BETHLEHEM, PA – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, today issued the following statement regarding the arrest of naturalized citizen Farooque Ahmed, who is accused of planning an attack on the Washington, DC metro system:
“First and foremost, good police work clearly remains a cornerstone for disrupting domestic terror plots. I commend the federal, state and local authorities involved in this case and applaud their efforts to prevent an attack on the Nation’s second largest transit system, especially in light of this weekend's Marine Corps Marathon.
We must continue to prevent domestic terrorist attempts like this by improving cooperation between the intelligence community and law enforcement officials at every level of government, establishing a risk-based approach to security, and enhancing public preparedness.
The arrest of Farooque Ahmed reminds us of two troubling trends in the United States: growing domestic jihadist activity and the increased targeting of mass transit and rail systems. I have long advocated for devoting greater federal attention to protect these critical components of our national infrastructure and ensure the safety of the traveling public.
In June 2009, I helped usher the Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act (H.R. 2200) to passage in the House of Representatives. H.R. 2200 includes important provisions to bolster the security of our national surface transportation infrastructure and would require the Transportation Security Administration to examine the need for additional surface transportation security inspectors, as well as increase the number of canine teams in our subway systems to identify explosive threats.”