Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Ladens Death Raises Alerts for Freight Industry

Vigilance Needs to be Heightened for Global Logistics
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – The news that American special forces have succeeded in killing Osama Bin Laden has caused members of the global logistics industry to once again assess their security measures against the threats caused by terrorists attempts to use or disrupt critical infrastructure.

Of particular concern is, once again, the situation around the Horn of Africa, particularly off the coast of Somalia. With a raised Al Qaeda presence in that country developed over the last few years it is suspected that the recent problem of piracy that has beset the region might make attacks on shipping in the area in retaliation for Bin Laden’s death a possibility.

The U.S. government maritime authorities are advising mariners to avoid the port of Mogadishu and to remain at least 200 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia. In addition, when transiting around the Horn of Africa or in the Red Sea, it is strongly recommended that vessels travel in convoys and maintain good communications at all times.

The sentiments of the American government has been echoed around the world, with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron stating: ‘ does not mark the end of the threat we face from extremist terror. Indeed, we will have to be particularly vigilant in the weeks ahead.’

In addition, last year’s attempts by Islamic terrorists to use air freight to plant bombs aboard aircraft are a reminder that security measures can never be taken for granted. The success of global security forces in countering terrorist attacks means that operators of ‘soft’ targets, such as airports, ports and transport facilities should be especially watchful in case of retaliatory attacks.