Napolitano says supply chains must be monitored

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano recently said that the fight against terrorism must include monitoring the global supply chain of materials that can be used to make weapons.

"It can be ... chemicals used in the manufacture of bombs, but you're also talking chemical, biological, potentially radiological (weapons)," Napolitano said, according to Fox News. "All the things that we need to be concerned about in today's threat environment."

This statement precedes a meeting between the Department of Homeland Security, the White House and the World Customs Organization to discuss customs matters that will occur today. Follow that meeting, Napolitano concludes a week-long trip focusing on security with Afghanistan, Europe and the Middle East at the European Policy Center in Brussels, Fox News reports.

Last year, the U.S. government, in cooperation with other world partners, started the Global Shield initiative to focus on chemicals like ammonium nitrate that could be used in homemade bombs and are found in standard fertilizer. One official told Fox News that an expansion of these global efforts would be called for during the meetings.

According to Napolitano, the global supply chain is vulnerable but it can be protected from terrorists.

"How can someone smuggle a radiological weapon filled with chemicals into the United States by exploiting the global supply chain?" a Homeland Security official said, according to Fox News. "There are multiple points into that supply chain, so there are multiple ways to disrupt it."