levels, as well as the technique's suitability for use only in the portal scenario, owing to the costly and nonportable nature of the associated detection equipment.
RECOMMENDATION: Detection markers in black and smokeless powder should not be implemented at the present time.
X-ray systems and dogs currently provide a strong capability for detecting bomb containers and unmarked black and smokeless powders in the scenarios considered by the committee, and most powder bombings currently take place at locations in which deployment of bomb detection systems is not practicable (see Table 1.4). Therefore, the committee believes that the effectiveness of a marking program would be limited at the present time. Institution of a marking program would incur significant costs. At the current level of fewer than 10 deaths and 100 injuries per year and very few terrorist incidents, the committee believes that the benefits are not sufficient to justify such a marking program. If the threat were to increase substantially in the future, and test data were available, benefits might exceed costs, and a marking program might be warranted. A marking program for black and smokeless powders would be justified only if three criteria were met: the frequency and severity of black and smokeless powder bombs were found to be high enough to justify marking; the markers first were thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective under conditions likely to be encountered in the legal and illegal uses of the powders; and the social benefits of markers were found to outweigh the costs of their use.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Research should be conducted to develop and test markers that would be technically suitable for inclusion in black and smokeless powders. The marking schemes studied should be those that would assist in large-area searches or rapid screening of a large number of packages.
More information and work are needed on marking technologies. Should it become necessary for policymakers to mandate the implementation of more intensive control procedures, the agencies concerned would then have the data necessary to make informed decisions about markers.