Published February 14, 2011
A San Diego official's acknowledgment to a local TV reporter that "weapons of mass effect" were found in the city has local and federal authorities scrambling to explain the comment.
San Diego assistant port director Al Hallor, an officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told ABC affiliate KGTV that authorities have uncovered "weapons of mass effect" in an interview that aired Feb. 11.
"Yes," Hallor said when asked by a reporter if such weapons had ever been found in San Diego.
Hallor declined to indicate where, exactly, the weapons were located, saying only that they had not been found at the port of San Diego. Hallor also did not go into detail about what the weapons consisted of or when they were found.
"At the airport, seaport, at our port of entry we have not this past fiscal year, but our partner agencies have found those things," he said.
Hallor went on to say that San Diego, like any major U.S. city, remains a target for terrorists looking to sneak weapons into the U.S.
"Given the open waterways and the access to the Navy fleet here, I'd say, absolutely, San Diego is a target," he told the station.
Hallor's interview, part of a behind-the-scenes look at safeguard measures taken at the city's ports, was interrupted by a public affairs officer who said Hallor could only speak about items found at the port of San Diego.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials were quick to respond to Hallor's remarks.
"CBP has not specifically had any incidents with nuclear devices or nuclear materials at our ports of entry," a statement read.