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Countering Terrorism: Biological Agents, Transportation Networks, and Energy Systems - Summary of a U.S.-Russian Workshop 13 International and National Priorities in Combating Terrorism in the Transportation Sector Vladimir N. Lopatin, Republic Scientific Research Institute of Intellectual Property Despite the increasingly systemic and organized efforts of the international community and individual states, terrorist threats continue unabated. In an effort to inflict the most serious damage and intimidate the government and people, terrorists select the most vulnerable targets for their attacks. BACKGROUND To strengthen the fight against terrorism and improve its effectiveness, 7 years ago we Russian scientists concluded that it made sense to focus antiterrorist activities not only on critical areas particularly dangerous from the standpoint of the threat of terrorist attacks but also on especially critical facilities. These primarily include transport, which, because of its transnational nature, serves as (1) an environment for “economic” activities of international terrorist and other criminal groups, (2) a target for banditry, or (3) a means for the perpetration of terrorist acts. Although up to 70 percent of terrorist acts are either committed on transport or involve its use, this has not been reflected adequately in legislative or law enforcement practice. Following analysis of the situation in Russia and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) as a whole both at the international conference “Terrorism and Transport Security” held in Moscow on February 5-6, 2002, and
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Countering Terrorism: Biological Agents, Transportation Networks, and Energy Systems - Summary of a U.S.-Russian Workshop subsequently, experts identified a number of reasons why transportation may be categorized as a critical target: Sharp increase in hazardous cargo as a proportion of the total volume of goods transported High level of infrastructure decay and high accident rate in the transport sector Relative accessibility Use of smuggling by transnational criminal groups as a source of financing for terrorism Possibility of attracting broad public and media attention Association with national symbols (national airlines) Possibility that even a single act or attack will immediately affect many people For these reasons, security and crime prevention in the transport sector is one of the priorities of the state and society. Based on an analysis of legislation and law enforcement practices in 2000-2001, it was clear that transport policy did not include an antiterrorism component, and antiterrorism activities did not focus on transport. There was very little overlap between these two sectors. At that time we were asked to define a priority area in transport policy, namely, ensuring security and antiterrorism activities, and to create a similar focus on the transport sector as a priority area in antiterrorist activities. The CIS Transportation Coordinating Council agreed with this assessment in the Chisinau Declaration on Transportation Safety, as did the Council of Ministers of the European Conference of Transportation Ministers in its closing document and in the Bucharest Declaration on Combating Terrorism in Transport on June 6, 2002. This approach is also reflected in a statement on the fight against terrorism in the transport sector adopted on June 28, 2002, at the summit of the Group of Eight (G-8) in Kananaskis, as well as in subsequent decisions of international and state structures. Further evidence that the first steps have been taken in developing this consciousness and understanding may be seen in subsequent years when the first intergovernmental agreement on transportation safety was adopted, including a set of principles and mechanisms for implementing state policy on transportation security and counterterrorism. Another important step was the adoption in 2006 of the Federal Law on Transportation Security. A comprehensive and systematic approach to these problems is reflected in the CIS Intergovernmental Program of Joint Measures for Combating Crime in 2005-2007 and in cooperative programs among CIS member states for fighting terrorism and other extremist phenomena in 2005-2007 and countering the illicit drug trade. Thus, the problem of understanding and awareness at the level of experts, academics, and individual government officials and business leaders has today reached the level of government and international understanding, which has been
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Countering Terrorism: Biological Agents, Transportation Networks, and Energy Systems - Summary of a U.S.-Russian Workshop reflected in specific decisions made by state authorities and international organizations in this regard. These decisions may be considered a starting point in improving transport and antiterrorism policies and in creating on this basis an integrated new sphere of state policy: transportation security and counterterrorism. The new approach in the formation of the counterterrorism strategy and its implementation in the transport sector is complex both in its identification of the targets and the subjects of counterterrorist activities and in the principles and mechanisms of their interaction. And today, scientists must help to take the next step in implementing this approach to promote security and counterterrorist objectives in the transport sector. FOCUS AREAS FOR ANTITERROR ACTIVITIES Comparing the norms of international laws to which Russia is a party with norms of Russian legislation, it should be recognized that there is currently no antiterrorist strategy on transport that would be mandatory for state structures, including both the transport complex and law enforcement, and that would take into account the specifics of all types of transport, from aviation to subway systems. It would probably be wrong even to implement a counterterrorism policy at all without making it specifically applicable to elements of the transportation sector, given its very substantial special characteristics. An analysis of international agreements on counterterrorism suggests that of the seven major transportation modes, air and sea transport are subject to the most restrictions. The other modes are either only the subject of general mention and declarative statements or entirely absent from the list of antiterrorist activities. For example, the Concept for a Coordinated Transport Policy among CIS member states for the period through 2010, approved by decision of the Council of CIS Heads of Government on September 15, 2005, mentions only aviation, marine, river, and rail transport with regard to antiterrorism and security activities related to transport policy. Such a mention is lacking in the section on vehicular transport, while pipelines and subways are not included in the document at all. Therefore, it remains an urgent challenge to adopt an antiterrorism strategy for the transport sector to ensure transportation security as an integral part of the international counterterrorism system. This will entail developing and making the necessary amendments to the Transport Strategy and to targeted programs for modernizing the transport system. It will also require securing allocations in the antiterrorist strategy for law enforcement to make counterterrorism on transport a priority, taking into account the specific characteristics of its seven major modes.
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Countering Terrorism: Biological Agents, Transportation Networks, and Energy Systems - Summary of a U.S.-Russian Workshop ORGANIZATIONS INVOLVED IN ANTITERROR EFFORTS In addition to law enforcement, other government agencies and nongovernmental organizations must be key actors in carrying out crime prevention measures to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 of September 28, 2001, as without them this effort will be ineffective and will not produce the expected results. Preventing terrorism can and must be done through the joint efforts of all government agencies and with the support of civil society, science, and business at both the national and international levels, including in the CIS. The new conditions require new rules for interaction between government, science, and the business community in order to establish partnerships in addressing the common task of countering terrorism. In 2001, Russian scientists found that to confront the well-armed, well-trained, and highly professional enemy that is international terrorism, it is necessary not only to combine the efforts of the various law enforcement agencies but also to promote cooperation between law enforcement and transportation agencies; the state and nonstate sectors; and government, science, and business. This initiative to unite the efforts of government, science, and business led to the establishment on May 20, 2002, of the High-Level Advisory Group on Countering Terrorism in the Transport Sector in the Russian Federation. This group includes designated representatives of State Duma committees, all transport and law enforcement agencies, transport companies, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the CIS Transportation Coordinating Council, and the International Road Transport Union (IRU). The following accomplishments have been made on the initiative of the group and thanks to the efforts of researchers and practitioners: Unique counterterrorism experience, both negative and positive, has been summarized at six international conferences on terrorism and transportation security, the results of which have been published in individual book form. In 2006, by decision of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly, the conference was given the status of a permanent CIS advisory body on counterterrorism and transportation security. Recommendations of the first five international scientific conferences on terrorism and transportation security are for the most part being implemented and are finding support in the decisions of CIS intergovernmental agencies, including the Interparliamentary Assembly, the CIS Executive Committee, state agencies of CIS member countries, and the Collective Security Treaty Organization. In particular, the recommendations of the third and fourth international conferences have formed the foundation for practical efforts to protect civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference. A unique set of statistics was collected on terrorism in the transport sector in the Russian Federation, international and national legislation in this area
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Countering Terrorism: Biological Agents, Transportation Networks, and Energy Systems - Summary of a U.S.-Russian Workshop was analyzed, and in 2003 an unparalleled white paper entitled “Terrorism and Transportation Security in Russia (1991-2002)” was published. A list was prepared of suspicious International Road Transport (TIR) carnet (shipment log) transactions that, if encountered, should cause national road shipment associations not only to refuse to issue (withdraw) a TIR carnet but also to inform relevant law enforcement agencies (similar to efforts established to counter money laundering). In December 2002 the list was adopted as a regulation at the IRU General Assembly in Geneva, requiring compliance by all national road shipment associations in the 64 IRU member countries. This Russian initiative was supported in the Chisinau Declaration on Transportation Safety (May 27, 2002), which was adopted at a meeting of the CIS Transportation Coordinating Council featuring the participation of all ministers of transport from the CIS member. This declaration was circulated as an official document at the European Conference of Ministers of Transport, the World Road Transport Forum (June 2, 2002), and a joint session of the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly commissions on political affairs and defense and security in the city of Astana (October 24, 2002). It was also submitted as part of the G-8 Action Plan on a Secure and Facilitated International Travel Initiative (June 11, 2004). In particular, the September 18, 2003, decision of the CIS Council of Heads of Government directly orders law enforcement agencies to work with high-level advisory groups on transportation security. A number of issues remain unresolved, including clear definition of objectives, functions, and structures; coordination and interaction of governmental and nongovernmental entities involved in countering terrorism in the transport sector; harmonization of regulations and the activities of state security structures; and implementation of measures to ensure the efficiency and optimal utilization of mobile transport units in counterterrorism activities. In particular, it is necessary to develop and establish in regulatory form mandatory procedures for cooperation among law enforcement agencies, national associations of road transporters, and transport organizations if they detect a suspicious operation, a list of which has been drawn up and approved by both the Russian Federation and the IRU. This experience and the favorable response that this Russian initiative has elicited suggest that further progress would be possible in setting priorities for international cooperation in the fight against terrorism in the transport sector. PRINCIPLES FOR ANTITERRORIST ACTIVITIES IN THE TRANSPORT SECTOR Along with the well-known and generally accepted principles of cooperation, the new conditions have given rise to new rules that remain to be adopted and established in regulatory form as uniform and compulsory for all participants in antiterrorist activities at both the national and the international levels.
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Countering Terrorism: Biological Agents, Transportation Networks, and Energy Systems - Summary of a U.S.-Russian Workshop The first issue is how to determine the balance between the interests of development (including freedom of movement) and the interests of security, the balance between obligations to provide protection against terrorist acts and the obligation to protect human rights. With regard to striking a balance between ensuring human rights and combating terrorism, the Guiding Principles of the Council of Europe affirm a restriction forbidding arbitrary treatment and legislation with a retroactive effect, assert the right to a fair judicial hearing, and reject extradition of individuals to countries where they may be condemned to death. This is necessary but clearly not enough. The strategy must be aggressive and specifically set forth in legal decisions. An aggressive strategy involves making adjustments and very substantial ones in the legislative framework, including standards and principles of international law that have long run counter to today’s situation and have become obsolete, beginning with the Tokyo Declaration of the 1960s and other documents adopted regarding the transport sector in the 1970s. The situation has long since changed. Absolutely new threats have arisen, and it seems to me that understanding and awareness of this will only allow us to work together to adjust international legal standards and principles in order to counter our common enemy, international terrorism, and to amend national legislation as well, thus providing a sound foundation for the offensive against terror in the transport sector both in Russia and in the world as a whole. Second, applying experience in counterterrorism activities to other modes of transport should be done in a gradual and rational fashion. For example, efforts are under way to resolve the issue of creating a technical monitoring system that will automatically collect and format data on suspicious signs suggesting preparations for commission of a terrorist act on transport. This system would include real-time transfer of data on passengers (passport data) from all transport enterprises regardless of their form of ownership to internal affairs agencies when passengers check in for air, rail, or water travel. Third, in the fight against terrorism it is important to be consistent in keeping and using what works. An example is the rejection of participation by internal affairs agency personnel in joint predeparture inspections along with airline security personnel and the subsequent recognition that this decision had been a mistake. A similar error was made in eliminating the presence of personnel from the public prosecutor’s office on transport and at sensitive facilities, a mistake that is being rectified by the new attorney general of Russia. Fourth is the issue of developing and implementing common standards for security, for example, standards for installing modern equipment at inspection points at airports and seaports, including devices capable of detecting explosives on the human body, thus eliminating the need for manual searches. This rule is especially true, given the many structures created and operating in this sphere (more than 30 international entities operating in Russia).
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Countering Terrorism: Biological Agents, Transportation Networks, and Energy Systems - Summary of a U.S.-Russian Workshop International Counterterrorism Structures Counterterrorism Committee of the UN Security Council (established under UN Security Council Resolution 1373 of September 28, 2001) Interpol World Customs Organization International Atomic Energy Agency International Civil Aviation Organization International Maritime Organization In Europe Action Against Terrorism Unit of the Secretariat of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe Europol European Conference of Ministers of Transport Eurasian Transport Union In Asia UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Eurasian Transport Union In the CIS Counterterrorism Center of CIS Member States Coordinating Office for Combating Organized Crime and Other Dangerous Types of Crime in CIS Member States Coordinating Conference of Attorneys General of CIS Member States Council of Heads of Security Agencies and Special Services of CIS Member States Council of Ministers of Internal Affairs of CIS Member States Council of Ministers of Defense of CIS Member States Council of Commanders of Border Forces of CIS Member States Council of Heads of Customs Services of CIS Member States Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of CIS Member States Transportation Coordinating Council of CIS Member States Fifth is the issue of the transition from departmental and then program-based planning to targeted project-oriented planning, financing, and management, including for antiterrorist activities in the transport sector. This requires the development of a system of indicators regarding the main subjects of antiterrorist activity. Upon analysis of the summary report on the results and main activities
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Countering Terrorism: Biological Agents, Transportation Networks, and Energy Systems - Summary of a U.S.-Russian Workshop of the government of the Russian Federation for 2006-2008, it is possible to state that such a system does not exist (the report’s section on transportation security features only two indicators for assessing the activities of government agencies regarding air transport). The task of scientists is to help the authorities detect and recognize problems and find ways of solving them. To ensure that scientific recommendations form the basis for improvements in the future work of state and nongovernmental structures and organization of interactions between them, it is important to follow the principle of joint operation, working together instead of trying to replace one another.