Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

How to get through airport security in the US

In what's being described as a 'massive security breach,' ABC News reports that the Transportation Security Administration has placed its operating procedures online, essentially providing a "how to" manual for terrorists to board planes in the United States (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The most sensitive parts of the 93-page Standard Operating Procedures were apparently redacted in a way that computer savvy individuals easily overcame.

The document shows sample CIA, Congressional and law enforcement credentials which experts say would make it easy for terrorists to duplicate.

The improperly redacted areas indicate that only 20 percent of checked bags are to be hand searched for explosives and reveal in detail the limitations of x-ray screening machines.
This fits right in with TSA's 'strategy' of closely searching 80-year old grandmas while letting 25-year old Muslim men pass through security without an extra search to avoid profiling.

When you arrive at a European airport from the US and connect to an El Al flight to Israel, they still require you to go down to the tarmac, claim your baggage, open it, and confirm to them that nothing has been opened, added, or moved out of place. While that in itself would not deter a suicide bomber, the El Al security people also watch your comportment while you're doing it and are trained to detect people who are excessively nervous. They also likely watch certain people more closely. Profiling....

During one such plane change in Rome last year, we asked what happened if someone's luggage doesn't make the connection in time. We were told that the luggage is held there and that it is then run through a slow-scanning x-ray machine and put on the next day's flight. We asked why they don't just scan all the bags. El Al told us that they would need 24 hours to do that.

Is that where American air transport is heading? Check your bags 24 hours in advance so that every bag can be scanned? It might be if the TSA keeps disclosing secrets. And it would certainly be a lot more secure. But it would make today's payments for extra bags look quite convenient by comparison.

By the way, the trip from which I just returned is the first time in a long time that I can recall not finding one of those little notes from TSA saying that my bags had been searched. I also did not return to Israel on El Al (and had not planned to even before my little change in plans).



At 4:51 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - you're better off flying El Al. There is no way one can be sure American and other foreign airlines' security hasn't been breached by the way the TSA runs security checks here. Better safe than sorry and the threat of Islamic terrorism is very real and will be with us for a long time to come.

At 5:33 PM, Blogger Joe said...

They also have a policy of random security checks on separate individuals/families...somehow families with three little girls are screened while the Muhammad behind them is waved forward.

Wouldn't want to offend anyone.

At 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fly El Al whenever possible, security being one reason for my preference. Another reason is, frankly, I've gotten decent service over many years from them, whether flying business or economy.


Post a Comment

<< Home