Denver's transit district responds to terrorism concerns

Following details about possible 9-11 10th anniversary attack, transit leaders focus on vigilance


DENVER -- Metro Denver transit and law enforcement officials huddled about security Thursday in response to revelations that al-Qaida had considered attacking U.S. trains.

The new information was gleaned from computers and documents seized from Osama bin Laden's compound when the al-Qaida leader was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs. It indicated that al-Qaida had considered attacking U.S. trains on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Associated Press reported.

In a conference call Thursday, officials from the Regional Transportation District, the Denver Police Department, the state Attorney General's Office and the Transportation Security Administration discussed security issues.

While there were no specific threats directed toward Denver, security teams were being more vigilant.

"We are aware of the (Department of Homeland Security) information and are aware that it is more than a year old and is not a specific, targeted threat," RTD spokesman Scott Reed said. "RTD and other area agencies are keeping up to date on any new information. Appropriate security measures remain in place, and RTD and other agencies are prepared to respond accordingly if a situation arises.

"As always, we remain vigilant, and through our Transit Watch program and Community Emergency Response Team, our passengers also help us by providing additional ‘eyes and ears’ for our daily operations," he said.

According to an AP report, the FBI and Department of Homeland Security told local officials nationwide to be on the lookout for clips or spikes missing from train tracks, packages left on or near the tracks and other indications that a train could be vulnerable.

"This alleged al-Qaida plotting is based on initial reporting, which is often misleading or inaccurate and subject to change," said Homeland Security spokesman Matt Chandler.

Denver passengers said they were not scared to ride the rail system, but were paying attention.

"We can't live our lives running around in fear of what the terrorists want to do to us," Amber Henry told 7NEWS. The New Jersey tourist is visiting Denver. She was in New Jersey and saw the smoke rising from Manhattan on 9/11.


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