December 22, 2001, Richard Colvin Reid, a self-admitted member of al-Qaeda, became known for attempting to blow up an aircraft by igniting explosives in his shoes.
As a result of this action, the US government implemented an airport security measure requiring all passengers to remove their shoes to go through the X-ray machines looking for any further explosives. Almost 10 years later and the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, Homeland Security is planning to phase out the program and once again allow passengers to leave their shoes on.
On December 28, 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, attempted to blow up a NorthWest aircraft over Detroit when he lit his underwear (containing a poorly crafted bomb) on fire. Although Al Qaeda, who took credit for the attempted bombing, boasted their “ability to overcome U.S. intelligence and airport security”, why are we not required to take off our underwear to go through security?
I have traveled to various countries and cities around the world and I do believe that there are better ways to handle the situation, without compromising our security. The latest options being reviewed include one based on the Israeli-Style Beheviour Detecting Technique. Basically, that means that you will be asked a lot of questions possibly based on where you are going and why. They are going to ask why you are going/coming to and from the city/country? How long you plan to stay, is it for business or pleasure, did you pack your own bags, has any one given you anything to carry on and the list goes on.
I guarantee you that this new procedure should it come about will anger a lot of people since these days everyone is sensitive to “racial profiling”. If you are an innocent person and have nothing to hide, then even if you are from a country where problems exist, you really shouldn’t have a problem. Unfortunately, this is nothing more that the “one person who ruins things for everyone”. Nothing more and nothing less.
I can give you a great example:
I had a couple of passengers on board that were of Middle Eastern decent. Did I watch them more carefully than I would a passenger from say, Little Country Boy Town, USA? Perhaps and I don’t apologize for that. It is my responsibility to protect my passengers and I do pay more attention to every passenger, especially those who are from an area of conflict and concern. Did I think that they were there to harm us? NO.
What actually concerned me more was the guy in row 2 that kept looking back at them and asking me every 30 seconds what they were doing! He was staring to making me angry and I finally had to tell him in so many words to shut up. I told him ever so politely that they were not “doing” anything and that his behavior was way more suspicious that theirs, especially since they slept the whole time!
Turn around and mind your own business. It’s one thing to be aware of your surroundings and a whole other story to persecute someone just because they wear a turban on their head.
This morning, I read on an industry website that ” TSA Administrator John Pistole has announced the expenditure of about $44.8 million for the purchase of 300 millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines for deployment to airports nationwide. TSA says the machines will further strengthen security at US airports. The new machines have automated target recognition software. These so-called “stick figure” scanners are designed to eliminate revealing, passenger-specific images.”
So, what you are telling me is that a country that is already in trouble financially is going to spend MILLIONS of dollars on new software so that someone’s feeling don’t get hurt! What about Medicare and Social Security so that people can feed themselves? Who cares about health care and nutrition as long as no one sees me “naked” on some X-ray just to see that I really do just have my knee replaced! Argh!