What happens in distant place could well trigger terrorist activity nearby

Posted: Wednesday, June 05, 2002

In these dangerous times, even previously unnoted robberies can provoke worries about terrorism.

For instance, Mexican police recently found a stolen truck abandoned along a remote highway in Zacatlan, about 120 miles northwest of Mexico City. The truck had been carrying 10 tons of sodium cyanide.

Most of the sodium cyanide, a deadly chemical that if inhaled or ingested attacks the nervous system and can cause a person to suffocate, was missing.

Given the threat of terrorism, border guards in the United States now are taking extra precautions to make sure that the missing sodium cyanide does not make its way across the border, where it could conceivably be used in a terrorist attack.

Meanwhile, Mexican authorities are looking for three armed men who authorities believe stole the vehicle. So far, however, no one has been arrested, and realistically they probably won't be. In Mexico, truck robberies are as common as the proverbial common cold.

This particular robbery is just one isolated example of why the relationship between the United States and Mexico must be strengthened.

The security needs of the United States demand that what happens on a distant highway in Mexico could well affect this nation's safety, as well as cause an environmental hazard in Mexico.

-- San Antonio Express-News

May 26

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