In a startling video of a recent interview released yesterday, the assistant director of San Diego’s cruise port revealed that “weapons of mass effect” had been found in the past. As the interview continued, on-camera comments suggested a cover-up of important information regarding port safety.
In an interview reported on Fox News, San Diego assistant port director Al Hallor, also an officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said that authorities had uncovered weapons of mass effect in the past and that San Diego was a target for terrorism.
“Given the open waterways and the access to the Navy fleet here, I’d say, absolutely, San Diego is a target,” Hallor said. When asked if they ever found a chemical agent or weaponized device Hallor replied “At the airport, seaport, at our port of entry we have not this past fiscal year, but our partner agencies have found those things”
Immediately, a public affairs officer stepped in to intervene, attempting to steer the interview in a different direction, limiting questions to just the Port of San Diego.
Homeland Security officials tried to say the assistant director was confused and nervous. Later in the day, the Customs and Border Protection issued this statement:
“CBP has not specifically had any incidents with nuclear devices or nuclear materials at our ports of entry. CBP is an all-threats agency. The purpose of many security measures is to prevent threats from ever materializing by being prepared for them. And, we must be prepared to stop threats in whatever form they do materialize at the border, whether it’s an individual or cargo arriving by land, air, or sea. Regardless of what the contraband or threat is, we’re being smart, evaluating, and focusing in on anything or anyone that is potentially high-risk.
We were able to show you first-hand one example of how we evaluate segment risk, inspect, etc. in the cargo environment by air and sea here in San Diego. This is one portion of the CBP mission, and hopefully gives you some examples of how much has evolved in the past decade, with the new technologies we have at our disposal. This, coupled with document requirements at the border, advanced passenger and cargo information, better information sharing, and many other measures help us to secure the border – and each measure doesn’t work individually or in a vacuum, but rather in the layered security that we were able to demonstrate one facet of.”
The Port of San Diego recently made news on another front when they introduced the technology that allows cruise ships to “plug in” when at port, turning off their highly-polluting engines while in port.
Flickr photo by Port of San Diego