After the attacks of September 11, 2001, concerns intensified that terrorists would attempt to smuggle a weapon of mass destruction into the United States. One possible method for terrorists to smuggle such a weapon is to use one of the 7 million cargo containers that arrive at our nation's seaports each year. The Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for addressing the potential threat posed by the movement of oceangoing cargo containers. Since CBP cannot inspect all arriving cargo containers, it uses a targeting strategy, which includes an automated targeting system. This system targets some containers for inspection based on a perceived level of risk. In this testimony, GAO provides preliminary findings on its assessment of (1) whether CBP's development of its targeting strategy is consistent with recognized key risk management and computer modeling practices and (2) how well the targeting strategy has been implemented at selected seaports around the country.
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