Terror Scare: Shuts Down Two Tunnels, Now Re-opened - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/18/05-Baltimore, MD

Terror Scare: Shuts Down Two Tunnels, Now Re-opened

There was another security scare today related to international terrorism. Two tunnels under Baltimore's harbor were shut down for hours as police checked out a report of a possible attack.

The tunnels are open again tonight, and authorities are explaining why they took action. Shortly before noon, Baltimore authorities suddenly shut down both tunnels running under the city's harbor, cutting off a major east coast artery and causing traffic to back up for miles.

One driver said, "They're all thinking terrorist and stuff."

 All lanes of the Baltimore Harbor tunnel and some of Mchenry tunnel, which together funnel nearly 200 thousand vehicles a day under the harbor, were closed for nearly two hours as law enforcement searched for explosives.

 An overseas informant told authorities about plot to blow up the tunnels. According to the informant six Egyptian terrorists using bomb-making materials that arrived at the port of Baltimore in a container marked coca , were planning to build car bombs and detonate them in the tunnels.

Chief Gary McLhinney, Maryland Transportation Authority Police said, "Based on our investigation, we are conducting traffic stops that fit what we happen to be looking for at this time, based on the investigation and the information we have."

 After investigating the tip, including arresting many named in the plot, yesterday, federal law enforcement officials determined the threat was of questionable crediblity.

Maryland's Governor defended the decision to close the tunnels. Governor Ehrlich said, "Public safety is first priority."

 While federal officials doubt the credibility of the threat, they are not ignoring it. In fact, tonight, they are still trying to round up several individuals named by the informant.

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