—Airport Security: Getting a Clue


[via @Michael_Yon]

Terrorism: Can you really stop a bomber by asking, ‘Are you terrorist?’ | Mail Online.

Somone tries to ignite their shoes on an airplane, and all passengers—including elderly and children—have to take off their shoes, lest we single anyone out. Someone smuggles boxcutters onto airplanes, or tries to mix cosmetic chemicals into binary explosives inflight, and our security agents have an excuse to confiscate our personal possessions without compesation or recourse. Someone tries to set off a bomb hidden in underwear on an airplane, and air travellers are subjected to personal invasion so monstrous that it becomes questionable whether security is even its primary motive any more.

Worse, it becomes apparent that none of this actually works:
[The article quotes “Rafi Sela, a top Israeli security consultant.”]

“‘How many times in the history of aviation have the scanners and security procedures that currently cause such huge anger and inconvenience actually found explosives in baggage or on a passenger?’ Sela asks.
The answer, shockingly, is zero.”

The US TSA is always at least one step behind the terrorists, always at the expense of ordinary travellers:

‘Always you seem to be fighting the last war.’

The article goes on to describe the far more successful Isreali approach of finding the terrorists instead of their weapons. The Israelis have no option to indulge in social engineering or political correctness—their security has to work. Automation of the Isreali screening procedures promises airport security that actually works, even for large American and European airports.

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