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The terror transfer threat consists of the movement of terrorists and materiel into the United States piecemeal, via diverse transport modes from multiple countries and shipping points. Interdicting these elements before they penetrate our borders and are assembled to stage attacks poses major security challenges. We describe TRANSEC, a pilot decision support system that models and helps validate assessments of maritime transfer threats and strategies for mitigating those risks. TRANSEC employs a network model that links the key entities involved in the transport of terrorists and threat-related materiel. It dynamically projects the likely impacts over time of existing and prospective security measures on interdiction effectiveness metrics at embarcation, transit, and debarkation points. The system allows alternate strategies to be assessed against scenarios based on diverse assumptions about funding and technology trends; terrorist objectives and capabilities; and program implementation results. TRANSEC also enables monitoring of strategies as they are executed, to re-validate or adjust them adaptively as environmental conditions evolve. This simulation-based methodology helps uncover security gaps and unintended program consequences in a safe and low cost virtual environment. TRANSEC thereby reduces risk and improves confidence and consistency in transfer threat security decisions.
Date of Conference: 12-13 May 2008