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Passenger 57 Takes the A Train

Undercover underground.

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Federal air marshals are getting MetroCards. Last year, the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees the secretive Federal Air Marshal Service, partnered with Amtrak to have marshals ride the rails. The program had a few successful field runs, and now the TSA is ramping up operations to include ferries, trains, buses, and, yes, the subways. This bit of news came out of a briefing last week at the FAMS field office in Queens. The purpose of it was to open up lines of communication with media outlets with the goal of avoiding misinformed reporting by TV news—for example, if a local affiliate hears of an arrest on a flight, the reporters won’t leap to conclusions, when (as apparently has happened) the perp turns out to have been just an old guy delirious on Ambien.

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