Report: Al-Qaeda Targeted Brooklyn Bridge

The New York Times reports that the Brooklyn Bridge was on Al-Qaeda’s hitlist before the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. According to newly released documents, the terror group planned to cut the bridge’s suspension cables to bring it tumbling down into the East River:

NY Times: After 9/11, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the admitted mastermind of the attacks, got even more specific, telling an operative, Iyman Faris, to “destroy the Brooklyn Bridge by cutting the suspension cables,” according to a 2006 assessment of Mr. Mohammed that is among the hundreds of classified Guantánamo files made available recently to The New York Times.

The Brooklyn Bridge plot was revealed in 2003 with the arrest of Mr. Faris, a naturalized American citizen from Kashmir.

But the brief reference in the report on Mr. Mohammed hints at the impact of the aborted plot on security in New York and on the bridge in particular. Today, the bridge is one of the most carefully guarded potential targets in New York — maintenance crews, for example, must notify the Police Department’s Intelligence Division before scaling the cables.

Security cameras watch hidden corners of the bridge. Other measures, like police cars stationed on entry ramps, are there for all to see. To at least some extent, that is the legacy of the plot, no matter how far-fetched it might have seemed at the time.

Share this Story:

  • resident

    This isn’t exactly “news.”

  • C.

    new reports? This was reported about at least 5 years ago. This is old news.

  • Anders

    I didn’t know, and now I do. I can’t imagine.

  • j

    security cameras and police postings… what about all the people selling all that crap on the bridge… yeah, i feel safe

  • Jeffrey J Smith

    Old, Old, (Prob fabricated) “news”

  • Matthew Parker

    I had heard a long time ago from a structural engineer that the Brooklyn Bridge was so over engineered that even if the main suspension cables were cut, the webbing cables would still hold up the span. Not sure if that’s true, nor should we need to find out.

  • nabeguy

    Read McCullough’s book The Great Bridge. The Roeblngs’ designed the bridge with multiple redundancies and in such a way as to withstand 7 times it’s designated weight load. Of course, that was at a time when nobody could have imagined 2000 pound beasts on 4 wheels crossing it.

  • Bongo

    With what? Box cutters? Is this the best that the “Ministry of Fear” can come up with this week?

  • EHinBH

    That bridge may be strong, but not that stong. I remember walking over the bridge during the big blackout and people were screaming because of how the bridge was swaying from side to side from all the weight. Of course, as a suspention bridge, it is supposed to sway, but still… If it can sway that much, how would it stay suspended if the wires were cut. Then again, arent they uncuttable?

  • Andrew Porter

    This explains how that tourist was killed when decades of pigeon poop eroded one of the cables years ago. Presumably one of those middle-eastern terrorist squabs…

    I’d read that the BB is strong enough to support the weight of a battleship resting on the cables. Don’t forget that the Brooklyn tower is actually resting only on sand; after going down a long way, they never did reach bedrock, unlike the Manhattan tower.