Reporting Kai Jackson
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.