Report: Ferries Remain Vulnerable to Attacks

Monday, July 10, 2006
The Advance reported that while terrorist attacks on Staten Island's bridges would be difficult, experts say, the Staten Island Ferry remains a high-profile, vulnerable target. Harvey Kushner, a Long Island University professor of criminal justice and a federal government counterterrorism adviser, said the payoff for terrorists would be the sea disaster spectacle value. Officials said city ferries remain vulnerable despite the post-9/11 ban on trucks and cars. Instead of using car or truck bombs to attack the ferries, terrorists simply could send suicide bombers aboard the boats posing as passengers, it was explained.

Police and Coast Guard officials have beefed up security on the ferries since 9/11. The NYPD assigned additional officers to patrol the boats and the ferry terminals. Also, on a random basis, the Coast Guard has provided vessel escorts for the commuter boats.

Attempting to bring down the bridges with bombs also would be difficult, because it would mean wrapping individual cables with explosives, according to experts. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Vito Fossella (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) both called last week's report of a terrorist plot to bomb the Holland Tunnel a warning for U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff to stop cutting the city's counterterrorism funding. Source: Advance

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