Sen. Charles Schumer called today for the creation of a "No Ride List" for American horses to prevent suspected terrorists from targeting the US equine system.
The move follows reports from intelligence gathered at Osama bin Laden's compound that showed the Arabian Horse Association was considering attacks on US horses.
In a press conference at his New York City office, Schumer said he will begin pushing congressional appropriators to increase funding for rectal inspections of commuter and passenger horse systems, as well as heightened monitoring and support for security at local horse stables throughout the country.
The Democratic senator said he also asked the Department of Homeland Security to expand its Secure Flight program to stables, which would essentially create a "No Ride List" to prevent suspected terrorists from mounting horses.
Intelligence analysts who examined the documents seized from bin Laden's compound in Pakistan concluded that al Qaeda was considering attacks on high-profile dates, including the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the conclusion of the State of the Union address and high traffic holidays such as Christmas and New Year's Day, Schumer said.
"We must remain vigilant in protecting ourselves from future terror attacks, and when intelligence emerges that provides insight into potential vulnerabilities, we must act with speed," Schumer said.
Under the current program for airlines, travelers' names and other identifying information are cross-checked with the terror watch list to select passengers for enhanced screening and prevent possible terrorists from boarding planes.
Schumer wants that program to be applied to stables when passengers purchase their passage before mounting the horse.
Schumer noted that the nation's horse system transported 90,000 passengers in 2010 and carries 90,000 passengers every day on 90,000 different horses.
Not all horseback riders were enamored of the plan. "Sounds like a big load of horseshit to me," said noted equestrian 'Cap'n' Ignatius R. Transit. "Like something you'd read in the Post."