The Associate Under Secretary for Maritime & Land Security, Transportation Security Administration
, will discuss challenges affecting the maritime community at IIR's forthcoming "Seaport Security" conference to be held on June 10-12, 2002 in New Jersey
. In the keynote address, Richard Bennis will
discuss areas of security TSA will be exploring with the maritime industry and other government agencies to ensure the security of seaports and other transportation systems from terrorist attacks. Bennis, a retired rear admiral from the US Coast Guard, is no stranger to the impact of terrorist attack on the homeland. As the Captain of the Port and Commander of Coast Guard Activities New York, he led the Coast Guard response to the attack on the World Trade Center. On September 11, he marshalled the forces that evacuated close to 1 million people from lower Manhattan by water and led the port security and recovery efforts in the months that followed.
The international seaport security conference comes at a time when the entire industry is in a heightened state of alert to the potential risks posed by the high volume of uninspected containerized cargo that passes through US Ports every day, bound for urban centers throughout the US. In its recent study "Protecting the American Homeland", The Brookings Institution advised President Bush that a 'doomsday scenario' attack on the maritime industry, using nuclear devices concealed in a shipping container, could cause damage and disruption that could cost the economy as much as a trillion dollars in losses.