The Challenge of Protecting Transit and Passenger Rail: Understanding How Security Works Against Terrorism

MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE releases MTI Report 12-74 Detailing the following excerpts

“In response to the threat that terrorists may attack anywhere, members of the public have been mobilized to bring suspicious behavior or objects to the attention of the authorities”.

“Security measures should aim for a net security benefit. Increasing security in order to merely displace the risk from one target to another, while necessary in special circumstances, offers little net security benefit. This argues against disruptive and costly  security efforts to protect public places”.

“Nevertheless, security measures have demonstrable utility. They can create operational problems for would-be attackers; affect terrorist target selection; reduce terrorist effectiveness; uncover explosive devices; detect weapons; assist authorities in quickly diagnosing and responding to attacks; help to quickly identify and apprehend perpetrators, thereby preventing further planned attacks; and facilitate rapid removal of innocent individuals from harm’s way”.

“Enlisting the public in security demonstrably works. One security measure that can be
quantified and that appears to work in the area of surface-transportation security is enlisting staff and the public to call attention to suspicious behavior and objects. Public awareness in the United Kingdom seems to have helped in identifying explosive devices placed by the IRA. According to the MTI database, warnings by staff, on-scene security personnel, and passengers prevented 11 percent of terrorist bombings in Europe”.

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