COUNTERING MARITIME TERRORISM IN THE CARIBBEAN SEA
By Lt Col Colin L. Mitchell
The United States of America (USA) is a major trade partner for Trinidad and Tobago and many ships transport dangerous cargoes like liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the port of Point Fortin to mainly USA Eastern seaboard ports. Despite the potential danger these cargoes posed, they were not viewed as a particular threat to the USA. The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, where aircraft were used as weapons of mass destruction changed the situation. Since the 11 September attacks, the USA has taken measures that would make it very difficult for terrorists to initiate similar attacks. A determined terrorist would now be required to become even more imaginative and look further afield to find opportunities to strike. It may be necessary therefore for terrorists to look to the sea for such opportunities. A possibility exists whereby terrorists capture an inbound loaded LNG tanker and seek to create a huge conflagration to claim a number of casualties and cause serious infrastructural damage. The question arises therefore: Given the potentially dangerous cargoes that sail the sea from Trinidad and Tobago to ports in the USA, what measures could be adopted to increase maritime security in order to deter potential terrorists from following this course of action?
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