Another Win For Bin

Every time those over zealous airport security people upset another honest traveller, Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist minions win another little battle. This time, a woman in a wheel chair turned up in a trenchcoat with nothing on beneath that but her panties and bra! Way to go lady!

The reality is the terrorists no longer have to worry about risking resources hitting aircraft. The paranoia has been unleashed and the authorities are doing the terrorists job, in  the main, for them. A suicide bomber who made it to one of these internal security points and detonated there would likely kill as many as on the average 737. The security needs to be at the airport perimeter, BACKED UP with less invasive procedures at the inner rings such as before entry to the terminal, after check-in and so on.

America, of course, loves overkill and high technology. The American solution is to throw vast amounts of money at a problem and that means buy stuff. Buy equipment, buy lots of people to work it and buy lots of kit for people to wear as they wander around menacing anyone even thinking of thinking the word terrorist.

In Israel, all the real security is done before you get onto airport property. Cars are searched for explosives and IDs checked and all the other stuff gets done before you are within shrapnel range of the terminal. They learned their lesson way back in the early 1970s at Lod Airport when some Japanese communist terrorists did a favour for their Palestinian terrorist buddies as Japanese were less likely to be suspected by security forces than Semitic looking people were. They were right.

I presume this is why the US doesn’t rely on racial profiling and only stop and search dodgy looking types who look vaguely Mediterranean or Arabic. I recall guarding a Synagogue on Yom Kippur twenty years ago and from out of the park across the road ran two Arabic looking men, scruffy and wearing army surplus field jackets. I and my two team members were screening worshippers with our metal detector wands and had already disarmed the old jeweller of his ancient Browning .25 semi-auto (we  did him every year). As these two ran across teh six lanes of empty road infront of the Great Synagogue I thought it was on for sure. I radioed the team on the rear entrance to lock down and took a position behind a solid stone column, 9mm Browning out, cocked and safety off.

I ordered the two with the wands to spread out and be ready to take cover as the two men reached the kerb. They must have realised something was up as they stopped, raised their hands and called out first in Hebrew and then in English that they were Israelis. Turns out they were both officers in the IDF Reserves and in Sydney on vacation and wanted to come to the service for Yom Kippur. The Rabbi later commented how the scruffiest are always Israeli. I replied how Palestinian they looked to me and he agreed they did look like ‘the enemy’. “Your enemy, not mine Rabbi. I’m Australian” I replied. Last year I did that job, funnily enough.

Point is, you can’t tell what a terrorist will look like and they are not above using other ethnic groups to deceive and get in close. You need to keep the trouble well away from where it will do the most harm and that often means security is hardly noticed. Which is the way it should be but when you want to build an empire or justify a budget, not the best course of action and it all gets back to money in the end. Doesn’t it?

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