12.17.17

SCHUMER REVEALS: FEDS POSSESS TECHNOLOGY TO HELP DETECT SUICIDE VESTS IN SUBWAYS, TRAIN STATIONS & AIRPORTS – BUT WITHOUT MORE TESTS, LIFE-SAVING, TERROR-PREVENTING TECHNOLOGY COULD SIT IN LIMBO FOR YEARS; SENATOR URGES TSA TO PARTNER WITH TRANSIT AGENCIES, BRING NEXT-GEN TECH TO NYC FOR TESTS & SPEED UP PLANS TO ADOPT NATIONALLY

Amidst New ISIS Threat To NYC & On Heels Of Last Week’s Failed Terror Attack In Subway, Schumer Says Feds Must Rigorously Test Bomb Detection Technology In NYC & Speed-Up Adoption Of Machines That Should Be Placed In Some Of NYC’s Busiest Transit Hubs, Like Subways, Penn Station & Airports

TSA Has Been Working On The Technology Since 2004 With Partners Like Amtrak & NJT; Schumer Says, Given Era Of Terror & Lone Wolves, Feds Must Put Device That Can Detect Suicide Vests On The Fast-Track

Schumer: The Time To Deploy This Explosive Detection Technology To NYC Is Now

Amidst a brand new ISIS threat to New York City and on the heels of last week’s 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, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer is revealing that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) possesses a technology to help detect suicide vests or other strapped-to-the-body explosive devices before they detonate. Schumer lauded the new technology, and is now calling on the TSA to formally test it in New York City. Schumer also urged an accelerated effort by the Feds to deliver these devices to law enforcement and transit agencies for use in the city’s busiest transit hubs.

“The fact that we have this new, potentially life-saving technology at our fingertips – an ability to detect concealed explosives worn by cowards looking to do us harm – demands the federal government put both the testing and the perfecting of this technology on the fast-track. We not only want these devices in America’s busiest cities, like New York, but we need them here,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “So, today, I am urging the TSA to bring these devices to New York City, test them in our subways, in Penn Station, in our airports, and, if they work as well as touted, 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 comes amidst a brand new ISIS threat to New York where attacks were threatened and New York City was named, Manhattan specifically. The latest ISIS message showed images of Times Square and what media reports referred to as a bomb belt and a detonator. The message made specific and graphic threats against New York City. Schumer’s push also comes on the heels of 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.   

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.  The technology has already been used to help secure large-scale events, like the Super Bowl, but has not yet been permanently utilized at transit hubs and other soft-targets. Rather, the TSA continues to the equipment at transit hubs. For instance, this week, the TSA began testing the screening equipment at Los Angeles’ 7th Street Metro Station downtown. 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.   

Given an era of terror and lone wolves, Schumer today urged the TSA to speed up plans and deploy the screening technology to transit hubs across the nation, and specifically here in New York, where he wants it tested. 

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