NYC Subway Threat?:
Story here, via Drudge. Of course, it's hard to know right now if this is a false alarm or the real deal.
"MTA officials said they were unaware of the threat until alerted by a reporter."

10.6.2005 7:07pm
Goober (mail):
Yeah. This stinks. My 'favorite' bit is this:

"While the police department is taking the threat seriously, it is also urging the public not to be alarmed because -- while the source is credible -- the information has not been verified."

I have no idea what I'm supposed to conclude about a "credible" but not "verified" tip. Other than I'm walking home tonight and not carrying my bag with me.
10.6.2005 7:16pm
18 USC 1030 (mail):
I think Goober hit the nail on the head, but I'll word it this way: if the police are taking the threat seriously given its "unverified credibility," why shouldn't the people? Furthermore, if the people shouldn't be taking it seriously, why are the police? To tell someone: "there is a chance you may blow-up, but don't worry about it, we are looking into it; besides the information hasn't been verified yet" hints at some ignorance of the mayor towards human behavior. If you tell someone there is a chance he may blow-up, then tell him not to worry; HE IS GOING TO WORRY. That is human nature, when one hears they may be in danger, they translate that to "I am in danger."

Also, I am interested to find out the methodology surrounding the current searches. Is this going to be random searches upon a miniscule portion of commuters? That is a description of the subway searches executed over the summer in response to the London bombings. It seems to me, searching a small portion of riders, and increasing police presence will have the affect of lowering crime in the area such as pick-pocketing, however, I do not see that actually having any significant affect in reducing the possibility of a terrorist attack. In fact, I think, if the terrorists were planning an attack, execution of the attack while the mayor is promoting the current security measures would be high on their to-do list. Then, not only would they have the attack to instill fear, but the knowledge that the attack occurred while the city was under its highest security, giving the idea that the government cannot provide adequate protection. That, I believe is the reason for which security plans cannot serve the purpose of making people feel safe; rather, the plan must, to some degree, provide added security.
10.6.2005 7:40pm
18 USC 1030 (mail):
"hints at some ignorance of the mayor"

should have been

"hints at some ignorance on the part of the mayor"
10.6.2005 7:43pm
It's possible Bloomberg is just adopting Bush's reelection strategy.
10.6.2005 7:44pm
Justin (mail):
Wolf! Wolf!
10.6.2005 7:54pm
Here is a more detailed report. Appears to be credible and partially defused before the announcement.
10.6.2005 8:01pm
Per Son:
Wag the dog. Wag the dog.
10.6.2005 8:19pm
Dick King:
The statement that the police should take a given threat seriously but individual riders shouldn't is not intrinsically and obviously nonsensical.

Suppose the police know for sure that one randomly chosen person will be shot and killed on the subway that day unless they are stopped.

Should the police take this seriously? Yes, they should, that's their job. With the expenditure of a thousand man hours of effort they might be able to save a life, which is a good deal.

Should people take it seriously to the extent of avoiding the subway? Probably not, as the collective cost of ten million subway trips not taken probably exceeds one human life, as alternate transportation [walking on city streets, or automobile] is substantially more hazardous than subway riding, even with one death certain.

The people should, however, be on the lookout for the gunman and they should swarm him when he draws.

10.6.2005 8:46pm
Antonio Mendez (mail) (www):
As long as there is the religion of peace there will always be global threats to high volume subway stations.
10.6.2005 10:09pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Thanks to the "Bush Knew" crowd, if every threat like this isn't reported Bush will be blamed when it happens. And it will happen, right after the ACLU in conspiracy with a leftist despot on the bench ensure that no one can be searched on the subway. I rode the subway to school for 6 years and if they searched my bag every day I would not have cared. Even if I did, I'd surely care less than I would if I were sitting near the suicide bomber when he decides its time to get his 72 virgins.
10.7.2005 1:54am
18 USC 1030 (mail):

Perhaps, I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I do not believe it's nonsensical to expect the police to treat A threat seriously whilst expecting little concern from the public. However, in this situation, for this particular threat; I do. If one believes there is a prospect of an attack, whether or not they are told to ignore the threat or not, they most likely will consider the danger they may face and depending on the rationalization, alter their behavior.

I think your example is slightly different than the threat facing New York at the moment. The prospect of the loss of one life is far different than the prospect of the loss of life of all, or most riders of the subway. If the prospect is one person being killed if the killer is not stopped, a rider may consider the likelihood of their own demise based upon the number of riders on the subway. However, if the threat is, as it is in the article, the prospect of multiple bombers at multiple locations throughout the subway system, aimed at bombing entire trains; one would find the likelihood of their own demise far greater than the possibility of one person being killed by one killer in one location. Thus, the response would be different based upon the perception of the danger they may face.

The fact that the threat was a comprehensive attack upon the subway system, I believe demonstrates the need for the people to exercise caution and exhibit concern. This is not to say I do not believe people should ride the subway (they should), but to say people should most definitely keep an eye out for suspicious behavior. To expect people to ignore the threat and go on as though it were any other day is, in my opinion, nonsensical.
10.7.2005 3:22am
erp (mail):
There was an actual suicide bombing outside the football stadium of the University of Oklahoma that was greatly mitigated by an alert store manager who refused to sell fertilizer to a suspicious character. Nothing in the media about whether he called the authorities. If he did, they obviously didn't follow through and investigate because if they did, they would have found a lot of bomb makings in his apartment.

The suicide bomber had to use a less stable substance which blew up before he got into the stadium where he no doubt was headed to take lots more people with him to paradise.

So, if the media isn't interested in a real honest-to-good bombing in Oklahoma, why would they care about a potential bombing in New York City?

The compassionate left doesn't care how many people are killed, they only care that they can embarrass Bush and ideally harass him out of office.
10.7.2005 1:17pm
18 USC 1030 (mail):
I am concerned about this whole thing, DHS claims the threat has not been verified, yet, also says the threat has been averted in Iraq. If there was nothing verified, how was there something to avert? Also, why is there such a drastic deviation between the statments of DHS and NYC? NYC is treating this as a major threat, is this deserved; or are they merely trying to point at DHS in an attempt to gain more power via public opinion over DHS? It seems, DHS and NYC are in a fight for power and jurisdiction. I would hope these agencies learned something after 9/11 about sharing information and working together. Looking out for one's own agency, if putting the citizens at risk, ought not be tolerated in any circumstances. I don't care if they want to search every bag, so long as it is to protect us, and not for the agencies to use the public as pawns in a chess match for power
10.7.2005 3:38pm