Mineta Transportation Institute’s Experts Help to Create International Collaboration to Improve Security for Surface Transportation

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Jenkins and Butterworth are working with UK, Israeli and other international experts to develop best practices for rail and bus security
June 22, 2010
San José, CA

The Mineta Transportation Institute’s (MTI) leading counter-terrorism experts have been collaborating with the UK, Israel, France, and other countries to collect and analyze data and develop case studies about terrorist attacks against public surface transportation. Given the international nature of terrorism, this data sharing will help to create best practices and policies to help prevent and mitigate future attacks around the world, including the United States.

Brian Michael Jenkins, an internationally recognized terrorism authority and director of MTI’s National Transportation Security Center of Excellence, is leading that effort. He is assisted by Bruce R. Butterworth, an MTI research associate since 2007, with whom he has co-authored eight MTI research reports and two opinion pieces. The most recent of these articles, “What we can learn from the Christmas Day bombing attempt,” was published in the Washington Post in March.

“This collaboration is especially important in the United States because public transit systems have featured prominently in recent terrorist plots,” said Mr. Butterworth. “It’s even more important as we develop high-speed rail. Other countries have a great deal of experience addressing attacks, and countries like Japan and France have had high speed rail systems for some time. All of this can help nearly all countries, including ours, develop the best possible practices to increase safety and security for their citizens.”

Mr. Butterworth has considerable exposure to international security issues in aviation and has contributed pioneering work on MTI’s proprietary database of terrorist attacks against public surface transportation around the globe. His briefings in London and Israel this past January, as part of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security delegation, increased the interest in counter-terrorism collaboration. Mr. Butterworth is now working with a prominent Israeli expert to develop detailed cased studies on terrorist attacks against buses. He and Mr. Jenkins have been invited to brief UK authorities about the results of MTI’s empirical analysis of terrorist attacks against rail, buses, and highway infrastructure.


Bruce Butterworth holds a graduate degree from the London School of Economics and is thoroughly grounded in international collaboration on security and economic issues. Before joining MTI, he had a distinguished career in the federal legislative and executive branches. He started his career running five years of investigations and hearings on many transportation safety issues for the House Government Operations Committee. He then spent 11 years in the U.S. Department of Transportation, eight of which were in the Office of the Secretary, managing transport safety and security issues. He also managed sensitive international negotiations on air and maritime services in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, now the World Trade Organization. He has chaired numerous US government delegations to UN bodies.

Mr. Butterworth then spent 10 years at FAA in two executive posts in aviation security, with wideranging domestic and international responsibilites. As Director of Policy and Planning, he established strategic and contingency plans and federal rules. As Director of Operations he was responsible for federal air marshals, hijacking response, and 900 field agents. He ran the FAA’s aviation command center, successfully managing the resolution of hijackings and security emergencies, and launched a successful program of dangerous-goods regulation and cargo security after the 1995 ValuJet crash. Butterworth was a key player responding to the ValuJet and TWA 800 accidents. He worked closely with the Congress, the National Security Council staff, the intelligence community, law enforcement agencies, and authorities of other nations.

Between September 2001 and January 2003, he was an associate director at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and was responsible for the organization’s security and emergency response efforts. He then finished his federal career as a Deputy Director of Engineering at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, where he helped manage 1300 engineers and initiated a much needed lab safety program.


Mr. Jenkins is an international authority on terrorism and sophisticated crime. He directs MTI’s research on protecting surface transportation against terrorist attacks. He is also a senior advisor to the president of RAND. From 1989-98, Mr. Jenkins was deputy chairman of Kroll Associates, an international investigative and consulting firm. Before that, he was chairman of RAND’s Political Science Department, where he also directed research on political violence. He holds a BA in fine arts and a Masters Degree in history, both from UCLA. He studied in Mexico and Guatemala, where he was a Fulbright Fellow and received a fellowship from the Organization of American States. Mr. Jenkins was a paratrooper and a captain in the Green Berets, serving in Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. He returned to Vietnam as a member of the Long Range Planning Task Group, receiving the Department of the Army's highest award for his service. He authored several articles, reports and books, including International Terrorism: A New Mode of Conflict and Will Terrorists Go Nuclear?


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and was reauthorized under TEA-21 and again under SAFETEA-LU. The institute is funded by Congress through DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through the Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and by other public and private grants and donations, including grants from DHS. DOT selected MTI as a National Center of Excellence following a 2002 competition. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI’s focus on policy and management resulted from the Board’s assessment of the transportation industry’s unmet needs and led directly to the choice of the San José State University College of Business as the institute’s home. MTI conducts research, education, and information and technology transfer, focusing on multimodal surface transportation policy and management issues.


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