The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has requested that the Mineta Transportation Institutes National Transportation Security Center of Excellence (MTI NTSCOE) provide any research it has or insights it can provide on the security risks created by the highway transportation of hazardous materials. This request was submitted to MTI/NSTC as a National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. In response, MTI/NTSC reviewed and revised research performed in 2007 and 2008 and assembled a small team of terrorism and emergency-response experts, led by Center Director Brian Michael Jenkins, to report on the risks of terrorists using highway shipments of flammable liquids (e.g., gasoline tankers) to cause casualties anywhere, and ways to reduce those risks. This report has been provided to DHS. The teams first focus was on surface transportation targets, including highway infrastructure, and also public transportation stations. As a full understanding of these materials, and their use against various targets became revealed, the team shifted with urgency to the far more plentiful targets outside of surface transportation where people gather and can be killed or injured. However, the team is concerned to return to the top of the use of these materials against public transit stations and recommends it as a separate subject for urgent research.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Transportation Security/Counterterrorism

MTI Project



Freight security; Hijacking; National security; Security; Security measures; Terrorism