Emerging information: AQ planning attack on US trains to celebrate anniversary of 9/11


I just saw this report which is the first to emerge detailing possible AQ future plans for a massive attack in the USA. The soft target is the railway system.

As of February 2010, al-Qaeda “was allegedly contemplating conducting an operation against trains at an unspecified location in the United States on the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001,” the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) advised law enforcement agencies in a bulletin obtained by AFP.

A source said the warning arose from intelligence seized in a daring raid on bin Laden’s fortified compound in which elite US commandos shot dead the terrorist mastermind and gathered computer hardware and other material.

The official message noted that it was based on “initial reporting” and warned that such information “is often misleading or inaccurate due to a rapidly developing situation and is subject to change.”

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/breaking-news/al-qaeda-weighed-train-attack-to-mark-911/story-e6frfku0-1226050958545#ixzz1LWdmSRMO

According to the report the idea was to sabotage the rails in a valley or over a bridge that would cause a really terrible accident.
 
However, having travelled in the USA on some trains, I would think that there was a lot of vulnerability at various railway stations around the country. From what I observed, there were few large railway stations such as the ones I saw in New York city, Albany, Seattle and Los Angeles. Most stations were very small and under-manned. The Seattle station was still quite vulnerable for a variety of reasons, including ease of access and a large hall where it would be easy to just open up and fire at will. There is probably a lot more security at Times Square station and Los Angeles station than elsewhere. The Hartford station was not well protected, and the station at Springfield Mass was one that simply needs to be rebuilt.  However, looking at the surrounds of Springfield, it would make an ideal location for carrying out a daring attempt to cause a major train crash.  When I was there the line that took us from Seattle to Los Angeles did buckle in the heat.
 
There are a few things to note, as to why the long distance trains might not be the target, but a metropolitan train could be the target instead – frequency and freight. The lines are not owned by AMTRAK but they are owned by the freight companies. If there was such a monumental disaster, it would more than likely end up being a freight train, rather than a passenger train, that would end up being the target. This is because on the lines that I travelled the passenger trains only went about once a day, and they were held up frequently because of the activity of the freight trains.  I do not know if this is the same for other rail lines leading to other major cities in the South since I have not travelled on those lines.
 
The metropolitan lines, on the other hand, are more frequent and they probably carry more passengers. On top of that an attack would cause a major disruption should such a thing take place. 
 
This information could see rail passengers facing the same extreme TSA measures as you have been seeing at the airports. This will be despite the fact that most of the travelling public do not wear long white robes, have beards and pray in Arabic.
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