(ATA) On the Domestic front, a threat made against the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration purporting to be from a trucking company has made national headlines. The Trucking ISAC had been previously working confidentially with the Department of Homeland Security to assist the FBI in this investigation. This morning’s release of information in the press prompts this alert to industry.
The Trucking Information Sharing and Analysis Center requests that the industry be alert for either a potential disgruntled trucking company, trucking company employee or person purporting to be from the trucking industry who may be or has in the recent past made threatening statements or displaying suspicious or aggressive actions regarding the U.S. Department of Transportation, specifically the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A postal facility in Greenville, SC detected an envelope containing the toxin RICIN, along with a threatening letter to FMCSA.
The letter “holds hostage” the new hours or service rule, stating that if the regulation is not rolled back before January of next year, the writer threatens to stage an incident using large quantities of this material.
RICIN is a highly toxic substance derived from natural materials that in certain forms cause severe illness or death if ingested. As has been widely reported in the media, it has been a material under consideration by Al Qaeda in attack planning against the United Kingdom, the United States and other western nations, based upon arrests made in Western Europe.
The Truck ISAC is asking the industry, particularly in the area around Greenville, SC, to be alert for both individuals displaying aggressive behavior or person who may be engaged in suspicious actions that may indicate attack planning characteristics. Reports should be made immediately to federal authorities.
The current period, through the end of November, has been international terrorism’s most active, historically. Therefore, trucking interests are urged to keep alert. This week’s reports from Highway Watch® Program drivers indicate continuing suspicious activity of a nature that could either be criminal or terrorist in intent.
Pay particular attention to the following characteristic types of suspicious activities:
_Persons apparently following trucks on the highway for extended periods of time, especially those transporting volatile or highly hazardous cargo;
_Persons photographing trucks and facilities from cars or public access areas;
_Persons asking questions about routes, origins, destinations, cargo, vehicle capacities and the like.
The Truck ISAC is interested in any attempted breaking and entering or significant breaches of security that were observed during or in the aftermaths of the recent Northeast Blackout or Hurricane Isabel. Please refer such reports to the ISAC watch officer. Companies can remain anonymous, if so requested, but any report will be handled as confidential information, only to be shared with law enforcement and intelligence agencies.