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Posted: 12/31/2001 6:53:19 AM EDT
Apparently the DOT has decided in their infinite wisdom that they will NOT require airport screeners to have a high school diploma, or have to pass a standardized test. So now we have the same worthless losers doing the same job but they are now 'federal' employees making more money. Have I missed something here?
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 6:56:33 AM EDT
I believe we can only be truely safe with the govinmint in charge and with the wait extended to five hours - minimum. [:D] [:D]
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:03:37 AM EDT
I'm an airline captain, and this is one of my pet peeves. Federalizing the screeners was foolishness - now we're just going to have the DMV in charge of security. What we need is PASSENGER PROFILING, but everyone's afraid of being called racist. 100% of the suicide bombers have been young arab men, and concentrating on them may not be politically correct, but it'll keep airplanes from hitting sky-scrapers. When elderly black women or asian children or fat white men start blowing up airplanes, then we should concentrate on them, too.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:08:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent: I'm an airline captain, and this is one of my pet peeves. Federalizing the screeners was foolishness - now we're just going to have the DMV in charge of security. What we need is PASSENGER PROFILING, but everyone's afraid of being called racist. 100% of the suicide bombers have been young arab men, and concentrating on them may not be politically correct, but it'll keep airplanes from hitting sky-scrapers. When elderly black women or asian children or fat white men start blowing up airplanes, then we should concentrate on them, too.
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I'm not afraid to be called a racist, hell I don't even think "devil dog infiedel" would bother me that much. But somebody needs to get some common sense in this whole ordeal. I completely agree with everything you have said and believe we should be looking extra hard at young middle eastern men, especially those who aren't citizens.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:08:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent: I'm an airline captain......
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Great !! After my proposed "five-hour delay" for true safety, having my feet massaged by a guvmint employee at least I have a chance to fly with.."Captain Rodent." [:D]
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:19:46 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:30:37 AM EDT
the search of the older folks is to cover their ass in regards to profiling. Hey Rodent, what airline? I am a line mech for usairways in pit.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:48:04 AM EDT
American, in Boston. Yesterday they checked my socks in front of my passengers. Last week they ran my bags through the magnetometer three times, hand searched them twice, and patted me down twice. I was late for my own flight. I must look guilty or something. "Richard Reid", aka Tariq Raja, aka Abdel Rahim, on the other hand, (with a one-way ticket paid for in cash and no luggage), gets on the Paris to Miami flight. (He did miss it the first day because he was delayed while being questioned, but then we put him up in a four-star hotel and fed him dinner for his trouble!!)
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:56:01 AM EDT
These clowns are so caught up in looking for "weapons" that they miss the "people". It still reminds me of the story of the drunk looking for his lost car keys under the street light out in front of the bar. He'd lost the keys out back in the dark, but "The light's better out here." OTOH, if the pilots wouldn't come out of the cockpit because someone is acting up on the airplane, the BGs couldn't get into the cockpit. What could an airline pilot possible "fix" out in the cabin that the rest of the crew (and maybe passengers) can't.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 7:59:34 AM EDT
The right direction is to do what the Israelis do- ever flown El Al? Someone said it well- American security focuses on finding the bomb, Israelis focus on finding the bomber. Expensive, but effective. However, the problem in America is time and money. There is no way in hell that we can quickly or successfully screen every passenger that flies in the United States, nor can we afford to pay the rates the airlines would charge to cover the costs of such a venture. Do YOU want to wait for 5 hours to board a plane and pay double or triple the current rates to do it? Would you stop and search anyone with an arab name? How about with a dark complexion? What if they're Armenian, or Italian? Remember Tim McVeigh? And what about airline employees and ground staff? Are they immune from scrutiny? Obviously there are no easy answers here, unless you over-simplify. What's needed is a combination of effective ground security, passenger and staff screening, coordinated domestic and foreign intelligence, and acceptance of a certain amount of risk.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 8:07:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Reloader: Apparently the DOT has decided in their infinite wisdom that they will NOT require airport screeners to have a high school diploma, or have to pass a standardized test. So now we have the same worthless losers doing the same job but they are now 'federal' employees making more money. Have I missed something here?
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Well, what do you expect? Who wants to work for $20K a year at a job with a lot of stress(after all the guy you let through could blow up the plane)? Before, they'd quickly get people through and working was no big deal(used to always see security checkpoints with no lines and the screeners just sitting around). But now they will be hand searching every bag, have a 4 hour wait line of continuous people to screen, and have to put up with continuous complaining of delays as well as racism/profiling. Sound's like they will have a ton of people applying for that job. They can make more money at Mcdonalds and have a lot less stress. The screeners were there for many years to make you feel safe, not actually for our safety. Now the government is trying to make them be able to provide safety on aircraft(which is impossible), and it will end up costing tax payers at least $15 billion a year or more. And terrorists will auickly find ways around whatever new rules we implement for the screeners. This eventual cost will probably be levied as a FAA/DOT tax on airline tickets, and make flying to expensive for anyone.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 8:11:14 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: The right direction is to do what the Israelis do- ever flown El Al? I'm posting from memory so my facts are suspect. The Israeli's have I believe one airport and EL AL thirty something planes. Sure there's some useful ideas to steal and we should steal them but comparing American air travel to that of the Israeli's just isn't valid. ----------------------------------------------- What's needed is a combination of effective ground security, passenger and staff screening, coordinated domestic and foreign intelligence, and acceptance of a certain amount of risk.
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Be vewy, vewy careful with this type post in general and this one specifically. This post makes sense.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 8:37:11 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: Would you stop and search anyone with an arab name? How about with a dark complexion? What if they're Armenian, or Italian?
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Yes. Yes. What if they are?
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 8:44:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: And what about airline employees and ground staff? Are they immune from scrutiny?
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It seems that pilots are subject to more scrutiny than any one else. I seem to get pulled out of line and hand-searched almost every time I go to work, as if a pilot needs a smuggled weapon to be a suicidal terrorist. Any employee who has access to a plane should be scrutinized.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 9:05:43 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent:
Originally Posted By DScott: Would you stop and search anyone with an arab name? How about with a dark complexion? What if they're Armenian, or Italian?
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Yes. Yes. What if they are?
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The problem with profiling in this way is three-fold: it's impractical, it'll lead to an immense number of errors, and it violates the civil liberties we all hold so dear. Look around- how many dark complected people do you see?
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 9:06:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent:
Originally Posted By DScott: And what about airline employees and ground staff? Are they immune from scrutiny?
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It seems that pilots are subject to more scrutiny than any one else. I seem to get pulled out of line and hand-searched almost every time I go to work, as if a pilot needs a smuggled weapon to be a suicidal terrorist. Any employee who has access to a plane should be scrutinized.
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Agreed!
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 9:10:15 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 5subslr5:
Originally Posted By DScott: The right direction is to do what the Israelis do- ever flown El Al? I'm posting from memory so my facts are suspect. The Israeli's have I believe one airport and EL AL thirty something planes. Sure there's some useful ideas to steal and we should steal them but comparing American air travel to that of the Israeli's just isn't valid. ----------------------------------------------- What's needed is a combination of effective ground security, passenger and staff screening, coordinated domestic and foreign intelligence, and acceptance of a certain amount of risk.
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Be vewy, vewy careful with this type post in general and this one specifically. This post makes sense.
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SHHHHHHHHH! Be vewy, very qwiet... we'ah hunting muswims! [image]http://looneytunes.warnerbros.com/stars_of_the_show/elmer_fudd/img/story/elmer_link2_image1.jpg[/image]
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 9:22:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Reloader: Apparently the DOT has decided in their infinite wisdom that they will NOT require airport screeners to have a high school diploma, or have to pass a standardized test. So now we have the same worthless losers doing the same job but they are now 'federal' employees making more money. Have I missed something here?
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Yes... The Provisions Of The Equal Employment Opportunity Act Have Been Met In The Selection Process For The Employees Selected For These Positions.[IMG]http://www.freakygamers.com/smilies/s2/contrib/aahmed/biggrin.gif[/IMG] Learn It...[IMG]http://www.freakygamers.com/smilies/s2/contrib/dvv/po.gif[/IMG] Live It...[IMG]http://www.theunholytrinity.org/cracks_smileys/cwm/3dlil/mad.gif[/IMG] Love It...[IMG]http://www.freakygamers.com/smilies/s2/otn/angry/ticking.gif[/IMG]
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 10:03:34 AM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: The problem with profiling in this way is three-fold: it's impractical, it'll lead to an immense number of errors, and it violates the civil liberties we all hold so dear. Look around- how many dark complected people do you see?
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Hundreds of thousands of people are searched every single day in airports now. Are they "violations of civil liberties"? Yes. Got an alternative? Are they "errors"? Almost all of them are - in a perfect system, we would only search the terrorists with weapons, and we wouldn't miss any of them. The purpose of airport security is to prevent planes from being destroyed and/or used. We know that Irish grandmothers haven't been a problem. By giving some extra scrutiny where we know the problem is - young arab men, especially when they have additional high-risk traits - we can utilize our time and resources much more effectively. That might offend some dark-skinned people, but then it probably offended me even more when my co-workers were hijacked and flown into buildings. We should either do it right, or not do it at all. There are exceptions to every generality, and yet: Insurance companies charge more for male teenage drivers. Dress designers slant advertisements towards women. If that's discrimination, it's also reality. Likewise, U.S. security should pay attention to the common thread from September 11, the exploding sneaker episode, Pan Am 103, Egypt Air, the WTC 1993, the USS Cole, the Achille Lauro, the Marine barracks in Beirut, the Air Force housing in Saudi Arabia, the embassies in Beirut, Iran, Kenya and Tanzania, etc ad nauseum.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 11:35:23 AM EDT
I don't object to profiling. I'm not concerned about "discrimination". I am concerned that security be effective. I imagine what works is very costly, and we should be prepared to pay the price if we're committed to doing it right. Checking all swarthy passengers and crew wouldn't have prevented Lockerbee, or any other of a number of different scenarios. Profiling isn't enough. No one measure will prevent all possibilities.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 12:25:07 PM EDT
"Swarthy passengers", specifically young male arabs who belonged to radical Muslim groups, were responsible for every single terrorist act against our airlines that I can think of, including Lockerbee. What am I missing?
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 12:57:49 PM EDT
IIRC, Lockerbee was the result of a bomb carried on board by an unwitting non-arab, non-male stooge of the perps. Profiling the passengers wouldn't have prevented it. Other measures are necessary, correct? How much *more* inconvenience are you willing to endure to achieve this goal of scrutinizing every medium-dark or dark-skinned male? Would you have two lines at the airport- arabs here, everyone else over there? And how long will it be before the bad guys figure this out and resort to alternatives? A week? I wish it were as simple as this one answer. Frankly, I think my solution requires more than we're capable of, and further tragedies are inevitable. I still think the Israelis could teach us alot, but doubt we'd be all that willing to listen, or put up with what it would take to achieve a greater level of security.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 1:27:59 PM EDT
Pan Am 103: A young, male, radical muslim arab checked a suitcase bomb in Germany. It connected in London and exploded over Lockerbee. That's why we now pull bags off if their owners don't make the flight. There was also a young, male, radical muslim arab who duped his pregnant girlfriend into carrying a bomb, but that one didn't make it through security. Hypothetical situation: You're managing a security checkpoint, and you have the time and resources to thoroughly search 20% of the passengers who come through. Should it be: A.) The retired Swedish veterinarian. B.) The black woman with four children. C.) The Japanese business man with a connecting flight to Tokyo. D.) The young girl on her way to boarding school with an "unaccompanied minor" tag. E.) The profusely sweating 20-year-old middle-eastern man with no luggage, a one-way ticket paid for with cash, and a British passport that identifies him as "Biff Thompson". If you picked "E" you have common sense and may have just saved hundreds or even thousands of lives, but you also committed a felony, you racist.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 1:49:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2001 1:53:10 PM EDT by Robbie]
[b]Passenger Profiling:[/b] While not on the scale that has been mentioned, profiling of airline passengers has been going on for years...well over a decade anyway. The standard version isn't race-based. It's based on several criteria. Did you buy your ticket using cash? Are you an adult traveller? There are more criteria. In days of yore, each airline worker at the airport had to memorize the criteria and could even be spot quizzed by the FBI. Now, it's a little different. Computers being more flexible/powerful now pop up a message if a passenger is to go through "secondary security measures." Passengers are told that this is random. And it is...mostly. If the computer profiles somebody based upon it's programmed criteria, it'll send a pop up message for them. If it doesn't have anybody, it will pull up people at random. But various FBI and FAA faxes are distributed to airports and then US based carriers give a second look to passengers' images that look similar to the fax/picture. Still...there are enough holes in the policy to drive a truck through. The security devices work exceptionally well [b]in their given role,[/b] but only when used properly. As long as there are people to use common sense while using the proper tools then it will work. Flying is safer now only because of greater awareness/vigilance of crews/passengers. But it's still not near 100% as the responsible people on the aircraft don't have the proper tools to defend against an onboard armed attacker. There's more...much more, but the forum will limit me to 3.5k...hehe
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 2:05:32 PM EDT
If we are to truly make an impact on terrorism, we must first understand what terrorism is about. The whole idea is not to kill a lot of people, the object is to create fear (terror) in the society you target and bring that society down. With relatively small, continued attacks – just enough to maintain the fear, but not enough to unite the people behind their government – you compel your targeted government to take restrictive counter-measures that annoy and antagonize the populace, leading them to resent their own government – especially when these measures do not stop terrorist acts. Simply stated, the events of 9/11 were too destuctive for the terrorists involved and worked against their aims. It resulted in uniting the people behind the government and led to a massive and overwhelming response that bin Laden never anticipated. Again, terrorism is not really about creating a huge death toll or, as above, it works against you. The aim is to put the government of the target country in a no-win situation: If they take effective anti-terrorist measures, they create a totalitarian state; if they stay within the accepted boundaries of a "free society", they will be ineffective in combating the threat. I am not coming down for or against the government vs freedom of rights here, I am just stating the objective of the terrorist. Meanwhile, the terrorist maintains the initiative because it is he who ACTS and the government that REACTS. For this very reason, apart from sealing the cockpit doors, I believe that most of the recently "security" measures are ineffective. In fact be counter-productive: As waiting times increase to more treble pre 9/11 waiting times, there are more and more people crowded into airports that were designed for a far faster through-put of passengers. The result is conjestion and airports packed with people. If I were a terrorist, I would be concentrating on a far easier target – the airport itself!
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 2:11:47 PM EDT
If I were a terrorist, I would be concentrating on a far easier target – the airport itself!
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Nail. Head. Or perhaps three movie theaters across the nation within a few minutes of each other...schools, shopping centers, etc. It will all make the news...
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 2:48:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent: Pan Am 103: A young, male, radical muslim arab checked a suitcase bomb in Germany. It connected in London and exploded over Lockerbee. That's why we now pull bags off if their owners don't make the flight. There was also a young, male, radical muslim arab who duped his pregnant girlfriend into carrying a bomb, but that one didn't make it through security. Hypothetical situation: You're managing a security checkpoint, and you have the time and resources to thoroughly search 20% of the passengers who come through. Should it be: A.) The retired Swedish veterinarian. B.) The black woman with four children. C.) The Japanese business man with a connecting flight to Tokyo. D.) The young girl on her way to boarding school with an "unaccompanied minor" tag. E.) The profusely sweating 20-year-old middle-eastern man with no luggage, a one-way ticket paid for with cash, and a British passport that identifies him as "Biff Thompson". If you picked "E" you have common sense and may have just saved hundreds or even thousands of lives, but you also committed a felony, you racist.
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You mean the guy with the "I'm a terrorist!" sign around his neck? [:)] Your hypothetical is simplistic and a no-brainer. Oh, and I'm not worried about the racism issue, but you seem to be. I'm arguing the impracticality of this approach, not the political correctness of it all. More realistic is the scenario where your security director has to find the one or two truly dangerous people out of thirty-six million that travel through his airport every year, stay within his limited budget, deal with near minimum-wage security personnel, impatient travellers, unions, and problems coordinating with local LE. These possible bombers are the one or two that *might* be middle-easterners, or they could be Japanese terrorists, MOVE members, or German terrorists posing as a Swedish vet [;)]. Or perhaps they are home-grown yahoos just a little smarter than Timmy. And you've used all your resources dealing with every Italian, Greek, Egyptian, Filipino, Armenian, Mexican/Central/South American, many 'stans, along with all the middle easterners. All this when they're more likely to deal with thousands of drunks, pan-handlers, pick-pockets, petty thiefs, and lost/stolen luggage than a bomb-wielding international terrorist. If you devote all your efforts to the incredibly rare occurences, you've then got nothing left for the daily stuff. As others have pointed out, profiling should be part of a coordinated and combined approach. I think airport security should be allowed to do what it can from all angles. I shudder to think what a PITA it's going to be for day to day travel if they do that, though.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 2:53:16 PM EDT
DScott: That should be "TIMMAH!!"
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:16:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent: "Swarthy passengers", specifically young male arabs who belonged to radical Muslim groups, were responsible for every single terrorist act against our airlines that I can think of, including Lockerbee. What am I missing?
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How about blonde haired, blue-eyed Iranaians? (The "Aryan" race originated in northern Iran and Indian, and many still live there). How about pale-skinned, ethnic European Bosnian and Croat Muslims? Islam is about the most non-racist, ethnically diverse religion out there. These terrorists have also displayed a good sense of what our security weaknesses are, and then they exploit them. These folks started out with truck bombs (Khobar Towers, the African Embassy bombings). When we started hardening against those, they went to our relatively weak airlines. If we stop and question based on surnames and skin tone, the next bomber will be a white guy with an Irish name (at least on the papers he uses to get his ticket). Or maybe even a lady. Heck, my sister got detained and questioned by the British after the Lockerbie bombing because she was a female, travelling alone to the states and she had a tan (dark-skinned)! If you get hung up on skin color, you'll miss the big picture. Just look at who gets busted carrying drugs into the states. The old "profile" of a drug courier does not reflect who is actually bringing this stuff in. Lots of elderly white people are doing it (and they also tend to get less time if they get caught).
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:30:23 PM EDT
I see the light now. I don't know what got into me for a while there, thinking that nervously perspiring young arab males who belong to radical Muslim groups and have one-way tickets and no luggage and passports that say "Richard Reid" might be security risks. Sorry.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:46:37 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Rodent: I see the light now. I don't know what got into me for a while there, thinking that nervously perspiring young arab males who belong to radical Muslim groups and have one-way tickets and no luggage and passports that say "Richard Reid" might be security risks. Sorry.
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Bad example... he did NOT avoid attention, and he's not even arab. He's English and Jamaican. Even when he was detained and questioned for hours, he still got on a plane the next day with explosive shoes. Ahh, thank the French! How about you question or kick off all "nervously perspiring young arab males who belong to radical Muslim groups and have one-way tickets and no luggage" from your flights. You can do that, right?
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:51:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Reloader: Apparently the DOT has decided in their infinite wisdom... Have I missed something here?
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Yes, you sure did miss something! You forgot to mention that as federal employees, they are virtually impossible to fire. So, now we basically have the same people as before, but we just cannot fire them. Democrats for life. Daschle got what he wanted most.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 3:57:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2001 3:58:24 PM EDT by DScott]
Originally Posted By 11H1P: DScott: That should be "TIMMAH!!"
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LOL! Maybe he can work security screening the arabs! [image]http://www.emerchandise.com/images/p/SOP/pdPOSOP0004.jpg[/image]
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 4:05:26 PM EDT
they will NOT require airport screeners to have a high school diploma
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So? Some of the smartest and hardest working people I know don't have a high school diploma. I don't have one, so do you think I'm not qualified to handle that job? I fought in Korea, taught college classes in several different fields, tutored comp sci and EE classes for years, designed terminal servers (both hardware & software), have almost 15 years experience managing Internet connections (not a typo), worked on voice controlled machinery for Goodwill so that the handicapped could work in manufacturing, etc.. So, I'm not good enough in your opinion to do that job? Complain about the real problem, poor management. I don't care who you are, if your boss doesn't give a (excuse my language) damn, then you probably won't either. I used to work on environmental control systems for Blockbuster Video and Hardee's. I saw great differences in the service between stores. A Blockbuster only a few miles from another would have employee's with much better attitudes and work ethics. Usually, the reason for it was clear, a better manager.z
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 4:10:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DScott: Bad example... he did NOT avoid attention, and he's not even arab. He's English and Jamaican. Even when he was detained and questioned for hours, he still got on a plane the next day with explosive shoes.
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He's ethnically arab, (his other aliases are "Tariq Raja" and "Abdel Rahim"), he belonged to the same mosque as at least one of the September 11 hijackers. He was delayed long enough at security to miss his flight, as were many other passengers. The airline put them up overnight in a four-star hotel, fed them dinner, and got them out the next day. The other passengers were apprehensive about him, his passport said "Richard Reid", he had no luggage, no job, no address, and had paid $1,800 in cash for a one-way ticket. He's a poster child for profiling.
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 4:17:14 PM EDT
Terrorists targeted airliners in the past because they were big, spectacular, vunerable and EASY. Until relatively recently, even El Al were easy targets. Once El Al made their planes difficult targets (by concentrating on the bomber – not the bomb) – no more El Al planes destroyed! But a lot more suicide bombers on buses, restaurants, discos etc. Since we have now taken some (albeit puny) measures that make U.S. planes more difficult to sabotage, why does everyone assume that the organized terrorist groups (as distinct from the "feet of fire" wacko in Paris) will keep battering their heads against the same wall. To the best of my knowledge, the Islamic faith does not require its followers (or even its terrorist fanatics) to develop and maintain a devotion to the blowing-up planes – there's no chapter on aviation in the Koran. Our continued obsession with the minutae of airline safety simply misses the point about terrorism? You could blow-up 20 Greyhound buses on the freeway – no suicide bombers needed and with virtually no risk!
Link Posted: 12/31/2001 4:24:58 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2001 4:26:05 PM EDT by DScott]
Originally Posted By Rodent:
Originally Posted By DScott: Bad example... he did NOT avoid attention, and he's not even arab. He's English and Jamaican. Even when he was detained and questioned for hours, he still got on a plane the next day with explosive shoes.
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He's ethnically arab, (his other aliases are "Tariq Raja" and "Abdel Rahim"), he belonged to the same mosque as at least one of the September 11 hijackers. He was delayed long enough at security to miss his flight, as were many other passengers. The airline put them up overnight in a four-star hotel, fed them dinner, and got them out the next day. The other passengers were apprehensive about him, his passport said "Richard Reid", he had no luggage, no job, no address, and had paid $1,800 in cash for a one-way ticket. He's a poster child for profiling.
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For profiling, yes, but not for being an arab. he's not.
The son of an English mother and Jamaican father, Mr Reid was born in 1973 in the London suburb of Bromley. It is hardly a natural breeding ground for dissidents - the borough's schools are among the UK's best and street crime is half that in smarter areas such as Kensington and Chelsea. The young Richard Reid is said to have attended Thomas Tallis secondary school in Blackheath, south-east London, from 1984 to 1989. He fell into a life of petty crime and in the mid-1990s was jailed for a string of muggings, for which he served sentences in a number of prisons, including Feltham young offenders' institution in west London. Feltham - often described as the UK's most "notorious" youth offenders' institute - has been the scene of several inmate suicides as well as a racist murder. It was while at Feltham that Mr Reid, who is accused of trying to blow up an American Airlines flight using explosives concealed in his shoes, is said to have converted to Islam. After his release, he followed the path taken by many other Muslim prisoners, to Brixton Mosque, in south London. The place of worship has a reputation for attracting converts and helping ex-offenders re-adjust to life in the outside world. Initially he fitted in well. Taking the name Abdel Rahim, he became known for his willingness to get involved in the workings of the mosque and to learn Arabic. At the same time he is believed to have taken a job making incense sticks to sell outside Brixton Underground station. But at some point Mr Reid, along with other youthful members of the congregation, began to get involved with extremist elements, says the chairman of Brixton Mosque, Abdul Haqq Baker.
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- BBC News [url]http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1731000/1731568.stm[/url]
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