BALTIMORE (WJZ)–Terrorist group al-Qaeda is calling on Muslims to avenge the death of Osama bin Laden. In a statement posted on al-Qaeda’s official Internet site, the group says the United States committed a big mistake and a serious sin by killing bin Laden. It also warns the American people will pay the price and urges Muslims to carry out attacks. 

Those threats have some U.S. lawmakers pushing for tighter controls on potential terror targets– like the rail system.

Kai Jackson has more on the controversial plan to create a no-ride list for Amtrak trains.

The train is a very popular means of travel. Yet there’s concern that it’s also vulnerable to terrorists.

The issue was raised after the mission that killed Osama bin Laden uncovered information; suggesting al-Qaeda may be planning to attack America’s rail system.

“We’re going to look at all aspects of it with Amtrak, with Congress, with information that we receive from other sources,” said Ray LaHood, U.S. Transportation Secretary.

Michael Greenberger is a law professor at the University of Maryland and former counterterrorism expert in the Clinton administration.

“This might provide a further layer of protection so that our passenger trains are not subject to attack,” Greenberger said.

In a statement, Amtrak says “such a plan would have to be developed in close coordination with the transportation administration and implemented in a way that respects civil rights and allows for the rapid flow of passengers and trains necessary for mass transit.”

Securing the nation’s rail system could be a very difficult thing to do.

“Trains I think will be harder than airlines,” said Joanne Parker, of Mt. Washington. “They have the small stopping points along the way.”

“I think security is key,” said Rob Holmes, of Los Angeles.  “I think protecting your average citizen is really important.”

The Department of Homeland Security hasn’t responded to the plan so far, but has said that since 2006 it put $1.6 billion into the transit and public rail system.

Last year, Amtrak carried more than $28 million passengers.

Comments (5)
  1. Feebe says:

    Sounds like a solid thing to do.Safety first EGO’s second

  2. AmtrakRider says:

    Does anyone understand how difficult it will be to secure the rail lines. I hate to say this but there are a lot of bridges that Amtrak runs over between here and Philadelphia (I do BWI to Philly weekly) that someone could easily bring down with a train on it. I hate to say that people but it is true. How is Amtrak going to prevent someone from getting to some of the places that are not fenced off and can’t be fenced off? Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station does random explosives testing (mainly for the NEC which is Boston to DC and DC to Boston trains) but that is not enough.

    I understand the No Ride List but more needs to be done to protect the daily commuters than just a No Ride List.

  3. Jonathan Chiles says:

    Ok first lets look at what the group of people are called; Terrorists. What have they made you do. have fear and terror of the possibility of an attack. All they had to do was attack once and they can use the fear that it “could happen again” against you.

    So in the process we give away freedoms and liberties for a sense of security. But security is an illusion. For every policy you make, there is a flaw, a loop hole, or a way around it. You cannot defend every street corner, nor can you stop every attack. It is just not feasible.

    Live your life, and take precautions, but don’t over react to something that hasn’t even happened yet. The best way to defeat a terrorist is to not live in fear, and take the fight to their doorstep.

  4. CuriousFlier says:

    Mr. Chiles,

    Isn’t this list merely a precaution?

  5. Jonathan Chiles says:

    Curious. You would be correct. And I would stand corrected. However, the point that i was trying to make was not to over react, and put everything on lock down.
    Sometimes there are policies that are already there, but are not used correctly. Like the no fly list. If no one checks the list, then it kind of defeats the purpose of it. I would like a system where you could have a background check done on yourself and it would be valid for say 2-3 yrs which would allow you to bypass the TSA type invasive searches. For those of us who travel a lot, it is annoying to go thru the same thing everytime, when you know you are not the person the need to be focused on.

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