• TERRORISM ON THE RAILS: A HOMELAND SECURITY ISSUE

    Pages: 3

    This 3-page paper presents a research proposal centered around railway security in the United States and whether it deters terrorism. Bibliography lists 5 sources.

    File: AS43_MTrailterr.doc

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    in security lines, shoes off, jackets and carry-ons in the bins while someone from the Transportation Services Administration reminds them that liquids in carry-on luggage need to be in clear  bags. There is little doubt that airports have been the most visibly updated and are regularly featured when it comes to homeland security issues. But another serious homeland security issue  that isnt addressed in print (or on television) quite as often is passenger and freight rail. The reason its important to provide as  much due consideration to rail as it is to airports is because any security breach in the system could have horrific consequences. The problem is that a breach can happen  pretty easily. In one example, Union Pacific Railroad was fined millions because the company didnt uncover illegal drugs hidden aboard the rail cars  by smugglers (Union Pacific not Liable, 2011). The drugs, apparently, were smuggled aboard the cars while they were in Mexico, "outside of U.S. jurisdiction" (Union Pacific not Liable, 2011). But  why not assign security guards? The railroad was reluctant to do so because protecting the trains in Mexico would have been too dangerous, given the nations drug wars (Union Pacific  not Liable, 2011). Whats even more sobering is the fact that the Department of Homeland Security is only just now getting around to  dealing with the rails - on a whistle-stop tour in 2010 (nine years after 9/11), Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced a "new national information-sharing partnership with Amtrak" to help  report and deter terrorists (Secretary Napolitano, 2010). The question we need to ask here is, what are the consequences of leaving our rail 

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