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No-ride list proposed for Amtrak trains after Bin Laden 'aspiration' discovered

Schumer

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer proposes no-ride lists for U.S. domestic trains, similar to the no-fly lists used in aviation, in the wake of intelligence discovered at Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan.

"Circumstances demand we make adjustments by increasing funding to enhance rail safety and monitoring on commuter rail transit and screening who gets on Amtrak passenger trains, so that we can provide a greater level of security to the public," the New York Democrat explained at a news conference.

During the raid this month at Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, members of the Navy SEALS found information that Al Qaeda was considering sabotaging a U.S. passenger train on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 as it travelled over a valley or a bridge.

"We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the U.S. rail sector, but wanted to make sure our partners were aware of the alleged plotting," Matt Chandler, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman said last week when the intelligence was discovered amid the DVDs, flash drives, and hard drives discovered at Bin Laden's home.

Even though the 2004 bipartisan  Sept. 11 commission recommended that the government check passengers' names against terror watch lists before they board passenger trains or cruise ships, that procedure has yet to be implemented. Schumer wants Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to increase the Secure Flight Program so as to include rail travel.

On Monday, John O'Connor, Amtrak's vice president and chief of police, addressed Schumer's proposal, noting that he would be open to it under certain terms.

"All countermeasures add value in creating an overall security posture in protecting a rail system that operates in an open environment. The creation of a 'do not ride' list is no exception," O'Connor said in a statement.

"It would, however, have to be developed in close coordination with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and implemented in a way that respects civil rights and allows for the rapid flow of persons and trains, necessary for effective mass transit," he wrote.

RELATED:

Obama meets assault team that killed Bin Laden

Al Qaeda had U.S. trains in its sights, U.S. officials say

In wake of Osama bin Laden's death, Taliban may be considering options

 

 -- Tony Pierce
twitter.com/busblog

Photo: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), left, is joined by U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), left, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, second left, and U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), at an announcement in New York's Pennsylvania Station, Monday, May 9, 2011. Credit: Richard Drew / Associated Press

 

 
Comments () | Archives (5)

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Are we to have a no stand by rail road tracks list too?

Here we go again. Trains are the safest way to travel, and it is impossible to fly them into buildings, except in Hollywood, which is working to prepare us for the next "terrorist" threat. They are currently auditioning our next OBL. Another boondoggle, another insult by our fascist gubmint using TSA gangstas. Amtrak: tell TSA to get lost, and be very vigilant!
Terrorism--cui bono? Here's a clue: not Muslims or Arabs. Look towards Wall Street, the Pentagon, the White House, and our "middle-eastern-looking" friends who run the security cameras.

He lost it

Sounds like Chucky Shoooomer and his traveling freak show want to kill off the train industry.

America...'Land of the Free'...how much more of our personal freedoms will we sacrifice? News flash folks...no matter how much we kneel before the cops and politicians, there will NEVER be an end to the 'war on terror'. Give the 'security state' a finger, they will take the whole hand. It works the same in every country.

Better to endure a 9-11 every so often and be truly free people, than to submit to 'security' screening the likes of which the Russians wouldn't believe.

Or perhaps we could just stop meddling in Middle Eastern affairs. Sure it would mean Israel would have to stand on their own, but why should they worry, they're the chosen ones, right?


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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