TSA Not Doing Enough to Protect Railways from Terrorism, Says Sen. Lautenberg


Matthew Harwood
Security Management
April 24, 2010

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Recalling various terrorist attacks against rail systems worldwide since 9-11 and last year’s disrupted plot to attack the New York City subway system, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) said yesterday that the United States must do more to protect its railways from terrorism.

“Make no mistake: although these attacks occurred overseas—our rail systems here are terrorist targets,” said Lautenberg, chairing a Senate hearing on rail security.

In September, the FBI broke up Najibullah Zazi’s plot to blow himself up in a “martyrdom operation” inside the New York City subway system. Zazi has since pled guilty to various terrorism-related charges in what Attorney General Eric Holder called one of the most serious threats since 9-11. But the attack most on lawmakers and witnesses’ minds was last month’s twin suicide bombings carried out by two women inside the Moscow subway system, murdering 40 and wounding more than 60.

John O’Connor, chief of the Amtrak Police Department, told lawmakers that terrorists would likely attack surface transportation by either detonating an improvised explosive device or shooting up a train or a train station (.pdf).

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