Did Parkway Removal speech trigger Power Project Terror Drills?

 
On Wednesday, Sept. 21, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms blew up two buses and an unidentified third vehicle at an unused quarry on Rochester Road in Gasport, as part of a demonstration of what things look like after they’ve been blown up.
 
Later in the day, an active-shooter training exercise took place at the Niagara Power Project, involving New York Power Authority security officers and the Niagara County Sheriff Department Emergency Response Team. The local media prominently ran photos and videos of the SWAT-style teams, resplendent in body armor and shouldering assault rifles, storming key access points of the Niagara Power Project. People laying around playing dead made the scenario chillingly realistic.
 
These high-profile security displays may not have been so much in response to the terrorist threat as they were a response to testimony given at an August 25, 2016 public hearing in Niagara Falls on the Robert Moses Parkway Removal Project, which went, verbatim, as follows: 
 
“Yesterday I was driving into the city of Niagara Falls on the Moses Parkway. North of Lewiston I came up behind a large RV. It was big, literally a house on wheels. I followed it over the Power Project where for some reason it slowed down to 20 mph, and the thought crossed my mind: What if that huge camper bus was packed stem to stern with dynamite? 
 
“What if there was a terrorist at the wheel, and what if it was detonated on the Moses Parkway, in the middle of the Power Project, just a couple of hundred feet away from me?
 
“Some have recognized such a threat. In this day and age you have to take off your footwear in the airport, then get a full body scan before you can board a plane. We’re spending billions on border security including cameras that scrutinize every inch of border from here to Youngstown 24 hours a day, and an outfit call ISIS has motivated lone wolf attacks from Paris to Brussels to San Bernardino. Meanwhile our Albany leaders bury their heads in the sand when it comes to the Robert Moses Parkway affording 24 hour a day, seven day a week unrestricted vehicular access to one of the largest hydropower generating plants in the world, located right here.
 
“Think about this. In 1993, a bomb hidden in a van exploded underneath the World Trade Center in New York City, killing several people and injuring hundreds more. In 1994, a Cessna airplane crashed onto the south lawn of the White House, killing the pilot. The plane came to rest at the base of the building. So this is what we have: terrorists targeting the World Trade Center in 93, and a disturbed individual flying a plane into the White House in 94. 
 
“A few years after the 9/11 catastrophe, Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice stated in a radio interview that, and I quote, “I don’t think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center”. Then of course, there was the famous “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US” memo that arrived on the President’s desk 36 days before the 9/11 attacks.
 
“This is how we can expect our government to address potential threats, which is to say, with gross incompetency. And now we potentially have deja vu all over again. While NYPA supposedly “hardened” the Niagara Power Project, any terrorist could pack a semi truck with enough plastic explosives to blow the Power Project to kingdom come, thanks to direct access on the Robert Moses Parkway. Or even some unbalanced individual. 
State Department of Transportation dump trucks block off the Robert Moses Parkway as it enters the Niagara Power Project in the days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

State Department of Transportation dump trucks block off the Robert Moses Parkway as it enters the Niagara Power Project in the days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

“Seem farfetched? In 1995, domestic terrorists loaded a truck with a fertilizer bomb and exploded it, destroying a federal building in Oklahoma city. You may recall the name of the perpetrator. His name was Tim McVeigh. Tim McVeigh grew up in Pendleton. That’s two towns over. About 12 miles from the Power Project. Had he chosen the Power Project for his attack, we probably wouldn’t be here tonight.
 
“Lest anyone dismiss these comments as hysteria, allow me to point out that in the days after 9/11 the state Department of Transportation blocked the Parkway off, as it enters the Power Project at Devil’s Hole State Park, with large dump trucks. The Buffalo News and the Niagara Gazette both featured this issue in news articles at the time. 
 
“The Gazette had a front page headline revealing that NYPA carelessly released detailed schematics of the Power Project as part of its 50 year relicensing. The Niagara Power Project is readily examined on Google Earth. And besides the possibility of a bomb being transported on the parkway and detonated, blowing the Power Project to smithereens, imagine some radical element discharging gasoline the length of the facility along the parkway and then setting it alight. You’d be able to see that from outer space. The possibilities for terrorist attack on the Niagara Power Project via the Robert Moses Parkway are endless.
 
“Over the years concerned citizens have repeatedly brought this situation, via emails, letters and newspaper articles, to the attention of elected officials such as Hillary Clinton when she was New York Senator, and subsequently, to the attention of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and they have done nothing. They have decided to, for political reasons, put us at risk. Heaven forbid that there will ever be need for them to answer for that. Shutting down and removing the parkway all the way to the city line is the only rational way to mitigate risk.”
 
It may have been a coincidence, but one week after we reported on this issue two years ago, in the Sept. 10, 2013 Reporter, the Rainbow bridge, which connects the US to Canada at Niagara Falls, was shut down during morning rush hour so that no fewer than ten mostly state and local border and police agencies could conduct what was called an “international emergency preparedness exercise.”
 
And while some might attribute it to pure chance, that same week the Buffalo Niagara Airport served as the scene of a “field training exercise” by first responders and law enforcement, practicing responses to a bomb incident on an incoming flight.
 
And while the possibility that some harmonic convergence caused it to happen shortly after last month’s Parkway terrorist attack speech, which was committed to official transcript and videotape and detailed in the local daily newspaper, the security drill certainly sent a message, if not to the terrorists, then at least to the fretful public.
 
If the authorities really wanted to safeguard the Niagara Power Project from terror attack, removing the Robert Moses Parkway all the way to the city line, instead of just Findlay Drive, would go far to mitigate potential threats.
Hand over your shampoo and bottled water at the airport while unrestricted vehicular traffic accesses the Power Project 24/7 via the Robert Moses Parkway.

Hand over your shampoo and bottled water at the airport while unrestricted vehicular traffic accesses the Power Project 24/7 via the Robert Moses Parkway.

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