Operation Shield America is a new program announced by the U.S. Customs Service that seeks identification of technology, components, and products that could be on a "shopping list for terrorist organizations." The agency's media spokesperson Jim Michie says that engineers could help the U.S .Customs officials by adding to the classified list of more than 100 items.
"We're asking for help identifying what should be on this list," says Michie. "The other thing we want to know is who is buying the products that could potentially be dangerous in the wrong hands." The Customs Service is asking manufacturers to turn over the names of any suspicious customers.
The State and Commerce Department already have defined lists of controlled exports. However, Customs Service Commissioner Robert Bonner indicated that the items on the Customs' list differed. Although Bonner did not release the shopping list, he did describe high-tech items used for producing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons; as well as low-tech items that help terrorist evade detection and capture.
Bonner clarified that he did not want companies to investigate, but rather to just contact the U.S. Customs Service at (202) 927-8727.