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Tuesday, 18th May 2010
Amtrak Security Efforts Aim to Defeat and Deter Most Dangerous and Likely Terror Tactics
Amtrak Security Efforts Aim to Defeat and Deter Most Dangerous and Likely Terror Tactics (PDF)
Amtrak testified today before a Senate committee that “the security of our system is our top priority” and its efforts are focused on defeating or deterring the most dangerous and likely terror tactics, including use of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on board a train or at a station and the emerging threat of an active shooter.
“We are devoting our efforts to making it harder and harder for terrorists to use their preferred strategies to attack our stations, trains, and passengers,” said Amtrak Chief of Police John O’Connor, citing as examples rail bombing attacks in Madrid (2004), London (2005) and several in Moscow including last month, and an active shooter at a station in Mumbai (2008).
He said America’s intercity passenger railroad has implemented robust counterterrorism initiatives and is looking “to expand aggressively our efforts to defend our system against the most probable and devastating methods of attack.” Chief O’Connor explained that Amtrak has more than doubled the size of its Explosive Canine Detection Program to 45 teams, including several that have received highly specialized “vapor wake” training where the bomb-sniffing dogs can detect the presence of fumes left after someone passes through an area with an explosive device. In addition, he said Amtrak instituted a random baggage screening program in 2008, and has since screened tens of thousands of passengers and their bags as they boarded thousands of trains across the country.
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