July 27, 2005

NY subway adds more security after London bombs

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seats on New York subways will be
locked to prevent objects being placed underneath them,
authorities said on Wednesday in the latest increase to
security here after the recent London bombings.

The locking of compartments under seats on about 1,500 of
the subway system's older carriages comes after the July 7
bombings in London of three subways and a bus, which killed
more than 50 people.

Other security measures taken since the July 7 attack and
another series of explosions on London's transit system two
weeks later include searching bags carried by commuters on
public transport in New York and New Jersey.

"On some of our older cars there are bench seats and they
do open," said Deirdre Parker, a spokesperson with New York
City Transit on Wednesday.

"We have been working on this for several months, for
security reasons and safety," she added.

Separately, New York's Daily News newspaper reported that
New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority is keeping a
secret database of people stopped and questioned for filming or
photographing bridges and tunnels. An MTA official did not
return calls for comment.

New York authorities began randomly searching bags of
subway passengers on Friday in the aftermath of a second set of
London bombings. On Monday the practice was expanded to include
New Jersey trains and buses.

That initiative has drawn criticism from the New York Civil
Liberties Union, which says such searches could invite the
targeting of certain people for racial, ethnic or religious

New York has been on high alert for another attack since
Sept. 11, 2001, when hijacked planes destroyed the World Trade
Center's twin towers, killing almost 3,000 people.