Heightened rail security recommended due to possible terrorist attack

The Slovak Transport Ministry is recommending that railway companies heighten their vigilance due to the threat of a terrorist attack against European railways, although the ministry does not have any information that would indicate increased security risks at Slovak railways.

The Slovak Transport Ministry is recommending that railway companies heighten their vigilance due to the threat of a terrorist attack against European railways, although the ministry does not have any information that would indicate increased security risks at Slovak railways.

Citing security sources, German daily newspaper Bild reported early Monday that terrorist network Al-Qaeda is planning attacks against bullet trains in Europe. The warning supposedly came from the US National Security Agency (NSA), which intercepted a telephone call weeks ago between key members of Al-Qaeda, according to which the organisation is planning terrorist attacks against European railways. This prompted German security bodies as well as a number of railway operators across Europe to declare a state of emergency. Security experts expect terrorists to attempt to target railway tracks, overhead lines or plant explosives on trains, tunnels or routes.

“None of the available operational intelligence indicates that something extraordinary is likely to take place in Slovakia,” Transport Ministry spokesman Martin Kóňa told the TASR newswire on Monday, August 19. “Despite this, we chose to recommend all railway companies to heighten their vigilance. Therefore, aside from state-owned railway passenger carrier ZSSK, freight carrier Cargo and infrastructure owner ŽSR, we recommend increased security measures in the operation of trains also for private passenger carrier RegioJet,” he concluded.

“In the case of any emergency, ŽSR has developed a system of organisational-personnel measures and a warning system that we won't detail due to security concerns,” said ŽSR spokesperson Martina Pavlíková.

The Sme daily reported in its Tuesday issue that the Slovak Information Service, the local intelligence service, claimed that there was currently no imminent threat for Slovakia.

(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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