From: Action News Phila, PA The Northeast Corridor (Amtrak / SEPTA) http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/news/052204_nw_railprobe.html SEPTA Under Scrutiny in Rail Probe May 22, 2004 — There is an investigation into the discovery of an infrared motion sensor that was placed in the track bed of a SEPTA train yard in West Philadelphia. And there are serious questions being raised about how SEPTA responded. Naomi Jones/SOUTH PHILADELPHIA: "It's just scary that they waited like that, they put lives in jeopardy I feel." Harry Graves/NORTH PHILADELPHIA: "With the situation going on in the country now it would seem that something should be checked out as soon as it is heard." SEPTA says it did check out the device, an infrared motion sensor and transmitter similar to one spray painted black placed along the tracks in the train storage yard on the approach to 30th Street. But how they checked it out is under serious scrutiny. Action News has learned a conductor found the device on May 5th. SEPTA employees took it to the maintenance shed and tried to disassemble it themselves. They later turned it over to SEPTA police who placed it in a locker for a week. On May 13th, someone heard it beeping and decided to call the Philadelphia Police Bomb Squad. The bomb squad found it was not explosive and called the FBI. At that point, federal agents began a one thousand meter perimeter search of the area where the device was found. They were looking for other possible components and other evidence. Nothing else was found. Jerri Williams/FBI SPOKESPERSON: "We sent the device down to our labs." The FBI says there's no evidence the device is terror related and SEPTA says it was no threat to commuter trains. And Action News has learned there is great consternation among some involved in the investigation. They say between the time the device was found and the FBI conducted its search, whoever put it there had enough time to remove any other components or evidence that may have been placed there. SEPTA acknowledges it has a problem in the way the matter was handled. James Jordan/SEPTA SECURITY: "In my view, yes it represents a problem. It's one we're not pleased with, that's why we're investigating." The discovery of the device comes at the same time authorities in New Jersey have reported at least 7 instances in the last week alone of suspicious surveillance of the Amtrak and NJ Transit rail lines between Philadelphia, Trenton & New York. A counter-terrorism experts says all of these developments fit a pattern of terrorists possibly planning an attack. Ed Turzanski/LaSALLE UNIVERSITY: "There are too many coincidences that you've strung together for us to believe that there are not active efforts that are going to implement attacks prior to our elections." Some in law enforcement are also concerned that real terrorists may have an alibi in taking pictures of Amtrak trains and rail yards. It seems that Amtrak is running a promotion, a "Picture our Train Calendar Contest" urging people to take pictures that could end up in a calendar. Bad timing some say when authorities are out there trying to distinguish between the good guys and those up to no good. Dann Cuellar, Channel 6 Action News. Copyright 2004. All Rights Reserved. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- UPDATE: 5/24/04 - Action News Reports: The device was found to be, after all this investigations, that it was placed there by: A SEPTA employee that is known to sleep on the job. It was placed there by him to alert him to any supervisors aproaching him "During nap time"