Free Report: Addressing High-Speed Rail Security in the US
Mineta Transportation Institute’s terrorism expert Brian Michael Jenkins leads investigation into attacks, offers analysis and strategies
SAN JOSE, Calif., April 29, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — As high-speed rail (HSR) planning in the U.S. comes closer to reality, issues regarding security become more critical. To help identify and address those issues, the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) has just published a research report, Formulating a Strategy for Securing High-Speed Rail in the United States. MTI is a transportation policy research center created by congress in 1991 and affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University. The report’s principal investigator Brian Michael Jenkins and his team offer an analysis of information relating to attacks, attempted attacks, and plots against HSR systems. The report is available for free download at http://transweb.sjsu.edu/project/1026.html.
The report draws upon empirical data from MTI’s proprietary Database of Terrorist and Serious Criminal Attacks against Public Surface Transportation and from reviews of selected HSR systems, including onsite observations. The report also examines the history of safety accidents and other HSR incidents that resulted in fatalities, injuries, or extensive asset damage to examine the inherent vulnerabilities and strengths of HSR systems and how these might affect the consequences of terrorist attacks.
“We divided this study into three parts,” said Mr. Jenkins. “First, we examined security principles and measurements. Then we conducted an empirical examination of 33 attacks against HSR targets, plus a comparison of attacks against HSR targets with those against non-HSR targets. And finally, we examined 73 safety incidents on 12 HSR systems. The purpose of this study is to develop an overall strategy for HSR security and to identify measures that could be applied to HSR systems currently under development in the United States.”
MTI expects that the report will provide useful guidance to governmental authorities and to operators of current and future HSR systems. It was co-authored by Chris Kozub, Bruce R. Butterworth, Renee Haider, and Jean-Francois Clair.
HSR has seen comparatively few attacks.
While terrorist attacks aimed at trains and buses have increased over the past several decades, very few attacks have targeted HSR. To gain possible insights into the consequences of successful terrorist attacks against this travel mode, Mr. Jenkins said, this inquiry includes accidents and other HSR incidents that have resulted in injuries, fatalities, or extensive asset damage.
“The objective of the research is not to dictate security regimes,” he said. “Rather, it is to distill lessons from the history of accidents and terrorist attacks; to review security measures at existing HSR systems; to explore security-regime options; and to suggest principles for an overall security strategy.”
The report notes that now is the right time to initiate a discussion, as new HSR systems are being designed and built. This report is intended to inform that discussion by addressing several questions, including: Does HSR merit more security or different security measures than other passenger rail? Is it appropriate to consider reducing security for non-HSR passenger rail? What threats drive security concerns? What can be learned from HSR security in Europe and Japan? Several other questions also are addressed.
The report includes 15 figures, including several route maps specific to the incidents, and 11 tables, including HSR attacks by country, HSR bomb attacks by outcome, HSR incidents involving fatalities, and more.
Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under Award Number 2008-ST-061-TS0004.
Disclaimer: The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies, either expressed or implied, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
ABOUT THE MINETA TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE (MTI):
MTI conducts research, education, and information transfer programs focusing on surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. MTI was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and won national re-designation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2011. The Institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through Caltrans, and public and private grants. In 2006 the US Department of Homeland Security selected MTI as a National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. Visit transweb.sjsu.edu
ABOUT THE PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Brian Michael Jenkins is an international authority on terrorism and sophisticated crime. He directs MTI’s National Transportation Safety and Security Center, which focuses on research into protecting surface transportation against terrorist attacks. He is also a senior advisor to the president of RAND. From 1989-98, Mr. Jenkins was deputy chairman of Kroll Associates, an international investigative and consulting firm. Before that, he was chairman of RAND’s Political Science Department, where he also directed research on political violence. He has authored several books, chapters, and articles on counterterrorism, including International Terrorism: A New Mode of Conflict and Will Terrorists Go Nuclear? Most recently, he published When Armies Divide, a discussion about nuclear arms in the hands of rebelling armies.
Contact: Donna Maurillo
MTI Communications Director
donna.maurillo (at) sjsu.edu
SOURCE Mineta Transportation Institute