The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released an advisory notice to law-enforcement officials Thursday regarding railroad security, after sorting through some of the materials at Osama bin Laden’s compound. The notice, “advisory in general,” encourages officials to be “vigilant about train security.” According to uncovered information, Al Qaeda members discussed derailing U.S. trains by placing obstructions on the tracks, back in February of 2010. The plan was intended to be executed on September 11, 2011, though no specific city or rail system has been identified. The idea, overall, was more of a long-term plan for the terrorist network: “U.S. officials say they have not found reference to specific plots,” NBC reports. “Instead, they’ve found what they call ‘aspirational’ items — events Al Qaeda operatives were interested in trying to make happen.”
So how scared should you be? Really up to you. Homeland Security rep Matt Chandler stressed that “this alleged Al Qaeda plotting is based on initial reporting, which is often misleading or inaccurate and subject to change.” He continued: “We have no information of any imminent terrorist threat to the U.S. rail sector, but wanted to make our partners aware of the alleged plotting.” There are no plans to issue a terror alert, because there’s still “no specific or credible intelligence” suggesting any real plan is in the works. But if you see something, you know what to do: freak out.
Feds Ask for Vigilance on Trains Based on Info from Bin Laden Compound [NBC New York]
Al Qaeda Sought to Target U.S. Train Network [WSJ]
U.S. issues an alert about rail security, days after bin Laden raid [CNN]