Counter-Terrorism: Sea Marshals


November 10, 2007: The latest counter-terrorism method is the use of "sea marshals" on the hundreds of ferries that provide a major form of transportation in the Philippines. This is a country of 88 million people, and over 7,000 islands. So ferries are an important part of the economy. Islamic terrorists figured that out, and after a major 2002 terrorist bombing on a "SuperFerry," that left over a hundred dead, measures were taken to make such attacks more difficult to carry out in the future. While the ferry companies have their own security, which was increased after the 2002 incident, the sea marshals provide another layer of security, in the form of security experts who can search for less obvious terrorist methods to attack. This includes terrorist attempts to plant bombs at key locations on the ferries, where a small explosion would cause a disproportionate amount of damage. On shore, the police have also increased checks on vehicles traveling on the larger ferries. The sea marshals are only assigned to the larger ferries, where the damage could be the most catastrophic.


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