Following last weeks seizure of al Qaeda documents from Osama Bin laden’s compound, there has been a flood of intelligence prompting U.S. attention.Among the released data, the most compelling so far, has been the planned rail attack on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
While not confirmed, and still lacking an official location or time, U.S. officials have treated the potential attack with enough seriousness to have increased rail security, and brought the possible attack to the country’s attention.
In a report by Reuters on the official U.S. response:
Since the raid, the Department of Homeland Security has taken a number of steps in reviewing measures at all potential terrorist targets, including transportation systems across the country. It added more officers at airports and at the borders.
Senator Charles Schumer has taken this one step further, and on Sunday suggested there should be a “do not ride” list list for rail travel to match the “do not fly” list for airlines. This, despite the fact that the attacks outlined by Bin Laden’s papers indicate an attack on the rails themselves, not on-board the train.
According to ABC News:
“The targeting of the railroad infrastructure itself is a much smarter move on the part of the terrorists, because you get more bang for the buck,” said Kevin Lynch, a retired freight rail police chief who consults on railroad police practices.
Despite these warnings, reports from The New York Post have surfaced this morning pointing to two startling rail security breaches on NY transit lines over the weekend.
The first incident, Sunday, near the World Trade centre, 20-year-old Reymundo Rodriguez entered a train tunnel and walked it through to New Jersey. Spotted by a Port Authority contractor as he exited, he told police he left a bomb in the tunnel.
The tunnel was shut down while a Joint Terrorism Task Force and dogs searched for the device, which was never found. Rodriguez was charged with trespassing, evaluated at a hospital and let go.
The second involved four “urban explorers” reportedly entering an under construction subway tunnel. Carrying roman candles and cameras, the four 20-somethings said they planned to take pictures by the fireworks in the Second Ave. subway tunnel.
The four were also charged with trespassing after Harlem resident Jerry Jackson called police and told them he had seen the four entering the subway around 112th Street.