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

1977   

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

1980   

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

1982   

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

1984   

Bomb threat on a Florida bridge

1986   

Bomb threat on a Massachusetts bridge in support of striking fishermen

1987   

Bomb threat on a Missouri bridge

1992   

Hand grenade found in a Chicago commuter rail station

1993   

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

1993   

Bomb threat on bridges near Niagara Falls

1994   

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

1995   

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

1995   

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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