Foreign adversaries could take advantage of Baltimore Key Bridge collapse: intelligence report

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The collapse diverted $80 million in ocean freight and road transportation.

The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore “reduced the resilience of U.S. port and maritime operations” and could create “opportunities for foreign adversary exploitation,” according to a new intelligence report obtained by ABC News.

The bridge collapse has diverted $80 million in ocean freight and road transportation and the document says any disruption at other ports “could have an enormous impact on the flow of goods that cannot be easily mitigated.”

Baltimore’s Key Bridge, a vital transit and shipping route, collapsed last month after being struck by a cargo ship. Following the disaster, which killed six construction workers, the Port of Baltimore suspended operations, prompting thousands of job losses.

“Additional supply chain disruptions will be more difficult to overcome as the standard procedure of partially diverting cargo on an ad hoc basis through the Port of Baltimore is no longer feasible,” the document says.

So far, the diversion of cargo has not significantly affected U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s ability to detect and intercept potentially illicit or high-risk materials, according to the document. Any enforcement actions initiated before the bridge collapse will be handled at the U.S. ports of entry that receive the redirected shipments.

If there are logistical setbacks as a result of the bridge collapse, intelligence analysts have warned that American adversaries could take advantage of them.

“We have seen no indication that adversaries are actively exploiting the incident or related disruptions, but foreign adversaries have used an opportunistic approach to advance a wide range of security, economic and other strategic interests following similar disasters in the United States. “says the report.

The Port of Baltimore ranks as the ninth largest port in the United States by trade volume. Last year, the port managed to handle 52.3 tons of foreign cargo.

president joe biden has committed fully support Baltimore’s rebuilding efforts. He said last week that his “intention is for the federal government to pay the full cost of rebuilding that bridge.”

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