Monday, May 9, 2011

Senator Proposes "No-Ride List" for Amtrak

New York Daily News: America needs a "no-ride" list barring suspected terrorists from Amtrak trains because of the potential threat of an Al Qaeda attack on the U.S. rail system on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

He called on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to use the existing airline "no-fly" list for the rails, too. "We have to be vigilant against future attacks," Schumer (D-NY) told reporters in midtown Manhattan yesterday.

A document seized from Osama Bin Laden's Pakistani compound during the Navy SEALs' daring raid last week indicates the terror group contemplated a 9/11 anniversary plot to derail a U.S. passenger train over a valley or a bridge. Since 9/11, Al Qaeda has carried out devastating attacks on trains and subways in Spain and Britain.

Employees of Amtrak - which carried 28.7 million passengers last year - would be responsible for checking trains' passenger reservation lists against the "no-ride" list, Schumer said. If a terror suspect tried to board a train, Amtrak police or other law-enforcement officials would be called. Amtrak doesn't have security-screening personnel at its departure gates.

The use of the airline terror watch list by Amtrak could be implemented at "virtually no extra cost" to the federal government, said Schumer, who also called for increased funding for track inspections and other railway security measures.

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