Metro, Subways & Underground Train Stations

Often referred to as subways or undergrounds, as of May 2013 there are 188 Metro systems in 54 countries in the world. The total number of stations is 9,500 and 35 new Metro systems are planned to open by 2019 including 12 in China. Today, turnstiles are used for payment verification and passenger counting but not for detection, identification, or control of potential attackers. Given the tremendous traffic rates experienced by Metro systems at peak periods, a high traffic portal is a must. While no major Metro attack has occurred in the US so far, they have occurred in Tokyo, London, and multiple times in Russia.

The Mineta Transportation Institute recently reported that the following 15 terrorist plots, including 7 in the US, were foiled by government agents:

1997 – Flatbush plot (New York)
2002 – Poison gas on London Underground plot
2003 – Heathrow Express ricin plot (London)
2003 – New York subway poison gas plot
2004 – London Tube poison gas plot
2004 – Herald Square bomb plot (New York)
2005 – Attempted train and bus bombings in London
2005 – Melbourne and Sydney terrorist plots
2006 – Milan Metro bomb plot
2006 – PATH tunnel plot (New York)
2006 – Attempted German train bombings (Cologne)
2008 – Barcelona Metro bomb plot
2008 – Bryant Neal Vinas case (New York)
2009 – Zazi bomb plot (New York)
2010 – Washington Metro bomb plot (Washington, D.C.)

Should an attack occur in the US, it is expected that a major effort would take place to screen Metro passengers for threats.

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