Canada-U.S. border proves vulnerable to potential terrorists Sheldon Alberts -
Washington Correspondent, CanWest News Service
Published: Thursday, September 27, 2007
WASHINGTON — U.S. government investigators reported Thursday that “determined” terrorists and smugglers could easily carry radioactive material or other dangerous goods across the Canadian border into the United States.
The Government Accountability Office, the investigative branch of Congress, deployed investigators to determine whether they could slip across unguarded and unmonitored spots along the more than 8,000 kilometres of Canada-U.S. border. They even tried to trigger responses from border patrol agents, who in one instance could not locate them.
“Many of the roads we found appeared to be unmanned and unmonitored, allowing us to simulate the cross-border movement of radioactive materials or other contraband from Canada into the United States,” the report said.
In visits to four unidentified border areas along the international boundary, the investigators said they had little trouble approaching the border and crossing back and forth undetected.
“Our visits to the northern border show that (U.S. border patrol) faces significant challenges in effectively monitoring the border and preventing undetected entry into the United States,” the report said. “Our work shows that a determined cross-border violator would likely be able to bring radioactive materials or other contraband undetected into the United States by crossing the U.S.–Canada border at any of the locations we investigated.”
Report: Crossing U.S. Border as Easy as a Stroll
New Security Report Says Border Security Still Lacking
Sept. 27, 2007
The Government Accountability Office, the congressional watchdog group, will release a scathing report on border security today.
"In three out of four locations on the U.S.-Canada border, investigators crossed into the United States from Canada … to simulate the cross-border movement of radioactive materials," states the report.
Video shows a congressional investigator strolling into the United States from Canada along the 5,000-mile border, far from any manned checkpoints. He carries a red bag, which was designed to look like the components of a bomb or even a nuclear device.
Even so, he was able to enter the United States without any questions because no one was there to stop him.
The scene was repeated with another investigator, who walked unchallenged across the U.S.-Mexican border.
"The borders are as porous as they've ever been and I don't see any resolution to making the borders more secure anytime soon," said security expert and ABC News consultant Jerry Hauer, a former emergency management official.
Senators are expected to express their outrage at the findings this morning. Democrats and Republicans agree the situation is unacceptable. "It's shamefully easy for anybody to cross our borders," said Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
"Six years after Sept. 11, we just need to be better at guarding our borders," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont.
Meanwhile, homeland security officials said they have been trying to improve border security, including hiring more agents and upgrading technology.