Thursday, 15 November 2007

Airport Screeners Missed Bomb Parts

Did it ever cross your mind while you were standing in one of those long winding line ups and putting up with people rummaging through your luggage and wiping the inside with damp pads, that it is all a bit pointless? The GAO has produced a report which shows how ineffective airport screening is.

I have not read the report itself, just the AP story on it, but I cannot say I am surprised. Airport security here is largely handled by private contractors. The people they employ are not able to get better jobs than the mind numbingly dull routine of staring at a screen and trying to spot a pair of nail clippers. They are poorly paid, poorly trained and hard to motivate.

The bombers meanwhile have moved elsewhere. Transit is now one target of choice. There are no screeners, and it is a lot easier to get a back pack of explosives on to a tube train than hijack a plane or set light to your shoelaces. Of course the subsequent video is less dramatic - but the atmosphere of terror is pretty much the same.
The TSA agreed with the investigators' recommendation to introduce "more aggressive, visible and unpredictable security measures," as well as the recommendation to deploy new detection technologies.

I am not sure I like the sound of "aggressive" - these people are uncivil enough already.


sgt.turmeric said...

I heard about a good way to prevent acts of terrorism on transit:
Falcon said turnstiles weed out the hang-arounds and reduce the chance of an act of terrorism.

Maybe we should install some turnstiles in the airport?

Stephen Rees said...

Absolutely. Terrorists never buy tickets do they