AFTER SCHUMER PUSH, NEW BOMB DETECTION TECHNOLOGY IS NOW ON THE WAY TO NEW YORK’S PENN STATION FOR TESTING; LIFE-SAVING, TERROR-PREVENTING TECHNOLOGY CAN HELP LAW ENFORCEMENT DETECT SUICIDE VESTS IN NEW YORK CITY’S BUSIEST TRANSIT HUBS—AND SAVE LIVES
Following Last Year’s Failed Terror Attack In The Subway, Schumer Urged Feds To Bring Bomb Detection Technology In NYC & Speed-Up Adoption Of Machines That Should Be Placed In NYC’s Subways, Train Stations & Airports; TSA Has Been Working on Technology Since 2004
Given Era Of Terror & Lone Wolves, Schumer Says Testing Of Next-Gen Technology In Penn Station Is A Sign That Technology Is Finally Advancing
Schumer: Feds Doing Right Thing By Agreeing To Test This Technology In New York City
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer today announced that, following his public push, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will test new bomb detection technology to Penn Station, beginning tomorrow. Last year, following an attempted subway terror attack, where Bangladesh native Akayed Ullah strapped an “improvised low-tech explosive device attached to his body” with zip ties and velcro, Schumer explained that the TSA possesses a technology to help detect suicide vests or other strapped-to-the-body explosive devices before they detonate, however, it had not yet been formally tested in New York City. Schumer argued this past December that New York City should be the next location tested and he announced today that the TSA has heeded his call and will deliver these devices to New York’s busiest transit hub for testing, tomorrow.
“At long last and at not a moment too soon, the TSA has agreed to bring this new, potentially life-saving technology to New York City and Penn Station for testing, and so we thank the TSA for heeding the call,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “When I made the push to bring this technology to New York City it was because we need to put it on the fast-track and we need to perfect it, because if it works, this is where we want it: in New York City’s busiest transit hubs. The ability to detect concealed explosives worn by cowards looking to do us harm – demands the federal government continue to put both the testing and the perfecting of this technology on the fast-track. America’s busiest cities, like New York, are the places where these devices will save lives, and if they work as well as touted, we must pursue an expedited seal of approval that gives all of us another layer of security to fend off would be lone wolf terror. As the threats we face evolve our preparedness and response must evolve as well to remain a step ahead of evil doers.”
Schumer’s push for these devices last year followed the failed terror attack of December 11th, when 27 year-old Akayed Ullah detonated a concealed explosive device in the city subway, only seriously injuring himself. As well as the recent lone wolf terrorist truck attack along the West Side bike path that left 8 dead and more injured. Given an era of terror and lone wolves, Schumer publicly urged the TSA to speed up plans and deploy the screening technology to transit hubs across the nation, and specifically here in New York. Schumer said this technology could have helped detect the pipe bomb used in this week’s terror attack at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.
According to the TSA, a new screening technology, known as Stand Off Explosive Detection Technology, will help law enforcement officials detect hidden explosives and whether an individual is wearing a suicide vest. According to the TSA, as an individual passes by the device, it can detect the presence of a potential threat object by passively assessing naturally occurring emissions from the human body. If it identifies the presence of a potential threat it will alarm on the operator’s laptop used to control the device. The TSA says the device can be used by transit agencies, like those that oversee the subways and train stations, to detect potential threats..
Since 2004, the TSA has been working on the technology with transit agencies like Amtrak and the New Jersey Transit. And while the technology has already been used to help secure large-scale events, like the Super Bowl, it has not yet been permanently utilized at transit hubs and other soft-targets. This spurred Schumer to demand the TSA test the technology in New York City. It has already been reported that the TSA began testing the screening equipment at Los Angeles’ 7th Street Metro Station downtown, as well. Schumer pointed out there could be several variations of this technology that exist and therefore it is critical for TSA to help local transit agencies examine the best options to address the vulnerability and circumvention of suicide vests and bodily-attached explosives as soon as possible.
Schumer said he hopes the TSA will continue to try out this technology and keep New York City on the rotation for further testing.