U.S. Seafarers Placed on Terrorist List
The FBI?s counter-terrorism division head, Gary Bald, said before a Senate judiciary committee that 11 U.S. seafarers ?having a nexus to terrorism matters? have been placed on a Terrorist Screening Center watch list. And, another 700 have been found to have ?issues related to law enforcement and maritime concerns.?
Checks of all U.S. Coast Guard issued licenses began in January, 2003, under ?Operation Drydock,? which is a National Joint Terrorism task force of the FBI and U.S. Coast Guard.
The Senate committee, which was reviewing seaport security, was told that a new Miami-based task force is now providing information on manning agencies around the world. The ?Manning Agency Screening Initiative? does limited database checks on these foreign agencies, most of which provide crews for international cruise lines.