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Authorities Fear Terrorists May Use Emergency Vehicles as Bombs

July 11, 2002  | 

Officers nationwide have been alerted to watch for emergency vehicles--ambulances, fire trucks, and even cop cars--that could be repurposed as terrorist weapons.

The scare resulted from a report that two Middle Eastern men had attempted to pay cash for an ambulance replica from a shop in New Jersey. After questioning it was determined that the men wanted the ambulance for a movie, not a terrorist plot.

Even though the New Jersey incident proved to be a false alarm, authorities say the threat of terrorists using emergency vehicles as bomb delivery platforms is very real. Palestinian suicide bombers have reportedly used ambulances to deliver suicide bombers to high security areas.

To address such concerns New York City EMS units have equipped their fleet of ambulances with color placards that change daily. The placards let emergency and police personnel know that the vehicle is genuine. In addition, fire, emergency, and police personnel are being asked to keep very close watch on their vehicles.

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