Report: FBI, Coast Guard Clashed During Terrorism Drill

Wednesday, April 05, 2006
During the largest terrorism drill in U.S. history last year, the FBI and U.S. Coast Guard got into a tussle off the shores of Connecticut, fighting over how each agency's tactical assault team would be involved in the boarding of a hijacked ferry, the Hartford Courant reported. The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General released a report on April 3 that detailed the disagreement between agencies during the massive TOPOFF exercise, much of which was run in and around New London. That portion of the report concluded, "In our judgment, unless such differences over roles and authorities are resolved, the response to a maritime incident could be confused and potentially disastrous." It was a year ago that dozens of agencies - federal, state and local - converged on New London to respond to a massive simulated terrorism attack. While much of the focus was on a chemical weapons explosion on the New London waterfront, the Coast Guard and FBI were also responding to a mock hijacking of a 200-foot ferry in Long Island Sound. The FBI has its Hostage Rescue Team, a group with special know-how and equipment to quickly take control of a ship. The Coast Guard, the only branch of the military with law-enforcement duties, has its new Enhanced Maritime Safety and Security Team. Both were at the exercise, though the FBI was to be the lead agency in the scenario, the report explained. The FBI's position: The Coast Guard couldn't take part in the boarding because it is "very limited" when its boarding teams face an armed enemy. Also, the Coast Guard doesn't train its people to board moving vessels. The Coast Guard's take: The FBI was guarding its counter-terrorism turf. Though the Coast Guard was hoping to test its new tactical unit, "the FBI repeatedly blocked the Coast Guard's efforts." In the end, the report said, "The Coast Guard ultimately changed the scenario to circumvent the FBI's lead federal agency role." The report does not specify how the Coast Guard altered the exercise. The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 left the two agencies with some overlapping duties. The subsequent Maritime Operational Threat Response, an interim plan issued in October 2005 that was to integrate national-level responses to maritime terrorism, leaves some questions in the FBI's thinking, the report said. It added, "We are concerned about how confusion over authorities will affect the two agencies' ability to establish a clear and effective incident command structure." (Source: Hartford Courant)
Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Offshore

Japan, U.S. Look to Expand Naval Cooperation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to allow Tokyo to come to the aid of an ally under attack will pave the way for closer cooperation between U.S. and Japanese forces across Asia, a top U.

BP Terminates GoM Rig Contracts

BP terminated contracts for two deepwater oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as the British oil company slashes its exploration budget due to fallen oil prices.

MacGregor Appoints Høyesen as VP

MacGregor reorganized into seven operative divisions in the beginning of 2015 to improve customer focus.   Offshore Mooring and Loading Division drives the development

Coast Guard

Japan, U.S. Look to Expand Naval Cooperation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to allow Tokyo to come to the aid of an ally under attack will pave the way for closer cooperation between U.S. and Japanese forces across Asia, a top U.

Illegal Fishing Threatens to Revive Somali Piracy

Somali officials say foreign ships plundering fish stocks; Somali piracy greatly reduced due to security measures. A rise in illegal fishing off Somalia could spark a resurgence in piracy,

USCG Rescues 9 from Canadian Tall Ship

Coast Guard search and rescue crews from Station Gloucester, Air Station Cape Cod and the Coast Guard Cutter Ocracoke rescued nine crewmembers from the Canadian

 
 
Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1527 sec (7 req/sec)