Baltimore Harbor Tunnel Closed After Terror Threat

Baltimore Harbor Tunnel was closed while the Fort McHenry Tunnel was partially closed today after authorities received a terrorist threat.

Threat Prompts Closure of Baltimore Tunnel (AP)

One of two tunnels carrying traffic under Baltimore’s harbor was closed Tuesday and another was partially shut down in response to what an official said was a security threat. The Baltimore Harbor Tunnel was closed while the Fort McHenry Tunnel was partially closed, with one lane of traffic moving in each direction, said Lt. Col. David Franklin of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.

The closures were in response to a threat, a federal law enforcement official said. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, did not provide further information about the nature of the threat. But another federal law enforcement official said the threat was phoned in to authorities by a person claiming to have information from abroad. Authorities are skeptical of the claim, but are checking it out nonetheless out of an abundance of caution, the official said. That source also spoke on condition of anonymity.

This is going to get old, fast. Pretty soon, terrorists will be able to stop planning attacks at all. All they need to do to paralyze major metropolitan areas is to make some phone calls.

There’s clearly no easy solution here. Officials are in the classic, “damned if they do, damned if they don’t mode” when receiving these calls. But if they don’t figure out how to discriminate between high probability threats and low probability ones quickly, our counter-terrorism policy will be seen as a joke.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.