(Updated) Seven arrested for trespassing at Quabbin Reservoir

Five men and two women faces trespassing charges for unauthorized access to the Quabbin Reservoir. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Five men and two women faces trespassing charges for unauthorized access to the Quabbin Reservoir. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The pair of bombs that exploded along Boylston Street a month ago took not only lives and livelihoods, they also took with them a sense of security that many Bostonians once had. 

And now, a month after the Marathon bombings, another incident has brought into question the region’s vulnerability.

Seven people were found trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. The reservoir is the main source of water for most Boston and the city’s surrounding communities.

Police said there were no signs of any crime other than trespassing and the seven people, who said they were chemical engineers and just wanted to see the reservoir, will be summonsed to court at a later date.

Police said they would step up patrols and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority said additional testing revealed no compromise in the water system.

The threat to critical infrastructure like the Quabbin Reservoir is less about someone doing something to poison the water and more about someone seeking to do damage to the physical components of the supply system to cause mass disruption, said Stephen Flynn, a professor at Northeastern University and co-director of the school’s Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security.

“The basic issue we’re dealing with increasingly with the terrorism threat is it’s not necessarily about mass casualty per se. It’s about mass disruption of critical things,” he said.

Flynn said the nation is “behind the curve” in looking at what systems and infrastructure is critical and what protections need to be put in place.

“This isn’t about putting armed troops along every part of the system, but thinking about how the system works and, should somebody try to target it, how can that can be contained,” he said.

The five men and two woman told troopers they were recent college graduates who wanted to see the reservoir for “education and career interests.”

The suspects are believed to be from Pakistan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia, and were living in Massachusetts and New York City.

“Further investigation is being undertaken because of the late hour when they were observed, their curious explanation for why they wanted to see the reservoir, and the fact that they were in an area marked no trespassing,” state police said.

Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBos


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.