Over 33 metric tons of chemicals that could have been used to make thousands of explosive devices have been seized in 'Program Global Shield', an international operation to stop the trade in these bomb-making materials, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said June 23 in a speech in Brussels.
Napolitano joined World Customs Organization Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya and European Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud Algirdas Šemeta at the WCO to announce the results of this program, which marks the first time that participating WCO members have joined forces to keep bomb-making chemicals out of the hands of organizations involved in terror and other transnational organized crime.
In 2010, approximately 50,000 people were killed or injured by terrorist attacks, and the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center says that more than half of these deaths and injuries were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that use certain chemicals - such as ammonium nitrate and hydrogen peroxide - as key ingredients.
While in Brussels, Secretary Napolitano also signed a joint statement with European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström, and Commissioner Šemeta that aims to boost U.S.-EU cooperation on supply chain security.
Following her remarks to the WCO Council , Secretary Napolitano was joined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Alan Bersin, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton and National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Under Secretary Rand Beers to participate in an event hosted by the Transatlantic Policy Network, bringing together industry, policy makers and shapers, and legislators to discuss the importance of a secure and resilient supply chain to transatlantic and global security.
Earlier this week, Secretary Napolitano traveled to London she met with international counterparts to discuss global collaboration to ensure the security and resilience of the global supply chain against possible threats and disruptions, and the Netherlands where she toured operations at Schiphol Airport and the Port of Rotterdam and met with customs, maritime, airline, shipping and security leaders to discuss the importance of a resilient and secure global supply chain.