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Border Security: Investigators Transported Radioactive Sources Across Our Nation's Borders at Two Locations

GAO-06-940T Published: Jul 07, 2006. Publicly Released: Jul 07, 2006.
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Given today's unprecedented terrorism threat environment and the resulting widespread congressional and public interest in the security of our nation's borders, GAO conducted an investigation testing whether radioactive sources could be smuggled across U.S. borders. Most travelers enter the United States through the nation's 154 land border ports of entry. Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors at ports of entry are responsible for the primary inspection of travelers to determine their admissibility into the United States and to enforce laws related to preventing the entry of contraband, such as drugs and weapons of mass destruction. GAO's testimony provides the results of undercover tests made by its investigators to determine whether monitors at U.S. ports of entry detect radioactive sources in vehicles attempting to enter the United States. GAO also provides observations regarding the procedures that CBP inspectors followed during its investigation. GAO has also issued a report on the results of this investigation (GAO-06-545R).

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AntiterrorismBorder securityDirty bombsForgeryHazardous substancesHomeland securityInspectionRadiation monitoringRadioactive materialsTerrorismCounterfeitingRadiation detection