From the Newswire: FBI issues warning about possible terror attack on railroads The FBI has issued a warning to state and local law enforcement nationwide about a possible terrorist attack against railroads, which has prompted Amtrak and freight railroads to beef up security. The warning, issued Wednesday but announced Thursday, was based in part on information obtained from Al Qaeda prisoners who said that terrorists may try to cause derailments by destroying or damaging strategic rail infrastructure such as bridges. Detainees said the terror group has considered directly targeting passenger trains, possibly using operatives who have a Western appearance, the FBI said. Hazardous materials shipments also may be targeted, the FBI said. “Recently captured al-Qa'ida photographs of U.S. railroad engines, cars, and crossings heighten the intelligence community's concern of this threat,” the FBI said. The Department of Transportation security staff, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Federal Railroad Administration have worked closely with the American Association of Railroads to review the current threat data for rails and to implement enhanced rail security measures. “Recognizing the importance of the freight railroads to the nation’s economy and military preparedness, the Association of American Railroads last year implemented a comprehensive security plan based on a thorough risk analysis of the industry,” said AAR president Edward R. Hamberger in a statement, released today. “We continue to work closely with the U.S. Department of Transportation and federal intelligence agencies to ensure that our current security actions are commensurate with the threat.” “Increased security actions include a 24/7 operations center that provides a secure communications link between railroad control centers and the appropriate transportation and law enforcement agencies; restricted access to railroad facilities and equipment; heightened employee awareness, and increased surveillance of critical infrastructure.” On Tuesday, AAR and DOT held a security briefing for members' law enforcement chiefs about the current threat information and coordinated implementation of enhanced security measures. Amtrak has increased patrolling of its facilities and trains and all freight rail implemented additional security measures. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge was contacting state and local officials to urge their help and vigilance in preventing such an attack. Despite the warning, the overall terror alert system remained at yellow.