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Copyright (c) 2008 Naval Law Review

ARTICLE, ESSAY & NOTE: INTERDICTION ON THE HIGH SEAS: THE ROLE AND AUTHORITY OF A MASTER IN THE BOARDING AND SEARCHING OF HIS SHIP BY FOREIGN WARSHIPS

2008

Naval Law Review

55 Naval L. Rev. 157

Author

CDR David Garfield Wilson, JAGC, USN*

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

On September 11, 2001, several individuals belonging to the terrorist organization al-Qaeda 1 hijacked four passenger planes of which two crashed into the World Trade Center Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon--the Department of Defense headquarters, and the fourth, destined for either the United States Capitol or the White House, crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers confronted and fought the hijackers. 2 As a result, over 3000 men, women, and children from over 80 different countries died or remain missing following the attacks. 3 What commenced thereafter was the United States' Global War on Terrorism. 4

Just as multiple aircrafts facilitated the terrorist attacks on innocent civilians on September 11, 2001, terrorists are using ships to carry out their operations. 5 Reports indicate that commercial ships of varying sizes and types are being used, some knowingly and others unwittingly, in carrying out terrorist attacks, in the transportation of terrorists and terrorists' instrumentalities, 6 and weapons of mass destruction. 7 There is a widely held belief that Osama bin Laden covertly owns a fleet of commercial vessels ranging from as few as fifteen to as many as fifty, flying under various flags of convenience and that these vessels are potentially floating bombs targeted at United States' interests. 8

With over ninety percent of the world's cargo transported by sea, the global economy depends on maritime shipping. 9 The United States has recognized the threat to both maritime shipping and the nation from maritime-based terrorist activities. ...
 
 
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