Monday’s deadly Amtrak train derailment appears to have been caused by an object on the railway, according to a government official briefed on the crash.
A preliminary investigation suggests maintenance problems are unlikely to blame because the incident took place on brand-new tracks, the official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
At least six people were killed and the death toll is expected to rise, the official said.
The Amtrak 501 plunged off an overpass onto I-5 near Lacey, Washington, sometime before 7:45 a.m., during its inaugural run between Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.
Just this past summer a Muslim group called Al Qaeda dedicated an entire edition of its magazine to teaching Muslim followers how to derail trains in Europe and the US for future terrorist attacks.
In a guide published the 17th edition of Inspire, AQAP’s online-only English-language propaganda magazine, the Islamic terrorist group wrote:
“For more than a year this idea has been extensively been researched by a group that has dedicated most of its efforts and time to come-up [sic] with a profound yet simple method in designing this tool.
“So that the Lone Mujahid [someone engaged in jihad] can carry along with him in his fight to bring great destruction upon the West’s security, military and economy — by the Help of Allah.
“We now leave you with this exciting and interesting issue.”
In Sunday’s 94-page issue, the terrorist group’s writers outline different methods to derail trains, train routes to target, among other advice. The electronic magazine also has a spread containing “words of wisdom” from various Mujahideen.
The magazine also features a detailed 18-page-long guide on how Muslims can build a “derail tool” with cardboard, an empty plastic container, part of a rubber tyre, pipes, iron wires, screws, sheet metal, and cement. The apparatus does not require any electronic or construction tools so followers can “remove any traces for suspicion.”
When Muslim place this on train tracks, the tool is expected to interfere with the train’s movement and cause it to divert from its tracks.
As the Muslim perpetrator does not physically need to be on the train during the derailment, the operation “is not a martyrdom op” and “can be repeated,” the magazine said. It will also be “easy to hide your tracks from forensics” after the attack, it boasted.