Institute: Terrorist group promotes home-made derail

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The Middle East Media Research Institute recently translated a complete how-to guide for making derail devices for use on railroads and transit systems. The Institute provided several magazine images, but Trains editors are only showing one selection out of concern for security.
Middle East Media Research Institute
WASHINGTON — These step-by-step instructions, design guidelines, and templates look like any from a how-to-magazine. Then you realize it's a how-to derailment instruction guide courtesy of Al Qaeda.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media Research Institute, the information came out Aug. 13 and 14 in a recent issue of Inspire, Al Qaeda's glossy magazine. Institute officials say the terrorist magazine urges attacks by “lone wolf” operators on rail and mass transit system, and provides detailed instructions for making a concrete device to derail trains.

According to the institute's translation, Ibrahim Al-Asiri, the chief bomb-maker for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, “we will be focusing on targeting means of transportation … Jihad groups and organizations may have the ability to target international means of transportation. As for the Lone Mujahid, his abilities may be limited to targeting internal means of transportation of a country.

The translation of Al-Asiri continues, “O Mujahideen, it is time that we instill fear and make them impose strict security measures to trains as they did with their Air transportation. Continue to bleed the American economy to more losses, increase the psychological warfare and make it worry, fear and weaken much more.”

Translators say Al-Asiri said that “the large numbers and numerous types of means of transportation will always set an environment of looming danger everywhere.” The attack will lead to more extensive and costly security measures, and the loss of rolling stock could force some companies into bankruptcy.
The institute's translation of the Al Qaeda magazine includes detailed instructions for making a reinforced concrete shoe-like device that can be fitted over a railhead to derail a train. It looks similar to common derail equipment railroads use to prevent cars on a siding from rolling onto the main line.

“The Transportation Security Administration works alongside and encourages rail system operators to promote proactive efforts to secure mass transit, passenger rail and freight rail systems on a daily basis,” according to a written statement from the Federal agency. “TSA is aware of the recent Al-Qaeda threat to rail systems, and this past Friday [Aug. 11] issued a message to our transportation partners reminding them about steps that they can take to protect their systems from being targeted by violent extremists.”

However, TSA officials are not aware of any credible threats to railroads at this time, but say they're concerned that individuals may be inspired by the video to carry out attacks on rail or transit systems.

A written statement from Amtrak says “there are no specific or credible threats against Amtrak.” The carrier “continues to maintain a strong security posture to keep our passengers, employees and the railroad safe. Robust security measures are in place at stations and on trains, and we have increased our patrols along the tracks.”

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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