By Nick Smith
U.S. officials say that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a fairly new arm of the umbrella terrorist organization, is behind an apparent plot to send explosive devices to U.S. destinations via cargo planes, according to CNN.
"Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is an organization of several hundred individuals that are dispersed throughout the country," presidential counterterrorism advisor John Brennan told reporters Friday. "They are murderers and they are determined to carry out attacks on innocent lives, whether they be Yemeni, Americans, Westerners or others."
"If anything, this just demonstrates to us and, I think to the Yemenis as well, that we need to redouble our efforts so that we're able to destroy al Qaeda, and we will."
Two packages, found abroad planes originating in the Middle East, that were bound for Jewish organizations in the United States contained a massive amount of explosive material (PETN) that would have triggered a powerful blast.
The close call is highlighting an ongoing threat to governments around the world: the ease by which terrorists can ship a small bomb anywhere. Listed below are several companies that could be involved in the strategy to combat such terrible initiatives.
GateKeeper USA, Inc. (OTC:GTKP) previously announced that its CAMS (Container Automated Monitoring System) device has the ability to detect and alert authorities to PETN presence. Had CAMS been deployed, PETN would have been discovered before the packages departed from Yemen. A press release notes that
CAMS can scan 24/7 and transmit alerts sensing the presence of as little as nanogram levels of trace material. Since CAMS technology starts to scan immediately even before any cargo container is sealed, an alert for PETN and other dangerous substances, would have been detected and the proper authorities alerted, within moments, thus allowing ample time for those authorities to prevent the flight originating from Yemen.
Safran SA (SAF) is a France-based high-technology company. The company paid $580 million last year for a 81% stake in GE Homeland Protection. GE Homeland Protection supplies a technology known as Tomography, which is a medical scanning technology designed to display sectional images.
According to a Fox Business report,
"The plot could speed up calls for wider use of sophisticated imaging technology designed to detect explosives, which is not standard, but freight firms are reluctant to bear the full cost. "The technology used for screening of cargo, typically by X-ray, ... doesn't have explosive detection capacity, but it does enable them to find most things," said Norman Shanks, a former head of security at the British airports operator."
Safran's Security division consists of detection systems, identification systems, control and security solutions, and biometric identification systems. The company could benefit if security measures are intensified in the near-future.
Finally, Echo Global Logistics, Inc., (NASDAQ:ECHO) is a provider of technology enabled transportation and supply chain management services. Its Web-based technology platform compiles and analyzes data from its network of over 24,000 transportation providers to serve its clients' shipping and freight management needs. While Echo Global doesn't offer security solutions, it is heavily involved in the logistics industry. Accurate, quick, and detailed logistics information can be the difference between life and death in such bomb situations, and this company is among the best.
Gatekeeper shares were flat on the day, to $3.90. Echo Global and Safran are both up 0.3%, to $14.18 and $23.45, respectively.
Disclosure: No position