Using trucks as megabombs was always a theory, and officials were concerned enough with the “what if?” scenarios to ratchet up the security around trucks carrying hazardous materials shortly after 9/11. It was the source of CB chatter and truckstop conversations that a terrorist could wreak a lot of havoc in a hijacked tractor and a trailer full of just about anything.
Under the American Trucking Association’s Anti-Terrorism Action Plan, truckers are being trained to spot and report activities that might have national security implications. Their goal is to make certain a truck is never used as a weapon.
The action plan is a coordinated effort of the Trucking Security Working Group, a task force of organizations representing hundreds of thousands of transportation, trucking and trucking-related workers in the United States and Canada. Recent high profile arrests resulted in the following message:
“Information obtained by U.S. intelligence sources following the recent arrest of Al-Qaeda operative Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks, indicates that Al-Qaeda has actively considered large-scale terrorist operations involving the use of trucks as weapons of mass destruction to attack bridges and other points in the transportation infrastructure. Even though the national threat condition was recently reduced from high (condition orange) to elevated (condition yellow), it is important for you to be vigilant in maintaining the safety and security of your load and be sure to report any suspicious activity to the Highway Watch hotline. Remember your training: Observe, Challenge and Report.”
While only 21 states have the program at this point, all truckers are urged to continue their vigilance for things that appear out of the ordinary. If you see something that doesn’t mesh with what you know about trucking, report it to the authorities. There’s not a more patriotic, concerned group of citizens with as much access to ports, highways, cities and dams than American truckers.
Keep on keeping your eyes and ears open.