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Plane to See

December 27, 2009

The good news about the attack on Northwest 253 is that it wasn’t successful in its original intent, ie in blowing up the plane. The bad news is that the only reason it didn’t succeed is some technical problem with the explosive device which gave passengers the time to keep the worst from happening. And the other bad news is that the wrong lessons are being learned: instead of making airport security more effective, it’s only being made more cumbersome.

Not to play the know-it-all, but it seems that pinpointing terrorists-to-be isn’t all that hard. The Fort Hood shooter was known to argue in favour of jihadis and he literally had his willingness to kill for his warped ideology written on his business card. And Abdulmutallab who tried to kill 300 people on Northwest 253 had caught intelligence agencies’ attention two years ago and even his own father thought him such a serious threat that he reported him to the US authorities. A couple who was on that flight reports that Abdulmutallab tried to get on the plane without a passport.

What’s the use of nobody being allowed to take as much as a nail clipper on board of an airplane when genuine red flags don’t trigger appropriate actions to contain those who are truly worrisome?

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