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.