FBI Warns of Train Derailment Threat

Devices that could be used by terrorists to derail trains are being stolen from rail facilities around the country, the FBI warned today.

Nine derailers, a piece of railroad equipment used to derail train cars for safety purposes in railyards have been stolen recently, sources said, citing the FBI's weekly intelligence bulletin.

The theft of these items is strange since they are of little use outside of the rail industry, according to the bulletin.

Railroads have been targeted in the past by terrorists, the bulletin said.

It specifically mentioned the Oct. 1995 derailment of an Amtrak train in Hyder, Ariz. In that incident, one person was killed and 78 were injured when parts of the track were sabotaged. The FBI located a derail 50 miles from Hyder.

The bulletin does not mention a specific threat, and the FBI has no indication the derail thefts are related to terrorism. The bulletin is distributed weekly to 18,000 state and local law enforcement agencies around the United States.

The bureau has also warned in the past that railways and other mass conveyances could be terrorist targets.

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