Cell Phone Service Cut Off to NYC Tunnels Following London Blasts

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Nobody is exactly sure exactly why, but cell phone access has been intentionally turned off in the four major tunnels servicing New York City since the London terror bombings last week. The affected tunnels include the Holland Tunnel, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Midtown Tunnel, and the Battery Tunnel.

This is made all the more ironic because in fact the use of cell phones following the London blast itself made news.


According to Port Authority spokesman Tony Ciavolella, “Following the bombings in London, as a security precaution, the Port Authority required that cell phone service be suspended inside the Lincoln and Holland tunnels. This was an initiative we put into place for the safety and security of the public,” adding that the service will be disabled until further notice.

With New York City on high alert following the bombings, and in the wake of 9/11, most believe that the move was in response to the fact that a cell phone can be used to remotely trigger a bomb.

That makes little sense to Aunty, as so can a human finger, and it’s already quite clear that those with whom we are dealing have no compunction whatsoever about sacrificing themselves to the ’cause’, so there is little need for a remote trigger device.

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As Ken Dulaney of Gartner observed, “There’s lots of different ways to use the cell phone as a trigger device. If you stop a cell phone, there are myriad other ways to trigger bombs.”

So, all you New Yorkers, plan your commuting calls before you go into the affected tunnels.

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7 thoughts on “Cell Phone Service Cut Off to NYC Tunnels Following London Blasts

  1. Just wondering, What about an emergency situation when in the middle of the tunnel, say, a rider gets a heart attack (knowingly lack of xygen in the tunnels), or a pregnant woman gets into critical condition or something like that… How many operating emergency tel. are in the tummels – we all know that all above mentioned tunnels get crowded on times… Regards

  2. Re: cell phones cut off in tunnels.. at least the bomber puke will die for sure if they can’t do a remote ignition .. one less tool for them to use.

  3. Mike, the odds of the terrorists not knowing the tunnels have no cell phone service, and having their plan fail because they relied on having cell phone service in the tunnels are… Rather remote, don’t you think. When you know there is no cell phone service, you just use something else as a trigger. It’s not a problem. In fact, you can even use the lack of cell phone service as a trigger.

  4. hey Auntie, the two bombs on the Spain train bombings that did NOT explode were connected to cell phones for detonation so YES that option is still out there for the terrorists and I applaud the NYCTA for taking this precaution.

  5. FvB, your argument seems to be based on the way suicide bombers are used in Israel and Iraq. In reality the normal MO of Al Qaeda cells is different. Long setup, one strike (multiple simultaneous, if possible), and write-off the cell as compromised. For Al Qaeda it makes no difference whatsoever if the terrorists get killed doing the hit or get caught afterwards. They are disposable and already assumed to be compromised anyway.

  6. I disagree strongly. I posted before, on a different thread, that the only way to get radio waves underground, is to be broadcast them – undergound. Not many seem to know that. “Suicide Bombers” are rationed carefully. Although it seems that way, even VERY fundamentalist Muslims do not often give up their lives without effort. Handlers often must have long contacts with them to get them worked into a frenzy and yet be reliable. Long contact = great risk. A super-charged fanatic is also VERY obvious in his environs, he (it’s 99% “he” – ok?)can’t usually have a breezy chat with an infidel. Humans are much more traceable than a prepaid cellphone purchased at Target. In London they’ve already identified bombers and are “Rolling Up.” If you’re a terrorist, this may have been bad management.

  7. I concur. There’s no cell phone service in London’s underground system, particularly between Russell Square and King’s Cross stations where one of the bombs was detonated.

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