Desert Invasion - U.S.
'Dirty Bombs' Crossed U.S. Borders in Test
By Liz Sidoti, Brietbart
March 27, 2006
Undercover investigators slipped radioactive material - enough to make two small "dirty bombs" - across U.S. borders in Texas and Washington state in a test last year of security at American points of entry.
Radiation alarms at the unidentified sites detected the small amounts of cesium-137, a nuclear material used in industrial gauges. But U.S. customs agents permitted the investigators to enter the United States because they were tricked with counterfeit documents....
"This operation demonstrated that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is stuck in a pre-9/11 mind-set in a post-9/11 world and must modernize its procedures," Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., said Monday in a statement....
The GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, also found that installation of radiation detectors is taking too long and costing more money than the U.S. expected. It said the Homeland Security Department's goal of installing 3,034 detectors by September 2009 across the United States - at border crossings, seaports, airports and mail facilities - was "unlikely" to be met and said the government probably will spend $342 million more than it expects....
At one port - which investigators did not identify - a director frustrated over false alarms was worried that backed-up trains might block the entrance to a nearby military base until an alarm was checked out. The director's solution: simply turn off the radiation detector.
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