Security increased at train station following NY, NJ terror inve - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Security increased at train station following NY, NJ terror investigations

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An increase in security was seen at Union Station on Monday morning (WFSB) An increase in security was seen at Union Station on Monday morning (WFSB)
A device exploded in Elizabeth, NJ Sunday night as a robot worked to disarm it. (CBS photo) A device exploded in Elizabeth, NJ Sunday night as a robot worked to disarm it. (CBS photo)
Ahmad Rahami. (FBI photo) Ahmad Rahami. (FBI photo)

An FBI investigation in New York and New Jersey is affecting rail commuters in Connecticut.

Taken in for questioning

The FBI said on Monday it took 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami into custody in connection with bombs in New York and New Jersey.

It said Rahami was seen in the vicinity of 135 West 23rd St. in New York, NY around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

After a shootout, the FBI said it arrested Rahami.

Metro-North vigilance

Metro-North employees have been asked to be extremely vigilant as the work week began on Monday. Commuters noticed an increase in security as well.

"I was shocked and disgusted, but at the same time I think we should not, certainly we should not be panicked," said Armel Kouassi of Newtown.

Commuters hustled through New Haven's Union Station and were greeted by K9s.

"It was definitely a tragic incident, but we all gotta do what we gotta do," said Evan Turnage of New Haven. "Unfortunately, this is a place where terrible things do happen occasionally."

Kiran McCloskey, who just came back from Grand Central Monday afternoon, says naturally, the police presence there was even more pronounced. 

"There were some in army fatigues, others, dressed more like rangers and yesterday when I went into New York, I saw some outside, always in groups,” McCloskey said.

The request came after a series of explosive devices were found in New York and New Jersey over the weekend. 

A backpack with five devices was found near a rail trestle in Elizabeth, NJ late Sunday night. Authorities said one of the devices exploded as a bomb-defusing robot attempted to disarm it. 

Police said two men notified officers of the package. 

"They found a package where they thought was of some value to them," Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage said. "They walked under the railroad trestle which we call the arch in Elizabeth, they saw that there were some wires attached to some pipe, dropped it then they walked over to police headquarters [and] reported what they found."

The discovery came a day after an explosion injured at least two dozen people in the Chelsea area of New York City.

Investigators said the blast was caused by a device in or near a dumpster and a second device, a pressure cooker with wiring, was found just blocks away.

Monday morning, police said they were questioning several people of interest who were taken into custody during a traffic stop Sunday night.

As a result, security was beefed up at Connecticut's train stations.

"I think that is the right thing to do," Kouassi said. "There is no 100 percent security. There will always be a certain level of risk."

Connecticut State Police also issued a reminder on social media urging residents to remain vigilant.

Following the blast in New York, the governor ordered an additional 1,000 New York state troopers and national guardsmen to guard its transportation hubs.

When something like these two blasts happen, officers become more aware and vigilant in terms of looking for suspicious activity.

As of Monday afternoon, no statewide strategy had been implemented yet; no statewide partnering for patrols, however there has been an increase in security at the train station; there are no local threats being investigated at this time.

Amtrak on a modified schedule

Amtrak said on Monday that the northeast corridor service would be operating on a modified scheduled due to the police activity in Elizabeth, NJ.

"Service was suspended Sunday evening due to police activity near the Elizabeth, NJ station," Amtrak said in a news release. "Passengers should be prepared for the possibility of additional cancellations and delays throughout the day Monday."

It said any additional schedule modifications would be "announced as warranted."

While trains into Grand Central Station were on time, some lines were running on significant delays. There were even cancellations.

"I believe people need to pay attention to their surroundings and make sure that they're safe, but I think people have to go, do their business and go about their lives," Kouassi said.

As people do that, they said they do feel safe and appreciate the heightened security.

"It is a little reassuring that the police will be beefed up and this probably won't happen again anytime soon," Turnage said.

To check the status of Amtrak trains, click here.

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