sabotage and derailment; attempted bombings; and bomb threats. Of the remaining incidents, three buses were hijacked. There were two planned or threatened attacks against bridges. In civil aviation there were two preventions of suspected hijackings. There were five maritime incidents in the US that included piracy, threats against cruise lines, bombing, and civil disobedience. Overall, five casualties were reported. Two persons were killed in one maritime incident and one bus hijacker was killed. A complete listing and description of the attacks can be found in Appendix B.
The Department continues to be concerned about violent domestic conspiracies that threaten transportation and the transportation infrastructure. Right-wing plots to derail trains, assassinate public figures, and blow up bridges have increased sharply in the United States since 19955. For example, on March 19, 1998 three members of the North American Militia of Southwestern Michigan were arrested on firearms charges. They allegedly conspired to bomb federal buildings, a Kalamazoo television station, an interstate highway interchange, kill federal agents, and attack aircraft at a National Guard base. Many militia groups believe that the UN is going to "take over and divide-up the United States." Militia and patriot groups are engaged in a "struggle against this "New World Order" and advocate sabotaging the transportation infrastructure in preparation to defend against the anticipated military and law enforcement mobilization. Nevertheless, extraordinary terrorist violence by domestic groups generally has alienated the public, as we saw in the aftermath of the Oklahoma City tragedy.
For a further breakdown of transportation violence by region, see Appendix A, Chart 5.
Violence directed against transportation harms national interests and the ordinary citizen alike, and the damage may go well beyond the death and injury caused during any incident. The impact of attacks against transportation can be both psychological and economic. Violence, especially a sustained campaign, may generate fear and anxiety among the public, causing people to alter their lifestyles and, in some cases, limiting discretionary travel. Such attacks affect people from all walks of life, making those who uses public transportation feel vulnerable to terrorism and undermining public confidence in the government's ability to protect its citizens. Attacks on transportation and infrastructure can also have a significant economic impact. Terrorist attacks make governments and corporations divert vast amounts of resources for security measures. Commerce may be halted for hours, days, or even weeks as transportation systems are shut down because of threats or attacks. Without transportation, critical goods and services may be cut off from markets. When the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) bombed and threatened bombings against highways in England in 1995 and again in 1997, commuters were stranded for hours, losing valuable man-hours of labor and productivity to the industries they supported. In some cases a particular industry may suffer severe depression following a terrorist attack. For example, the economic impact on the cruise industry of the terrorist hijacking of the cruise liner Achille Lauro in October 1985 was staggering.
5 Morris Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery Alabama, "The Intelligence Report" April 1998.