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Gov’t watchdog: U.S. N border fails terrorism test

By Xinhua

Washington : A terrorist who intends to smuggle radioactive material from Canada into the United States will probably find it easy to do, a U.S. government watchdog said Thursday.

U.S. government investigators were able to cross the northern U.S. border from Canada with a duffle bag with contents that looked like radioactive material and never encountered a law enforcement official, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in its latest report.

The investigators made crossings from Canada into the United States three times in fall 2006, according to the report.

In one of those instances, the GAO said, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency reported an alert citizen, notified authorities of the suspicious activity of the undercover investigators and described their vehicle.

However, the report said the Border Patrol was not able to locate the rental vehicle.

The GAO’s task was to perform what it called a “limited security assessment to identify vulnerable border areas.”

The focus was on border ports where the U.S. government does not maintain a manned presence 24 hours a day and has no apparent monitoring equipment in place.

The United States and Canada share more than 8,000 km of land border.