Amtrak steps up security in advance of 9/11 anniversary

A few days after the military killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden earlier this year, the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning that the terrorist group had been contemplating an attack on U.S. rails.

While the public has been focused since the 2001 attacks on another strike against U.S. planes, terrorists in Europe have committed devastating attacks on trains in Spain and London.

In a statement this week, Amtrak said it would continue to look for ways to improve its security efforts, including through ongoing work with the Transportation Security Administration.

Amtrak is also asking passengers and the public to be on alert and to report safety or security issues to Amtrak.

Focus groups suggested that many riders feel secure on trains and are less likely to report suspicious behavior.

“What we learned was alarming, yet not surprising,” Amtrak Vice President and Chief of Police John O’Conner said. “Many passengers said ten years after 9/11 they were experiencing security fatigue, and were complacent about security messages.”