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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:26 AM
Original message
Bin Laden eyed US rails from his secret compound
:wow: So can we credit our President with saving countless more lives?


Bin Laden eyed US rails from his secret compound
AP


By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press Eileen Sullivan, Associated Press 15 mins ago


WASHINGTON Holed up in a compound in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden was scheming how to hit the United States hard again, according to newly uncovered documents that show al-Qaida plans for derailing an American train on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Details of the plan emerged Thursday as some of the first intelligence was gleaned from the trove of information found in bin Laden's residence when Navy SEALs killed the al-Qaida leader and four of his associates. They took his body and scooped up computers, DVDs and documents from the compound where U.S. officials think he had been living for as long as six years.

The confiscated materials reveal the rail attack planning as of February 2010. One idea outlined in handwritten notes was to tamper with an unspecified U.S. rail track so that a train would fall off the track at a valley or a bridge. Counterterrorism officials said they believe the plot was only in the initial planning stages, and there is no recent intelligence about any active plan for such an attack. The FBI and Homeland Security issued an intelligence bulletin with details of the plan to law enforcement around the country. The bulletin, marked "for official use only," was obtained by The Associated Press.

more...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110506/ap_on_re_us/us_bin_laden
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
1. As if the bathrooms on Amtrak trains aren't scary enough ! n/t
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Ikonoklast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 10:05 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. The real plan was to steal all of the TP from each train.
Pure evil, those guys are.
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 08:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. I gotta say, this is pretty lame for a 10-year anniversary. Osama really jumped the shark.
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Misdirected thinking
He must have thought that trains were as vital to the U.S. as they are to every civilized developed nation.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
9. Absolutely!
Super lame.
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leftynyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
12. Not really
If he had managed to get a bomb on a train and have it explode while in a tunnel or on a bridge, it would have killed hundreds, perhaps thousands.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Right, the right train on the right track would provide significant damage
Edited on Fri May-06-11 02:59 PM by elleng
to infrastructure as well as loss of life.

For those not familiar with the northeast corridor, see below. This diagram does not include DC, Maryland, Delaware, or north of NY to Boston.

Discussion here doesn't recognize effect on commerce of well-targeted rail damage. Freight rail is a HUGE sector of U.S. economy.

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leftynyc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. And that's just Amtrak and NJ Transit
We've also got the Long Island Railroad, Metro North Railroad and I have no idea how many miles of subway.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. Maybe 230 subway miles in NYC.
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NV Whino Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
4. Um, let's see...
that would kill about 50 people. Or am I over estimating? For someone who brought down two towers with 747s, that's pretty lame. Maybe he was suffering from dementia rather than kidney disease.
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:19 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. It's just so hard to get good help. Whoever takes over is gonna
need to replace the whole staff.
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admonish Donating Member (26 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. rail isn't about killing people
it's about killing the economy. bin laden was certainly not stupid, but the media certainly is. AQ knew they could not beat the West by engaging them straight up, but knew they could kill them economically through terror and if you haven't noticed, there has been numerous trillions spent since 9/11 (not including the wall street thieving). Rail is extremely important for the transportation of larger, heavier goods that can't be moved by air so well like autos and coal. By crippling the rail after slowing down your airline industry due to security concerns would be devastating to the global economy. AQ was/is the biggest threat to the global economy ever except for the wall street thieves that probably helped facilitate the biggest transfer of wealth in history.
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graywarrior Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. You are way too rational for here
Welcome, anyhow.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
15. ...
:thumbsup:
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:23 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. I agree. n/t
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 11:49 AM
Response to Original message
8. What does it take to derail a train?
Doesn't sound like AQ's usual style.
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admonish Donating Member (26 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 12:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Derailing a train is simple
...just explode a bomb in any one of 'em..or blow a piece of track and voila! - instant derailment of rail transportation and permanent security spending increases. I realize this whole "be vigilant" meme begins to wear after 10 years, but I hope we are all (even up here in the frozen north) continuing this behavior.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. So go out on the track and plant the bomb -
And this is AQ, who are willing to kill themselves to get it there.
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. It doesnt sound like Al Qaeda's style?!?!? They have executed major attacks on trains twice
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. I was thinking they were more on bigger dramatics, at least for the US
I had forgotten those two attacks. Thanks for the reminder.

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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
13. Wow...and that would have led to what, exactly?
Evidence of Qaeda's decline and growing irrelevancy, more than anything.
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stevenleser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:20 PM
Response to Original message
19. The responses of those pooh-poohing this attack concept are puzzling. Let me address some of the
comments.

#1 - Derailing a train going over a bridge is not going to "kill maybe 50 people". Trains can fit an average of around 80 people in one car and these trains have between 5-12 cars. Send an entire train over a bridge and you probably kill around 500 people.

#2 - The psychological and economic impact will be much greater. How do you secure all the rail in the country? Even just securing all the rail bridges in the country would be a very expensive and manpower intensive task. How would that impact people's willingness to travel by rail? Amtrak, which never seems to be doing particularly well financially, might be bankrupted by the afteraffects of such an attack. If Amtrak stops operating, the air routes in heavily traveled corredors and the highways would become more congested.

#3 - Of course, we would then have to respond militarily to such an attack, i.e. more wasted money.

#4 - Then there is what comes next. So once we have spent money responding, and securing the railways as we have the airports, what if Al Qaeda then attacks a shopping mall or another among difficult to secure sets of targets? And it is entirely reasonable to assume that their attack selection would proceed along those lines.

#5 - Would the markets take a nose dive after another attack? Probably. Would new job creation,weak as it is already, suffer? Absolutely.

This doesnt sound like a small thing to me.
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elleng Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Right, no small thing at all.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-06-11 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
24. Pretty dumb date, too
Obviously we'll be extra aware and vigilant for the 10th anniversary.

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