Security Concerns Arise After Group Of Men Sneak Into Tunnel Near Second Avenue Subway Project

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Rail riders are now more on edge than ever after two major security breaches over the weekend which come just days after officials warned that al-Qaeda could be targeting trains across the nation.

In one instance, a man reportedly jumped into the PATH tunnel at the World Trade Center station early Sunday and walked two miles underground. When police caught him emerging in Jersey City the man claimed to have planted a bomb on the tracks.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: MTA Chairman Jay Walder Said Security Will Be Beefed Up

In an unrelated incident, four men in their 20s sneaked underground into the Second Avenue Subway tunnel just before dawn Sunday, officials said.

MTA Chairman Jay Walder said the men climbed into an unused underground tunnel which is not conncted to the rest of the transit system or part of the current Second Avenue project. The tunnel, built in the 1970s, is just north of the area which is currently under construction.

The men reportedly told police officers they were members of an “urban explorers” group and were planning on setting off Roman candles to light up the tunnel to take pictures.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond With Comment From Police Commissioner Ray Kelly

The men have been charged with criminal trespass.

“There is no tolerance for any of this,” Walder said. “In these difficult times there is nothing at all humorous about these types of situations. It’s something we do take seriously.”

Last week, intelligence seized during Sunday’s raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound revealed a plan in the works to target the nation’s rail system, possibly on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Federal officials said there was no evidence the plot ever fully got off the ground but the FBI and Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin, putting security teams and commuters on alert.

It’s all enough to make passengers more than a little anxious.

“It’s very unnverving cause I ride the train everyday, my sister rides the train, sometimes my wife rides the train,” Matt Newell said. “I don’t want to have to call my wife at the end of the day and say ‘I can’t come home some crazy person blew up the train.'”

“When something happens people will get more serious, it would be nice if people would get a little more serious before something happens,” Lee Berthelsen, of Oceanside, said.

Sen. Charles Schumer has suggested a “no-ride” list, similar to a “no-fly” list. He says if used properly it’s a valuable tool that would cost virtually nothing yet increase security on the rails dramatically. 

If convicted, what is the appropriate punishment for these “urban explorers?” Sound off below

  • Russel

    One commentator said that “we are at war!” He is correct. In a war everyone who commits an act of aggression is the enemy. And in war it is legal and appropriate to defend both yourself and your country. And this includes defense using deadly force. Therefore, tresspass into a subway or train tunnel is clearly an act of aggression and these people should be executed. I know this sounds radical, and prior to 9-11 I would NEVER have suggested such extreme punishment for something that then appeared to be innocent foolishness. Everyone is well aware of the threats against the United States and if anyone wants to be stupid enough to even give the impression that they are hostile needs to be executed – on the spot. Do that a few times and no one will do these dumb things again.

  • lizzie

    In case you haven’t noticed WE ARE AT WAR!!!!!!!!!! It’s a different world, with different rules, what you thought you new (just throw it out the window) watch your back, trust no none, in fact I feel empowered, it only makes me want to fight for our freedoms EVEN MORE! Don’t be afraid – we are much stronger than them and a hell of a lot smarter!!!

  • Danny A

    One word describes people who do things like jump into a tunnel knowing full well their going to cause disruptive behavior, “IDIOTS”! Not only should they get charged with breaking the law but they should also be forced to pay fo police that had to pull them out.

    • jerseybound

      private contractors are the primary round the clock securiity at path stops since 9-11 the PA police have lost their posts even at WTC -HOB and other main terminals budget cuts overtime ect , so we go with the lowest bidder , we`ve been let down by these contractors over and over ( remember sleeping at GWB), there are many other examples . we will wait for something major to occur before this gets truly taken seriously , the politics of the govenors doesn`t even matter on this topic .



  • smjanicak

    we allneed to be ON GAURD in these times. my last flight I was taken to the ONE ON ONE ROOM, AND IT DID NOT BOTHER ME,,,, WHY SHOULD IT BOTHER ANY ONE ELSE??????????????

    • Michael H.

      Why should it bother me to be taken to the one on one room to be searched? There is something in this country called “innocent until proven guilty”. I’ve done nothing wrong, so why am I being harassed by people barely qualified to tie their own shoelaces.

  • signalhelper

    The Inspector General of the MTA back in Febraury 2011 became aware of a Human Resource officer selling job positions at the transit. This woman claims to be of India descent? Can we be sure of hiring at MTA and other transportation facilities have not been compromised?

  • kendra

    i am getting scarred because i usually try and take the trains i am in a rush i guess iam going to learn how to fly through the air cause of the 10 year old terriost attackd that happened about 10 yrs ago to date.maybe i should just take the bus for now on.

  • O.Ladipo

    You people are just about beginning to trip into ‘paranoia’ and ‘sleepless!’ OBL has left more, much more challenges with his demise! Sad, please do right, take the wind out of the sails of the cause he claims to represent, and let’s prepare for the next challenge! Give the Palestinians their homeland, as spelt out by the rest of the world in UN resolutions passed, and vetoed by the US! Please! As to the people, take them to court, that’s the only institution with rights to try anyone, NOT an OPINION POLL!

    • Pic-WishWednesdays*

      Dear O.Ladio…

      Do you have to take the train to work every day. That’s all this article is discussing. Please keep your opinions to yourself if you don’t like hearing others opinions yourself.

      We are at war, and reports like this will help to let it sink into our brains a bit instead of remaining in denial.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live