As an intelligence professional, I understand that NSA really doesn’t care what you do with your life as long as it does not deal with terrorism. Such is the case with the recent disclosure that, through monitoring of communications, NSA discovered that Al Qaeda is/was planning a terrorist attack on high speed trains in Europe.
As a result, at least Germany is stepping up security on their rail system. This leads me to another point that seems to come up again and again on this web page. If Al Qaeda is planning an attack against the rail system in Europe, well guess what, they are most likely doing the same against the U.S. Intelligence says that they are doing just that. So, what have we done? We may be doing things undercover, but our opinion is most likely not. We have not seen a true outreach to local law enforcement to train them what to look for. Lets be honest here, railroad police are spread out very thin and it will be local law enforcement or the trained volunteer “citizen on patrol” that will see the intelligence tipper that attack planning is in the intelligence collection phase. Once it gets past the intelligence collection phase there is a very strong possibility that the attack is going to be completed. So, lets start to increase the outreach to the local law enforcement community and provide the much needed training on what to look for on the tracks.