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Terrorism and Trucking: Is Your Site Safe?

On April 7, 2017, an ISIS-inspired terrorist killed four people using a stolen beer truck in Stockholm. On December 19, 2016, another company’s truck was hijacked and driven into a crowd in a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12. How do you prevent your truck from being next? 

Get your free copy of J.J. Coughlin's book "Cargo Crime: Security and Theft Prevention". 

Untitled design-366066-editedThe U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a security alert this year to freight, truck rental, distribution, and bus companies. The alert warns of the risk of trucks being used as weapons in so-called vehicle ramming attacks. The TSA noted that between 2014 and the date of the report, there have been 17 such attacks. These attacks killed 173 and injured 667 more.

The TSA report lists several ways that commercial vehicles may be obtained from your site. The risks, along with tips to avoid being the next victim, are listed below.

  • Insiders — Your first step should be to ensure that all employees are subject to background checks. Also, the TSA advises companies to track vehicles and ensure that they stay on route.
  • Hijacking — Your employees could be at risk. They should remain aware of their surroundings. Lock vehicles when stopped (even at a stoplight). Report suspicious activity.
  • Theft Security at your facility is key. Ensure that your site has a layered security system that is used routinely and tested regularly.
  • Rental or Purchase Does your site rent or sell trucks to the public? Beware of unusual requests, altered documents, or a lack of familiarity with commercial vehicles.

TSA provides more detailed guidance to combat these threats. It is up to all of us to do our part.

An attack on one of us affects us all as Americans. But it also affects business. During times of crisis, the police must remain focused on the threat, leaving your site vulnerable to intrusion. The first goal of the police remains protecting the public. You should prepare your site now.

As TSA states in its report, “no community, large or small, rural or urban, is immune” to attack. “Good security is good business. TSA recommends that you take an active role in protecting your business and your community from this potential threat.”