Teams of undercover air marshals and uniformed law enforcement officers will fan out to bus and train stations, ferries, and mass transit facilities across the country this week in a new test program to conduct surveillance and "counter potential criminal terrorist activity in all modes of transportation," according to internal federal documents.
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Federal officials said there is no new intelligence indicating that terrorists are interested in targeting transportation modes. Rather, the Transportation Security Administration is trying to expand the role of air marshals, who have been eager to conduct surveillance activities beyond the aircraft, and provide a beefed-up law enforcement presence at bus, train and public transit stations over the busy holiday period.
Section 602 of the [newly revised Patriot Act] conference report is a new section. 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1752 authorizes the Secret Service to charge individuals who breach established security perimeters or engage in other disruptive or potentially dangerous conduct at National Special Security Events (NSSEs) if a Secret Service protectee is attending the designated event. Section 602 of the conference report expands 18 U.S.C. Sec. 1752 to criminalize such security breaches at NSSEs that occur when the Secret Service protectee is not in attendance.
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