than the terrorists probably spent
to execute the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Any of these vessels
could carry enough explosives to destroy or substantially damage a port‟s infrastructure,
including bridges; chemical and petroleum plants, processing, handling and storage facilities;
and such high-value vessels—and thus high-payoff targets—as aircraft carriers and liquid
natural gas carriers.”

Realizing the existence of this new threat matrix, in December 2002 the Coast Guard
published its Maritime Strategy for Homeland Security, which established key objectives and
the means to achieve them. The strategy‟s primary components included “awareness of
threats and vulnerabilities, prevention and protection against these threats, and response to
potential attacks.”

National security presidential directives 41 and 13, issued in December 2004, further stressed
the importance of securing the maritime domain, calling for awareness of “all areas and
things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to or bordering on a sea, ocean or other navigable
waterway, including all maritime-related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo and vessels
and other conveyances.”

The term around which this vision is currently organized is maritime domain awareness
(MDA), a goal and concept maritime experts acknowledge can be at once profoundly simple
and yet confusingly, frustratingly vague.

“From my perspective there hasn‟t been as much progress on comprehensive MDA as there
could have been. MDA is a very broad concept and it‟s not always clear exactly what it means
for many people,” Steve Kern, director of counter networks and illicit trafficking at the Naval
Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) told Homeland Security Today in an interview.

Partly due to the sheer scope of its goal, taking MDA from theory to practice has remained a
painstakingly gradual process.

Surveillance technologies

The relatively easy part has been on the technology side.

“Much of the technology used to try to implement MDA has been available for several years.”
Thomas said. “The three big areas of MDA from a technological point of view have been ship
detection, including long-range radar and acoustics; ship identification, including both
terrestrial and space-based automatic identification systems (AIS); and multi-source data
fusion and its analysis. We have also looked at a host of nontraditional platforms such as
airships and unmanned vessels of all types for operations on, above and under the sea.”

AIS, an automated tracking system used on ships and by Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) for
identifying and locating vessels by electronically exchanging data with other nearby ships and
VTS stations, has been an area that‟s seen much progress in the past decade.

AIS equipment, which is legally required on all large commercial vessels of 300 tons or more,
transmits unique identification information such as position, course and speed, which can be
tracked and monitored by maritime authorities. Its transponder can be queried by other ships,
satellites or land-based transceivers. Ships outside AIS radio range can be tracked with the
Long Range Identification and Tracking system with less frequent transmissions.

Regional Maritime Awareness Capability (RMAC), a US Navy-inspired coastal surveillance
program, utilizes AIS and ground-based radars and sensors to provide users situational
awareness in their maritime domain, Kern explained.

Though still a young platform, RMAC has demonstrated its usefulness in Navy test and
evaluation ranges.

“NAVAIR has developed a government-owned solution when testing and evaluating aircraft
systems,” Kern said. “The problem in test ranges is that you need to have monitoring of the
surface and safe separation of military assets. The mission requires surveillance and
interdiction. When an inert test weapon is dropped in an exercise near Chesapeake Bay, for
instance, it‟s important that there‟s full accounting for all the civilian vessels that may be on
the surface and in range.”

RMAC is also being used by foreign nations and militaries, including coast guards and civilian
authorities in Africa.

In Nigeria, he explained, “Once the system was installed, military and civil authorities found
they had previously had no idea of how many untracked vessels were outside the port area. In
the past, the only way they could really manage to track these kinds of vessels was to have
naval boats or planes do reconnaissance directly. Once they installed the RMAC they could
automatically track AIS from boats broadcasting. Additionally, once a radar system was
installed they could track non-AIS vessels. One surprising finding was that about half the ships
that were supposed to be broadcasting AIS actually weren‟t.”

Another advantage of the system, Kern said, “is that once long-range cameras are installed,
whenever a vessel is spotted without an identifying AIS signal, the cameras can visually lock
in on it and authorities can determine what kind of vessel it is.”

African authorities are also finding RMAC useful to communicate with suspect boats. “Off the
African coast there is a lot of illegal bunkering of many things, including oil, and human
trafficking,” Kern explained. “When two boats merge for no apparent reason, you‟ve got to ask

Installation of the coastal surveillance system in Africa is coordinated in part by the African
Partnership Station, a US Navy program to enhance maritime safety and security in Africa. It
is focusing first on the Gulf of Guinea. The program‟s goal is to enable West African coastal
nations to become self-sufficient in maritime security and to stop illegal activities, protect
natural resources and foster safety at sea.

Perhaps the most ambitious attempt to integrate maritime surveillance data is The Smart
Integration Manager Ontologically Networked (SIMON) system developed by SRI International,
Menlo Park, Calif., a non-profit research firm.

Gary Brown, director of the SRI Center for Maritime and Port Security, St. Petersburg, Fla., a
NAVAIR-funded facility, told Homeland Security Today in an interview that SIMON was
designed to connect data generated by a variety of maritime security equipment, including
cameras, radar and other sensors, in a unified system. Instead of having multiple security
systems feeding separate displays, he explained, SIMON‟s graphical user interface melds
various user displays into a single operational picture.

“The purpose of SIMON,” Brown said, “is to take all the information desired by the operator
and integrate it using special algorithms to detect anomalies. Before SIMON, information
sharing was done by phone or fax. Now, with a Web-based system such as SIMON, there is no

For example, Brown added, “if there is a ship with its AIS not transmitting and we have radar
tracking it, the operator can investigate why the ship‟s AIS was not functioning. We can also
integrate cameras and radar. If radar detects a small boat at 2 a.m. moving in the direction of
a restricted area, we can direct cameras to the radar track and immediately identify it.”

In 2007, the SRI Center for Maritime and Port Security began developing a maritime domain
awareness system prototype for Tampa Bay, Fla. Three radar installations now provide
coverage of the upper, middle and lower bay. A fourth, long-range radar on the Fort DeSoto
Coast Guard Aid to Navigation Station tracks vessels approaching the channel entrance from
as far as 25 miles away.

Beyond surveillance: data integration

“Another problem in the real world of maritime operations is the fact that it‟s been very hard
to integrate all the data from sensors with non-sensor data such as intelligence information,
cargo manifests and other files, documents or materials,” Thomas said.

Several US ports have addressed this challenge.

In South Carolina, for instance, the Port of Charleston Harbor Operation Center (CHOC),
commonly known as Project SeaHawk, launched in 2003 by the Department of Justice (and
subsequently taken over by the Department of Homeland Security in 2009), was a pioneer
effort is to create a unified law enforcement and intelligence operation using a joint operations
center to track maritime and other transportation operations in a port area. CHOC‟s
intelligence unit combined intermodal transportation and harbor security data such as video
camera feeds, radar and thermal imaging, along with information about crews and cargo, to
assess potential threats.

San Diego, Calif.‟s Second Command Center-Joint (SCC-J) is a collaborative effort between
local, state and federal agencies, including the Coast Guard, to close port security gaps by
sharing data across all participating agencies.

An example of the strength of this cross-agency collaboration was seen on June 9, 2009 when
the Coast Guard received a call from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about a suspected
migrant landing near Del Mar, Calif. While CBP detained 19 of the suspected migrants, the
Coast Guard cutter Haddock intercepted the fleeing vessel and detained three additional
members of the migrant boat who were then transferred to CBP. SCC-J played a significant
role by facilitating communication between the various agencies, according to a report in
Coast Guard Compass, the service‟s official blog.

Another big testing ground for MDA is the Arctic, where the Coast Guard has been charged
with gauging the impact of receding polar sea ice and preparing to respond accordingly. Over
the next few decades vessel traffic, as well as oil, gas and mineral exploration, are expected to
increase dramatically as more navigable water is freed.

Since 2007 the Coast Guard has conducted annual Arctic domain awareness flights from March
until November. These are designed to provide a better understanding of the Arctic
environment through tests of people and equipment, sea ice surveys and vessel traffic

Yet, a September 2010 Government Accountability Office report titled Efforts to Identify Arctic
Requirements Are Ongoing, but More Communication about Agency Planning Efforts Would Be
Beneficial found that “The Coast Guard does not currently have Arctic maritime domain
awareness—a full understanding of variables that could affect the security, safety, economy or
environment in the Arctic.”

To help close this gap the Coast Guard has begun intensively collaborating with the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to radically improve navigation charts,
weather and disaster forecasts and emergency response capacity for the maritime community
as it anticipates a future open Arctic trade route.

In a June keynote address to the 4th Symposium on the “Impacts of an Ice-Diminishing Arctic
on Naval and Maritime Operations” in Washington, DC, Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of
commerce and NOAA administrator, said NOAA is working to build its spill response capacity to
support Coast Guard first responders. Among the new solutions is building the same
interactive online mapping tool for the Arctic as was used during the Gulf spill response.

The solution, known as the Environmental Response Management Application, according to
Lubchenco, could serve as the most significant, and perhaps only, scientific tool in responding
to oil spills and other pollution releases in the Arctic.

Toward global reach

Looking ahead, Thomas believes the next big challenge will be to expand upon these tentative
steps to forge more globally accessible platforms for maritime domain awareness data sharing
and communications.

“There is no silver bullet, not now, nor in the foreseeable future but all maritime nations of the
world, working together, can make the seas much safer and more secure from wrong-doers,
be they smugglers, polluters or pirates,” he declared.

To that end Thomas has proposed a global space partnership initially focused on the maritime
domain. Citing recent widespread recognition that piracy is alive and well in the 21st century,
as well as the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, India, committed by just a few men arriving
by sea, Thomas is convinced that unclassified space systems could play a major role in a
future global maritime awareness system.

Thomas acknowledged that such a system would require international collaboration and
cooperation on an unparalleled scale, recalling the collaboration forged by the International
Civil Aviation Organization, an effort that took almost 40 years to reach full functionality. He
nonetheless believes that building a maritime awareness system for the world, using space
systems as a backbone for shared surveillance assets and a universal common operational
picture, is an attainable if—for now at least—a very long-term goal.


In various guises critical security systems have long faced a fundamental conundrum: how to
balance ever greater quantity of surveillance data with greater quality of insight. Perhaps
nowhere is this conundrum more vexing than at sea, where the sheer expanse and complexity
of variables makes the notion of “total awareness” oxymoronic.

If complete maritime domain awareness is likely to remain an elusive goal, the evolution of
MDA projects, though still rudimentary in comparison to long-term goals, demonstrates that
by providing better and better information in a locational context, the current chaotic threat
matrix of the seas can be made managed and intelligible.


Acronyms in this article:

AIS—Automatic Identification System
CBP—Customs and Border Protection
CHOC—Charleston Harbor Operation Center
MDA—Maritime domain awareness
NAVAIR—Naval Air Systems Command
NOAA—National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
RMAC—Regional Maritime Awareness Capability
SCC-J—Second Command Center-Joint
SIMON—Smart Integration Manager Ontologically Networked
VTS—Vessel Traffic Services

China, US launch radiation detection system at Shanghai port to
check for nuclear materials
By Associated Press, Published: December 6 | Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 5:40 AM

SHANGHAI — A radiation detection system was inaugurated Wednesday in Shanghai, China‘s
biggest port, as part of joint U.S.-China efforts to prevent smuggling of nuclear materials for
weapons or terrorism.

The system is meant to provide comprehensive screening as part of the Megaports Initiative, a
U.S. Energy Department effort to provide such scanning systems at 100 of the world‘s biggest

Shanghai marks the 40th such port, and the first in China.

The need for greater vigilance against illicit transport of nuclear materials became evident after
the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

The U.S. Energy Department‘s National Nuclear Security Administration has faced criticism for
delays in installing the detectors. Some countries have resisted their installation, saying they may
slow traffic at ports.

The installation of the system in Yangshan, Shanghai‘s deepwater port, reflects ―the commitment
of the Chinese government to interdicting nuclear material and in combating nuclear terrorism,‖
said Thomas D‘Agostino, who heads the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Although Washington and Beijing have clashed at times over how to handle issues such as Iran‘s
nuclear program, China has won praise from U.S. officials for its role in seeking to help defuse
tensions over North Korea‘s nuclear activities.

With the Chinese-made equipment installed for the Megaports project, Shanghai now has the
capacity to screen 100 percent of its exports for radiation, D‘Agostino said.

The Shanghai port shipped 3.86 million containers in January-October of this year, with 679,042
of them — or about 18 percent — destined for the U.S.

New autopilot will make another 9/11 impossible
By CHRISTOPHER LEAKE Dec 10 2011- The Mail Online

A hijack-proof piloting system for airliners is being developed to prevent terrorists
repeating the 9/11 outrages.

The mechanism is designed to make it impossible to crash the aircraft into air or land
targets - and enable the plane to be flown by remote control from the ground in the event
of an emergency.

Scientists at aircraft giant Boeing are testing the tamper-proof autopilot system which
uses state-of-the-art computer and satellite technology.

It will be activated by the pilot flicking a simple switch or by pressure sensors fitted to the
cockpit door that will respond to any excessive force as terrorists try to break into the
flight deck.

Once triggered, no one on board will be able to deactivate the system. Currently, all
autopilots are manually switched on and off at the discretion of pilots.

The so-called 'uninterruptible autopilot system' - patented secretly by Boeing in the US
last week - will connect ground controllers and security services with the aircraft using
radio waves and global satellite positioning systems.

After it has been activated, the aircraft will be capable of remote digital control from the
ground, enabling operators to fly it like a sophisticated model plane, manoeuvring it
vertically and laterally.

A threatened airliner could be flown to a secure military base or a commercial airport,
where it would touch down using existing landing aids known as 'autoland function'.

After it had landed, the aircraft's built-in autobrake would bring the plane safely to a halt
on the runway.

Boeing insiders say the new anti-hijack kit could be fitted to airliners all over the world,
including those in the UK, within the next three years.

The latest move to combat airline terrorists follows The Mail on Sunday's disclosure
three weeks ago that scientists in Britain and Germany are developing a passenger-
monitoring device.

This will use tiny cameras linked to specialist computers to record every twitch, blink,
facial expression or suspicious movement made on board flights in order to identify
potential terrorists.

A Boeing spokesman said : "We are constantly studying ways we can enhance the
safety, security and efficiency of the world's airline fleet.

"There is a need in the industry for a technique that conclusively prevents unauthorised
persons gaining access to the controls and threatening the safety of passengers.

"Once this system is initiated, no one on board is capable of controlling the flight, making
it useless for anyone to threaten violence in order to gain control."

Why Boko Haram is Threat to Nation's Airports
09 Dec 2011- By Chinedu Eze

The fear is growing by the day that Boko Haram may target the nation‘s airports if the
security is not fortified. The fear is reinforced by the fact that all over the world, terrorists
target such important public places.

But the Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Airports
Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), is putting measures in place to forestall such possibility.

But indications have shown that such measures must be unrelenting and continuous
because, as the United States warned Nigeria recently, that successful bombing of any of
the airports in the country would have collateral damage on the nation‘s economy, image
of the country as well as the status of the country in the comity of nations. Aviation
security experts have given warnings on the possibility of the organisation infiltrating the
security apparatus of the airport.

Former Managing Director of FAAN, Richard Aisuebeogun, in a recent lecture,
described insider threat as the violation of security policy using legitimate access or
obtaining unauthorised access.

He noted that the Murtala Mohammed International Airport and other airports in Nigeria
were facing terror threat like other sensitive government institutions, so the agency and
other security organisations have to intensify efforts to ensure passengers‘ lives and that
of other users of the airports are protected.

Aisuebeogun admitted that employees with the above tendencies abound at the airports as
they do in every organisation, remarking that while motivation alone might not translate
into terrorist activity, ―it is an important precursor.‖

―The worst case scenario is to have a terrorist operative become an airline/airport
employee, thus having unescorted access to restricted areas. Such employee could also
corrupt an incumbent employee into providing access or to act as an agent of the
terrorist,‖ Aisuebeogun said.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold
Demuren, said recently that human error was a cog in the fight against terrorism at the
airports because if all security procedures are put in place and the officers who are to
carry out this process compromise their positions, then all the measures put in place
would come to nothing.

He said the most efficacious way to fight terrorism was the use of technology, noting that
terrorists had advantages over the society because they have time to plan, they have
funding and they are ready to die. ―The best bet to defeat terrorists is through technology.
Terrorists have advantages over us; they have time to plan; they have funding and the
worst is that they are ready to die. The people that are meant to protect you are the ones
that will blow you.‖

Speaking at the opening of a conference in Abuja, on insider threat on the aviation sector
on Tuesday, the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, admitted that the task of
ensuring the safety and security of civil aviation operations in present day world was an
enormous challenge to the aviation industry worldwide.

She noted that it had become expedient for aviation experts to begin to network
proactively in checkmating insider threat. ―I would like to reaffirm the total commitment
of Nigeria to continue to work with the International Civil Aviation Organisation
(ICAO), the United States Transport Security Administration (TSA), the European Civil
Aviation Conference (ECAC) and the international community in addressing the
challenges to aviation security.‖

FAAN has intensified the training of aviation security personnel, recruited new officers
and increased the surveillance of airport facilities together with other security agencies in
the country.

Underwater Drones Giving More Eyes to Police Harbor Unit as
Searches Grow
By AL BAKER New York Times December 5, 2011

With President Obama in town last Wednesday, things were busy for the New York Police
Department‘s Harbor Unit. Federal security agents were disseminating lists of city locations that
had to be swept for bombs, cleared and guarded.

That meant that coastal areas near touchdown points for Marine One, the presidential helicopter,
demanded extra inspection. Police divers splashed down to scrutinize underwater sections of
piers and seawalls for improvised explosive devices. Radiological sweeps were done. Each of the
bridges spanning waters that Mr. Obama‘s motorcade might cross got a top-to-bottom going over.

All of that underwater security has resulted in an increasing reliance on a relatively new tactical
weapon for the police: an unmanned submersible drone, often referred to as a remote-operated
vehicle, or R.O.V.

It is the Harbor Unit‘s version of the mirrored device used by their colleagues on land to check for
explosives under vehicles‘ chassis. The department has six of these underwater drones, similar
to those in use by the United States military and by oil companies with offshore operations.

Four, valued at $75,000 each, were acquired by the police in 2007, with federal grant money from
the Urban Area Security Initiative. The police acquired two more sophisticated drones a year later
with federal port security grant program money, for $120,000 apiece.

On Thursday, aboard the Anthony Sanchez, the largest of the Harbor Unit‘s 34 vessels — it is
named for a police officer killed on duty in 1997 — Capt. Anthony J. Russo directed his six-
member crew to demonstrate the abilities of one of the drones, affectionately and perhaps
unimaginatively called ―No. 1‖ by the officers.

To do it, Detective Robert Harris, a boat pilot and diver, steered the 55-foot boat away from its
dock at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. He passed some industrial sites and a derelict building at
the water‘s edge. He stopped alongside the rusted hull of a mammoth tanker, which is moored
there and is now used to mix concrete. The little yellow R.O.V. — a 16-pound submersible with
lights and sonar — was plopped into the 50-something-degree water, and off it went, tethered to
a 100-foot cable running into the boat‘s cabin.

There, Detective William P. Devine, a tall, lanky officer who is a scuba diver and the unofficial
master of the R.O.V., sat at a table in the cabin, with a black briefcase before him that serves as
the drone‘s control pad and brain. He worked a toggle to maneuver the device and watched the
images its camera beamed back, showing the barnacled bottom of the ship. The tether, or
umbilical cord, carries 12-volt electricity to the R.O.V. and transports data and video images (in
color) back up from the depths.

―This comes natural,‖ Detective Devine said, describing how he ―flies‖ the R.O.V. along, almost
like a helicopter but underwater. Sometimes if the currents are swift, the officers navigate their
boat alongside the drone, moving in tandem as they sweep an area.

Detective Devine stares into the water, then back to the computer. His face is weathered, and
somewhat tan even in late fall, like those of the other Harbor Unit officers who spend time
outdoors. These officers are more fit than a typical officer and keep up rigorous training
exercises. Their jobs demand they be dropped out of helicopters. They must be able to swim,
manage themselves and their gear, help a partner and a possible victim and keep their head all at
the same time. Many run triathlons while off duty.

Detective Devine has studied what biological or radiological weapons might look like, or where
underwater explosives might be hidden under a boat. And if the problem is not explosives, it
might be narcotics: traffickers will attach a load of drugs in PVC pipe and clip it along the keel
under a giant tanker.

These days, counterterrorism duties make up about 50 percent of the Harbor Unit‘s work, which
has increased exponentially since 9/11. The unit still carries out rescue and recovery operations:
aiding distressed boaters or retrieving bodies that float to the surface. The officers search for
evidence in the silky muck of the river bottoms ringing the city. There, with usually zero visibility,
they feel around for a gun or knife that some accused suspect has told a detective he tossed into
the water to hide.

―I close my eyes, and your hands become your eyes,‖ Detective Harris said of those types of
evidence searches.

But more and more, Detective Harris and others said, the mission is counterterrorism. These
days, the briefing papers pour in from the Police Department‘s Intelligence Division, through its
Special Operations Division, sometimes at the rate of several bulletins a day: Check a suspicious
boat under the Brooklyn Bridge; sweep an incoming cargo ship‘s hull at the Coast Guard‘s
request; steam around by the Statue of Liberty to check on what a caller to 311 has described as
an unidentified floating package. The officers of Harbor devise plans to deal with the myriad

The officers realize just how critical they are in the defense of a port whose terrorism
vulnerabilities have been well chronicled; roughly 10,000 cargo ships a year come into the port,
with millions of containers landing on the Brooklyn piers.

In 2005, a Pakistani man, Uzair Paracha, was convicted in federal court of providing material aid
and financial support to Qaeda terrorism. A law enforcement official said a concern arose during
that investigation about a desire to establish a business in the city‘s garment district as a way to
ship items through the port to the city.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, even before he took over for a second stint as
commissioner in 2002, was concerned about the adequacy of the port‘s contraband detection
system — whether for drugs or the tools of terrorism. He cited the drones in a speech in April
2009 to the Council on Foreign Relations.

―We have a little submarine that we use to go under and take a look at ships that are coming in,‖
the commissioner said at the time. ―We even board the Queen Mary, believe it or not, when it‘s
coming into the harbor.‖

So far, the R.O.V.‘s have never hit on a bomb. If they did, they would call in the Navy, said
Detective Devine, a former Navy sailor himself. ―We mark the location, get out of the water and
call them,‖ he said.

NATO fuel tankers set ablaze in Pakistan
December 8, 2011 Associated Press

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) – Assailants torched more than 20 tankers in Pakistan carrying fuel for
U.S. and NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan on Thursday, in the first reported attack since
Islamabad closed the border to protest coalition airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani troops last

Several hundred trucks have been stranded at poorly guarded terminals around the country as
they wait for Pakistan to reopen its two border crossings into Afghanistan. Around 40 percent of
the non-lethal supplies for U.S.-led troops in landlocked Afghanistan travel across Pakistani soil.

Islamabad closed both frontier crossings into Afghanistan on Nov. 26, hours after airstrikes by the
U.S.-led coalition killed 24 Pakistani troops on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. U.S. and NATO
officials have said the incident was a mistake, and have pledged to investigate.

Police officer Hamid Shakil says unknown men fired rockets at a terminal for the tankers close to
the southwestern city of Quetta. He said at least 23 tankers were set ablaze. There were no
immediate reports of casualties.

Last year, Islamabad temporarily closed one of its Afghan crossings to NATO supplies after U.S.
helicopters accidentally killed two Pakistani soldiers. Suspected militants or criminals took
advantage of the impasse to launch many attacks against stranded or rerouted trucks carrying
NATO supplies.

The deadly airstrikes at the border sent already tense relations between Pakistan and the United
States to new lows, threatening Islamabad's cooperation in helping negotiate an end to the
Afghan war.

It came amid political tensions in Islamabad following the resignation of Pakistan's ambassador to
the United States following an outcry from the country's powerful military establishment, which is
in charge of Afghan and U.S. policy. Envoy Husain Haqqani stepped down because of allegations
he wrote a memo to Washington asking for its help to stop a supposed military coup.

President Asif Ali Zardari has been under pressure because of the scandal, and on Tuesday flew
to Dubai for medical treatment related to a heart condition. His trip led to rumors that the 56-year-
old was losing his grip on power.

Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the U.S. expected Zardari, an
American ally, "will be able to return in full health in his duties" after receiving treatment. A
statement for the presidency said Zardari's health was improving.

ACI High Level Conference on Aviation Security
December, 2011

Aviation security
The most talked about subject in relation to airport security – the restrictions on liquids,
aerosols and gels – has been in place since November 2006, following the discovery in
August of that year of a terrorist plot involving liquid explosives to be used on
transatlantic flights departing the UK. Regular airport users and Airport Business readers
will know that liquids may only be carried airside in individual containers no larger than
100ml, with all containers fitting in a transparent, re-sealable bag. Travellers arriving in
the EU from a non-EU country airport and transferring to another flight, unless arriving
from an approved airport – those with ‗third country recognition‘ – are not allowed to
carry LAGs exceeding 100ml on board their next flight, including duty free purchases
sealed in secure tamper-evident bags (STEBs).

As previously detailed in these pages, the restrictions were to be removed in a two-phase
process, with 29 April 2011 the initial deadline for the easing of LAGs restrictions for
transfer passengers, with the second phase rolling out in April 2013. That first phase was
intended to allow the carriage of LAGs purchased at non-EU airports by passengers
transferring at European airports within 36 hours of purchase. However, the first phase
failed to materialise because a significant number of Member States decided to retain the
ban on LAGs from third countries, and the US stated that it would impose extra screening
requirements on any flights bound for US destinations. The lack of agreement between
the US and the EU coupled with the potential confusion of patchy implementation across
Europe had the potential to cause even more confusion for passengers. As a result, the
European Commission adopted revised legislation (Regulation (EC) 720/2011) removing
the first phase completely and aiming for the full removal of the current restrictions in
April 2013. The Regulation now states that the European Commission will work closely
with all parties concerned and will assess the situation in respect of the screening of
LAGs by July 2012.

The industry position, ever since the introduction of the ban on LAGs, has been to
support the efforts of the European Commission in order to allow the smooth return
towards the situation that existed before summer 2006. However, ACI EUROPE has
always based its support of the European Commission on two fundamental premises:
security and facilitation. Any removal of the ban should be based on a sustainable
technological solution that ensures a high degree of probability of detection of a wide
range of liquid explosives. From a facilitation point of view, ACI EUROPE believes that
any solution that allows the removal of the current ban should be passenger friendly and,
therefore, enhance the passenger experience rather than complicate it any further.

ACI EUROPE is studying the implications of the removal of the ban in 2013 and it is
coordinating the operational trials between EU Member States, airports and
manufacturers across Europe. It has provided significant information on the operational
and practical issues surrounding LAGs screening. For example, ACI EUROPE has raised
concerns about the international situation, along with practical issues of tender and
procurement procedures, and has stated that a decision regarding going ahead with the
2013 deadline needs to be made as early as possible in 2012.

Security Scanners
The other part of the airport security equation is Security Scanners, which have been in
the news a lot these past months, in particular in relation to the US position on them.
Here in Europe, there has been some positive progress on this.

A European Commission amending legislative proposal to include security scanners as an
alternative means of screening was voted on by the Civil Aviation Security Regulatory
Committee on 6 July. The amending legislation passed scrutiny by the European
Parliament and Member States on 16 October. It was adopted on 11 and 12 November
and should enter into force on 1 and 2 December. The key points in the amending
legislation are:

      Backscatter ionising radiation security scanners are not allowed, except as part of
       an authorised trial;
      Passengers are entitled to opt out and be searched by an alternative method;
      Security scanners should move towards the use of automatic threat detection
       (ATD) to obviate the need for human screeners; and
      The use of security scanners is not mandatory.

Security Scanners are already in place at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Manchester
Airport (under trial), while a number of other airports are also exploring the possibility of
investing in this technology.

High Level Conference
The Polish Presidency of the EU (running from 1 July to 31 December this year) has been
particularly active on transport. In the weeks following the 10th anniversary of the 9/11
Terrorist Attacks and in partnership with the European Commission, it hosted a High
Level Conference on aviation security – ‗Protecting Civil Aviation Against Terrorism‘ –
in Brussels on 27 September. The event brought together more than 100 government
representatives and industry stakeholders, including ACI EUROPE, AEA, ECAC, IATA,
ICAO and the US Transportation Security Administration, to discuss developments in
aviation security over the past decade.

Addressing the High Level Conference on aviation security, Matthias Ruete, Director
General of the European Commission‘s DG TREN, commented that ―international
cooperation is crucial for successfully combating terrorism and for keeping aviation
running smoothly‖.

In her opening remarks, Ambassador Beata Peksa-Krawiec, Polish representative to the
EU‘s Political and Security Committee, set the scene: ―The terrorists continuously
consider passenger and cargo aircraft as a weapon of choice. The persistent threat was
confirmed by events such as the 2006 plot to defeat security checkpoint screening using
liquid explosives, the use of non-metallic IED components concealed in the terrorist‘s
underwear on Christmas Day 2009, or the attempt to ship two explosive packages in
cargo by concealing them in printer cartridges in October 2010. Common danger needs
common solutions and an integrated approach.‖

Matthias Ruete, Director General of the European Commission‘s DG MOVE, followed
with a keynote address, in which he said that ―In civil aviation, Europe now has a robust
and comprehensive security regime. It has shown its ability to respond to new threats,
such as improvised liquid explosives in 2006; and to adapt to technological
developments, such as security scanners – with a recent legal proposal to allow their use
at EU airports.‖

ACI EUROPE believes that any solution that allows the removal of the current ban on
LAGs should be passenger friendly and, therefore, enhance the passenger experience.

Ruete also emphasised that no State is able to tackle terrorism alone and that
―international cooperation is crucial for successfully combating terrorism and for keeping
aviation running smoothly‖.

The conference sessions focused on ‗A global perspective to civil aviation security‘,
‗Risk assessment in the EU‘, and ‗Agenda for the future: Balancing facilitation and
aviation security‘. ACI EUROPE Director General Olivier Jankovec participated in this
third session, where he outlined the basic concepts underlying the joint ACI EUROPE
and Association of European Airlines Better Security risk-based security project.

It was widely agreed that, 10 years on from 9/11, civil aviation is protected by a robust
security regime. However, while, statistically, the threat posed to aviation remains
relatively small, air travel continues to be an attractive, high visibility target for
international terrorism. The conference participants discussed how to develop aviation
security policy further, in order to efficiently address the evolving threat.

Participants agreed that the development of a common European risk assessment for
cargo and mail security has been positive. Security measures can and should relate to the
risk they intend to mitigate. If a high quality risk assessment is available, security
resources can be targeted to where the risk is greater.

There was also agreement on the need for more efficient controls. Targeting controls on
the basis of risk was considered one way of improving efficiency and the European
Commission was invited to coordinate expert work examining this and other avenues for
the future security model, involving regulators and stakeholders. The consensus was that
more unpredictable measures should be considered in more areas of the security process.

Technological progress serves both security and facilitation. Reference was made to
security scanners and the legislative proposal to allow their use at EU airports,
improvements to liquid explosives detection systems, and biometric identification
technologies. The conference concluded that the EU should continue to support initiatives
aimed at developing new technology, particularly high-speed detection systems and those
that allow a smoother throughput of passengers, baggage and cargo.

However, beyond the operational aspects and the technological progress, the fact remains
that aviation is global, and so too is the threat. A proactive international agenda is,
therefore, essential. Participants at the EU conference agreed on the need for robust
global rules, through ICAO, to effectively address current threats.

With this in mind, ICAO‘s own High Level Conference on Aviation Security is set to
take place in September 2012. It should provide a welcome opportunity to move forward.

Pakistani airports under terror threat: DG ASF
By Manzar Turk - Dec 15th, 2011

Security Force (ASF) Director General Brigadier Azam Tiwana has said that
airports across the country have a threat of terrorist attack.

Talking to media after visiting ASF Training Academy here on Thursday, Tiwana said
that the all the airports have terror attack threats similar to those launched by the Tamil
Tigers on Colombo airport. ―We are in touch with all the stakeholders and the ASF has
taken all the measures to avert any attack,‖ he added.

He said that Sky Marshal has been provided anti-aircraft and sniper guns to deal with any
untoward incident.

He said that they had arrested some accused while putting laser light on planes in Quetta.

Cargo Containers in Transit – The Iranian Threat
By Brig. Gen. (Res.) Nitzan Nuriel, Director Counter Terrorism Bureau, Israel
Mr. Adam Wolfson. Legal Department, National Security Council, Israel
December 18, 2011 ICT - International Institute for Counter-Terrorism

Iran has been transferring in recent years large amounts of weapons to well-known terrorist
groups in Lebanon and Gaza by various means. One of the ways Iran has found to be very
effective is using maritime containers which ship through intermediate ports on their way to their
final destinations. Iran exploits the fact that those containers, which are also known as "transit
containers," almost never have their content screened at the intermediate ports. In this article we
propose a global solution for the problem, one that will increase substantially local authorities'
chances of apprehending Iranian weapons at the intermediate ports before they reach terrorist

The Iranian Threat

The global economy is greatly influenced by its trade and transportation capacity. A large
percentage of international commerce depends on container transportation. According to the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the most critical component of global trade today is
transportation of goods by containers through seaports around the world: almost 90 percent of
the world‘s manufactured goods move by container (about 40 percent arrive by ship), and each
year, about 108 million cargo containers are transported through seaports.

However, the threat to global trade posed by the potential terrorist use of a maritime container
has not been sufficiently addressed in many countries around the world. The same applies to the
usage of maritime containers by states that sponsor terrorism, such as Iran, to transfer weapons
to terrorist organizations.

Even though the threat is very real, as will be shown below, authorities around the world are
finding it increasingly hard – due to budget and other constraints – to screen every container
passing through their ports. This is especially true with transit containers.

The Francop affair sheds light on the convoluted path Iranian weapons take on their way to
terrorists groups, such as Hezbollah. In November 2009, Iran loaded at one of its local ports 36
containers of weapons onto a ship which sailed to Egypt. There, the containers were transferred,
without any inspection or screening, to the cargo vessel Francop, which is German owned, but
was leased at the time to a Cypriot freight delivery company, and Antiguan flagged. Francop was
supposed to dock at a second intermediate port in Cyprus on its way to its final destination in
Syria. From Syria the weapons were intended to be transferred to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Fortunately, the ship was intercepted by Israeli naval forces before arriving in Cyprus.

Prior intelligence about Francop helped the Israeli Authorities to stop the transferring of weapons
from Iran to Hezbollah. However that will not always be the case. Therefore, state sponsors of
terrorism, such as Iran, have been trying relentlessly in past years to exploit this vulnerability to
smuggle weapons – using maritime transit containers – to well-known terrorist organizations like
Hamas and Hezbollah. These attempts to transfer weapons to terrorist groups are in direct
violation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1835, 1803, 1747 and 1737 that strictly
forbid Iran from exporting or trading any forms of weapons.

The Iranian system of transferring weapons by maritime containers, as was shown above, and
how it exploits the system works as follows: the "illegal" containers (those with weapons) are
usually loaded onto a ship at one of Iran's local ports, and then shipped with other legitimate
containers to one of the many intermediate ports around the world. The intermediate ports are
unaware of the real cargo because the shipping documents typically are falsified. After unloading
the containers at the intermediate ports, they are bundled with another new set of "clean"
containers – which have the same final destination tags as those of the illegal cargo – waiting to
be picked up at a later date. Then, a different ship, which will almost always be owned by another
country (never by Iran) flying a different flag loads the containers – both the legal and illegal - and
sails to its final destination, usually Egypt or Syria. From there the containers carrying the
weapons go to the terrorist groups who reside in Lebanon and Gaza. The crews that pick up the
containers at the intermediate ports have no knowledge of their cargo – whether legal or illegal –
since they are not authorized to screen it. Therefore, unbeknownst to the shipping companies,
they constitute a part of the Iranian technique to smuggle weapons to terrorist organizations by
maritime containers. The purpose of this intricate Iranian operation, in all of its stages, is to cover
any Iranian connection to the illegal cargo by exploiting the lack of sufficient security measures,
especially in the intermediate ports.

Transit containers pose an especially significant security risk for every state that has a port due to
the fact that these containers are almost never screened for weapons or other illegal goods
without prior intelligence. The authorities prefer to allocate their resources to screening containers
which are actually entering their country, rather than screening containers in transit, which have
not officially entered the country, and which are then shipped elsewhere.
Furthermore, transit containers are sometimes left at the transit port for days and weeks at a time
– often unchecked – until they are uploaded onto a ship to their final destination, Iran's entire
operation of smuggling weapons by means of maritime containers is based on the assumption
that the illegal containers, which are in transit, will not be checked at the intermediate ports by the
local authorities.

In addition to the Francop affair, a number of past incidents demonstrate Iranian efforts to
smuggle weapons to terrorist groups in Lebanon and Gaza using maritime containers in transit.

The incidents


In March 2011 Israeli naval commandos boarded and seized a German owned cargo vessel,
Victoria, which was flying a Liberian flag, but operated by a French shipping company. Victoria
was on its way from Turkey to Egypt, unknowingly concealing 39 containers of weapons intended
to reach Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza. Turkey, which had no ties to the incident,
constituted an intermediate port for the cargo's travel route from Syria to Egypt. According to
Israeli officials, the weapons shipment originated in Iran. One month before the interception, two
Iranian warships visited the same Syrian port from which the intercepted vessel departed.


In October 2010 Nigerian security agents discovered at the port of Lagos 13 containers of Iranian
weapons. Three months earlier Iran had shipped those containers to a port in Nigeria with
instructions to leave the cargo at the port for pick-up by a different ship at a later date. As in the
Victoria incident, the Nigerian port was supposed to act as an intermediate port for the cargo on
its way to its final destination, Gaza. Indeed, after the cargo was left at the port untouched for
some time, Iran issued a request for the containers to be loaded on to a ship headed for Namibia
with the intention of transferring the weapons through land routes in Africa to Hamas in Gaza.
After receiving intelligence about the content of the cargo, Nigerian security forces were able to
confiscate the containers, thus thwarting the Iranian operation before it was completed.


In January 2009 the Cypriot authorities intercepted the Russian owned cargo vessel'
Monchegorsk – which was flying a Cypriot flag, but was leased by an Iranian shipping company –
en route from Iran to Syria. The authorities found 98 containers of arms. The containers were
subsequently unloaded from the ship and were placed under supervision at a local naval base. In
July 2011, an explosion originating from the confiscated cargo occurred at the naval base, killing
the commander of the Cyprus navy and 11 other men; dozens more were injured. In addition,
many cars, houses and government facilities in the vicinity of base were severely damaged,
including a major power station, causing blackouts to some areas of the country. The incident had
immediate and significant political ramifications – the defense minister and the country's top
military official resigned from their posts.

Possible Solutions to the Iranian Threat

As was illustrated above, a container explosion could have an enormous negative impact not only
in terms of loss of live and damage to the port and its surrounding areas, but also to the nation's
economy as a whole. Further incidents like the one that occurred in Cyprus could paralyze the
global economy and severely undermine freedom of movement (as has occurred in the past with
air travel). In addition, we have seen that intermediate ports have been used as unwitting hosts
for the transfer of weapons from Iran to terrorist organizations in Lebanon and Gaza.

Therefore, we suggest that containers shipped by states, like Iran, that in the past have been
caught undermining the system by falsifying documents and smuggling weapons to terrorist
organizations, be subjected to a 100% inspection regime. As a result, each state will take the
steps necessary to protect its own ports, economy and citizens. The intermediate ports would no
longer act as unwitting hosts for the transfer of weapons from Iran to terrorist organizations
because every container originally shipped from Iran to their ports would be screened. Not only

would such a regime increase port safety and security, but Iran will have one less way to transfer
weapons to terrorist organizations.

We recognize that budget and other constraints pose a challenge to the authorities responsible
for checking all incoming container shipments from states like Iran. For that reason, the cost of
inspection should be borne by the shipping country; this would be the cost of Iran's repeated
exploitation and deception of host ports.

If our proposals were implemented during the time the aforementioned incidents occurred, it
would have obviated the Israeli naval operations on the high seas that ended the Francop and
Victoria affairs, since the illegal cargo would have been screened and subsequently confiscated
at the intermediate port. The same applies with the Nigerian case. The local Nigerian security
forces would have seized the illegal cargo soon after the Iranian shipment arrived.

We must recognize that sometimes intelligence about illegal cargo shipments does not arrive in
time for it to be used by the security forces, as were the cases during the Francop and the
Victoria affairs. Our proposal will virtually guarantee that containers loaded with weapons which
were shipped from Iran and arrive at intermediate ports will be caught – regardless of prior
intelligence – due to the 100% inspection regime.

In conclusion, the threat posed by the potential terrorist use of a maritime container and the
smuggling of weapons by the same means is a global concern affecting all nations since – as the
DHS put it – all trading nations depend on containerized shipping for the transportation of
manufactured goods. We will not be able to achieve effective deterrence, take essential security
steps, or close the gaps in the system without full international cooperation.

       Domestic Infrastructure Security

B.C. First Nations divided over Enbridge pipeline

                                          The Canadian Press

                                   Updated: Sat. Dec. 3 2011 8:53 PM ET
 Members of a British Columbia First Nation where hereditary chiefs have voiced support for the
                 Northern Gateway pipeline appear split over the controversial project.
     On Friday, a group of hereditary chiefs from the Gitxsan in northwestern B.C. announced it had
          accepted Enbridge Inc.'s (TSX:ENB) offer of an equity stake in the $5.5-billion project.
In announcing the agreement, Chief Elmer Derrick heralded his community's "trusted" relationship with
          Enbridge, and he estimated the deal would be worth at least $7 million for the Gitxsan.
   But shortly after the announcement, a group claiming to represent other hereditary chiefs, including
         Geri McDougall, and four Gitxsan bands issued a news release denouncing the agreement.
 The news release came from the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Gitxsan Treaty Society and the B.C.
  Treaty Commission over complaints about ongoing treaty negotiations with the federal and provincial
      The release said members of the Gitxsan nation weren't consulted about the Northern Gateway
 agreement, and argued it was wrong to sign a deal before the environmental impact assessment process
                                                   is finished.
  "Elmer Derrick and the Gitxsan Treaty Society/Gitxsan Economic Development Corp. does not speak
                                    for all Gitxsan," the news release said.
       "The representatives say that Mr. Derrick has embarrassed and shamed the Gitxsan people by
 undermining the 61 First Nations who are opposed to the project. The representatives say, 'We stand in
                                        solidarity to those opposing it."'
The 33,000-square-kilometre Gitxsan territory sits north of Northern Gateway's proposed route, but the
           line would cross six streams that feed into a lake the First Nation relies on for fishing.
   The 1,200-kilometre Northern Gateway pipeline proposal, which would bring diluted bitumen from
    Alberta's oil sands to the B.C. coast, has been the source of considerable controversy among First
                              Nations communities and environmental groups.
 Enbridge has offered equity stake agreements to 50 First Nations groups, although the Gitxsan was the
 first the sign. The company claims a number of other communities are prepared to sign, but hasn't said
                                   which ones or when that would happen.
 Other aboriginal communities have been fiercely critical of the pipeline, vowing to take legal action to
stop it. Currently, 61 First Nations communities have signed the Save the Fraser Declaration against the
   A federal review panel is preparing to hold public hearings into the pipeline project early in the new
The provincial and federal governments have both been strong proponents of the project, particularly as
   political controversy in the United States delays TransCanada Corp.'s (TSX:TRP) Keystone XL line.

The U.S. State Department has effectively delayed the Keystone XL until early 2013 -- after the next
 presidential election -- by ordering TransCanada to come up with a new route through Nebraska to
                                  avoid an important source of water.

     Oil spills and violence plague Shell in Nigeria
     Anchorage Daily News (Alaska, USA), 5 December 2011

     Ask almost any environmental activist about Shell and he'll point to Nigeria, in West

     Environmentalists say decades of oil production have left the Niger Delta one of the most
     polluted regions in the world. Shell is Nigeria's biggest operator, with more than 50 years
     of oil production there, and it's a main target of activists' wrath.

     The political and social situation there is far more complex than anything Shell will
     encounter in Alaska.

     Shell maintains that sabotage by rebels and spills from oil thieves drilling into pipelines
     or opening wells are mainly to blame for the pollution. Some areas of the country are so
     violent it's difficult to safely reach the infrastructure for repairs, Shell says.

     Other assessments say aging and neglected equipment, substandard practices and
     insufficient cleanup efforts are also factors.

     Rick Steiner is a former University of Alaska Fairbanks professor and marine
     conservation biologist who has been to Nigeria five or six times to study oil pollution
     there. He is a long-time oil industry watchdog who has criticized Shell's operations and
     practices in Russia, Nigeria and Alaska. He resigned his UAF post in 2009 after he
     publicly criticized Shell sponsorship of a university forum on oil drilling and fishing in
     Bristol Bay, and the university cut off his federal funding.

     Nigerians have seen their land, drinking water and fishing grounds ruined, but haven't
     shared in the huge oil profits taken in by both the oil producers and the Nigerian
     government, Steiner said.

     Shell's Nigerian operations in shallow water and onshore are through Shell Petroleum
     Development Company. The Nigerian government owns a 55 percent stake in the joint
     venture, while Shell owns 30 percent and two smaller companies own the rest.

A group of conservationists, including Steiner, and the Nigerian Ministry of Environment
concluded in 2006 that the equivalent of an Exxon Valdez volume of oil spilled every
year in the Niger Delta. Much of it was from old, corroded and poorly maintained
pipelines, according to the report for the International Union for the Conservation of

"The environmental degradation and economic mismanagement feeds the social and
economic despair in the region, and thus continues to manifest in epidemic violence and
social unrest," Steiner wrote in December 2006 in a request that the United Nations lead a
restoration effort.

The United Nations undertook a study of oil pollution in one troubled area, Nigeria's
Ogoniland region, that wrapped up in August.

The cost of cleanup will be at least $1 billion and will take 30 years from the time
ongoing pollution is stopped, the United Nation's new report on the effect of oil pollution
in Ogoniland concludes.


Local activists drew world attention on the region in the early '90s. One Ogoni leader,
Ken Saro-Wiwa, criticized Shell for its environmental practices and the Nigerian
government for failing to enforce its own laws, and organized others. He led a protest
march in early 1993 that drew a crowd estimated at 300,000, according to various
published reports.

That year, Shell abruptly pulled out of Ogoniland, essentially abandoning its facilities,
the U.N. report says.

Two years later, Saro-Wiwa and eight others were executed in what activists called
"judicial murder." Their families sued Shell in the United States, and in 2009 Shell settled
for $15.5 million. The company said the money was a compassionate payment, and it was
time to move on.

"Shell leaders were as shocked as any others of the brutality around these executions. The
Shell global CEO at the time even asked for clemency for the accused when we were
informed that they had received death penalties," Shell said in a written response to Daily
News questions.

Some critics say Shell was not just a corporate bystander to the violence.

A new report by Platform, a London-based social and ecological justice group, contends
that in the early 1990s Shell funded government attacks against peaceful protestors in the
Ogoni region and that its security forces have continued to brutalize innocent citizens.

"While primary responsibility for human rights violations falls on the Nigerian
government and other perpetrators, Shell has played an active role in fueling conflict and
violence in a variety of forms," the Platform report said.

Shell said the Nigerian federal government -- as majority owner of the oil production
facilities -- oversees the military units that provide much of the security.

"Suggestions in the report that SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Co.) directs or
controls military activities are therefore completely untrue," Shell said in response to
Daily News questions.

Platform said that since the crisis in the Ogoni region, Shell has distanced itself from
major military operations. But the company still funds its own private security force, its
report said.

Some of the case studies in the Platform report are inaccurate or unsubstantiated, and the
report obscures the company's good work, Shell said.

"However, we will carefully examine its recommendations and look forward to
continuing a constructive dialogue with the Nigerian government and other stakeholders
to find solutions to these issues," Shell said.


By Shell's calculation, interference by rebels and pirates accounts for 70 percent of all oil
spilled in the last five years. Sometimes thieves haul crude to makeshift refineries in open
boats that look like overloaded, oversized canoes trailing a rainbow sheen.

Shell says its oil production elsewhere in Nigeria has generated $35 billion over the last
five years in taxes, royalties and direct revenue to the government, an onshore oil field
partner. It has put millions more into health care, agriculture, education and micro-
business programs.

But people remain poor and are upset with the government over their situation, Shell

"The unrest has turned into a worrying criminal movement, which feeds on massive
thefts of crude oil," Shell said.

Pipelines carrying oil produced elsewhere in Nigeria still run through Ogoniland and
aren't adequately maintained by Shell, the 262-page U.N. Environment Programme report
said. The company didn't properly decommission all its oil infrastructure when it bailed
out, the report said.

Some wellheads can be easily accessed by thieves. Formation pressure, corrosion and
illegal tapping can cause wells to blow out. The U.N. team witnessed a raging fire at a
blown-out well that burned for a month.

Oil pollution in Ogoniland is widespread and creating numerous hazards to human health,
the report concluded. Spills were happening regularly, they weren't immediately
addressed, and cleanup equipment too often was in poor condition and ineffective, the
report said.

The U.N. says the $10 million study was paid for by a venture that includes Shell and the
government of Nigeria, among others.

The study did not attempt to quantify how much oil spilled, and seemed to put more
blame on theft and sabotage than on poor oil company practices, Steiner said.

The U.N. team didn't favor Shell, said Nairobi-based U.N. spokesman Nick Nuttall.

Whether anyone could come up with an accurate figure of spills over 50 years is
questionable, he said. Researchers tried to identify hot spots where urgent attention is
needed and create a "balanced, scientific baseline upon which the communities,
authorities and government can build a response for the sake of the people of Ogoniland."

Shell said it's working to address the issues identified by the U.N.


Shell acknowledges it was responsible for two 2008 spills from a major pipeline, one
from corrosion and the other from a defective weld. Steiner, who is working as an expert
witness for the local community suing Shell in London over those spills, traveled to the
region this past summer and said much of the oil has yet to be cleaned up. He said oil
seeped for five months.

Shell says security concerns delayed its response but that it didn't take five months. In the
case of the second spill, discovered in December 2008, a joint investigative team that
included Shell, security forces and representatives of various government agencies
reached the site in February 2009, Shell said.

The primary cleanup was done by December 2009, Shell said, but before that could be
verified, there were additional spills, not related to pipeline operational issues.

In October, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case against Royal Dutch Shell
brought by another group from Ogoniland who allege Shell was complicit in human
rights abuses from 1992 to 1995. The issue before the court is whether corporations can
be held liable under a 1789 U.S. law for human rights abuses overseas.

Shell's pipeline maintenance practices fall far short of international best practices and
Nigerian law, Steiner said.

Shell disputes Steiner's characterization. The company says it suspends production when
leaks are discovered and works to contain spills. Tides in mangrove swamps can quickly
spread even small amounts of oil, Shell said.

If oil production cannot be done safely, it shouldn't be done at all, Steiner responded.
Shell should be doing better surveillance in areas where thieves are known to regularly
siphon oil and should be using the latest leak detection technology, he said

World oil supply at threat from increasingly bold hackers
Reuters Dec 8, 2011 By Daniel Fineren

DOHA — Hackers are bombarding the world‘s computer controlled energy sector,
conducting industrial espionage and threatening potential global havoc through oil supply

Oil company executives warned that attacks were becoming more frequent and more
carefully planned.

―If anybody gets into the area where you can control opening and closing of valves, or release
valves, you can imagine what happens,‖ said Ludolf Luehmann, an IT manager at Shell
Europe‘s biggest company.―It will cost lives and it will cost production, it will cost money,
cause fires and cause loss of containment, environmental damage – huge, huge damage,‖ he
told the World Petroleum Congress in Doha.

Computers control nearly all the world‘s energy production and distribution in systems that
are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks that could put cutting-edge fuel production
technology in rival company hands.

―We see an increasing number of attacks on our IT systems and information and there are
various motivations behind it – criminal and commercial,‖ said Luehmann. ―We see an
increasing number of attacks with clear commercial interests, focusing on research and
development, to gain the competitive advantage.‖

He said the Stuxnet computer worm discovered in 2010, the first found that was specifically
designed to subvert industrial systems, changed the world of international oil companies
because it was the first visible attack to have a significant impact on process control.

But the determination and stamina shown by hackers when they attack industrial systems
and companies has now stepped up a gear, and there has been a surge in multi-pronged
attacks to break into specific operation systems within producers, he said.

―Cyber crime is a huge issue. It‘s not restricted to one company or another it‘s really broad
and it is ongoing,‖ said Dennis Painchaud, director of International Government Relations at
Canada‘s Nexen Inc. ―It is a very significant risk to our business.‖

―It‘s something that we have to stay on top of every day. It is a risk that is only going to grow
and is probably one of the preeminent risks that we face today and will continue to face for
some time.‖

Luehmann said hackers were increasingly staging attack over long periods, silently collecting
information over weeks or months before attacking specific targets within company
operations with the information they have collected over a long period.

―It‘s a new dimension of attacks that we see in Shell,‖ he said.

In October, security software maker Symantec Corp said it had found a mysterious virus that
contained code similar to Stuxnet, called Duqu, which experts say appears designed to gather
data to make it easier to launch future cyber attacks.

Other businesses can shut down their information technology (IT) systems to regularly
install rapidly breached software security patches and update vulnerable operating systems.

But energy companies cannot keep taking down plants to patch up security holes.

―Oil needs to keep on flowing,‖ said Riemer Brouwer, head of IT security at Abu Dhabi
Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO).

―We have a very strategic position in the global oil and gas market,‖ he added. ―If they could
bring down one of the big players in the oil and gas market you can imagine what this will do
for the oil price – it would blow the market.‖

Hackers could finance their operations by using options markets to bet on the price
movements caused by disruptions, Brouwer said.

―So far we haven‘t had any major incidents,‖ he said. ―But are we really in control? The
answer has to be ‗no‘.‖

Oil prices usually rise whenever tensions escalate over Iran‘s disputed nuclear program –
itself thought to be the principal target of the Stuxnet worm and which has already identified

Duqu infections – due to concern that oil production or exports from the Middle East could
be affected by any conflict.

But the threat of a coordinated attack on energy installations across the world is also real,
experts say, and unlike a blockade of the Gulf can be launched from anywhere, with no U.S.
military might in sight and little chance of finding the perpetrator.

―We know that the Straits of Hormuz are of strategic importance to the world,‖ said Stephan
Klein of business application software developer SAP.

―What about the approximately 80 million barrels that are processed through IT systems?,‖
said Klein, SAP vice president of oil and gas operations in the Middle East and North Africa.

Attacks like Stuxnet are so complex that very few organizations in the world are able to set
them up, said Gordon Muehl, chief security officer at Germany‘s SAP said, but it was still too
simple to attack industries over the internet.

Only a few years ago hacking was confined to skilled computer programmers, but thanks to
online video tutorials, breaking into corporate operating systems is now a free for all.

―Everyone can hack today,‖ Shell‘s Luehmann said. ―The number of potential hackers is not a
few very skilled people — it‘s everyone.‖

Jordan looks for gas supplier to replace Egypt
Ahram Online and Middle East News Agency, 9 December 2011
The Jordanian Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Awn Al-Khasawna, are discussing the
possibility of importing natural gas from Iraq or the Gulf states after Egyptian imports
were halted due to acts of sabotage targeting the relevant pipeline. Mena said the news
was reported in a Jordanian newspaper, Al-Ra'i, on Friday.

"Though the Egyptian government has assured the Jordanian authorities that the pipeline
will not be attacked again,‖ one source told the newspaper, speaking on condition of
anonymity, ―the Jordanian government is keen on looking for alternatives."

Jordan's authorities stated that the public treasury of the kingdom has suffered a loss of
about $ 5 million a day as a result of stopping the Egyptian gas supply and is converting
all power plants to rely on industrial fuel and diesel.

Egypt's gas pipeline to Jordan and Israel had been attacked nine times since former
president Hosni Mubarak was toppled in February.

Chronology of attacks against offshore energy infrastructure
Mikhail Kashubsky, ―A Chronology of Attacks on and Unlawful Interferences with,
Offshore Oil and Gas Installations, 1975 – 2010,‖ Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 5,
Nos. 5-6 (2011)

The PLA engineer corps is helping to build Pakistan‘s Gwadar Port, the Saindak
Project in Baluchistan, the Chashma-I and II nuclear power plants, as well as the
Karakoram Highway (KKH) and power projects in Pakistan-administered

Linking the Gwadar Port with the KKH will reduce the cost of Chinese products in
Central Asian markets and expand China‘s access to oil, gas, and minerals from
Africa and the Middle East, Pakistan‘s Jang newspaper reports.

Chinese-supported infrastructure projects under way in Gilgit-Baltistan and the
Northern Areas include the Sadpara Dam, Bunji Dam (7000 MW), Kayalbo Dam
(3000 MW), Diamer Bhasha Dam (4000 MW), the Naltar Power Project, the
Gilgit-Skardu Highway, and the Praib Bridge.

China is building several tunnels in Hunza, the Sost Dry Port, a fiber optic
network, and several oil and gas projects.

Beijing and Islamabad are also considering an oil pipeline from Gwadar to
western China and a Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline to transport oil to China from
Saudi Arabia and Iran.

President for quick implementation of
Bangladesh-Myanmar-China road link
                           Zillur Rahman has called for quick implementation of the
Dhaka, Nov 10 (UNB) - President
Bangladesh-Myanmar-China road link under the `Kunming Initiative‘ in a bid to increase
trade and cooperation between the neighboring countries.

The President made the call when a visiting delegation of the Communist Party of China
(CPC), led by CPC politburo member Liu Qi, called on him at Bangabhaban today

Welcoming the delegation, President Zillur Rahman appreciated the Chinese
government for its assistance to Bangladesh‘s socio-economic development since the
country‘s independence. ―We need more cooperation, more help from China,‖ he said.

The President recalled that father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
visited China in 1953 and 1957. ―We believe in `one China Policy‘, he said.

The CPC delegation leader Liu Qi informed the President that China is very keen to
increase its cooperation to Bangladesh in all sectors especially in economy, trade,
agriculture, education, infrastructure development, science and technology.

―China has adopted a special policy to increase cooperation to Bangladesh,‖ he said.

Liu emphasized on exchange of high level visits to further strengthen relations and
expand cooperation between Bangladesh and China.

He lauded Bangladesh‘s initiatives on Climate Change Issues taken by Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina. China is keen to extend its cooperation to address the climate change
issues in Bangladesh, he said.

The CPC delegation leader also informed that China would increase the number of
scholarships for Bangladeshis from 50 to 500, ten times more than in the past.

The Chinese delegation included Liu Jieyi, Vice Minister, CPC International Department,
Li Shiziang, standing member and secretary general of CPC Beijing Committee, Lu Wei,
standing member and head of information department of CPC Beijing Committee, Zhang
Xianyi, Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh, Li Zhijun, vice secretary general, CPC
Beijing Committee, and Zhao Huimin, director general of Beijing Foreign Affairs office

SCADA systems’ vulnerability key weakness in Smart
Grid deployments
Homeland Security New Wire, 12 December 2011
The discovery of the Stuxnet worm in 2010 shone a harsh light on the fragility of
industrial control systems (ICS), such as supervisory control and data acquisition
(SCADA) systems, and has created a new urgency among security vendors and utility
managers alike; new research forecasts that investments in ICS security will total $4.1
billion during the years between 2011 and 2018

The discovery of the Stuxnet worm in 2010 shone a harsh light on the fragility of
industrial control systems (ICS), such as supervisory control and data acquisition
(SCADA) systems, and has created a new urgency among security vendors and utility
managers alike. Nearly overnight, ICS security went from being a non-issue to
being critical.

Because of this rapid change in perception of the vulnerability of SCADA systems, ramp-
up time has been short, with little or no time for an industry to consider what is needed
and how to develop a manageable approach to the security of control system which run
critical infrastructure.

Cleantech research group Pike Research notes that what complicated the issue was that at
nearly the same time, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 caused
many utilities and vendors to submit requests quickly in order to obtain some of the
funding the stimulus package offered. Many of those requests stated a list of
infrastructure components, without adequate consideration of cyber
security requirements.

―As a result of these two developments, the utility industry now has a large installed base
of smart grid components, but little idea how to secure them. No clear or shared vision
exists of what to build,‖ Pike Research says.

According to a recent report from Pike Research, such risks to the electrical grid will
require utilities to make major new investments in cyber security for ICS in the coming
years. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts these investments will total $4.1
billion during the years between 2011 and 2018.

―Many SCADA systems were deployed without security in the belief that SCADA would
always be isolated from the Internet,‖ says senior analyst Bob Lockhart. ―But it‘s not,
and even when it is, attacks such as Stuxnet can circumvent the isolation by using USB
memory sticks to spread. And SCADA security has different objectives than IT security.
The familiar ‗confidentiality, integrity, and availability‘ is replaced with ‗safety,
reliability, and integrity.‘ This is nearly impossible to accomplish with the infrastructure-
only approach taken by most information security products.‖

A Pike Research release notes that one of Stuxnet‘s more noticeable effects was to cause
nearly every security vendor to create an Energy Business Unit. Security vendors have
taken one of three approaches to entering the smart grid market.

A few security vendors have focused on ICS security since their founding.

Some of the relative newcomers to ICS security have hired long-time energy industry
veterans to run their energy business.

Others have simply rebranded existing products as ―smart grid ready‖ and sell based
upon the widespread adoption of their products in IT environments.

Pike Research‘s report, ―Industrial Control Systems Security,‖ analyzes and forecasts the
market for ICS security for smart grids, with an assessment of the major risks facing
smart grid ICS environments. Risks were identified through a combination of primary
research and mapping the environments against key security baselines such as NIST
Special Document 800-82, Guide to Industrial Control Systems Security, and
ISO27002:2005, Information technology – Security techniques – Code of practice for
information security management. An Executive Summary of the report is available for
free download on the firm‘s Web site.

Oil platform capsizes in Russian Far East, plunging
dozens into stormy sea; 4 dead, 49 missing
By: Nataliya Vasilyeva, The Associated Press Dec. 18/11

MOSCOW - An oil drilling platform capsized and later sank amid fierce storms off Russia's
east coast Sunday, plunging dozens of workers into the churning, icy waters. Four were
confirmed dead and 49 were missing.

The Transportation Ministry said the Kolskaya platform started sinking after a strong wave
broke some of its equipment and the portholes in the crew's dining room. One 5-meter (16-
foot) wave washed away the platform's lifeboats, leaving the crew with no escape.

The Emergencies Ministry said in a statement Sunday 67 people had been aboard the
platform as it was being towed about 200 kilometres (120 miles) off the coast of Sakhalin

Fourteen people were rescued from the sea by the ship that had been towing the platform,
but further rescue efforts were being hampered by the severe weather conditions, officials

A spokeswoman for the Emergency Ministry in the Far East, told the Associated Press that
the rescue team had spotted four lifeless bodies in the water, but had not yet been able to
retrieve them.

The Kolskaya was built in Finland in 1985 and is owned by Russian offshore exploration firm
Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka. It sank several hours after it capsized, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of environmental damage, and that would be unlikely since
the platform was not drilling for oil when it capsized and carried a negligible amount of fuel.
The Investigative Committee on Sunday opened a probe into the accident and said that it
might have happened because of a breach of safety regulations or due to the weather

As oil and gas fields in Eastern Siberia are becoming depleted, Russian oil and gas
companies are starting to shift their focus to offshore projects, unveiling ambitious plans to
tap the riches of the Arctic.
Earlier this year, Exxon Mobil and Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft teamed up to jointly
explore oil and gas fields in the Kara Sea with Exxon pledging $3.2 billion of investment on
only three fields.

Alexei Knizhnikov, an energy policy official in Russia for the World Wildlife Fund, told the RIA
Novosti news agency that energy companies ought to learn from Sunday's accident.

"This disaster should highlight the high risks of offshore projects," he said. "It's very difficult
to conduct efficient rescue operations, whether it's rescuing people or dealing with oil spills,
in the weather conditions of the Arctic."

Revealed: bio-terror fears over deadly flu creation
The Independent (UK), Steve Connor, 2011 12 20
London –

A deadly strain of bird flu with the potential to infect and kill millions of people has been
created in a laboratory by (Dutch) scientists - who now want to publish full details of how
they did it.

The discovery has prompted fears within the US Government that the knowledge will fall
into the hands of terrorists wanting to use it as a bio-weapon of mass destruction. Some
scientists are questioning whether the research should ever have been undertaken in a
university laboratory, instead of at a military facility.

"The fear is that if you create something this deadly and it goes into a global pandemic,
the mortality and cost to the world could be massive," a senior scientific adviser to the
US Government told The Independent, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The worst-case scenario here is worse than anything you can imagine."

For the first time, the researchers have been able to mutate the H5N1 strain of avian
influenza so it can be transmitted easily through the air, as in coughs and sneezes.

Killer flu, fears of terrorists prompt ethical debate
'Extremely serious global public health threat'

WASHINGTON — Two top scientific journals said Tuesday they are mulling whether to
publish details of a man-made mutant killer flu virus that has sparked concerns of mass
deaths if it were released.

A U.S. government's science advisory committee urged the U.S. journal Science and the
British journal Nature to withhold key details so that people seeking to harm the public would
not be able to manufacture the virus that could cause millions of deaths.

The virus in question is an H5N1 bird flu strain that was genetically altered in a Dutch lab so
it can pass easily between ferrets.

That means it is likely contagious among humans for the first time, and could trigger a lethal
pandemic if it emerged in nature or were set loose by terrorists, experts have said.

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity reviewed two scientific papers relating
to the findings and recommended that the journals "make changes in the manuscripts," a
statement said, warning of an "extremely serious global public health threat."

"Due to the importance of the findings to the public health and research communities, the
NSABB recommended that the general conclusions highlighting the novel outcome be
published, but that the manuscripts not include the methodological and other details that
could enable replication of the experiments by those who would seek to do harm."

The H5N1 strain of avian influenza is fatal in 60 per cent of human cases but only 350
people have so far died from the disease, largely because it cannot, yet, be transmitted
between humans.

Science and Nature said they were considering the U.S. government's non-binding request.

"At the same time, however, Science has concerns about withholding potentially important
public health information from responsible influenza researchers," editor-in-chief Bruce
Alberts said.

Scientists could benefit from knowing about the virus because it could help speed new
treatments to combat this and other related lethal forms of influenza, he added.

"Many scientists within the influenza community have a bona fide need to know the details of
this research in order to protect the public, especially if they currently are working with
related strains of the virus," Alberts wrote.

"Science editors will be evaluating how best to proceed," he added, asking for more
clarification on how the government would make the information available to "all those
responsible scientists who request it."

A spokeswoman for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which
publishes Science, told AFP a decision was expected in two weeks.

Nature's editor-in-chief, Philip Campbell, said he was considering one of the two papers for
publication and was in "active consultation" on the matter.

"We have noted the unprecedented NSABB recommendations that would restrict public
access to data and methods and recognize the motivation behind them," he said.

"It is essential for public health that the full details of any scientific analysis of flu viruses be
available to researchers. We are discussing with interested parties how, within the scenario
recommended by NSABB, appropriate access to the scientific methods and data could be

The Dutch research team was led by Ron Fouchier at Rotterdam's Erasmus Medical Center.
The team said in September it had created a mutant version of the H5N1 bird flu virus that
could for the first time be spread among mammals.

Fouchier said his team had discovered that transmission of the virus was possible between
humans "and can be carried out more easily than we thought."

One paper under consideration is by Fouchier's team, and the other is by a team of
virologists at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Tokyo that reportedly showed
similar results.

NSABB chair Paul Keim, a microbial geneticist, told the AAAS Science Insider report last
month that he had huge concerns about the potential havoc the man-made virus could

"I can't think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one," Keim was quoted
as saying. "I don't think anthrax is scary at all compared to this."

Beset By Strife at Chemical Security Office, DHS Internal Report Claims
Anti-Terrorism Program Now In Jeopardy
By Mike Levine
Published December 21, 2011

A federal program aimed at securing potentially dangerous chemicals is now in jeopardy after
being beset by a series of deep-seated problems, including wasteful spending and a largely
unqualified workforce that lacks "professionalism," according to a scathing internal Department of
Homeland Security report obtained exclusively by Fox News.

In 2007, Congress established the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, which
directs DHS to collect and review information from U.S. chemical facilities to determine whether
they present a security risk. It is overseen by the Infrastructure Security Compliance Division -- or

As the Congressional Budget Office describes it, CFATS' mandate is to ensure that facilities
deemed a high threat develop a security plan, and in turn, DHS "conducts inspections to validate
the adequacy of" and compliance with the plan.

But that's not how it is happening. The report, which suggests that administration officials are
possibly being misled about the program‘s success, says the office has yet to conduct a
"compliance inspection" and it only recently began approving security plans.

The report identifies several human resources problems, including inspectors who see their jobs
within the context of prior law enforcement careers, which the report says has hindered
effectiveness, and office employees who are unduly bound by union shops.

The report says several of the challenges identified "pose a measurable risk to the program." A
top-ranking DHS official characterized that conclusion as "very true."

"The question here is whether or not we can move this program to a level of completion and
sustainment," Rand Beers, undersecretary for DHS‘ National Protection and Programs
Directorate, told Fox News in an interview Tuesday. Beers has overseen the program since 2009.
"As long as I'm here, I'll certainly strive to do that."

One Democratic Hill staffer called the report's findings "disturbing" and "disappointing."

The report, initiated at Beers' behest over the summer, is accompanied by a detailed "action plan"
and shows a clear effort by DHS, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars for the four-
year-old program, to correct issues that have been tolerated -- if not condoned -- since the
previous administration.

But a growing concern named in the report is ―the prospect that DHS leadership and those within
the administration are under the impression that the program is further along than it actually is."

The internal report cites several "serious staff-related challenges," including "numerous" people
not qualified to do the work; a training department with staff lacking its own professional training
or educational qualifications; and managers who lack managerial knowledge or experience but in
some cases were hired based upon "an established relationship with the selecting official."

While the "vast majority of employees are talented, hardworking people, there are numerous
exceptions," the report reads.

With about 200 people employed full-time to work on the CFATS program, more than half are
assigned to "inspections and enforcement." But many of the inspectors were hired before the job
requirements were properly defined and as a result have "misaligned expectations about the job
of a chemical inspector," the report says.

"For example, certain employees feel that they are entitled to work only on projects that interest
them; others have demanded that they be paid if we expect them to answer their cell phones
during lunch."

Many inspectors were recruited from the Federal Protective Service, or elsewhere in the law
enforcement community, and even from the military, according to Beers.

"Despite their lack of law enforcement authority, some still actively seek the right to carry a
firearm," the internal report reads. "They wear their uniforms as a symbol of identity and authority
rather than a tool to be used when performing work inappropriate for office attire. The insistence
upon titles such as 'commander' further demonstrates an emotionally charged reluctance to let go
of past false assumptions about the nature of the work."

Other challenges stem from the office being unionized.

"The presence of the union at this stage of the program will have a significant negative impact on
the ability of the program to proceed in a timely fashion" because, "as a 'start-up' program,"
CFATS is still being tweaked, and ISCD is "obligated to bargain on how any new or changed
work assignment is implemented," according to the report.

"These efforts alone could potentially set back implementation of the program by months, or even
years," the report reads, noting that ISCD is currently engaged in a months-long dispute over
whether inspectors should record their vehicle mileage once a day instead of once a month -- a
move that has already cut vehicle usage in half.

"Insofar as a simple change in how we report our vehicle usage has been under discussion for
more than 16 weeks, one cannot help but speculate on the length of negotiations on more
substantive workplace practices," the report reads.

A source with intimate knowledge of CFATS called the report "honorable," saying the authors "did
the right thing" in trying to identify and address the office's problems.

Beers is banking on newly-installed ISCD Director Penny Anderson and her deputy, the authors
of the assessment, to salvage CFATS.

Asked who is to blame for the problems now facing the program, Beers said he is "ultimately
responsible" because "I am the undersecretary." But, he added, others within DHS, including
former ISCD leadership, "all had some responsibility for failing to deal with this" and failing to "ask
for help."

Beers noted that when a new organization is "asked to perform" immediately, "you're going to
have problems." It's a sentiment echoed in the report, which says "extraordinary pressure" early
on "to proceed at an impractical pace" and "without a well developed direction and plan" created
several "unintended" consequences.

One of those unintended consequences, according to the report, is "problems with how we have
spent our money, and how we are managing those funds." For example, ISCD bought first
responder equipment like hazmat suits and rappelling ropes, even though "as a regulatory entity
we do not have a first responder role."

ISCD has also paid more than $20,000 each year to be a member of an international security

Morale is also "a significant issue" for ISCD, the report reads, because the culture has not
tolerated or valued "professionalism, respect and openness" with those who express a "non-
conforming professional opinion."

Those who think outside the box are often being "castigated" while people in leadership positions
are accused of using "foul language," the report reads.

In addition, while the program is intended to perform compliance inspections, that has not
happened because the procedures and processes for compliance inspections haven't been
designed yet.

As for security plans, the precursor to a compliance inspection, about 4,200 have been submitted,
and 38 have been approved since the conclusion of the assessment in November, according to a
senior DHS official.

"There's no question that this program has not achieved the time goals that were laid out at the
beginning," Beers said.

"We were more ambitious or aspirational than reality," he said, noting DHS was supposed to have
approved all plans for high-risk facilities by the end of last year.

Through public hearings on Capitol Hill and private letters with lawmakers, Beers has previously
acknowledged major setbacks with the program. Earlier this year, DHS leadership determined

that perhaps hundreds of chemical facilities had been erroneously deemed high-risk. The issue
has since been resolved, but it was another indication that CFATS might need a closer look,
Beers said.

Beers said he now hopes to approve all plans for high-risk facilities by the end of next year, but, "I
have been proven wrong with each of those goals that I have set, so I am a little wary of making a
hard and fast prediction."

The program, though, has had some tangible benefits, Beers said.

Since CFATS began, about 1,300 facilities have removed all "chemicals of interest." Another 600
have reduced their chemical levels to a point where they are no longer regulated by CFATS, a
trend Beers said he expects to continue.

CFATS is currently funded through September 2012, and lawmakers on Capitol Hill are now
engaged in negotiations over whether and how to authorize the program beyond then. For
lawmakers still in town ahead of Christmas weekend, DHS leadership will be briefing them later
this week on the report's findings and the "action plan" accompanying the report.

That "action plan" lays out more than 80 specific ways to address each of the problems identified.
To address staffing issues, the action plan calls for more personnel with regulatory compliance
experience or reassigned to more appropriate positions.

"I am presuming that this is a program that the American people and the Congress of the United
States want, and that we will continue to improve our ability to (implement it)," Beers said.

Nuclear Security
Gov't to reinforce protection of nuclear plants from terrorists

(Mainichi Japan) November 15, 2011

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government drew up Monday a set of measures to protect
nuclear power plants from terrorist attacks, including the protection of
emergency power sources and cooling mechanisms by the state and electric
power companies, officials said.

The protection of backup power sources and cooling systems should be upgraded
as it proved ineffective in the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s
Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the officials said in reference to the package of
countermeasures adopted at a meeting of government experts on international
organized crime and terrorism.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told the meeting that a nuclear accident
could occur through terror attacks, saying there is a need for reinforcing
measures to protect atomic power plants.

As part of the package, the Nuclear and Industry Safety Agency will instruct
electric power companies during the current fiscal year to study measures to
minimize radiation damage in the event of terrorist attacks and protect their
computers system from cyberattacks.

The government will seek a budget appropriation for the package in fiscal 2012.

N. Korea makes progress on nuclear plant
Washington Post, Chico Harlan, 2011 11 15
Tokyo –

North Korea has made rapid progress on the construction of a new nuclear reactor, with
work nearly complete on the outside walls of the reactor building, according to an
analysis of recent satellite images.

Because the reactor building hasn't yet been loaded with sensitive nuclear equipment, the
plant might not be operational for two or three more years, one analyst said. But the

accelerated pace of construction, coming one year after North Korea disclosed the plant
publicly, lends credence to Pyongyang's claim that it has the materials and know-how to
build nuclear plants on its own.

It is less clear, though, whether North Korea wants the plant as a power source or as a
decoy for its weapons program.

With a completed light-water reactor, North Korea would pose the same problem as Iran:
Its officials can claim that their uranium-enrichment program is being used to fuel the
reactor, not to produce weapons-grade uranium for nuclear bombs.

"It's a nice cover story, potentially, for their highly-enriched uranium program," said Joel
Wit, a former U.S. nuclear negotiator who obtained the satellite images for publication on
his Web site from the DigitalGlobe Analysis Center.

North Korea making missile able to hit U.S.
Republicans press Pentagon for long-range interceptors
By Bill Gertz
The Washington Times
Monday, December 5, 2011

New intelligence indicates that North Korea is moving ahead with building its first road-mobile
intercontinental ballistic missile, an easily hidden weapon capable of hitting the United States,
according to Obama administration officials.

The intelligence was revealed in a classified Capitol Hill briefing last month. Its existence was
made public in a letter to Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta from five House Republicans.

―As members of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces …, we write out of
concerns about new intelligence concerning foreign developments in long-range ballistic missile
development, specifically ballistic missiles capable of attacking the United States,‖ the Nov. 17
letter said.

―We believe this new intelligence reiterates the need for the administration to correct its priorities
regarding missile defenses, which should have, first and foremost, the missile defense of the

Officials familiar with the intelligence said government analysts believe the missile could be a
variant of North Korea‘s new Musudan intermediate-range missile, first disclosed publicly in
October 2010.

Other intelligence indicates that the new ICBM may be under development at a huge missile
testing facility on North Korea‘s western coast.

Prior to its mobile ICBM, North Korea‘s long-range missiles were the pad-launched Taepodong-1
prototype, and the Taepodong-2 (TD-2) dual-use ICBM and space launcher. The TD-2 was test-
launched in April 2009.

‘Direct threat’

Mobile missiles are difficult for tracking radar to locate, making them easier to hide. They also can
be set up and launched much more quickly than missiles fired from silos or launchpads.

China's military recently deployed two new mobile ICBMs, the DF-31 and DF-31A. It is not known
whether North Korea‘s new mobile missile is based on Chinese technology. China in the past has
provided missile technology to North Korea, a fraternal communist ally.

The first indications of Pyongyang‘s new mobile ICBM were made public in June by Robert M.
Gates, who was defense secretary at the time.

After a speech in Singapore, Mr. Gates said, ―With the continued development of long-range
missiles and potentially a road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missile and their continuing
development of nuclear weapons, … North Korea is in the process of becoming a direct threat to
the United States.‖

The new intelligence was discussed during a closed-door briefing in mid-November for the House
Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces and discussed in the letter to Mr. Panetta. The
letter did not say specifically that the missile was North Korean, but it quoted Mr. Gates on
Pyongyang‘s mobile ICBM development.

The letter was signed by Rep. Michael R. Turner, Ohio Republican and chairman of the
subcommittee; Rep. Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Permanent
Select Committee on Intelligence; and Republican Reps. Trent Franks of Arizona, Doug Lamborn
of Colorado and Mac Thornberry of Texas.

Congressional aides declined to comment on the intelligence.

Administration officials familiar with the missile data said U.S. intelligence analysts have some
disagreement over the developments.

Implications for talks

The intelligence on North Korea‘s progress on a mobile ICBM was disclosed as the Obama
administration is seeking to restart the failed six-nation talks on North Korea‘s nuclear program.

Glyn Davies, special envoy for North Korea, leaves Tuesday for talks in China, Japan and South
Korea about North Korea‘s nuclear program, the State Department announced Monday.

Last week, North Korea issued a government white paper that defended its April 2009 launch of a
Taepodong-2 as part of a satellite development program.

Government analysts viewed the statement as an indication that North Korea may be preparing
for a missile flight test.

The United Nations imposed unprecedented sanctions on North Korea after a 2009 test of a
nuclear device.

Three paths

Details of North Korea‘s first mobile intermediate-range missile, the Musudan, and the new west
coast North Korean launch facility were made public in classified State Department cables on the
anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

A February 2010 cable outlining a U.S.-Russian exchange on missile threats stated that the U.S.
government suspects North Korea has three paths to building ICBMs.

One is using the Taepodong-2, with a range of up to 9,300 miles, as its main strategic missile. A
second way is to further develop the ranges of existing missiles like the Musudan, and last is to

―use the very large launch facility that is being constructed on the west coast of North Korea to
launch a very large missile,‖ the cable said.

The cable said the size of the facility is a concern because ―it does not simply replicate other

―This facility is much larger than the Taepodong launch facility,‖ the cable said. ―This is not to say
there is evidence of a new missile system larger than the Taepodong-2 being developed, but it
suggests the possibility.‖

An Oct. 6, 2009, cable on North Korea‘s missile program said the Musudan intermediate-range
missile is based on Russia‘s SS-N-6 submarine-launched missile that has a range of up to 2,400

The Musudan uses an advanced liquid propellent called unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine
(UDMH) and nitrogen tetroxide (N204) that are easier to store in missiles.

―Development of the Musudan with this more advanced propulsion technology allows North Korea
to build even longer-range missiles - or shorter range missiles with greater payload capacity -
than would be possible using Scud-type technology,‖ the cable said.

North Korea also has a new solid-fueled short-range missile called the Toksa, with a range of 75
miles, and has sold a number of shorter-range Musudan missiles to Iran, the report said.

‘Hedging strategy’

In their letter, the five lawmakers called on the Pentagon to reverse its decision to curb
development of long-range ground-based interceptors in favor of European-based missile
defenses against Iranian missiles. They also asked for the Pentagon‘s plan for a ―hedging
strategy‖ to be prepared to counter new missile threats like the North Korean mobile ICBM.

―In view of the briefing the subcommittee received this week, we do not believe the United States
can afford further delay in the release of the hedging strategy by the Department of Defense,‖
they stated, asking for a report on the strategy by the end of the year.

Asked about the new intelligence, Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde said the Pentagon had nothing to add
to Mr. Gates‗ comments.

―Specific information related to North Korea‘s development of road-mobile ICBM would be an
intelligence matter, and it is our policy not to comment on intelligence matters,‖ she said.

A U.S. intelligence community spokesman referred a reporter‘s questions about the new
intelligence to the February statement to Congress by James Clapper, director of national

Mr. Clapper stated in his prepared remarks that ―North Korea‘s progress in developing the TD-2
shows its determination to achieve long-range ballistic missile and space-launch capabilities. If
configured as an ICBM, the TD-2 could reach at least portions of the United States; the TD-2 or
associated technologies also could be exported.‖

Gates‘ prediction

Mr. Gates first told reporters Jan. 11 during a visit to China that North Korea‘s progress in building
intercontinental ballistic missiles was turning the Pyongyang regime into a ―direct threat to the
United States.‖

Pressed for details, he said, ―I don‘t think it‘s an immediate threat, no. But on the other hand, I
don‘t think it‘s a five-year threat.‖

―Let me be precise,‖ he added. ―I think that North Korea will have developed an intercontinental
ballistic missile within that time frame, not that they will have huge numbers or anything like that,
but I believe they will have a very limited capability.‖

The Daily Beast quoted Mr. Gates in June saying, ―They are developing a road-mobile ICBM. I
never would have dreamed they would go to a road-mobile before testing a static ICBM. It‘s a
huge problem. As we‘ve found out in a lot of places, finding mobile missiles is very tough.‖

Richard Fisher, a military analyst with the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said, ―A
nuclear armed North Korean road mobile ICBM would pose a spectacular challenge to the U.S.-
led alliance system in Northeast Asia, as Pyongyang could severely undermine U.S. extended
nuclear deterrence commitments.‖

A second Iranian nuclear facility has exploded, as diplomatic
tensions rise between the West and Tehran
by Sheera Frenkel From: The Times (London) November 30, 2011

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month,
prompting speculation that Tehran's military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on
Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday
that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was
"no doubt" that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was "no accident".

The explosion at Iran's third-largest city came as satellite images emerged of the damage caused
by one at a military base outside Tehran two weeks ago that killed about 30 members of the
Revolutionary Guard, including General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of the Iranian missile
defence program.

Iran claimed that the Tehran explosion occurred during testing on a new weapons system
designed to strike at Israel. But several Israeli officials have confirmed that the blast was
intentional and part of an effort to target Iran's nuclear weapons program.

On Monday, Isfahan residents reported a blast that shook tower blocks in the city at about
2.40pm and seeing a cloud of smoke rising over the nuclear facility on the edge of the city.

"This caused damage to the facilities in Isfahan, particularly to the elements we believe were
involved in storage of raw materials," said one military intelligence source.

He would not confirm or deny Israel's involvement in the blast, instead saying that there were
"many different parties looking to sabotage, stop or coerce Iran into stopping its nuclear weapons

Iran went into frantic denial yesterday as news of the explosion at Isfahan emerged. Alireza
Zaker-Isfahani, the city's governor, claimed that the blast had been caused by a military exercise
in the area but state-owned agencies in Tehran soon removed this story and issued a
government denial that any explosion had taken place at all.

On Monday, Dan Meridor. the Israeli Intelligence Minister, said: "There are countries who impose

economic sanctions and there are countries who act in other ways in dealing with the Iranian
nuclear threat."

Major-General Giora Eiland, Israel's former director of national security, told Israel's army radio
that the Isfahan blast was no accident. "There aren't many coincidences, and when there are so
many events there is probably some sort of guiding hand, though perhaps it's the hand of God,"
he said.

A former Israeli intelligence official cited at least two other explosions that have "successfully
neutralised" Iranian bases associated with the Shahab-3, the medium-range missile that could be
adapted to carry a nuclear warhead. "This is something everyone in the West wanted to see
happen," he added.

Iran has repeatedly denied the existence of a nuclear weapons program, and strongly
condemned the International Atomic Energy Agency's report last month that accused Iran of
trying to build a nuclear weapon.

Explosion Seen as Big Setback to Iran’s Missile
December 4, 2011- NYT


WASHINGTON — The huge explosion that destroyed a major missile-testing site near Tehran three weeks

ago was a major setback for Iran‘s most advanced long-range missile program, according to American and

Israeli intelligence officials and missile technology experts.

In interviews, current and former officials said surveillance photos showed that the Iranian base was a

central testing center for advanced solid-fuel missiles, an assessment backed by outside experts who have

examined satellite photos showing that the base was almost completely leveled in the blast. Such missiles

can be launched almost instantly, making them useful to Iran as a potential deterrent against pre-emptive
attacks by Israel or the United States, and they are also better suited than older liquid-fuel designs for

carrying warheads long distances.

It is still unclear what caused the explosion, with American officials saying they believe it was probably an

accident, perhaps because of Iran‘s inexperience with a volatile, dangerous technology. Iran declared it an

accident, but subsequent discussions of the episode in the Iranian news media have referred to the chief of

Iran‘s missile program as one of the ―martyrs‖ killed in the huge explosion. Some Iranian officials have

talked of sabotage, but it is unclear whether that is based on evidence or surmise after several years in which

Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated on Tehran‘s streets, and a highly sophisticated computer

worm has attacked its main uranium production facility.

Both American and Israeli officials, in discussing the explosion in recent days, showed little curiosity about

its cause. ―Anything that buys us time and delays the day when the Iranians might be able to mount a nuclear

weapon on an accurate missile is a small victory,‖ one Western intelligence official who has been deeply

involved in countering the Iranian nuclear program said this weekend. ―At this point, we‘ll take whatever we

can get, however it happens.‖

In addition to providing a potential deterrent to attackers, Iran‘s advances in solid-fuel missile technology,

and the concern it could eventually have intercontinental reach, have been at the heart of the Obama

administration‘s insistence on the need for new missile-defense programs.

As concerns about Iran‘s intentions have deepened in the West, intense surveillance efforts have been turned

on suspected Iranian weapons sites. Iran has frequently accused the United States and Israel of spying and

sabotage programs, and on Sunday made another such claim, saying it had shot down an advanced

American RQ-170 drone in eastern Iran.

That particular drone is among the most sensitive in the American fleet, and if the report is true it would

mean Iran had gained at least partial access to closely guarded American technology. A stealth version of the

drone was flown for hours, on repeated occasions, over Osama bin Laden‘s hide-out in Abbottabad, Pakistan,

earlier this year, without being detected by Pakistani air defenses, American officials said. There have been

reports for months, all unconfirmed, that the same drone was being used regularly over Iran, presumably to

hunt for hidden nuclear or missile sites.

In a statement on Sunday, the American-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan said that

the drone ―to which the Iranians are referring may be a U.S. unarmed reconnaissance aircraft that had been

flying a mission over western Afghanistan late last week.‖ It added that operators of the remotely controlled

drone aircraft lost control of it ―and had been working to determine its status.‖ The statement did not say

what kind of drone was lost, or what might have caused the loss.

The statement would seem to suggest that the craft wrongly flew across the border into Iran. If a drone was

used for intelligence gathering in Iran, it presumably would not belong to the military — since there are no

open hostilities with Iran — but rather to the C.I.A. or another intelligence agency, acting under a

presidential finding about the Iranian nuclear program.

One of the many theories swirling around the explosion at the missile base is that it could have been hit by a

weapon, including one fired from a drone, setting off the huge explosion that followed. But since no

outsiders can approach the base or gather evidence, it is unclear whether it will ever be known publicly what

triggered the explosion.

Even if the cause was an accident — and the United States has suffered some with its own solid-fuel motors

— several officials said that it was a major setback for Iran‘s effort to focus much of its industrial prowess on

that kind of missile.

Missiles powered by solid fuels rather than liquids have no need for trucks to fill them with volatile fluids,

and can be fired on short notice, making them hard for other nations to destroy before they are launched.

That would add to Iran‘s ability to protect its nuclear sites from an Israeli strike — a subject of renewed

debate in Israel in recent weeks — because Iran could threaten to retaliate before many of its missiles were

struck. Solid-fuel missiles are also easier to hide. For those reasons, modern militaries rely on solid fuels for

their deadliest missiles.

Moreover, at a time Iran is being squeezed by sanctions, the country has succeeded in making the solid-fuel

engines with indigenous technology. For liquid-fueled engines, many key components come from abroad.

In a recent report, the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London called Iran‘s shift to solid-fuel

engines ―a turning point‖ with ―profound strategic implications‖ because the technology also brings Tehran

closer to its goal of making long-range missiles. In its report three weeks ago, the International Atomic

Energy Agency laid out, for the first time in public, detailed evidence it says suggests that Iran worked at

some point in the past decade on designing a nuclear warhead that would fit atop its missile fleet.

Partly for that reason, Western officials said, many of the sanctions imposed on Iran by the United Nations

Security Council seek to block its import of rocket parts.

Last week, the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington, released a

commercial satellite image of the destroyed base.

It called Iran‘s labors there integral to ―a major milestone in the development of a new missile.‖

Government and private analysts described the blast at the military base, which occurred Nov. 12 and killed

Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, the head of Iran‘s missile program, as a major setback — not just because

of the extensive damage to the site but also because of the loss of expertise from the specialists working


General Moghaddam‘s funeral was attended by Iran‘s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. ―That was a

statement of how central Moghaddam‘s work was,‖ one American intelligence official said.

The sprawling complex where the blast took place has expanded dramatically in the last few years. Michael

Elleman, a main author of the International Institute‘s 148-page report on Iranian missiles, examined the

public images of the destroyed base and said in an interview that the damage and other evidence was

consistent with solid-fuel technology.

Mr. Elleman added that the desert area around the base bristled with military compounds and networks of

buildings and bunkers — all plainly visible in Google Earth images. Security cordons ringed the bases.

He noted that the region south of the destroyed base, roughly one and five miles distant, held two separate

complexes that carried the distinctive signature of a firing range for solid fuels.

The closer of the two sites has eight test stands in a row, and the desert next to them had been clearly

scorched by fiery plumes. In such tests, missile engines are mounted horizontally and shoot their blasts

straight out.

The more distant complex has three test stands in a row, the middle one bearing bold scorch marks from a

recent firing.

Greenpeace breaches French nuclear plant

PARIS - Greenpeace said Monday it had exposed the "vulnerability" of French nuclear sites
after its activists broke into and reached the heart of an atomic plant near Paris before being

The dawn raid saw nine activists sneak past security at the Nogent-sur-Seine plant, 95
kilometres (60 miles) southeast of Paris, and unfurl a banner on one of its domes reading:
"Safe Nuclear Power Doesn‘t Exist."

"The aim is to show the vulnerability of French nuclear installations, and how easy it is to get
to the heart of a reactor," said Sophia Majnoni, a Greenpeace nuclear expert.

"In about 15 minutes the activists reached the heart of the plant, where the nuclear core and
nuclear fuel are," she told journalists near the plant.

French authorities confirmed the intrusion, said that the nine had been detained and a
thorough search was being conducted of all installations after Greenpeace said its activists
had entered other sites and remained present.

"We at the moment have people who are in a nuclear site and have not been located,"
Greenpeace spokeswoman Adelaide Colin said.

French energy firm EDF, which runs the nuclear plants that France relies on for 75 percent of
its energy, said there were no signs that activists had managed to infiltrate other installations.

"There are no traces of intrusion in EDF‘s other nuclear stations," it added.

EDF sought to downplay the incident, insisting it had been aware of the intrusion from the

The activists "were immediately detected by the security system and were permanently
followed on the site, without a decision being made to make use of force," the company said
in a statement.

Authorities insisted the incident had posed no risk.

"At no point was there a threat to the integrity of nuclear installations," interior ministry
spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet told AFP.

"We are proceeding with an extensive search of all nuclear plants and installations," he said.

Authorities said attempts had also been made to break into nuclear power plants in Blayais
in southwestern France and Chinon in central France, as well as a nuclear research centre in
Cadarache in the southeast.

Henri Guaino, an advisor to President Nicolas Sarkozy, said the activists‘ move was
irresponsible but raised questions about security at nuclear plants.

"It was irresponsible on their part," he told BFMTV. "But this does make one think about the
security of access to nuclear power plants. Conclusions must be drawn from this."

Green Party leader Cecile Duflot thanked the activists for carrying out a "free audit" of
security at French nuclear facilities. The activists "proved the weaknesses of our (nuclear)
stations," she said in a statement, adding: "Terrorist risks must finally be taken seriously by
nuclear authorities and the government."

The incident comes as some in France have begun to question the country‘s long-held
support for nuclear energy.

France, the world‘s most nuclear-dependent country, operates 58 reactors and has been a
leading international proponent of atomic energy. But the country‘s reliance on nuclear power
has been increasingly called into question since the Fukushima disaster in Japan, which
prompted Germany to announce plans to shut all of its reactors by the end of 2022.

Ahead of a presidential election next year, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande has agreed
a deal with the country‘s Greens to push to reduce France‘s reliance on nuclear energy to 50
percent by shutting down 24 nuclear reactors by 2025.

EDF and Greenpeace have a long history of confrontation, and last month a French court
fined the company 1.5 million euros ($2 million) after it hired a private security firm to hack
the computer of the group‘s former head of campaigns in France. Greenpeace‘s action came
as UN climate talks entered their second week in South Africa.

Near the Durban conference site, six Greenpeace campaigners were arrested as they tried
to hang a banner reading "Listen to the People, not the Polluters" at a hotel where a "Global
Business Day," hosted by business organizations, was taking place.

U.S. probes report of alleged Iranian cyber-attack plot
AFP December 12, 2011 5:07 PM

WASHINGTON — The United States said Monday it is looking into a "very disturbing"
report that implicates a U.S.-based Venezuelan diplomat in an alleged Iranian plot to
launch cyber attacks against U.S. nuclear plants. Livia Antonieta Acosta, currently
Venezuela's consul in Miami, Florida, is described in a report by New York-based
Hispanic television network Univision as an accomplice in the plot.

"We did see the Univision report and are cognizant of the allegations they've made,"
State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner told reporters, describing the
allegations as "very disturbing." Toner added: "We don't have any information at this
point to corroborate it . . . We're looking into it and continue to assess what additional
actions we might take."

Univision said that Acosta, during her service as second secretary at the Venezuelan
embassy in Mexico in 2007, participated in the alleged plot to target sensitive U.S.
national security facilities, including nuclear power plants.

"We obviously take Iranian activity in the hemisphere seriously. We monitor its activities
closely," Toner said.

In October, the United States, already gripped in a showdown with Iran over its refusal to
come clean on its nuclear program, accused the Islamic Republic of a plot aimed at
assassinating the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

Canada invited to South Korean nuclear summit on combating
'radiological' terrorism
Canadian Press, Mike Blanchfield, 2011 12 14
Ottawa –

Fighting the threat of ``radiological terrorism'' will once again preoccupy Canada
and four dozen other countries and groups at a major summit next year on
nuclear security.

South Korea has high ambitions for the March meeting it is hosting, the follow-up
to last year's inaugural nuclear security summit that was chaired by U.S.
President Barack Obama.

The Harper government has yet to formally announce Canada's participation in
the two-day event in Seoul on March 26-27.

But as one of 50 participants at the April 2010 Washington nuclear security
summit, Canada is on the guest list and is digesting a host of agenda proposals
from South Korea.

The threat of a terrorist dirty-bomb attack will once again be one with which summit
participants continue to grapple following Obama's efforts last year. South Korea also
wants a robust discussion on how to protect nuclear facilities from sabotage or cyber

Russia seizes radioactive material bound for Iran at
Moscow airport
Agence France-Presse Dec 16, 2011 – 8:15 AM ET

MOSCOW — Russia on Friday seized a consignment of the radioactive isotope Sodium-22 at
a Moscow airport from a passenger who was to travel on a flight to Tehran, the customs
service said.

―Tests showed that the Sodium-22 could only have been obtained as the result of the work of
a nuclear reactor,‖ it said in a statement. ―A criminal enquiry has been opened and the
materials transferred to prosecutors.‖

Customs had been alerted by a warning system at Sheremetyevo airport ahead of the Moscow
to Tehran flight that background radiation in the departures hall was 20 times the norm. A
passenger‘s bag was then searched.

―Eighteen metallic objects of industrial origin were found, packed into individual steel
boxes,‖ it said.

―Tests then found that the objects were in fact the radioactive isotope Sodium-22 that had
been machine-produced.‖

No further details were immediately available on the consignment or the identity of the
passenger who was carrying the materials.

Russia has relatively close ties with Iran and has built its first nuclear power station in the
southern city of Bushehr. Moscow has also delivered the nuclear fuel for the reactor.

Moscow has echoed Western concerns about the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme
but has stopped short of publicly accusing Tehran of seeking atomic weapons and always said
that the standoff should be solved by diplomacy.

Experts have long called for tight controls against nuclear smuggling so Iran cannot get hold
of materials it is barred from obtaining under UN Security Council sanctions.

Iran blasts ‘lies’ about seizure of radioactive material from
Tehran-bound passenger at Moscow airport
       Agence France-Presse Dec 16, 2011 – 12:51 PM ET | Last Updated: Dec 16, 2011 1:42 PM

TEHRAN — The reported seizure of a consignment of radioactive material from a Tehran-
bound passenger at a Moscow airport is ―a lie,‖ an official at Iran‘s embassy in Russia has

Customs were alerted by a warning system at Sheremetyevo airport ahead of the Moscow to
Tehran flight that radiation in the departures hall was 20 times above normal.

A passenger‘s bag was then searched where Russian customs officials claimed they found
eighteen metallic objects containing radioactive isotope Sodium-22.

But an Iranian embassy official in Moscow told news agency ISNA that Western reports on
the seizure were aimed at ―sabotaging Russo-Iranian relations and trying to create problems
and tensions in relations by fabricating issues.‖

―The news of the discovery of a radioactive consignment headed for Iran in Moscow is a lie,‖
the unnamed official said.

Russia‘s customs service had earlier announced that a consignment of the radioactive isotope
Sodium-22 used for medical and research purposes was found and confiscated from the
passenger on Friday.

―Eighteen metallic objects of industrial origin were found, packed into individual steel
boxes,‖ it said.

―Tests then found that the objects were in fact the radioactive isotope Sodium-22 that had
been machine-produced.‖

The Iranian official, when asked about the Sodium-22, spoke of an incident he said happened
several weeks ago.

―Around a month ago a misunderstanding occurred with a university student who was
carrying material used for dentistry. This issue was quickly solved and he was offered an
apology for the misunderstanding,‖ the embassy official told ISNA.

Russia has relatively close ties with Iran and has built its first nuclear power station in the
southern city of Bushehr. Moscow has also delivered the nuclear fuel for the reactor.

Moscow has echoed Western concerns about the nature of the Iranian nuclear programme
but has stopped short of publicly accusing Tehran of seeking atomic weapons and always said
that the standoff should be solved by diplomacy.

Experts have long called for tight controls against nuclear smuggling so Iran cannot get hold
of materials it is barred from obtaining under UN Security Council sanctions.

Iran to transfer nuclear production across series of secret
Iran is to transfer its nuclear production across a series of underground and bomb-proof secret
facilities as it steps up efforts to thwart an apparent Western sabotage campaign.
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent 7:29PM GMT 14 Dec 2011 Daily Telegraph

The senior officer in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Force (IRGC) charged with combatting
foreign infiltration told state media that the parts of the nuclear programme would shifted to safe
locations impervious to outside attack.

The announcement compounds Western intelligence concerns reported by the Daily Telegraph
this month that Iran's security forces had gone on a war footing. Intelligence officials said that the
regime was moving its nuclear and ballistic assets to new locations to defend against foreign
saboteurs and the theat of direct military action.

Brig Gen Gholam Reza Jalali, the IRGC commander, said that efforts underway had already
reduced to "minimal" the vulnerability of its nuclear programme. Reports in the state media
quoting Brig Jalali said new locations would be established to house the nuclear programme.

"Our vulnerability in the nuclear field is minimal," Brig Jalali told Mehr newsagency. "If Americans
and Israelis were able to attack and harm our nuclear facilities, they would have definitely done
so by now. If conditions require, we will move our uranium enrichment centres to safer places."

Separately Western diplomats revealed that Iran was poised to launch production of enriched
uranium, which can be refined to build a nuclear bomb, at an underground facility near the holy
city of Qom.

Iran was only forced to reveal the existence of the mountain plant at Fordow to nuclear inspectors
after it was indentified by intelligence agencies two years ago. Since then its officials have hinted
the country was building other clandestine facilities that have so far not been declared under its
non-proliferation obligations.
Weapons inspectors at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna claim that centrifuges,
production systems and nuclear raw materials have been installed at the site. Reports in Vienna
yesterday said that scientists would launch production within days.

"They are ready to start feeding," a diplomat said.

The move would mark a watershed for Iran which for the first time could produce uranium at a
facility able to withstand bombing from the air. Shannon Kile, a nuclear proliferation expert at
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute siad that secret facilities posed a far graver
potential threat than Iran's existing plants, which have attracted international sanctions. By
producing enriched uranium underground the regime could race to complete a nuclear warhead -
a process known as breakout - in buildings reinforced against attack.

"Obviously, for people who are concerned about Iran's ability to break out and to enrich to
weapons-grade this is a pretty good step along that route," he said.

Israel and America maintain the option of military strikes in the event Iran reaches the threshold
of nuclear weapons.

Signs that a clandestine disruption campaign is underway have mounted in recent weeks.

Iran has suffered a succession of mysterious explosions in its military-run weapons factories.

Satellite pictures suggest that a storage area near its uranium conversion plant in Isfahan was
damaged during a large blast heard in the city last month.

Cyber attacks, including the introduction of the Stuxnet virus, have also caused serious delays in
the Iranian nuclear production lines.

Brig Jalali is head of the IRGC's Civil Defence Organisation, a unit set up on the orders of Iran's
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier this year. Its role is to reduce the impact of
military strikes and covert action against Iran.

The nuclear waste race
In nation after nation, the quest for a place to hold radioactive
material is reaching critical mass, writes Ian MacLeod

With more than 400 nuclear power plants in 32 countries, nuclear waste disposal is no longer
an afterthought. A global nuclear waste race is underway.

International research and co-operation has exploded. So has public decision-making in the
once-private affairs of the nuclear power industry.

Deep underground burial in hard rock cavities for hundreds of thousands of years is now
considered the best longterm solution for the 240,000 tonnes of highly radioactive spent
reactor fuel stacked in temporary storage around the globe.

No nation yet has opened a permanent geological repository. But plans are well advanced in
some countries, notably Finland and Sweden.

Canada plans to open a deep repository for high-level waste around 2035, though much
work lies ahead, including finding a suitable site. Transferring the estimated four million spent
fuel bundles into the vault will take an additional 30 years.

The United States, meanwhile, is in an increasingly desperate situation.

The Obama administration's recent decision to cancel the 2015 opening of a repository at
Yucca Mountain in Nevada's remote desert country has left jittery and angry American
nuclear power producers sitting on enormous amounts of spent fuel crammed into interim
storage for an indefinite additional period. The country's 104 commercial power reactors
churn out more every day.

Cancellation of the project, which cost an estimated $9 billion and involved more than 20
years of research, is widely considered to have been based on political, not technical,

But so was the original siting process. Washington in 1987 unilaterally deemed the waste
was going to Yucca without seriously considering other potential sites. Not surprisingly,
Nevada citizens have railed against the top-down plan ever since.

If the government doesn't bow to pressure and reverse its decision, U.S. nuclear waste
planners will be going back to the drawing board for what promises to be another very
prolonged and expensive exercise.

The World Nuclear Association says deep geological disposal is the preferred option for
several other countries, too, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Japan,
Netherlands, Republic of Korea and Spain.

The biggest issue for any repository design is assessing how it will perform far into the future
to allow the spent fuel products to decay into harmlessness. No one alive today or for
generations to come will ever know the answer.

That means extensive, lengthy and expensive scientific studies. In geology alone, where
time scales are measured in billions of years, research requires time.

There's also hydrology, thermohydrology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, climate change
modelling, materials behaviour, radionuclide migration and much, much more.

Paying for the repositories is far simpler. Most countries, Canada included, require the
radioactive waste producers to finance all the multi-billion dollar costs.

Here is a snapshot of the nuclear waste race. Much of the information comes from an
exhaustive comparative overview of international approaches to spent fuel and high-level
waste management by nuclear experts Charles McCombie and Bengt Tveiten. The work was
commissioned by Canada's Nuclear Waste Management Organization.


In 1983, the government established guidelines for longterm management of nuclear waste,
including interim milestones for progress toward disposal "in an irrevocable manner."

After a cautious staged approach looking at various options, attention was focused on two
communities, which competed to host the repository. Olkiluoto, an island on the shore of the
Gulf of Bothnia in western Finland, was chosen and excavation and construction was started
in 2004 by Posiva Oy, a nuclear waste management company. The repository is named

Scheduled to open in 2020, spent nuclear fuel packed in copper canisters will be embedded
in bedrock at a depth of around 400 metres. Onkalo will be the world's first permanent
nuclear waste crypt.


Almost 80 per cent of France's energy comes from 59 nuclear power reactors.

Spent fuel is first stored in water at reactor sites, then transported to the La Hague
reprocessing plant, where plutonium is recovered from the irradiated uranium and recycled in
a mixed-oxide fuel called MOX.

The reprocessing creates considerable high-level waste, which is vitrified in glass and stored
at the facility.

The French radioactive waste disposal agency, Andra, is designing a deep geological
repository in clays at Bure in eastern France for its disposal, as well as long-lived
intermediate level waste. Andra expects to apply for a construction and operating licence in


The problem: 44,000 tonnes of intensely radioactive highlevel waste. The proposed solution:
Entombing it for eternity, deep underground.


Waste yes, want yes: The towns vying to become host to Canada's high-level waste.


Chalk River's toxic legacy: Exactly what's there, and what's being done about it.


A tank full of trouble: Radioactive material floating in a warm solution fills a tank at Chalk
River, and no one know what to do with it.


In May, as the enormity of Japan's Fukushima nuclear complex disaster became clearer,
German Chancellor Angela Merkel promised to phase-out nuclear power from the country's
17 reactors by 2020.

Like France, Germany reprocesses its waste - but at reprocessing facilities in France,
Russian and Britain. The reprocessed waste is then shipped back to Germany and stored in
a former salt mine in the northern town of Gorleben.

In 1979, Gorleben was selected as a temporary nuclear waste site, but the government
recently resumed research to make it into a permanent storage site.

In November, thousands of protesters clashed with police in an unsuccessful bid to halt a
Gorleben-bound train of reprocessing waste from France.


Used fuel from 27 reactors is reprocessed for plutonium. Four geological disposal facilities
are planned to begin operation in 2025-2030.


Spent fuel from 14 reactors is stored in pools, then reprocessed. A geological repository is
planned, but not sited.


Used fuel from 10 reactors is transported via ship to the Simpevarp Peninsula near the
Oskarshamn nuclear power plant. There it is placed in interim storage in deep pools of water
30 metres underground.

In 2001, the Swedish government endorsed a plan for site selection for a deep geological
repository and investigations on two sites began in 2002. Forsmark, on the east coast of
Uppland and site of a nuclear power plant, was chosen, When open in 2023, it is to safely
hold spent fuel 500 metres underground for 100,000 years.


The country had been reprocessing its high-level waste abroad in France and Britain, but
enacted a 10-year reprocessing moratorium in 2006. Spent fuel is now kept at the country's
five reactor sites.

Two sites are under investigation as possible locations for two national waste repositories,
one for low-and medium-level waste and one for spent fuel.

In June, meanwhile, the country resolved not to replace any reactors and phaseout nuclear
power by 2034.


Used fuel from its 31 reactors is reprocessed and the vitrified waste is stored above ground
for 50 years.

In 2003, the government established the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management to
investigate options for a long-term management approach. In 2008, the committee
recommended deep geological disposal, which the government endorsed.

A FISST full of trouble
Chalk River keeps wary eye on deadly radioactive stockpile

CHALK RIVER, Ont. — Somewhere inside this nuclear complex, a 24,000-litre waste tank of
highly enriched weapons-grade uranium is under constant surveillance for any hint of an
accidental atomic chain reaction.

The Fissile Solution Storage Tank, or FISST, is largely unknown outside the nuclear
establishment but, within the industry in Canada and internationally, it is a source of
persistent unease.

The double-walled, stainless-steel vessel contains 17 years‘ worth of an intensely radioactive
acidic solution from the production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), a vital medical isotope.

Atomic Energy of Canada, which operates Chalk River Laboratories, is generally tight-lipped
about the tank. Taken out of service around 2003, it is believed to be near-full and sitting
inside a thick, in-ground concrete vault in a building two hours northwest of Ottawa.

Its chief ingredient is an estimated 175 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU)
containing 93 per cent uranium-235 (U-235), the isotope that sustains a fission chain
reaction. Also present are plutonium, tritium, other fission products and mercury.

Federal nuclear safety regulators are concerned ―about the challenges AECL faces due to
the degradation of some (FISST) support and monitoring system components,‖ according to
a June brief by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

The FISST‘s noxious liquid must be carefully monitored, mixed and warmed to prevent it
from solidifying and — in a worst-case scenario — potentially achieving a self-sustaining
chain reaction of fissioning atoms called criticality.

The energy and heat from such a chain reaction could potentially rupture the tank, release
the solution into the environment and endanger anyone nearby. There would be no danger of
a nuclear explosion.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is watching closely, too.

In June, a sophisticated IAEA monitoring device was installed on the FISST to allow agency
officials to monitor its volume from their offices in Vienna.

While the tank itself is said to be in very good condition, there have been three small, related
internal leaks, two in 2006 and another in 2009.

No solution escaped, but the ability to monitor the tank‘s temperature was hampered when
two of three thin, hollow stainless steel tubes, equipped with thermocouples and submerged
vertically in the tank, were found to have been breached by small amounts of FISST solution.

Currently, only one of three thermowell tubes is operational, according to a federal nuclear
safety official. Three thermocouples in the single remaining tube, however, are capable of
monitoring deep into the tank as well two higher points. The space between the tank‘s two
shells are ventilated and also monitored for leakage.

―The structure is sound. There are no concerns with the corrosion of the integrity of FISST
vessel,‖ says Joan Miller, AECL vice-president and general manager of decommissioning
and waste management.

―All of our assessments, and we‘ve had third-party assessments as well, indicate that ... it is
safely stored from a criticality perspective.‖

Despite the concerns expressed in the June brief, the CNSC says it would not let the FISST
remain if it were unsafe.

―The main concern is making sure the uranium stays in solution,‖ says Peter Elder, director-
general for the directorate of nuclear cycle and facilities regulation.―To achieve any degree of
criticality would require a large portion of the uranium to come out of solution.‖

Keeping the FISST safe ―requires a fair amount of monitoring, maintenance, ongoing
activities, that are well above what you would need‖ if the solution could be turned into a
solid via cementation or vitrification. ―It‘s not a very big risk, but it is obviously a risk that can
be eliminated.‖

June‘s CNSC brief says, ―staff requested information from AECL on their plans to process
the FISST waste and empty the tank. AECL is currently exploring options for long-term
management of the waste in the FISST; however, there are no firm plans to empty the
contents of the tank at this time.‖

Criticality accidents are rare. One of the most serious occurred in 1999 at the Tokai nuclear
fuel fabrication plant in Japan when workers accidentally mixed 16 kilograms of uranium
oxide slurry enriched to 18.8 per cent U-235 instead of 2.4 kg.

The high concentration of U-235 triggered a nuclear chain reaction that lasted for 20 hours,
killed two workers who suffered severe radiation sickness, made dozens of others ill and
spewed radiation for kilometres. It was the worst nuclear accident in Japan before the
Fukushima nuclear power complex melted down in March.

AECL has been investigating methods to cement (or vitrify) the FISST solution, as it currently
does with Mo-99 fissile liquid waste. But experts say the FISST liquid has ―unique
characteristics‖ that require extensive research and preparation.

In October, an AECL official suggested during a commission meeting that it could take until
2020 to resolve the FISST issue and the disposal of non-fissile liquids in 14 other storage
tanks at CRL.

Elder, however, says staff at CNSC want the FISST dealt with during CRL‘s current five-year
operating license.

About 20 kg to 45 kg of HEU is considered sufficient to construct a small nuclear weapon or
a Hiroshima-sized bomb.

A 2009 report from a U.S. National Research Council committee investigating the
proliferation dangers of using HEU in medical isotope production noted, ―of particular
concern is the liquid HEU waste that is stored in the fissile solution storage tank at the Chalk
River, Ontario, site. The quantity of HEU in the tank has not been publicly disclosed, but the
tank is likely to contain well in excess of 100 kg of HEU.‖

Writing in the Nonproliferation Review, Cristina Hansell, of the U.S.-based Center for
Nonproliferation Studies, also weighed in on Canada‘s predicament.

―Because Canada‘s facility for this liquid waste is full, its operators have conducted criticality
studies to ensure that storage could be reconfigured to accommodate additional material or
that some waste could be removed and immobilized in concrete to reduce overfill. Of course,
the immobilized material will eventually have to be removed from the concrete in order to
downblend it for long-term storage, not a simple process.

―Though it is not extremely likely that a terrorist will steal material in Chalk River, Canada,
and create a nuclear device that is detonated in a North American city, it is not impossible.

―If nuclear terrorism is to be prevented, then Mo-99 production should be recognized as an
increasingly weak link.‖

Canada quietly shipping bomb-grade uranium to U.S.,
says 'Secret' federal memo
Andy Blatchford- Montreal— The Canadian Press- Dec. 27, 2011

Weapons-grade uranium is quietly being transported within Canada, and into the United
States, in shipments the country's nuclear watchdog wants to keep cloaked in secrecy.

A confidential federal memo obtained through the Access to Information Act says at least
one payload of spent, U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium fuel has already been moved
stateside under a new Canada-U.S. deal.

The shipments stem from the highly publicized agreement signed last year by Prime
Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama, amid fears that nuclear-
bomb-making material could fall into the hands of terrorists.

The Canadian stash gradually being shipped from Chalk River, Ont., contains hundreds
of kilograms of highly enriched uranium — large enough to make several Hiroshima-
sized nuclear bombs.

But even as the radioactive freight travels toward the U.S. border, the Canadian Nuclear
Safety Commission has no plans to hold public hearings or disclose which communities
lie along the delivery route.

The shipments themselves are protected by intense security protocol, which means
specifics like routes, transportation method, quantities and schedules remain top secret.

The federal nuclear body, a co-regulator of the uranium transfers, says rules restrict it
from disclosing such information to the public.

A ministerial memorandum, classified as ―Secret,‖ says the nuclear watchdog considers it
unnecessary to hold public sessions that would allow citizens to ask questions and
comment on the shipments.

That same memorandum, dated Feb. 25, 2011, points out that recent hearings for another
nuclear-shipment case generated intense public and media interest. The controversy has
stalled the project to ship 16 generators from a Bruce Power nuclear plant through the
Great Lakes, up the St. Lawrence River and onto Europe.

The memo, obtained by The Canadian Press, appears to warn against a repeat scenario.

―Given the public and media interest surrounding Bruce Power's plan ... there may be an
expectation that similar information be made public on the shipments of spent HEU
(highly enriched uranium) fuel to the U.S., and that the CNSC (Canadian Nuclear Safety
Commission) hold public hearings,‖ said the document, addressed to then-natural
resources minister Christian Paradis.

―To date, the CNSC has not considered it necessary to hold public hearings on the
shipment of spent HEU fuel to the U.S.‖

When asked why public hearings aren't necessary for the uranium deliveries, a
commission spokeswoman replied by email: they ―are not carried out given the
robustness of the packages used and due to the security issues related to the transfers of
highly enriched uranium.‖

The government added that there has never been a significant transport accident
involving nuclear materials, anywhere in the world, and that such shipments occur
regularly in Canada.

It said only authorized people or agencies, like police forces along the shipment route, are
made aware of the details.

One nuclear expert said theft is the primary concern when shipping highly enriched
uranium fuel — because there is virtually no danger of leaks or explosions.

―If I were the people doing the shipping and so on, I'd want to keep as low a profile as
possible ... you don't want to give terrorists or criminals any advantage,‖ said Bill
Garland, a professor emeritus from McMaster University in nuclear engineering.

―There's a greater risk in the general public knowing, because then the bad guys would
know as well.‖

As for non-theft incidents, like possible road accidents, he described the containers
carrying the substance as highly resistant to collisions, chemicals, fire and explosions.

―It's relatively easy to contain and secure and it's not going to go off like a bomb,‖ Mr.
Garland said.

―I would have no hesitation sitting in the truck and driving across the country with it. It
wouldn't bother me in the least.‖

Mr. Garland added that drivers share Canadian highways every day with trucks carrying
loads of liquid chemicals, like gasoline and chlorine, that would pose a much bigger
danger in a smash-up than nuclear waste.

While the risks are small, he said, that doesn't mean they don't exist. He warned that
radiation could be released if someone deliberately opened a container, for instance.

Mr. Garland said moving uranium poses far more danger than shipping Bruce Power's
old generators up the St. Lawrence.

He calls the generator shipments a ―trivial radioactive situation‖ and a ―non-issue‖
because the cylinders hold very low levels of radioactive material. He said that even if
they fell into the bottom of the river, the generators would pose a negligible risk.

Canada has been importing highly enriched bomb-grade uranium from the U.S. to make
medical isotopes at Chalk River for the past two decades. While Canada has been
pushing for all nations to move to low-enriched uranium, it maintains a large inventory of
the substance at Chalk River.

The Canada-U.S. agreement is part of a broader international project by the Obama
administration to consolidate highly enriched uranium at fewer, more secure sites around
the world.

The U.S. government says it wants to convert the uranium into a form that cannot be used
to build nuclear weapons.

Canada made its first uranium delivery under the repatriation deal in 2010, the February
memo says. It occurred in ―a single shipment using an existing, licensed fuel shipping

The continued shipments are scheduled to take place until 2018.

But some nuclear-industry observers fear that Canadians have been left in the dark about
the project.

―I don't think Canadians are aware that strategic nuclear material is, in fact, travelling
across Canadian roads,‖ said Gordon Edwards, president of the Canadian Coalition of
Nuclear Responsibility.

―I think it's essential that people be aware of what is involved here. People should be
aware of the degree of secrecy which is required.‖

While he has few fears about the safety of the shipment Garland, the nuclear engineering
professor, does have some concerns about the government's selective approach to

―They're willing to talk about those things (the Bruce Power generators) publicly, but yet
when they talk about something that's more dangerous — like moving HEU — they're
not so willing to talk about it,‖ Mr. Garland said.

He said while it's critical to keep specific details about the shipments confidential, there
are ways to maintain security while offering some public oversight.

―If I were king ... I would say, ‗Look, let's have a committee of experts looking at this,
working on behalf of the public so that they could analyze this without having to give out
all the details to the public,' ‖ Mr. Garland said.


To top