Attacks on the Energy Industry: Important Differences Between Terrorism and Piracy

May 24, 2011

The global energy industry is under threat of attack by criminal and terrorist elements, but for different reasons. It is important to understand that piracy and maritime terrorism are separate “disciplines” that have no direct one-to-one correlation. Piracy is a crime committed for financial gain, while the objective of maritime terrorism is for immediate or strategic political goals. In the case of attacks on the energy industry therefore, the means used to gain control of energy vessels and platforms will be determined by the threat objective. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hundreds of Millions on TWIC and Still No Scanners

May 12, 2011

CNN.com story: Undercover government investigators were able to get into major U.S. seaports — at one point driving a vehicle containing a simulated explosive — by flashing counterfeit or fraudulently obtained port “credentials” to security officials — raising serious questions about a program that has issued the cards to more than 1.6 million people, Congress disclosed Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »


IMO’s Proposed Security Manual Should Avoid ‘One Size Fits All’

December 7, 2010

Last month, the IMO published the table of contents for its future security manual that will to provide guidelines for the effective implementation of preventive security measures promulgated in the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

Since ISPS Code implementation, oversight and enforcement of the comprehensive set of measures to enhance the security of commercial maritime facilities, vessels, and operations has been delegated to the Contracting Governments. While this policy approach encouraged agreement of the signatory countries to the measure, practical application has resulted in the uneven interpretation of the criteria for compliance.

Although it has taken almost eight years from since the agreement to the ISPS Code in December of 2002, it is expected that the IMO’s development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual for port and ship security will help harmonize performance-based criteria for “functional” compliance with ISPS Code requirements and recommendations throughout the global maritime community. Read the rest of this entry »


Citadel Rooms: An Option, Not a Solution

November 12, 2010

Within the past six months, more and more stories about pirate attacks are mentioning the crew of the attacked vessel gathering in the strong room or Citadel of the vessel. In fact, just last week, a tanker crew retreated to the Citadel as pirates boarded. The pirates, in an attempt to gain access to the Citadel, fired a rocket-propelled grenade at the room only to have the RPG bounce back, injuring three of the pirates. Wouldn’t you have loved to see the pirates faces when that happened? Read the rest of this entry »


MSC Yacht Industry Security Conference

October 18, 2010

The Maritime Security Council will host a Yacht Industry Security Conference in St. Thomas, USVI on January 11, 2011.

This event will gather together an elite group of government and yachting industry professionals to discuss the pertinent security issues facing the international yachting and small maritime vessel community and their host nation governments.

The agenda for this meeting will focus on identifying security “best practices” appropriate for application to the yachting industry, and serve to prevent the yachting industry from becoming an avenue for the introduction of threats into yachting marinas throughout the hemisphere.

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Strait of Hormuz Puts Spotlight on Maritime Terrorism

August 26, 2010

The Strait of Hormuz has never been the safest of navigable waters and on the night of 28 July the heavily laden VLCC M.STAR was apparently attacked by terrorists who used a waterborne Improvised Explosive Device (IED) to try and damage or sink the vessel. This new threat vector has sent shock waves through the tanker industry and has the navies of the United States and its allies scrambling to find a want to mitigate the new threat. Read the rest of this entry »


Welcome to the MSC Blog

August 16, 2010

Welcome to the Maritime Security Council blog.  The intent of the MSC Blog is to provide our membership and readers with expert insights and analysis on maritime and supply chain security issues.  We’ve created this as a forum for delving deeper into the security issues that impact the maritime environment and hopefully, through our discussions, we will draw some conclusions that can help the industry as a whole.

The MSC – established in 1988 – is a not-for-profit, international organization that serves as an advocate for the security interests of the global maritime and supply chain environments.  Our mission is to advance the security of the international maritime community by representing maritime interests before government bodies; acting as liaison between industry and government; collecting and disseminating timely information; encouraging the development of industry-specific technologies; and providing training and accreditation for our membership and government partners.