Morning Security Brief: Bomb Plot Foiled, Subway Crash, Transportation Protocols, and More
Police have foiled a teenager's elaborate plan to kill his family and bomb his high school, more than 200 people were injured after two subway trains collided in Seoul, the GAO says HAZMAT transportation protocols should be reviewed, and more.
► Minnesota police on Thursday announced that they prevented an “unimaginable tragedy” after they learned of a 17-year-old boy’s plans to kill his family and bomb the local high school. According to the Ottowa Citizen, the suspect was arrested earlier this week after a resident reported a suspicious person at a self-storage facility. “This is a classic example of citizens doing the right thing in calling the police when things seem out of place,” Capt. Kris Markeson said. The teenager told police he planned to shoot his parents and sister, start a fire in a rural field to distract first responders, and set off pressure-cooker bombs in the school cafeteria. He told officers that in the chaos, he would throw Molotov cocktails and gun down as many students as he could, and hoped that a SWAT team would kill him. Officials found a large stockpile of weapons, ammunition, and bombs in the suspect’s possession, as well as a 180-page notebook referencing the Columbine, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook shootings.
►More than 200 people were injured Friday in Seoul, South Korea, after a subway train plowed into the back of another train, according to The Washington Post. A preliminary investigation shows that the train’s automatic distance control system failed. The moving train’s driver told officials that he saw a stop signal and applied the emergency brake, but wasn’t able to stop in time. There were long delays in providing passengers with instructions and assistance directly after the crash, according to local media outlets.
►Over 3 billion tons of HAZMAT are transported by commercial carriers in the U.S. each year, and the high risk shipment handling is governed by multiple civilian and government agencies, including the Department of Transportation and Department of Defense. But the complex web of regulations may take a toll on the safe, timely transportation of the material, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Thursday. The GAO's findings included the improper documentation and packaging of HAZMAT, leading to 27 percent of all shipments being delayed over the past five years. Facilities did not provide commercial carriers with secure hold areas for certain cargo as required by the DOD, and many carriers lack sufficient safety performance data to reliably determine whether they should transport hazardous material.
►In other news, air traffic controllers were unaware that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had disappeared from the radar for 17 minutes, according to government documents released Thursday. Officials did not launch an official search and rescue mission until four hours later, the report stated. Microsoft has issued a fix for the Internet Explorer security flaw that made Department of Homeland Security officials recommend not using the browser. The fix should be installed immediately for users who have automatic updates turned on, and Microsoft officials encouraged all users to make sure they install the fix.