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4/7/2011 8:00:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Opinion: Trucking Fights Terrorism

By Martin Rojas

Vice President of Security and Operations

American Trucking Associations

This Opinion piece appears in the April 4 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Earlier this year, we were once again reminded that the United States continues to face the possibility of a terrorist attack on our soil, a threat that hasn’t abated in the decade since 9/11.

In February, a visiting Saudi Arabian student, Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, was arrested in Lubbock, Texas, and accused of plotting to bomb several locations throughout the state — including the home of former President George W. Bush.

Aldawsari’s arrest and indictment not only may have put an end to these plans but also received extensive media coverage that highlighted the role one trucking company’s vigilance played in foiling an alleged terrorist plot.

The trucking company, Con-way Freight, credited the alertness and security training of its employees in informing law-enforcement organizations about the bomb-making material shipment being held at their location for pickup by the terrorist suspect.

In the barrage of media coverage that followed this incident, a CNBC article caught my attention the day after the arrest. The article began: “In the end, it wasn’t a TSA agent, a Homeland Security operative or an FBI agent who first spotted alleged terror plotter Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari. It was the employees of a private shipping company.”

This story brings home a key principle in our fight against terrorism: We are all in this together.

It’s not solely the responsibility of our security and law-enforcement agencies to prevent these attacks and stop the bad guys. Every individual and company must stay alert and, if something seems suspicious or out of the ordinary, we must trust our instincts and share such information with law enforcement.

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