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  • Mark DuPont

The New Age of Terror: Is the Maritime Domain Ready?

On November 30th, 2017, DHS Acting Secretary Elaine Duke and FBI Director Christopher Wray and other panelists testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security for a hearing on World Wide Threats: Keeping America Secure in the New Age of Terror. To view their recorded and written testimony along with the comments and questions made by the congressional representatives, you can click here.

Here are some highlights.

From Acting Secretary Duke:

"We are seeing a surge in terrorist activity because the fundamentals of terrorism have changed.

"Our enemies are crowd-sourcing their violence online and promoting a “do it yourself” approach that involves using any weapons their followers can get their hands on. We saw this just last month right here on our own soil when a terrorist killed and wounded pedestrians in New York City using a rented vehicle."

"There is no longer a “home game” and an “away game.” The line is blurred, and the threats are connected across borders."

From FBI Director Wray

"What's really struck me is the magnitude of the threats we face, and the diversity of the threats we face."

"As the threat to harm the United States and U.S. interests evolves, we must adapt and confront these challenges, relying heavily on the strength of our Federal, State, local, and international partnerships."

"Virtually every national security and criminal threat the FBI faces is cyber-based or technologically facilitated."

Clearly, the threat is evolving.... but are we really paying attention to that evolution? Specifically, are we looking at the maritime threat and how that is evolving?

In a 2012 Securing The Border: Understanding Threats And Strategies For The Maritime Border hearing, Sen. Ron Johnson, Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said "Terrorism is also a continuing threat across our maritime borders." And the Commandant of the Coast Guard has testified to what some of the border challenges are

What are your thoughts? What are the threats to our rivers, bays, harbors and coastlines? And what does maritime law enforcement need to meet those threats and challenges? Tell us what you think.

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