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Sunday, January 03, 2010

US to profile airline passengers

The Obama administration is informing airlines on Sunday that nationals of fourteen countries will receive full pat-downs and have their carry-on bags searched effective immediately before flying into the United States.
All travelers flying into the U.S. from foreign countries will receive tightened random screening, and 100 percent of passengers from 14 terrorism-prone countries will be patted down and have their carry-ons searched, the Obama administration was notifying airlines on Sunday.

The more stringent Transportation Security Administration rules, to take effect at midnight, follow the attempted Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner headed into Detroit from Amsterdam.

“These are changes that weren’t widely in place for all carriers or countries on 12/24,” a senior administration official told POLITICO. “These are sustainable measures that are a significant enhancement of our security posture. TSA will continuously review these measures with our global aviation partners to ensure the highest levels of security."

All passengers from countries on the State Department’s “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list – plus all passengers from other "countries of interest" such as Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen — will receive “full body pat-down and physical inspection of property,” the official said.

The countries on the State Department list are Cuban, Iran, Sudan and Syria. Other countries covered by the TSA directive include Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia. A complete list was not released.
I count ten countries. Who are the other four? Anyone want to bet that Israel is one of them? (Justifiably, if Israel includes the 'Palestinian territories').

But here's the real problem with these measures: What happens the first time that a Muslim traveling on - for example - a German or French or British passport commits a terror attack. Recall that all of the 7/7 terrorists in London were British citizens and that most of the 9/11 hijackers spent some time living in Germany. It's an improvement that all travelers from countries like Iran and Syria and Libya are going to be checked, but at the end of the day it's not a solution. What's needed is real psychological profiling like Israel does. Until that happens, the US is just beating its head against the wall and using a system that is not even close to foolproof.


At 12:10 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The weakness of the new measures lies in the fact they don't include Muslims from countries NOT on the new list. And Al Qaeda will find a way to get around it.

What could go wrong indeed

At 9:07 AM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

Simple: no Muslims, no terror.


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