Morning Security Brief: Statue of Liberty Security Screening, Nuclear-Weapon Plants, Crime Stats, and More
The Statue of Liberty, which has been closed since Superstorm Sandy, will reopen July 4, but security screening will be in Manhattan before passengers board boats headed to the landmark, rather than on Ellis Island. U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz vows to improve nuclear plant security, particularly at Y-12, the site of a protest break-in last year. FBI releases preliminary crime stats for 2012, and more.
► The Statue of Liberty security screening will take place in Manhattan , rather than Ellis Island as had been planned, according to USA Today. The site will open July 4; it has been closed for Superstorm Sandy cleanup. The National Park Service was planning on having visitors board boats from Lower Manhattan and be screened on Ellis Island, but New York lawmakers worried that it would leave the visitors and the statue vulnerable. Instead, the screening will happen in Lower Manhattan and then visitors will travel to Ellis Island.
►The United States's new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke on Monday and stated that he was planning to make sure that the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant's security is not breached again . The Y-12 National Security Complex, which is involved in the making, maintaining, and dismantling of nuclear weapons, was broken into last year by protestors, including a nun. According to ABC News: "Sister Megan Rice and protesters Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed were convicted last month of sabotaging the plant and damaging federal property." The article states that federal authorities contend that the protestors cut through the fence using bolt cutters and spent two hours in the facility. The Energy Department's Inspector General's Office conducted a review of security at the plant, and findings included "broken detection equipment, poor response from security guards, and insufficient federal oversight of private contractors running the complex."
►Also in the news: The U.S. Coast Guard is looking to obtain coastal interceptor vessels , according to Government Security News. The boats would be able to intercept suspicious vessels and allow coast guard personnel to board the boats. They have sent out a request for information on the interceptor vessels. Wired looks into a spying tool that was only supposed to be sold to foreign governments but has been used by dissident parties and activists to target others, including Americans. The FBI issues preliminary crime statistics for 2012, showing a 1.2 percent increase in violent crimes and a 0.8 percent decline in property crimes. Popular Science has a feature on bomb-detection research , including how canines and technology might work together.