Canadian border security is being escalated to head off troublemakers going to the U.S. for Thursday's inauguration of President George W. Bush. U.S. security said the event will feature the tightest security in inaugural history, with police searching thousands of spectators along the Washington, D.C., parade route with metal detectors.
As early as today Canada Customs officers will begin using dogs, X-ray and other hi-tech machines to check for bombs or explosives in vehicles, trucks and goods crossing into the U.S.
Customs officials with both countries said yesterday they do not expect the measures to cause delays at border crossings.
Patrizia Giolti of the Canada Border Services Agency said she couldn't discuss security measures.
"We continue to be vigilant," Giolti said yesterday. "We work with other law enforcement partners to protect the border."
U.S. security planners said they have no intelligence indicating terrorists will strike, but they aren't taking chances.
Meanwhile, U.S. homeland security officials said two Canadian men suspected of being linked to terror groups were refused entry into the U.S. last summer.
The department, in statistics released last week, said one man was refused entry at the Detroit tunnel after officers found Pakistani documents and a photo of soldiers in a vehicle with a sign "Allah's Soldiers."
Another man on a Greyhound bus crossing at the Rainbow Bridge was detained and refused entry after an alert showed he was connected to three suspected terrorists.
Department officers last year refused entry to almost 20,000 criminal aliens, nabbed 400 travellers for terrorism concerns, received 1.8 million alerts, seized about 25,000 kilos of dope and arrested 1.1 million illegal aliens, of whom about 12,000 were nabbed at the Canadian border, the release said.