January 28, 2014
Super Bowl XLVIII is a level one national security event declared by the Department of Homeland Security allowing Homeland Security Presidential Directive 5 to kick in. The directive means the federal government considers the game to be a possible terrorist target and provides authority for the feds to act as the lead in all security operations in New Jersey and adjacent New York.
During past games the DHS warned that terrorists would strike not only stadiums but hotels and restaurants. Intelligence officialdom said terrorists might try to enter the games by impersonating government or military officials or emergency personnel.
Possible threats, according to Ed Hartnett, former head of the New York Police Department’s Intelligence Unit, include suicide bombers. “I would list them in priority order being a suicide bomber, a vehicle laden with explosives and a mass shooter or mass shooters similar to the Kenyan mall, or the Mumbai incidents,” he told NBC News.
In addition to traditional terrorists, officials anticipate the possibility of hacktivists with political and social messages taking advantage of social media to “spread disinformation, sow confusion.”
In New Jersey this week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are working around the clock to x-ray every vehicle authorized to enter the MetLife Stadium complex in East Rutherford. Not only are terrorists on the radar, but so are smugglers and drugs. The DHS is using its HCV mobile unit to monitor vehicle cargo.
“We are xraying every piece of equipment, every cargo, every beverage, seat cushion, every piece of merchandise, food… everything that is going in the stadium has to be x-rayed before it goes in,” Kevin McCabe, Chief of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency told Fox.
In addition to unprecedented security at the stadium, a sprawling police state apparatus will extend to airports and mass transit. The “security experience,” according to rail officials, for football fans will begin the moment they arrive at the airport with bag screening, K-9 VIPR teams, and Fourth Amendment busting random searches on trains going to and from the game.
The feds, working with local and state agencies, plan to search all bags at Secaucus Junction, a major commuter rail hub, for an expected 15,000 New Jersey Transit passengers en route to the Meadowlands station, which is located near the stadium.
Additional TSA agents will beef up searches and radiation scans at Newark’s Liberty International Airport and at New Jersey Transit and Metropolitan Transit Authority trains from hubs such as New York’s Grand Central and Penn stations.
The event will be a field day for the police and surveillance state. The FBI will dispatch analysts and weapons of mass destruction specialists to work with local authorities. New York cops and the FBI will ramp up sex trafficking operations and immigration and Customs Enforcement officers will target counterfeit vendors peddling bogus Super Bowl memorabilia.