The potential liability stemming from a terrorist attack is enormous. In fact, after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was found liable for damages because it knew about but ignored “an extreme and potentially catastrophic vulnerability that would have been open and obvious to any terrorist who cared to investigate and exploit it.”

That ruling by a state appeals court unanimously upheld a jury’s verdict that the Port Authority was 68 percent liable for the bombing and the terrorists were 32 percent liable for the $100 million in damages stemming from the attack.

As part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Congress enacted the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act (SAFETY Act) of 2002. The SAFETY Act provides incentives for the development and deployment of anti-terrorism technologies by creating systems of risk and litigation management. The purpose of the Act is to ensure that the threat of liability does not deter potential manufacturers or sellers of effective anti-terrorism technologies from developing and commercializing technologies that could save lives.

Dan Verton, host of The Prevention Podcast, discusses the SAFETY Act with Akmal Ali, the former Deputy Director of the Department of Homeland Security’s SAFETY Act Implementation Office.

SAFETY Act Certification At-A-Glance

Designation is a prerequisite for Certification. To receive Certification, Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technologies must also be shown to:

  1. Perform as intended.
  2. Conform to the Seller’s specifications.
  3. Be safe for use as intended.

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