Amtrak To Expand Random Security Sweeps

Recently we’ve heard from some of our readers that they’ve noticed increased security on mass transit systems in a couple of major cities. This could be attributed to something as simple as increased use of mass transit due to rising gasoline prices, or any number of things.

We are not aware of any increased threat on the mass transit systems at this time; however it’s an important reminder to remain vigilant and immediately report any type of suspicious activity.

Spotting Suspicious Activity

Rail passengers from coast to coast will be subject to random security checks and may have their luggage scanned for explosives beginning this fall, according to Amtrak officials. However; according to Homeland Security Department spokesman Russ Knocke there is nothing to suggest an imminent threat to the country or to mass transit.

Six months after it set up counterterrorism teams to screen passengers at busy East Coast stations, the rail company is expanding its security sweeps across the country with a new team of special agents in California.

“We want to show we’re playing defense” against would-be terrorists, says Amtrak security chief Bill Rooney. “Our focus is counterterrorism. We’re thinking along the lines of a Madrid or a London.”

Rail bombings in those cities in 2004 and 2005 together killed hundreds of passengers and sparked fears in the United States that terrorists will strike the nation’s largely unsecured rail system.

In February, Amtrak announced it would assemble highly trained mobile security teams to start screening passengers and their carry-on bags as part of a new push to deter anyone intent on bombing a train.

Source – Read Article – USA Today

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