BOX 1-1
Some Incidents Involving Surface Transportation in the United States


Bombs explode on a Florida highway to protest the Panama Canal Treaty


Pipe bombs placed by a Puerto Rican nationalist group explode in Penn Station lockers


liquid explosive found in a car parked under the Bay Bridge in San Francisco


Bomb threat on a Florida bridge


Bomb threat on a Massachusetts bridge in support of striking fishermen


Bomb threat on a Missouri bridge


Hand grenade found in a Chicago commuter rail station


Muslim fundamentalists arrested in a plot to blow up tunnels and a bridge in New York


Bomb threat on bridges near Niagara Falls


Bombs explode in the New York subway (two incidents) to extort money from the city


Train intentionally derailed in Arizona probably by right-wing extremists or a former railroad employee


New York subway token booth set on fire


Source: Mineta institute, 1997.

identifying the unique role of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is a key challenge.

Now that the Cold War is over, security concerns in many fields are being focused increasingly on the threat of terrorism, whether by an organized state or state-sponsored group as a form of "asymmetrical warfare" or by a nonstate group or individual motivated by extremist ideology or hatred. The present study is just one of many recent and continuing efforts to address this problem, either in broad terms or with a specific focus on individual sectors of the nation's infrastructure.

The goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of these issues as background for the remainder of the report. The chapter concludes with a brief description of the general structure and approach of the report.

The Surface Transportation System

The U.S. surface transportation system is large, complex, and decentralized. DOT, despite its regulatory and other responsibilities for transportation, actually

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