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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Terrorism, Airport Security, & Profiling

View Poll Results: Should airport security personnel profile passengers when it comes to screening?
Poll Options:
Yes, it only makes sense to target limited resources. 24 votes (82.76%)
No, profiling is ineffective. 4 votes (13.79%)
Don't know. 1 votes (3.45%)
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll
Terrorism, Airport Security, & Profiling
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OAW
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Dec 30, 2009, 12:53 PM
 
So by now I'm sure everyone is aware of the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas by the "Underwear Bomber". In response, Rep. Peter King of New York has advocated profiling as a means of increasing airport security. The following is an excerpt of an interview he had on The Today Show on Dec. 29:

LAUER: Let's go back to screening and security at airports. You know, millions of dollars being spent.

Rep. KING: Yeah.

LAUER: But there are millions of travelers, and I guess the resources are limited. Are you concerned, Congressman, that too much time and energy is being spent on screening people who in all reality pose absolutely no threat to others, that not enough time is being spent targeting the people who probably fit some kind of an--and it's a charged word--but profile?

Rep. KING: Yes, Matt, I am. And listen, terrorists can come from everywhere. But the fact of the matter right now is that 100 percent of the Islamic terrorists who are coming against us are Muslims. Most of them are males from the Middle East. So we should be focusing more on that.
Listen, if you're going after the mafia, you go to Italian communities. If you're going after the IRA, you to into the Irish communities, Irish bars. To me, it's not kidding anyone. We're just living in a politically correct world to say that we should be screening a Scandinavian grandmother the same as we do a Middle Eastern male. The reality is, our enemy comes from Islamic terrorists and we should be focused on them.

LAUER: And we shouldn't be afraid to...

Rep. KING: Not ignoring others, not realizing--yes.

LAUER: ...we shouldn't--we shouldn't be afraid to single out someone because of a last name that sounds like it could be a Muslim last name or because of an ethnic background, or because of appearance?

Rep. KING: I'm saying we should focus more on where we think the threat is coming from and realizing that 99 percent of Muslims are innocent, God-fearing people, but realizing also that probably 100 percent of the threat is going to come from that community, so we have to focus more on that, but also realize that others could be recruited, we could have converts, we could have others from other parts of the world. But if we are going to focus, you focus primarily on where we think the threat is. This is what the Israelis do. The Israelis have done this and they have not had an airline attack in 30 years.
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Agree? Disagree? Why or why not?

OAW
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 12:58 PM
 
I don't have a problem with profiling really. Sure it violates some of our 'enlightened principles', but if your principles are getting in the way of your survival you should really find some new ones.

However it's worth mentioning that this particular plot could have been foiled if the US had just listed to the warnings from the man's own father, or even just actually paid attention to the fact that this man was already on the watch list before simply allowing him to board the plan.
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 01:31 PM
 
Racial (and similar) profiling is a bad idea and doesn't work because there's no profile.

Behavioral profiling works, but it's tough to do well and often reverts to racial profiling when done poorly.
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 01:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Racial (and similar) profiling is a bad idea and doesn't work because there's no profile.

Behavioral profiling works, but it's tough to do well and often reverts to racial profiling when done poorly.
Well, before I could get behind any specific profiling plan I would have to first be convinced that it was based on modern, accepted science that has been shown to be effective. If profiling based on race is ineffective, then it shouldn't even be on the table. If there are other sorts of profiling that are effective, however, we shouldn't allow them to be ruled out simply because they're called 'profiling'.
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 01:37 PM
 
Hire El Al security and be done with it.
El Al - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Airport security measures

Passengers are asked to report three hours before departure. All El Al terminals around the world are closely monitored for security. There are plain-clothes agents and fully armed police or military personnel who patrol the premises for explosives, suspicious behavior, and other threats. Inside the terminal, passengers and their baggage are checked by a trained team. El Al security procedures require that all passengers be interviewed individually prior to boarding, allowing El Al staff to identify possible security threats. Passengers will be asked questions about where they are coming from, the reason for their trip, their job or occupation, and whether they have packed their bags themselves. The likelihood of potential terrorists remaining calm under such questioning is believed to be low (see microexpression).[40] At the check-in counter the passengers' passports and tickets are closely examined. A ticket without a sticker from the security checkers will not be accepted. At passport control passengers' names are checked against information from the FBI, Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), Scotland Yard, Shin Bet, and Interpol databases. Luggage is screened and sometimes hand searched. In addition, bags are put through a decompression chamber simulating pressures during flight that could trigger explosives.[41] El Al is the only airline in the world that passes all luggage through such a chamber.[42] Even at overseas airports, El Al security agents conduct all luggage searches personally, even if they are supervised by government or private security firms.[43]
"The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church" Saint Tertullian, 197 AD
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 02:41 PM
 
Well first and foremost, I must point out Rep. King's "keen insight" once again ....

Originally Posted by Rep. Peter King
But the fact of the matter right now is that 100 percent of the Islamic terrorists who are coming against us are Muslims.
Now that is just pure comedy right there!

He goes on to say ....

Originally Posted by Rep. Peter King
Most of them are males from the Middle East. So we should be focusing more on that.
Perhaps. Perhaps not. Putting aside the question of whether or not his assertion is factual, it seems to me to be rather short-sighted and foolish. Clearly Rep. King is advocating profiling based upon religion and national origin. However, such an approach would have missed the following:

Eric Rudolph: Centennial Olympic Park bombing. White, Christian, male from the US.

Timothy McVeigh: Oklahoma City bombing. White, Christian, male from the US.

Richard Reid: The Shoe Bomber. British, Muslim, male of English/Jamaican descent.

Theodore Kaczynski: The Unabomber. White male from the US.

Jose Padilla: Suspected "dirty bomb" plotter. Hispanic, Muslim, male from the US of Puerto Rican descent.

John Walker Lindh: The American Taliban. White, Muslim, male from the US.

Mohammad Sidique Khan, Shehzad Tanweer, Germaine Lindsay, & Hasib Hussain: The London Bombings. 4 British, Muslim, males ... 3 of Pakistani descent and 1 of Jamaican descent.

Narseal Batiste, Patrick Abraham, Stanley Phanor, Naudimar Herrera, Burson Augustin, Lyglenson Lemorin, and Rotschild Augustine: The Sears Tower plot. Black, pseudo-Islamic/Christian, males ... 5 from the US and 2 from Haiti.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: The Underwear Bomber. Black, Muslim, male from Nigeria.

Not all of these guys were Muslims. And none of them were from the Middle East. Including the "Underwear Bomber" that Rep. King was being interviewed about. So is the good Congressman really this dense? Or does he know better but sees some political benefit in making such a statement?

OAW
( Last edited by OAW; Dec 30, 2009 at 03:28 PM. )
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 02:43 PM
 
Great, so it'll only take seven or eight hours to board a flight that takes six hours.
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 03:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Well, before I could get behind any specific profiling plan I would have to first be convinced that it was based on modern, accepted science that has been shown to be effective.
Modern Science my ass. It can't even explain the whole complex of radicalized terrorists.

I say, bring on ESP squads to help out the TSA.

-t
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 03:09 PM
 
It seems to me that if the technology could be improved so that a whole body scan could be performed in 5 seconds or less ... then simply having everyone go through that (instead of a simple metal detector) would be way more effective than trying to profile certain groups. It certainly would have caught this knucklehead.

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Dec 30, 2009, 03:11 PM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
It seems to me that if the technology could be improved so that a whole body scan could be performed in 5 seconds or less ... then simply having everyone go through that (instead of a simple metal detector) would be way more effective than trying to profile certain groups. It certainly would have caught this knucklehead.

OAW
But then someone might see your body!!!
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 03:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
But then someone might see your body!!!
With images like these ....





... I must contend that the "privacy concerns" are a wee bit overblown. I think people are more upset at the idea of scanner that can see under their clothes more than the actual images they produce.

OAW
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 03:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
Hire El Al security and be done with it.
El Al - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
How well does it scale and how much does it cost?

El Al operates about 5500 pax on ~80 daily flights at 40 airports. In the US there are about 2,000,000 pax on 30,000 daily airline flights to 700+ airports.

You just need to handle 300x the passenger volume at 20x the locations.

edit: Looks like El Al has a $16/pax security charge. That'd be a billion dollars a month in the US.

Originally Posted by OAW View Post
It seems to me that if the technology could be improved so that a whole body scan could be performed in 5 seconds or less ... then simply having everyone go through that (instead of a simple metal detector) would be way more effective than trying to profile certain groups. It certainly would have caught this knucklehead.
So they'll stick their PETN up their butt. What now?
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 03:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
So they'll stick their PETN up their butt. What now?
I think at that point you just gotta be like "hey... you got me"
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Dec 30, 2009, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
So they'll stick their PETN up their butt. What now?
Good point.

Security is all about tradeoffs. It comes down to a simple cost vs. benefit analysis. IMO, a 5 second or less whole body scan that produces images such as these is not overly intrusive. And it clearly would have prevented this guy from getting on the plane. But if a would-be terrorist decided to hide a bomb inside his body that would certainly up the ante. But the cost of conducting body-cavity searches simply would not justify the marginal benefit of catching such a person. At the end of the day terrorist attacks are an extremely rare phenomenon ... so we have to resist the temptation to go overboard with security measures.

OAW
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
I think at that point you just gotta be like "hey... you got me"
Exactly. If someone is sufficiently motivated they will find some way to get you. Period. For example, I have a basic security system for my home and my car like most people do. But I recognize that their purpose is really only to deter the amateurs that might be tempted to take my sh*t. If a professional really wanted to burglarize my home or steal my car ... they are going to do it and that security system won't stop them. I could spend thousands of dollars on a more sophisticated security system that still may not stop a highly motivated thief, but IMO it's not worth it. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people are honest, law-abiding individuals and/or unwilling to face the consequences of getting caught ... so the chances of this happening to me is relatively slim given the area where I live. And if it ever did ... well that's what I have insurance for.

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Dec 30, 2009, 04:12 PM
 
Would an object in the anus necessarily be invisible to these scanners? It seems to me that the images of those scans pretty clearly show the shin bones. Though those appear to be the only ones visible, likely because they are so close to the surface while the anal cavity would be shielded by the buttocks.

Wouldn't gait analysis be able to catch someone walking around with something up their ass?
     
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Dec 30, 2009, 04:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by nonhuman View Post
Would an object in the anus necessarily be invisible to these scanners? It seems to me that the images of those scans pretty clearly show the shin bones. Though those appear to be the only ones visible, likely because they are so close to the surface while the anal cavity would be shielded by the buttocks.

Wouldn't gait analysis be able to catch someone walking around with something up their ass?
Yeah, preventive anal exam for everybody. How fun.

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Dec 31, 2009, 02:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Not all of these guys were Muslims. And none of them were from the Middle East.

OAW
Profiling isn't all about skin color. Other factors are age, countries visited, watch list data, gender, etc.

I saw you mention McVeigh. His wasn't a suicide mission, and it wasn't focused on transport systems. He was also a US citizen, which affords him more rights than foreign combatants. Hence, he's the anomaly of your list.

Also, focusing specifically on airplanes and airpost security (which is where the current debate resides), the bad guys do indeed fit into a tight, demographic box where advanced profiling could have thrown up flags.
     
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Dec 31, 2009, 05:28 AM
 
Originally Posted by OAW View Post
Not all of these guys were Muslims. And none of them were from the Middle East.
Yeah well you did pad your list with fluff completely unrelated to 2000's airline terrorists, and "such an approach" might have netted nineteen Middle Eastern male hijackers.
( Last edited by CRASH HARDDRIVE; Dec 31, 2009 at 05:36 AM. )
     
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Dec 31, 2009, 07:28 AM
 
I've never been through an airport without being profiled. All long-haired blokes smuggle drugs, see? So I don't know what all y'all whining at.

Just fill the seat bases with pig fat. No muslim is going to want to blow a plane and get his carcass covered in pig before he gets his 72 virgins.

Plus, this poll is flawed. It has no option for "Shut your mouths hippies, I'm watching the Bee Gees".
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Dec 31, 2009, 08:19 AM
 
Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
He was also a US citizen, which affords him more rights than foreign combatants. Hence, he's the anomaly of your list.
Not anymore. Anyone, US citizen or no, can be entirely stripped of all their rights and declared legally a non-person. Thanks Obama.
     
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Dec 31, 2009, 11:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Just fill the seat bases with pig fat. No muslim is going to want to blow a plane and get his carcass covered in pig before he gets his 72 virgins.


I love when Uncle Doof saves the world.

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Dec 31, 2009, 12:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
Racial (and similar) profiling is a bad idea and doesn't work because there's no profile.

Behavioral profiling works, but it's tough to do well and often reverts to racial profiling when done poorly.
This!!!

I voted Yes (being in favor of profiling). But I am not in favor of profiling based on race or ethnic identity. Behavioral profiling is the way to go. All one has to do is look at how El Al Airlines in Israel does their passenger screening to see a very effective way to profile passengers based on behavior and not race/ethnicity.

Of course, such a technique for profiling requires lots of highly skilled professionals. So, instead of the US government spending lots of money on highly skilled individuals trained to detect terrorists we get the security theatre of the TSA with lots of bodies "doing something" thus providing the illusion that something is being done to protect us from terrorists.
(On an only slightly related note, I think this later approach of quantity over quality is typical of the American mindset: A mindset that says having lots of something is inherently good/better than having less of something.)


<edit>
Looks like Chongo beat me to the suggestion for adopting El Al's techniques for passenger screening.
( Last edited by dcmacdaddy; Dec 31, 2009 at 12:32 PM. )
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Dec 31, 2009, 12:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I've never been through an airport without being profiled. All long-haired blokes smuggle drugs, see? So I don't know what all y'all whining at.
Not too get off on too much of a tangent, but I have an Arsenal home jersey I wear when traveling in the Summertime as it is loose-fittin and breathable for the long schlep through airports. EVERY TIME that I have flown and worn that jersey (three times in all) I have been pulled out of line for "extra screening". One time when wearing the jersey--in Columbus, OH of all places--I got the full pat-down with some guy checking out my junk without even offering to buy me a drink first. (To his credit, he was courteous and polite, professional, and explained everything he was going to do before he did it.)

Is there an airport profile for American fans of English football? If so, I'd like to suggest that Man U fans are especially threatening and ought to be subject to a body-cavity search when traveling if they are wearing anything from the Man U kit.
One should never stop striving for clarity of thought and precision of expression.
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Dec 31, 2009, 01:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
Not too get off on too much of a tangent, but I have an Arsenal home jersey I wear when traveling in the Summertime as it is loose-fittin and breathable for the long schlep through airports. EVERY TIME that I have flown and worn that jersey (three times in all) I have been pulled out of line for "extra screening". One time when wearing the jersey--in Columbus, OH of all places--I got the full pat-down with some guy checking out my junk without even offering to buy me a drink first. (To his credit, he was courteous and polite, professional, and explained everything he was going to do before he did it.)

Is there an airport profile for American fans of English football? If so, I'd like to suggest that Man U fans are especially threatening and ought to be subject to a body-cavity search when traveling if they are wearing anything from the Man U kit.


Joking aside, I ran a similar experiment myself. I'm fortunate to have been born follically-challenged so at about 28 I began shaving my head. When I travel, sometimes I'll be wearing a hat and other times not. When I wear a hat, no "pull-aside". When I'm without a hat, I'm pulled aside for extra screening every time. Every blasted time.
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Dec 31, 2009, 01:23 PM
 
So on an international flight, does the country of destination handle security, or the country of origin?

While we're so down on US airport security, I'm not aware of any significant terrorism attempt that's originated in a US airport since 9/11. I could be wrong, so please remind me of any I've missed.

Meanwhile, Richard Reid took off from Paris wearing his explosive sneaks. Umar Farouk took off from Lagos, and flew to Amsterdam then Detroit with his crotch bomb. The foiled 'liquid bomb plot' that led to everyone not being able to carry liquids onto planes thereafter, originated in the UK.

Seems to the me the trend is that if a terrorist wants to attack a US flight, they do it in European airports, not US.
     
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Dec 31, 2009, 01:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
So on an international flight, does the country of destination handle security, or the country of origin?
Depends on the agreements between the two nations in question and the airline(s) in question. If I am not mistaken, US-based/chartered airline companies must follow US laws when it comes to procedures for passenger scrutiny/review.
(This was the basis for the big brouhaha a few years back when the US government demanded personal information from European airlines on their European passengers flying into the US. European personal privacy laws are more stringent than US personal privacy and the data asked for by the US government would have put the European airlines in the position of breaking European law in order to comply with US requirements.)

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
While we're so down on US airport security, I'm not aware of any significant terrorism attempt that's originated in a US airport since 9/11. I could be wrong, so please remind me of any I've missed.
Correlation DOES NOT EQUAL Causation.
(In other words, the lack of US-based attempts on the US airline system by foreign terrorists in no way suggests our security methods are the reason/cause for this lack of attempts.)

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Meanwhile, Richard Reid took off from Paris wearing his explosive sneaks. Umar Farouk took off from Lagos, and flew to Amsterdam then Detroit with his crotch bomb. The foiled 'liquid bomb plot' that led to everyone not being able to carry liquids onto planes thereafter, originated in the UK.

Seems to the me the trend is that if a terrorist wants to attack a US flight, they do it in European airports, not US.
Are you trying to suggest US airport security is better than European airport security? If so, just come out and say so. And then provide evidence as to why you think this argument has validity.
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Dec 31, 2009, 02:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
Meanwhile, Richard Reid took off from Paris wearing his explosive sneaks. Umar Farouk took off from Lagos, and flew to Amsterdam then Detroit with his crotch bomb. The foiled 'liquid bomb plot' that led to everyone not being able to carry liquids onto planes thereafter, originated in the UK.

Seems to the me the trend is that if a terrorist wants to attack a US flight, they do it in European airports, not US.
Since 9/11 there have not been any attacks where terrorists gained control of the airplane because we have made modifications to reinforce cockpit doors.
Since Richard Reid we all take our shoes off and get them x-rayed before boarding a plane.
Since the "liquid bombers" in Britain--the ones who planned to bring chemicals aboard airplanes and mix them in-flight to create an explosive--we have very strict limits on what type and the amount of liquids we can bring on board.
Since Umar Farouk we all (will likely) be subject to see-through-the-clothes body scans.


Your posts suggests that you forgot that US response to airline terrorism is reactionary. Therefore, when you give your various examples you forget to mention that there has never been another type of terrorist attacks of the same nature because we have changed our procedures in response to that one attempt. So, while there will never be another shoe-bomber or underwear-terrorist there will always be some ingenious terrorist with some new method for attempting to bring down a US airline in flight. And we will always be one step behind the terrorists such that we will never be able to prevent future attempts of airplane-related terrorism.
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Dec 31, 2009, 02:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE
While we're so down on US airport security, I'm not aware of any significant terrorism attempt that's originated in a US airport since 9/11. I could be wrong, so please remind me of any I've missed.
Since you brought it up, can you find a list of significant terrorism attempts that originated in a US airport before 9/11?

That stat would seem relevant given the context of your statement.

Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
And we will always be one step behind the terrorists such that we will never be able to prevent future attempts of airplane-related terrorism.
You mean, until the point where we all have to check all our luggage to be run through high-tech screeners, strip naked, and be x-rayed before we get on a plane.

But wait! I've forgotten about high-tech 2065 "biological bombs!" We must come up with some further way to invasively check for those too!

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Dec 31, 2009, 06:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
Correlation DOES NOT EQUAL Causation.
(In other words, the lack of US-based attempts on the US airline system by foreign terrorists in no way suggests our security methods are the reason/cause for this lack of attempts.)
So then what is the reason for the lack of attempts, if not security? If you have some explanation, please share it. It's not like I'd be against whatever it is, because it seems to be working. 9/11 was a pretty obvious breach of security because the hijackers used unusual weapons that weren't disallowed on flights, but really, show me the great track record of US security breaches using more traditional terrorist weapons.


Are you trying to suggest US airport security is better than European airport security? If so, just come out and say so.
It certainly seems that way. In answering Shortcut's question, I'll provide the list of terror incidents that I was able to find, and we can compare European origin vs. US.
     
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Dec 31, 2009, 06:08 PM
 
The problem with profiling: It assumes that these bad men aren't intelligent at all (obviously they ARE) and that they'll just try the same thing again.
The problem with airport security: Instead of being proactive, it's reactive. As long as it's reactive, terrorists will continue to do their thing, and people will likely get hurt.
     
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Dec 31, 2009, 06:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Since you brought it up, can you find a list of significant terrorism attempts that originated in a US airport before 9/11?

That stat would seem relevant given the context of your statement.
Not really, which pretty much enforces my point that our security measures don't seem to be a significant problem with airline terrorism, since the trend seems to have always been attacking European airports, not US. Source.

Attack on the Munich Airport, February 10, 1970: Three terrorists attacked El Al passengers in a bus at the Munich Airport with guns and grenades. One passenger was killed and 11 were injured. All three terrorists were captured by airport police. The Action Organization for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.

Attack and Hijacking at the Rome Airport, December 17, 1973: Five terrorists pulled weapons from their luggage in the terminal lounge at the Rome airport, killing two persons. They then attacked a Pan American 707 bound for Beirut and Tehran, destroying it with incendiary grenades and killing 29 persons, including 4 senior Moroccan officials and 14 American employees of ARAMCO. They then herded 5 Italian hostages into a Lufthansa airliner and killed an Italian customs agent as he tried to escape, after which they forced the pilot to fly to Beirut. After Lebanese authorities refused to let the plane land, it landed in Athens, where the terrorists demanded the release of 2 Arab terrorists. In order to make Greek authorities comply with their demands, the terrorists killed a hostage and threw his body onto the tarmac. The plane then flew to Damascus, where it stopped for two hours to obtain fuel and food. It then flew to Kuwait, where the terrorists released their hostages in return for passage to an unknown destination. The Palestine Liberation Organization disavowed the attack, and no group claimed responsibility for it.

Entebbe Hostage Crisis, June 27, 1976: Members of the Baader-Meinhof Group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) seized an Air France airliner and its 258 passengers. They forced the plane to land in Uganda. On July 3 Israeli commandos successfully rescued the passengers.

TWA Hijacking, June 14, 1985: A Trans-World Airlines flight was hijacked en route to Rome from Athens by two Lebanese Hizballah terrorists and forced to fly to Beirut. The eight crew members and 145 passengers were held for seventeen days, during which one American hostage, a U.S. Navy sailor, was murdered. After being flown twice to Algiers, the aircraft was returned to Beirut after Israel released 435 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

Air India Bombing, June 23, 1985: A bomb destroyed an Air India Boeing 747 over the Atlantic, killing all 329 people aboard. Both Sikh and Kashmiri terrorists were blamed for the attack. Two cargo handlers were killed at Tokyo airport, Japan, when another Sikh bomb exploded in an Air Canada aircraft en route to India.

Egyptian Airliner Hijacking, November 23, 1985: An EgyptAir airplane bound from Athens to Malta and carrying several U.S. citizens was hijacked by the Abu Nidal Group.

Airport Attacks in Rome and Vienna, December 27, 1985: Four gunmen belonging to the Abu Nidal Organization attacked the El Al and Trans World Airlines ticket counters at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport with grenades and automatic rifles. Thirteen persons were killed and 75 were wounded before Italian police and Israeli security guards killed three of the gunmen and captured the fourth. Three more Abu Nidal gunmen attacked the El Al ticket counter at Vienna’s Schwechat Airport, killing three persons and wounding 30. Austrian police killed one of the gunmen and captured the others.

Aircraft Bombing in Greece, March 30, 1986: A Palestinian splinter group detonated a bomb as TWA Flight 840 approached Athens airport, killing four U.S. citizens.

Kimpo Airport Bombing, September 14, 1986: North Korean agents detonated an explosive device at Seoul’s Kimpo airport, killing 5 persons and injuring 29 others.

Downing of Airliner, November 29, 1987: North Korean agents planted a bomb aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 858, which subsequently crashed into the Indian Ocean.

Pan Am 103 Bombing, December 21, 1988: Pan American Airlines Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, by a bomb believed to have been placed on the aircraft by Libyan terrorists in Frankfurt, West Germany. All 259 people on board were killed.

Bombing of UTA Flight 772, September 19, 1989: A bomb explosion destroyed UTA Flight 772 over the Sahara Desert in southern Niger during a flight from Brazzaville to Paris. All 170 persons aboard were killed. Six Libyans were later found guilty in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Air France Hijacking, December 24, 1994: Members of the Armed Islamic Group seized an Air France Flight to Algeria. The four terrorists were killed during a rescue effort.

Indian Airlines Airbus Hijacking, December 24, 1999: Five militants hijacked a flight bound from Katmandu to New Delhi carrying 189 people. The plane and its passengers were released unharmed on December 31.

Airliner Hijacking in Istanbul, March 15, 2001: Three Chechens hijacked a Russian airliner during a flight from Istanbul to Moscow and forced it to fly to Medina, Saudi Arabia. The plane carried 162 passengers and a crew of 12. After a 22-hour siege during which more than 40 passengers were released, Saudi security forces stormed the plane, killing a hijacker, a passenger, and a flight attendant.

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Homeland, September 11, 2001: Two hijacked airliners crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Soon thereafter, the Pentagon was struck by a third hijacked plane. A fourth hijacked plane, suspected to be bound for a high-profile target in Washington, crashed into a field in southern Pennsylvania. The attacks killed 3,025 U.S. citizens and other nationals. President Bush and Cabinet officials indicated that Usama Bin Laden was the prime suspect and that they considered the United States in a state of war with international terrorism. In the aftermath of the attacks, the United States formed the Global Coalition Against Terrorism.

That's everything up to and including Sept. 11th, 2001. Seems to me that if you're a terrorist plotting an attack on the US via and airliner, the clear trend still stands: you do so in Europe, not the US itself.
     
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Jan 1, 2010, 03:30 PM
 
It's important to recognize a break with trends of the past - it used to be that the hijackers would tend to land the plane somewhere and then make demands.

UTA 771, PANAM 103 and the four 9/11 flights are the exception. The well-known post 9/11 attempts seem to be about bringing down the flight and no survivors.

But since we're looking at history, is there anything interesting about the large number of flights hijacked by people representing Palestinians?
     
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Jan 1, 2010, 03:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
But since we're looking at history, is there anything interesting about the large number of flights hijacked by people representing Palestinians?
Not particularly. Do you think there is "anything interesting about the large number of flights hijacked by people representing Palestinians"? And if you do, what do you think is so "interesting about the large number of flights hijacked by people representing Palestinians"?
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Jan 1, 2010, 05:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
So then what is the reason for the lack of attempts, if not security? If you have some explanation, please share it. It's not like I'd be against whatever it is, because it seems to be working.
That's just it. I don't think the minimal number of suicide attacks on US planes originating from within the US--We'll forget the more traditional airplane hijacking for ransom for the moment--has anything to do with our security measures and has everything to do with the lack of homegrown fundamentalist Islamic terrorists in this country. In other words, the reason for no more attacks is due to population and NOT prevention. In this country we don't have a body of radicalized Islamic fundamentalists intent on hijacking airplanes as a means of conducting terrorist operations. If we did, we would have more attempts at airplane-based terrorism (and more successes as well).


You are arguing from a standpoint that
---lack of access to airplanes with weapons (because of our airline/airport security measures) = reason for no airplane-based terrorist attacks in the US
whereas I am arguing that
---lack of US-based Islamic terrorists = reason for no airplane-based terrorist attacks in the US

Places like Britain, Germany, Turkey--and France to a much lesser extent--have homegrown populations of fundamentalist Islamic believers willing to become terrorists. That's why they are able to conduct terrorist operations in, or from, those countries. They have an existing population of radicalized Islamic believers willing to conduct terrorist operations. If we had a large contingent of radicalized Islamic believers in this country I can assure you we would have had more, and more successful, airplane-based terrorist attacks in this country since 9/11.

In short:
It is not about lack of access to airplanes by individuals with malevolent intent; It is about lack of sufficient numbers of individuals with malevolent intent.

Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
9/11 was a pretty obvious breach of security because the hijackers used unusual weapons that weren't disallowed on flights
True. But then again, the attackers were not homegrown. They were all from overseas and managed to get into the country legitimately to conduct their attacks. The very fact that another individual was able to attempt a terrorist attack on a US airline (in the United States) was due to there being a radicalized individual willing to make an attempt. Our intelligence systems designed to prevent such an occurrence from happening again after 9/11 did not work. So that right there proves our security measures--based on denying access to an airplane--are not able to prevent such an attack. Nor will they ever be able to prevent all such future attempts. Our security systems are reactionary so they will always be one step behind the terrorists and their malevolent plans.
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Jan 2, 2010, 12:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
Not particularly. Do you think there is "anything interesting about the large number of flights hijacked by people representing Palestinians"? And if you do, what do you think is so "interesting about the large number of flights hijacked by people representing Palestinians"?
I think it's notable that 8 of the events you listed were committed or responsibility claimed by a group claiming to act on behalf of Palestinians. It seems they pioneered this practice.

I likewise think it's notable that Palestinians haven't made the news for attempting this act in the past 8 years or longer.

The outliers seem to be North Koreans, Libyans, Chechens and Saudi Arabians. Excepting Libyans, these are all more recent.

I wonder if there's something to be gleaned from that.
     
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Jan 2, 2010, 12:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
In other words, the reason for no more attacks is due to population and NOT prevention. In this country we don't have a body of radicalized Islamic fundamentalists intent on hijacking airplanes as a means of conducting terrorist operations. If we did, we would have more attempts at airplane-based terrorism (and more successes as well).

I am arguing that
---lack of US-based Islamic terrorists = reason for no airplane-based terrorist attacks in the US

Places like Britain, Germany, Turkey--and France to a much lesser extent--have homegrown populations of fundamentalist Islamic believers willing to become terrorists. That's why they are able to conduct terrorist operations in, or from, those countries. They have an existing population of radicalized Islamic believers willing to conduct terrorist operations. If we had a large contingent of radicalized Islamic believers in this country I can assure you we would have had more, and more successful, airplane-based terrorist attacks in this country since 9/11.
Detail: We may have in the USA an existing population of radicalized Islamic believers willing to become terrorists. For the most part they have not attempted airplane-based attacks.

One does not require the other.
     
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Jan 2, 2010, 01:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
I think it's notable that 8 of the events you listed were committed or responsibility claimed by a group claiming to act on behalf of Palestinians. It seems they pioneered this practice.

I likewise think it's notable that Palestinians haven't made the news for attempting this act in the past 8 years or longer.

The outliers seem to be North Koreans, Libyans, Chechens and Saudi Arabians. Excepting Libyans, these are all more recent.

I wonder if there's something to be gleaned from that.
What do you think can be gleaned from your observation about the lack of Palestinian airplane hijackings during the past 8 years?


NB: That is CRASH'S list, not mine.
( Last edited by dcmacdaddy; Jan 2, 2010 at 08:46 AM. Reason: fixed an error in sentence formation.)
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Jan 2, 2010, 01:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
Detail: We may have in the USA an existing population of radicalized Islamic believers willing to become terrorists. For the most part they have not attempted airplane-based attacks.

One does not require the other.
How can you go from conjectural ("we may have") to definitive ("they have not") when talking about the same possible group ("radicalized Islamic believers")?

Do you or do you not think we have in the USA "an existing population of radicalized Islamic believers"?
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Jan 2, 2010, 09:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
How can you go from conjectural ("we may have") to definitive ("they have not") when talking about the same possible group ("radicalized Islamic believers")?

Do you or do you not think we have in the USA "an existing population of radicalized Islamic believers"?
If we have them then they have not... They hypothetical people, assuming they exist, have definitely not done this. The point is not that they definitely exist, just that simply because they haven't done X doesn't mean we can safely assume they don't exist.
     
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Jan 2, 2010, 10:33 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
That's just it. I don't think the minimal number of suicide attacks on US planes originating from within the US--We'll forget the more traditional airplane hijacking for ransom for the moment--has anything to do with our security measures and has everything to do with the lack of homegrown fundamentalist Islamic terrorists in this country.
Exactly. CRASH has committed another act of implying "causation from correlation."

But the simplest and most logical answer is that yes, America was just far too inconvenient for terrorist groups to attack. It's on the other side of the world and a continent away. It's far easier to attack areas of Europe or the Middle East.

Was US airport security catching terrorist attacks at US airports before 9/11?

Indeed, the fact that 9/11 happened in the first place (and its magnitude) serves as an indication that, in fact, terrorists could have successfully attacked US airports before that time. They just did not do so.

Has US airport security caught terrorist attacks at US airports since 9/11?

Of course, the question isn't whether we should have airport security – everyone agrees we should - it's rather, what level of security is appropriate at this point. As some people mentioned, some simple measures probably went most towards eliminating the threats posed by the 9/11 attackers (door locks, banning small sharp weapon-like objects... and as well citizens' willingness to stop terrorists, which I think was a major factor in the last attempt).

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Jan 2, 2010, 11:28 AM
 
Breaking News:

TSA changes name to TSI *), to bring latest security concerns in line with agencies capabilities and mission.




*) Transportation Security Idiots.

-t
     
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Jan 2, 2010, 01:18 PM
 
...besson3c or abe?
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Jan 2, 2010, 02:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
You are arguing from a standpoint
I'm not arguing anything, merely pointing out facts.



Places like Britain, Germany, Turkey--and France to a much lesser extent--have homegrown populations of fundamentalist Islamic believers willing to become terrorists.
Well, I do agree with you there, as Europe has been much more ignorant to the threat of Islamic-based terrorism, and so has let it flourish right under their noses.

However, you've yet to prove this really has anything to do with most all terrorist attacks against airports and airliners originating in Europe. In order to do so, you'd have to show that most of the above terrorist incidents were conducted by homegrown terrorists, not those that entered the country from elsewhere. You haven't shown this to be the case.


That's why they are able to conduct terrorist operations in, or from, those countries. They have an existing population of radicalized Islamic believers willing to conduct terrorist operations. If we had a large contingent of radicalized Islamic believers in this country I can assure you we would have had more, and more successful, airplane-based terrorist attacks in this country since 9/11.
Again, actually cite facts to prove that the above list of attacks was conducted by homegrown terrorists and not outsiders.



True. But then again, the attackers were not homegrown. They were all from overseas and managed to get into the country legitimately to conduct their attacks.
Exactly- but then, you haven't shown this not to be the case anywhere else either.
     
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Jan 2, 2010, 03:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Exactly. CRASH has committed another act of implying "causation from correlation."
And again, you've tried to dismiss facts with a pat little catch phrase you copied from someone else without even knowing what it means.

You have the same challenge as dcmacdaddy:

Actually prove your case and show that the majority of terrorist attacks in Europe are the result of homegrown terrorists, not those entering from a foreign country, and therefore, just as likely to happen in the US as Europe.

Just to get you guys started, we know for example that the latest attack that went through security in Amsterdam, originated from a foreigner flying in from Lagos, Nigeria- not a homegrown native of Amsterdam.

Have at it.
     
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Jan 3, 2010, 01:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by CRASH HARDDRIVE View Post
And again, you've tried to dismiss facts with a pat little catch phrase you copied from someone else without even knowing what it means.
That phrase is taught in Science 101 in grade 10. I think we all know what it means.


Actually prove your case and show that the majority of terrorist attacks in Europe are the result of homegrown terrorists, not those entering from a foreign country, and therefore, just as likely to happen in the US as Europe.

Just to get you guys started, we know for example that the latest attack that went through security in Amsterdam, originated from a foreigner flying in from Lagos, Nigeria- not a homegrown native of Amsterdam.
This makes... no sense. No sense at all, in relation to what I said.

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Jan 3, 2010, 05:51 AM
 
brain fart
     
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Jan 3, 2010, 04:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
This makes... no sense. No sense at all, in relation to what I said.


SPECTACULAR post-fail thus far. Bravo.

So basically, you didn't even know what you were agreeing with dcmacdaddy about, and supposedly disagreeing with me about.

Good show.
     
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Jan 3, 2010, 06:17 PM
 
Did you actually read my post?
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Jan 3, 2010, 06:42 PM
 
Did you actually read the thread? So far, you're both working a massive fail.

In summary, since you seem unable to follow (or are just backpedaling, which isn't surprising):

I asked a simple question about airport security in the US vs. Europe, and pointed out virtually no attacks have originated in the US.

dcmacdaddy insisted that the reason was Europe has more homegrown terrorists than the US, therefore the terror attacks originating in European airports are an example of homegrown terrorism, not that US security is better.

Okay. Fine.

NOW PROVE THAT WITH FACTS!

Is that so hard?

You jumped in and agreed with him on his point, and then accused me of your pat little slogan, so again it falls to you to actually PROVE your assertions.

Too difficult? Or will you just do the usual spin, smokescreen, backpeddal, etc.

The funny thing is, I'm not the one insisting anything. I merely pointed out facts that were inconvienient to the general trend that US airport security is so bad. You two have both INSISTED something that you have yet to prove. So have at it, or back-peddle your way out.
     
 
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