Metra Officials Talk to TSA About Al-Qaida Threats



Newly uncovered documents show al-Qaida planned to derail an American train on the upcoming 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

In the wake of that news, Metra officials said they have been in contact with the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security regarding those threats.

Details of the plan emerged after some of the first intelligence was gleaned from information found in al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden's residence in Pakistan after Navy SEALs killed him. The confiscated materials reveal the rail attack planning as of February 2010. One idea outlined in handwritten notes was to tamper with an unspecified 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.

Tom Miller, a spokesman for Metra, said the agencyis aware of the threat, adding Metra will take additional measures to ensure commuters are safe.

"We have been on heightened security since 9/11, but we'll take additional measures both behind the scenes and publicly," he said.

Miller said additional officers will be stationed at train stations and on trains to protect commuters. They have also urged passengers to tell crew members if they see anything out of the ordinary.

"Our security teams will also remain in contact with TSA and Homeland Security for information as its released," he said.

* Daily Herald news services contributed to this report.

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