Semi-submersible boats used to smuggle drugs into the US could provide a path into the country for terrorists or their weapons, the Boston Globe reports. “If drug cartels can ship up to 10 tons of cocaine in a semi-submersible, they can clearly ship or rent space to a terrorist organization,” wrote a Navy official in a military journal.
The boats, which rise some 18 inches above the surface, are “harder to track than an airplane or a regular boat” and don’t “rely on an extensive network of corruption the way smuggling through a container port might,” says an expert. And they appear to be growing in popularity: the Coast Guard has spotted 27 semi-submersibles this year, more than the past 6 years combined. Many more are thought to have slipped through undetected.