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DATE=2/20/98
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-39041
TITLE=SUBWAY TERROR
BYLINE=ELAINE JOHANSON
DATELINE=NEW YORK
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 
INTRO:  THE SPECTER OF TERROR ON NEW YORK CITY SUBWAYS EMERGED 
THIS WEEK AFTER UNITED STATES LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS ARRESTED 
TWO MEN (IN NEVADA) FOR POSSESSION OF DEADLY BIOLOGICAL MATERIAL.
IT WAS INITIALLY REPORTED THAT NEW YORK WAS ON THEIR TARGET LIST.
THE REPORT WAS FALSE.  BUT BAD MEMORIES OF THE 1993 BOMBING OF 
THE WORLD TRADE CENTER HAVE SPURRED A NEW SURGE OF INTEREST IN 
SECURITY.  VOA CORRESPONDENT ELAINE JOHANSON REPORTS FROM NEW 
YORK:
TEXT:  NEW YORK CITY SUBWAYS ARE REBOUNDING FROM YEARS OF BAD 
PRESS AND, FRANKLY, BAD SERVICE.  THE VAST SYSTEM IS SAID TO HAVE
DRAWN OVER ONE BILLION RIDERS LAST YEAR -- THE MOST IN 25 YEARS.
THE TRAINS SEEM CLEANER.  THE SCHEDULE -- MORE ACCOMMODATING.  
SUBWAY CRIME IS REPORTED DOWN.
SO, IT WAS WITH SOME TREPIDATION THAT NEW YORK SUBWAY RIDERS 
HEARD ABOUT A POSSIBLE BACTERIAL ATTACK.  MAYOR RUDOLPH GIULIANI 
QUICKLY DISPELLED THE RUMORS.  BUT HE CONCEDED NO ONE IS TREATING
LIGHTLY -- EVEN A FALSE REPORT -- OF POTENTIAL BIOLOGICAL 
TERRORISM DIRECTED AT THOUSANDS OF UNDERGROUND NEW YORK 
COMMUTERS.
JERRY HAUER -- WHO RUNS NEW YORK'S OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
-- SAYS OFFICIALS AND EXPERTS HAVE PRACTICED LIFESAVING 
PROCEDURES COUNTLESS TIMES:     
                          //HAUER ACT//
         IT'S NOT A RED-LIGHTS AND SIRENS RESPONSE.  WITH MOST 
         BIOLOGICAL AGENTS YOU REALLY WOULDN'T KNOW UNTIL AFTER 
         THE RELEASE.  SO YOU HAVE A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY TO 
         IDENTIFY IT AND THEN DEAL WITH IT.  AND THAT WOULD BE 
         DEPENDING ON THE NATURE OF THE AGENT ANYWHERE FROM ONE 
         TO SIX OR SEVEN DAYS.  SO WE'VE ADDRESSED THAT AND WE 
         CONTINUE TO TEST IT...AND I'M VERY COMFORTABLE THAT NEW 
         YORK IS VERY WELL PREPARED FOR THESE KINDS OF INCIDENTS.
                           //END ACT//
SECURITY EXPERT ROBERT CASTELLI OF NEW YORK'S JOHN JAY COLLEGE 
AGREES NEW YORK CITY IS AS PREPARED AS ANY MAJOR CITY CAN BE, 
MAYBE EVEN MORE THAN MOST.  BUT HE CAUTIONS AGAINST 
OVER-CONFIDENCE:
                        //CASTELLI ACT//
         BASED UPON THE WORLD TRADE CENTER BOMBING, WE IN NEW 
         YORK AND THE UNITED STATES GOT A WAKE-UP CALL AND AS A 
         RESULT OF WHICH MAYOR GIULIANI AND HIS ADMINISTRATION 
         TOOK THE NECESSARY STEPS TO BEEF UP (IMPROVE) OUR 
         SECURITY.  HAVING SAID THAT, I DON'T KNOW IF ANY CITY 
         TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM AS MASSIVE AS THAT WHICH EXISTS IN
         NEW YORK CITY IS CAPABLE OF BEING SECURED COMPLETELY.
                           //END ACT//
PROFESSOR CASTELLI SAYS COOPERATION AMONG U-S LAW ENFORCEMENT 
AGENCIES TO INVESTIGATE POTENTIAL ACTS OF TERRORISM IS VERY GOOD.
BUT HE NOTES OPEN, DEMOCRATIC SOCIETIES CANNOT PROVIDE IRON-CLAD 
GUARANTEES:
                        //CASTELLI ACT//
         THE FACT IS WE LIVE IN A FREE SOCIETY AND IN A FREE 
         SOCIETY THAT IS NON-RESTRICTIVE THERE IS ALWAYS THE 
         POSSIBILITY THAT A RANDOM ACT OF VIOLENCE OR TERRORISM 
         CAN TAKE PLACE.  AND, ALTHOUGH BETWEEN OUR COLLECTIVE 
         STATE, FEDERAL AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT COMMUNITY WE 
         HAVE A NUMBER OF PLANS IN EFFECT TO PRO-ACTIVELY 
         INVESTIGATE AND WEED OUT POTENTIAL TERRORISM THREATS, IT
         WOULD BE NAIVE TO THINK THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO 
         CATCH EVERYONE IN THAT NET.
                           //END ACT//
LAST AUGUST, POLICE BROKE UP A SUSPECTED PLOT TO PLACE A BOMB AT 
ONE OF THE BUSIEST STATIONS OF THE NEW YORK SUBWAY SYSTEM.  THEY 
WORKED ON A TIP.  TWO MEN WITH JORDANIAN PASSPORTS WERE ARRESTED 
AND CHARGED.
GOOD INVESTIGATIVE WORK AND CONSTANT VIGILANCE...EXPERTS AGREE 
THESE ARE THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS OF ANY PLAN AGAINST 
TERRORISM.  NEW YORK OFFICIALS SAY THE CITY HAS BEEN DOING AN 
EFFICIENT JOB IN THE BATTLE AGAINST TERRORISM SINCE THAT FRIDAY 
IN 1993, WHEN THE SMOKE AND BLOOD OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER 
BOMBING REMINDED NEW YORKERS OF THEIR VULNERABILITY. (SIGNED)
NEB/NY/EJ/LSF/PLM 
  
    
20-Feb-98 4:09 PM EST (2109 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
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