Heightened Transportation Security in D.C. Area

Friday, May 6, 2011  |  Updated 7:44 PM EDT
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Local law enforcement is responding to news of potential terror threats against trains.

Derrick Ward

Local law enforcement is responding to news of potential terror threats against trains.

Information gathered from Osama bin Laden's compound has put a new focus on security for trains in the D.C. area.

Navy SEALs seized computers and personal documents before they left the compound. Some written materials contained references to attacking trains in the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 or a holiday like the Fourth of July.

Metro had already beefed up its security presence this week following the killing of bin Laden Sunday. Friday afternoon, there was an increased security presence at McPherson Square, including officers with dogs, as well as increased checks of buses, but that was planned before Thursday’s revelations about transit attacks al Qaida operatives seemed interested in making happen.

Above ground, Metro is keeping an eye on tracks, looking for anything unusual and potentially harmful.

Keeping transportation safe and secure is already a focus of police in a post-9/11 world.

“Those of us who have been doing this for many years, the targets and interests of al Qaida and other terrorist organizations have always centered around identified targets, transportation being one of them, so that’s one of the things over the past several we’ve put a lot of effort into shoring up our securities,” D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said.

Amtrak said it has received a homeland security advisory.

“We are immediately privy to any intelligence with respect to threats against rail,” a statement from Amtrak read. “Amtrak employees remain at a heightened state of vigilance and we will employ appropriate countermeasures as and when necessary.”

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