Monthly Archives: November 2012

Airliner Security Leaves Travelers More Vulnerable in Airports

Since the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, the federal government has gone to great lengths to keep weaponry of all sorts from finding its way on airliners.

The effectiveness of these measures is open to debate, but the idea has been to prevent items such as explosive devices fashioned in the form of contact lens saline solution bottles, shaving cream cans and the like from finding their way onto an airliner. The TSA is also supposed to be on the lookout for box cutters (and pocket knifes and fingernail files), as well as shoes loaded with explosives.

All of these measures have been reactive–in response to both successful and failed terrorist plots from the past. Such is the nature of our bureaucratic counter terror apparatus. The enemy watches what we do and dreams up more methods to exploit holes and vulnerabilities in the defensive security measures. And, of course, once the enemy tries a new method, successful or otherwise, the TSA modifies its policies to defend against the last attack.

Americans of all philosophies are frustrated by what they perceive as onerous inconveniences and gross invasions of personal privacy.

But that is not the issue that should be of greatest concern to Americans. What should truly concern us all is that the measures that have locked down airliners tighter than a drum have created bottlenecks and choke points in airport terminals, leaving even larger numbers of travelers vulnerable to violent terrorist attack.

One attack on a single airliner has the potential to kill anywhere from dozens to a few hundred innocent passengers. But an attack on a busy airport terminal has the potential to kill several plane loads of innocent travelers before they get on the airplane.

Take a look at the accompanying photographs and the vulnerability is clear. A backpack bomb in a security line would be devastating and the security apparatus is exactly what caused the vulnerability.

To be fair, security lines are not the only vulnerability. Long lines at ticket counters produce huge crowds and bottlenecks as well:

What all this adds up to is an overall air travel industry that is still quite at risk.

Lest you think that I have pointed out a vulnerability that the Jihadists may not have thought of yet, rest assured that the Jihadists have already identified airports as targets for mass casualty attacks.

In fact, there have been two such attacks in recent years, one successful and one failed.

In January 2011, Islamikaze bombers attacked Domodedovo airport in Moscow, killing 35 and wounding 182. This incident is largely forgotten in the West. In fact, it received scant media attention beyond the day of the attack.

The fact that the attackers were believed to have been trained at an Al Qaeda camp in Pakistan should serve as a warning to America. If the Jihadis can train to attack Russian airports, they can train to attack American airports just as well.

The photographs below of the carnage serve as a stark contrast to the photos above showing travelers queuing up to get their tickets or go through security…Note that these photos were taken from camera phones soon after the bombing.


When one compares the photos from the security and ticket counter lines to the photos from Moscow, it is not difficult to grasp the magnitude of the vulnerability.

Moscow was not the only airport attack.

In 2007, two Moslem physicians attempted to blow up the terminal building at Glasgow International Airport in the UK with a VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device).

The two planned on driving a Jeep Cherokee through the front door and detonating a large bomb upon slamming through  the entrance. Fortunately, their bomb fizzled, but the images below show just how close they came to achieving their evil objective. Given the results from other VBIED attacks in the past in places like Lebanon, Iraq, Kenya and Tanzania, it’s not hard to imagine the horrible effects of a successful attack on a crowded airport terminal.

There is an old saying that he who tries to defend everything defends nothing. What is the answer to these vulnerabilities? No doubt technology will play a prominent role in finding solutions, but we should also consider the fact that while the newly unionized TSA is confiscating nail clippers from soldiers returning from war, making mothers sample their own breast milk, frisking  wheelchair-bound grandmothers and fondling genitalia, they are actually putting all travelers in real danger.

Jihadi Terrorist Hides Under Burqa to Make Escape

This isn’t the first example of such a tactic by the Jihadists. Male terrorists have used burqas as disguises in Iraq, Afghanistan and Israel as well.

This is just one major reason why the burqa is problematic in the extreme in Western culture.

This also looks like an “inside job,” which would certainly not be unprecedented…

Convicted Terrorist Wears Burqa to Escape Jakarta Police Custody

Police have launched an internal investigation after a male terrorism convict escaped from a heavily guarded Jakarta detention facility, disguising himself as a woman veiled by a burqa, officials said on Wednesday. 

National Police spokesman Brig. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar identified the escapee as 29-year-old Roki Aprisdianto, who was being held in a cell at the Jakarta Metro Police headquarters . He was serving a six-year prison term for masterminding a series of bombings in Central Java between December 2009 and January 2011. 

“[Roki] escaped on Tuesday at around 3 p.m. from the fourth floor, where he was supposed to be detained. At the time there was someone visiting him; we suspect [Roki] was wearing a burqa when he made the escape,” the police spokesman said. 

Another National Police spokesman, Insp. Gen. Suhardi Alius, put the time of escape at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, saying the lone police officer on duty on the floor, Brig. Sumardiyanto, only found out about the jailbreak after visitation hours were over at 3 p.m. 

“At the time there were dozens of women with veils who visited detainees. They all came and were told to leave their [identity cards], but we never make [visitors] open their veil before [visiting detainees],” Suhardi said. 

Suhardi said it was possible that one of the visitors carried an extra burqa or that one woman in a burqa left the facility without wearing her veil. 

The police spokesman admitted that the guards had failed to keep track of some 23 visitors who were wearing burqas that day during the identity card screening process. 

Tuesday is the only day of the week when some 70 terrorism convicts and suspects at the facility are allowed visitors. 

Ten police officers responsible for guarding the facility, including three counterterrorism officers, are now under investigation by the police’s internal affairs division. Three terrorism detainees have also been questioned as witnesses. 

“There is negligence,” Suhardi said, adding that the preliminary investigation had ruled out police officers’ involvement in the escape. “We will evaluate [the incident] and tighten security. For visitors with veils, we will place them in a special place and so on.” 

Jakarta Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said police are also examining footage from the facility’s detention cameras. 

Roki was arrested last year along with five of his followers, all of whom have been imprisoned. The terrorist cell was said to be responsible for a series of bomb attacks in Klaten, Kartasura and Solo, all in Central Java. 

The group had targeted churches and police posts. Police said the group is funded by the so-called Hisbah Team, led by slain terrorism suspect Sigit Qordowi, Sigit is said to be responsible for two suicide bomb attacks in 2010.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/convicted-terrorist-wears-burqa-to-escape-jakarta-police-custody/554811

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