Al Qaeda wants to exploit the relatively lax security procedures protecting America’s railroads and attack trains and subways, a new report said Friday.
The latest issue of the terrorist group’s magazine, Inspire, is headlined “Train Derail Operations,” and describes ways to attack trains, which have far fewer security protections than airline travel, The Washington Times reported.
The new threat would put pressure on the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI as well as state and local law enforcement agencies.
The Middle East Media Research Institute put out a report on Friday saying al Qaeda had teased the Inspire articles with a trailer appearing on Telegram app channels operated by its fans, the paper reported.
“The trailer highlights that derailments are simple to design using easily available materials, that such a planned attack can be hard to detect, and that the outcome can substantially damage a country’s transportation sector and the Western economy in general,” MEMRI said.
The US more than 100,000 miles of railway lines, but the trailer focuses only on a subway train.
It shows cars barreling through urban tunnels though it’s unclear which city is depicted.
It also quotes from US Government Accountability Office reports on how rail lines are vulnerable to sabotage.
In the Big Apple, for example, people can board a train at Grand Central or Penn Station or get on any subway line without any screenings of themselves or their bags except for periodic random inspections by law enforcement.
The trailer then shows how to make devices that can be clamped onto a line to cause derailments.
“Simple to design. Made from readily available materials. Hard to be detached. Cause great destruction to the Western economy and transportation sector,” it says, The Times reported.