D.C. Metro plot reminder of inherent threats to public transportation
WASHINGTON—Although federal officials have arrested a man accused of attempting to bomb subway stations in the Washington Metro system, the threats to public transportation remain high. And they will always remain high, regardless of the resources allotted to securing public transportation, said Tom Ridge.
Ridge, the first Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, discussed the public transportation security during an event hosted by the Homeland Security Policy Institute event on Nov. 1.
“I think public transportation has been and will continue to be a challenge,” Ridge said. “There’s a certain amount of security measures you can embed before you compromise the purpose and utility of public transportation.”
While Ridge said the Department of Homeland Security will always strive to use the best technology possible and will have increasingly sensitive detectors that can identify threats, the public needs to understand the inherent risks to public transportation. “Even in a perfect system, we aren’t able to avoid a terrorist attack,” he said. “If one occurs we’ll deal with it, but let’s take operational security to a level that doesn’t compromise whatever that public transportation mode is. We have to accept some level of risk—that is the new norm.”