Drive up and down the New Jersey Turnpike, and it's easy to see why this state is a potential playground for terrorists. There is a two mile stretch from Newark Airport to Port Elizabeth that terrorism experts have dubbed, "The most dangerous two miles in America."
"It's the consequence that frankly scares the pants off of us, when you think about what might happen in such a congested area," says New Jersey Homeland Security Director Richard Canas.
New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the country. And on this particular swath of land there are hundreds of potential terrorist targets -- chemical plants, rail yard, rail lines, refineries, an international airport, and the third largest port in the country, Port Elizabeth.
If a terrorist were to strike one of the many chlorine gas plants here, how much damage could he do?
Canas says a worst-case attack would bring lethal harm to more than 12 million people in a 14 mile radius. Even so, he's most concerned about the port itself. More than four million containers arrive there every year. But they are only inspected on the way out, not on the way in.
Clark Kent Ervin, a CNN security analyst and former inspector general of DHS, says New Jersey needs more money, better technology, and tighter perimeter security to really protect itself.
Canas tells me he has asked the federal government for $800 million to secure the state, but only got 10 percent of that. So he's forced to rely on tips from the public to keep safe. This year, his homeland security department received only one tip about a suspicious vessel.
What makes the chemical plants vulnerable?
Canas says only a fraction of the security requirements are mandated by the state of New Jersey. Most policing is left up to the plants themselves.
I spent some time yesterday in Kearny, New Jersey, where many of the potential targets fall. I talked to Deputy Police Chief Jack Corbett, who told me, "We have adequate patrols there. Could we staff that area 24 hours a day with 100 people to try and keep terrorists away? I don't think that's possible."
The railways in the area are another concern. Given the passenger train bombings in India and London, Canas has added rail marshals and is increasing training for transit police.
After hearing about all these vulnerabilities, I wonder how much will be enough when it comes to deterring terrorism.