Feds: Transit Systems Should be Alert

NEW YORK — Federal authorities sent warnings to transit systems, hotels and stadiums nationwide that Islamic terrorists might target them.

Law enforcement continued to search for suspects in “a possible al-Qaida plot to set off hydrogen-peroxide bombs hidden in backpacks,” The Associated Press reported.

The DHS and the FBI “have no information regarding the timing, location or target of any planned attack, we believe it is prudent to raise the security awareness of our local law enforcement partners regarding the targets and tactics of previous terrorist activity,” the groups said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.

“The MTA is a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force and is in constant contact with federal, state and local law enforcement. While there is no credible threat on our system, we have increased MTA police presence at key commuter rail locations in light of the ongoing investigation,” New York’s MTA said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Washington Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) has increased uniformed patrols in the Metro transit system since the week of Sept. 11, as it usually does near the anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks, but there has been no additional elevation of security following the recent arrest of a terror suspect in Colorado.

“We have no specific information from intelligence sources that would lead us to believe there is a threat to our system at this time, yet MTPD officers remain vigilant,” said Metro Transit Police Chief Michael A. Taborn. He added that there are no plans to institute random bag inspections.

“Our system is as safe as an open system can be. There are several actions we take that are known or visible to the public such as patrols, cameras in stations and chemical and biological detection devices,” said Dave Webb, Deputy Chief of MTPD’s Homeland Security, Intelligence and Investigation Bureau. “There are also some actions that we take that are not visible to the public and they are designed to be that way.”

Officers continue to conduct high-visibility inspections in Metrorail stations and trains and on Metrobuses since the week of Sept. 11. Administrative police officers also have been participating in the patrols to increase uniformed visibility to help deter crime.