Examining the Prospective Terror Threats Toward Global Seaports: A Socio-Historical Assessment of Prior Engagements and Application of Social Learning Theory:
Series Part III: Maritime Global Legislation, Conclusion, & Recommendations
The United Nations Conference on the Law of the Seas created the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea Between 1973 and 1982. In 1982, the Convention was completed and outlined the rights and responsibilities of participating nations in several ways when conducting business or transporting goods in the world’s oceans. The Convention retains for naval and merchant ships the right of “innocent passage” through the territorial seas of a coastal State. This means, for example, that a Japanese ship, picking up oil from Gulf States, would not have to make a 3,000-mile detour in order to avoid the territorial sea of Indonesia, provided passage is not detrimental to Indonesia and does not threaten its security or violate its laws. (The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 2017) It is important to note that this type of legislation protects the ships, goods, personnel, and additional assets while at sea. The overall goal is to help participants use their marine resources equitably to alleviate conflict while safeguarding the rule of the law in the world’s seas’.
The International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) ensures that safety and compliance is followed by more than 99% of merchant ships while out to sea and while in port. As of 2016, there are more than 162 participants that follow the construction, equipment, safety, and operational guidelines of SOLAS. This international treaty is one of the most respected of its kind throughout the world. Participants have seen a variety of changes in SOLAS from the 1960’s through today. Each additional revision and version of SOLAS further enhanced safety and the efficiency of safety operations amongst merchant ships in international and domestic waterways. One of the most significant security amendments and updates made to SOLAS took place in 2015 in regards to weights. The Weight Verification Regulations was added to ensure that the weight of all cargo, containers, equipment, personnel, etc. were recorded prior to being onboarded onto a ship. As of 2016, these weights are now recorded in an updated Electronic Date Interchange for international tracking.
“The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to require, as a condition for loading a packed container onto a ship for export, that the container has a verified weight. The shipper is responsible for the verification of the packed container’s weight. This requirement will become legally effective on July 1, 2016. After that date, it would be a violation of SOLAS to load a packed container onto a vessel if the vessel operator and marine terminal operator do not have a verified container weight.” (SOLAS, 2015.)
Tracking the weight of cargo, personnel, and other assets is an important security enhancement for both domestic and global seaport operations. The tracking and weight information is typically recorded and communicated to other merchant ships, government entities, safety personnel, and other organizations that need access to the information. Tracking the weight of cargo before it is loaded onto a ship is vital because it can decrease smuggling operations, the transport of terrorist assets, decrease drug trade, etc. If the weight of cargo is significantly higher at the arrival of a new seaport, this allows security and government personnel to be placed on alert for a full inspection of the cargo. Additionally, the SOLAS Container Weight Ship Verification Requirements outlines that shipping weights cannot be estimated. The shipping weights must be verified and cross referenced with scales that are maintained and regulated by a third party for verification and security purposes.
SOLAS has been amended several times since its inception in 1974. Each of these amendments further benefits the safety and security of cargo by establishing additional guidelines to protect personnel, shipments, vessels, etc. on:
- Construction-Structure, subdivision and stability, machinery and electrical installations.
- Construction-Fire protection, fire detection and fire extinction
- Life-saving appliances and arrangements
- Radio communications
- Safety of navigation
- Carriage of cargoes
- Carriage of dangerous goods
- Nuclear ships
- Management for the safe operation of ships
- Safety measures for high-speed craft
- Special measures to enhance maritime safety
- Special measures to enhance maritime security
- Safety measures for bulk carriers
The United States Patriot Act has outlined several protocols and seaport requirements post 9/11 as well. The USA PATRIOT Act (P.L. 107-273) passed in October 2001, requires background checks for truckers carrying hazardous materials. The TSA is developing a “Transportation Worker Identification Credential” (TWIC) Program that will use biometric cards issued to all transportation workers to limit access to secure areas in the nationwide transportation network. This is also being implemented for seaport personnel as well. It is imperative to have clear and concise screening and background checks take place on all personnel responsible for the shipment and logistics of goods within the United States.
The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code was a new amendment made to SOLAS in 2004 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Compliance is mandatory for the 148 Contracting Parties to SOLAS. The new code outlined specific minimum security requirements for ships, seaports, government agencies, and seaport personnel. ISPS states that all seaport personnel, vessel personnel, and responding government agencies must be able to “detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.” (ISPS, 2004) The ISPS is separated into two different sections and specific requirements and mandates are documented in Part A, and guidance for implementation of specific security measures s outlined in Part B. the guidelines in Part B are just that, guidelines that are not mandatory. However, since 2004, many organizations have implemented the security measures in Part B as mandatory for safety and security purposes.
The main objectives and focus of ISPS is:
- To monitor and control unauthorized individuals on ships and in seaports at all times
- To monitor and control all aspects of personnel and cargo loading, unloading, and operations
- To detect security threats while docked in port and also while out to sea
- To respond to threats through established security measures
- To establish new security roles and responsibilities on the ship and within the seaport for personnel
- To provide overall physical security to the ship and to seaports
- To data mine security threats from all over the globe and communicate these threats to all applicable parties and government agencies
- To develop response techniques to specific security threats that exist to vessels and seaports
Additionally the ISPS established new roles and responsibilities for vessel personnel and seaport management as well to include the Company Security Officer (CSO) and the Ship Security Officer (SSO). These newly established roles and responsibilities allow vessels and seaports to be more secure and to be better prepared for safety and security threats that could occur from domestic and international terrorist organizations.
This paper has briefly outlined the roles that the 2005 National Strategy for Maritime Security; Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation in 1988; United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea; International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS); Amendments to the Annex of SOLAS, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code; and the United States Patriot Act have served in protecting domestic and international seaports, personnel, vessels, containers, cargo, and other valuable assets from safety and security concerns. Global threats toward maritime assets in domestic and international waterways are on the rise and there is a significant need for improved collaboration between United States maritime organizations and the international community. There is further need for improved international relations, revisions on both domestic and international maritime laws, further UN sanctions on nations that support and condone maritime terrorist activities, and additional research to be performed in discouraging such activities.
The scope of defining and responding to terrorism has made a significant shift since the events on September 11, 2001. There has been a transformation from the implementation of defense strategies toward an inclusion of preemptive and aggressive methodologies that place terrorists on the defense and add additional security methods to potential targets that were not previously considered. This is apparent in the historical incidents delineated over the previous five decades. What has become equally apparent are the global threats against the maritime community (Crook, 2006), and the increasing terror activity focused in domestic and international waterways. These soft targets that are intertwined within the international infrastructure have become more vulnerable and progressively susceptible to terror assaults, leading to destruction of property, extensive economic harm, and the loss of lives.
The necessity to completely realize the scope in which terrorist activities have been established and advanced is seen in the previous atrocities of viciousness and extortion that has affected our global populace. Regardless of the regulatory efforts implemented and imposed by U.S. governmental agencies, international treaties, and global security initiatives, the threat of harm done to or around seaports is genuine and indisputable. Consequently, a more in-depth comprehension of the theoretical basis for terror action will solidify a foundation for securing methodologies that will effectively dissuade such exploits.
Theoretically, explaining hate and its multiple origins within individuals and groups is complex and multidimensional. Our global society has entered a new phase encapsulated in fear and distress, manifested from factions that are difficult to provide a contributory explanation where the value of human life has been diminished to a level of where dehumanization is the customary. Additional inquiry in this area and empirical research of radical terror networks may provide a more complete explication, as well as alternative explanations for their terror behavior, to potentially reduce hostile attacks against innocent victims and targets.
URL to Part I of mini-series publication: Examining the Prospective Terror Threats Toward Global Seaports: A Socio-Historical Assessment of Prior Engagements and Application of Social Learning Theory-Series Part I: Historical Terrorist Events
URL to Part II of mini-series publication: Examining the Prospective Terror Threats Toward Global Seaports: A Socio-Historical Assessment of Prior Engagements and Application of Social Learning Theory-Series Part II: Maritime Safety & Security
18 U.S.C. § 2331 defines “international terrorism” and “domestic terrorism” for purposes of Chapter 113B of the U.S. Code, entitled “Terrorism.” Retrieved from: https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/terrorism
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Professor Darren Stocker
Darren K. Stocker is a tenured professor of criminal justice at Cape Cod Community College and is the Coordinator of the Criminal Justice Department. He is a member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Science and the American Society of Criminology, and is a Charter Member of the BioPsySoc Division, established in 2017. He has spoken extensively throughout the U.S. and The Netherlands. Professor Stocker has authored or coauthored more than 50 peer journals, trade journals, and book chapters. He does research on policing, vicarious trauma, and in other areas of criminal justice. He is currently serving as a Grant funded Research Fellow studying drug courts. He is a recognized consultant and expert witness on policing and corrections.
Professor Stocker is an honors graduate of West Chester University. He earned graduate degrees from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and from the University of Massachusetts – Boston, where his studies included Adult Education theory and Instructional Design. Darren has designed multiple courses at each academic level on multiple learning management systems. He is completing his doctoral dissertation at Northeastern University in Boston.
Darren travels extensively and enjoys exploring obscure areas and uncommon international destinations, learning language and cultures.
Dr. Thomas Rzemyk
Dr. Thomas J. Rzemyk serves as a university professor, researcher, and subject matter expert (SME) in criminal justice, homeland security, counterterrorism, and cyber security. Thomas is a renowned international speaker, educational researcher, college instructor, and academic writer. Dr. Rzemyk has presented research at several prestigious academic and industry level conferences across the globe over the past several years. (i.e. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences-ACJS, The American Society of Criminology-ASC, Eastern Sociological Society-ESS, Northeastern Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences-NEACJS, Midwestern Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences-MWACJS, and many more). He has written several articles, scholarly papers, book chapters, and other published works in the areas of: cyber security, public policy, school safety and security, education, criminal justice, homeland security, counter terrorism, post war reconstruction, and many other areas. He has worked in both public and private education for almost 15 years and serves on numerous boards and committees.
Dr. Rzemyk also holds industry level certifications such as the CHPP-Certified Homeland Security Professional certification and the CAS-Certified Anti-terrorism Specialist certification. In 2018 he was certified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the New Mexico Tech Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center as a training instructor for the Incident Response to Terrorist bombings-IRTB course which trains first responders and public/private security personnel to respond to IED’s, bombs, and other terrorist devices through resiliency and reactionary-based planning tactics and strategies.
Dr. Rzemyk resides in Blair, Nebraska with his two children and Australian Shepard/Poodle. (Aussiedoodle) He enjoys traveling internationally, fishing, camping, skydiving, scuba diving, writing, and aviation.
Dr. Charles Kocher
Charles J. Kocher is a retired police Deputy Chief from Camden, New Jersey. During his law enforcement career, he was responsible for implementing many innovative programs including a paper-less reporting system, four city-wide community police sub-stations and founded the Camden Police Historic Museum. Other assignments included but not limited to serving as the Academic Director for the Police Academy, Planning/Research and Grant Unit, Budget Unit and Administrative Assistant to the Chief of police.
Upon retirement, Kocher pursued a second career in higher education and served as Coordinator for the Criminal Justice Program at Cumberland County College, New Jersey and as Dean for the Business, Education and Social Sciences Division of the College. Presently, he teaches Criminal Justice related courses at Columbia Southern University and Saint Joseph’s University for graduate level courses.
Formal education includes studies at Villanova University, Rowan University and Saint Joseph’s University. Charles has earned a Master of Arts from Rowan University and a Master of Science from Saint Joseph’s University. His doctorate’s studies were conducted at Saint Joseph’s University for Higher Education Administration and a Ph.D. from California Coast University. In addition, he has several certificates from Rutgers University and Harvard University. He is an active member of the Wilmington University and Holy Family University Advisory Boards.
Areas: Criminal Justice, Emergency Management, Homeland Security
Categories: Criminal Justice, General, Terrorism
Tagged: Criminal Justice, Homeland Security, Lone Offender, Maritime Legislation, Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, Terrorism