An NJOHSP review of the Transportation Sector found that ferries remain susceptible to terrorist attacks because they transport large volumes of people, have limited security, and offer minimal escape options during incidents. Although there has not been a recent plot or attack against ferries in the United States, authorities across the country, including in New Jersey, have increased security in this area. French authorities likewise hardened port security following a bomb scare at the Port of Marseille in July.
Recent al-Qa’ida propaganda exposes the group’s view that the US maritime sector is an appealing target. Since last fall, al-Qa’ida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) have highlighted in their English-language media limited port and cargo security throughout the United States—stressing to followers the negative economic consequences to the US of an attack on this sector.