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Statement from TSA Administrator John S. Pistole on Air Cargo Security

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Working together with our international partners, late last week, the U.S. and key allies disrupted an attempt by a determined enemy to conceal and ship explosive devices on board aircraft bound for the U.S. At the direction of the President and Secretary Napolitano, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immediately took additional measures to enhance existing protocols for screening inbound cargo, including grounding packages originating from Yemen destined for the United States and deploying a team of inspectors to assist the Government of Yemen with their cargo screening procedures.

Even before this incident, 100 percent of identified high-risk cargo on inbound passenger planes was being screened. Further, all cargo flying to the U.S. on passenger or all-cargo planes is held to TSA security standards that include specific requirements covering how facilities and cargo is accessed, the vetting of personnel with access to cargo, employee training and cargo screening procedures. All international inbound aircraft carrying cargo must provide cargo manifest information to our partners at CBP prior to arrival on long-haul flights and at wheels-up on flights from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, for additional screening upon arrival in the U.S. We continue to work with our international partners and the private sector to meet these screening mandates.

Pursuant to the 9/11 Act, we have taken significant steps to strengthen the security of international air cargo. As always, TSA will continue to evolve our security procedures based on the latest intelligence to further strengthen air cargo security."