Federal authorities arrested Farooque Ahmed for plotting to bomb the Washington Metro subway system. Ahmed, who immigrated from Pakistan, “conspired with people he thought to be al-Qaeda operatives to bomb the Arlington Cemetery, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Court House stations, according to a federal indictment.”
Don’t count on the subway system itself to guard against terrorism, though. Many of the Washington, D.C. Metro’s unionized employees are incompetent or grossly overpaid, and some simply disregard threats to public safety, as a letter writer recently chronicled in The Washington Post. Members of its governing board, like Arlington County politician Chris Zimmerman, have turned a blind eye to incompetence, waste, and safety hazards at Metro, even while jacking up subway fares by massive amounts. Federal investigators rebuked the subway system for a “systemic breakdown of safety management at all levels” that led to the deadly Red Line crash last summer and other fatal accidents.