Defense Chiefs Concerned Terrorists Could Target World's Ports - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

06/01/03 - Singapore

Defense Chiefs Concerned Terrorists Could Target World's Ports

Singapore-AP -- U.S. and Asian defense chiefs warn the emphasis on security on land and in the air is making the world's ports and waterways prime targets for terrorism.

Officials meeting at the Asia Security Forum in Singapore say a lack of resources and confusing international inspection agreements make security even more difficult.

Singapore's defense minister pointed to the bombing of the USS Cole three years ago in Yemen as a sign of the need for greater port security. The bombing killed 17 American sailors.

Officials also say terrorists could threaten commercial shipping -- adding some ships might be used to transport weapons of mass destruction.

One U.S. Admiral says American navy ships patrol the West coast of the United States to support the Coast Guard because the civilian security agency lacks the resources to handle the terror threat on its own.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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