Magic Molly wrote:Oh god, i once flew through israel. El al (the security there, for their main airline) gives you so many hoops to jump through. I was in a group, and every single one of us had to be individually interviewed to make sure they didn't think we might be planning something.
On a side note, though more time consuming, individual interviews, by trained people who had infinite stamina and did not know boredom, would be better than our current system.
I'll grant you that Israeli airport security is quite stricter that the US (I have not flown through there myself, but several family members have). However, there are several key points I think the US could learn from them-as you pointed out.
First off, these are trained professionals performing courteously, quickly, and quite excellently. They are also well compensated for their level on intelligence and professionalism. You'll be allowed your tweezers, but I've never heard of a reporter sneaking a gun or knife on "just for show". They interview every single passenger before boarding, and these agents are trained to look for any signs of deception, etc. They also check your ID against several databases, FBI, Interpol, and Shin Bet at least, probably more.
Secondly, this is no theater-this is not one point of show while the rest of the country, or the airport queue's are easy targets. Every El Al flight carries at least 2 trained operatives with firearms... No silly "Air Marshal", but military/spec ops/counter terrorist trained agent. And their cockpits have double doors with extra reinforcement, besides being piloted by ex fighter pilots. The planes also have missile countermeasures.
So yeah, here in the US we spend billions on theater... Let's make up our minds, either do it right-harden everything, or let it go. The one good thing that has come of this is the reinforced cockpits for the US. At this point, the most an attacker can do is destroy the plane, and a determined attacker will be able to until you step it up to the Israeli level.
Realistically though, security is about tradeoffs-making the effort not worth the reward. If the person is a raving lunatic (committing suicide to murder civilians pretty much puts them in that category for me, no matter their reasons) there is no way to make it not worth the reward... On a more practical basis, reinforced cockpit doors mean that there will not be another 9/11.
Here's a more likely scenario, one even I could do (and afford if I actually wanted to), an rpg fired out the top of a vehicle from the cellphone waiting lot in LAX (the landing planes come in a couple hundred feet up, nice and slow) would take out at least one plane, likely a couple, or part of a building or something as it crashed while having the effect of shutting down all air travel nationwide for days, LAX for a week or two likely, public transport in general nationwide... And you'll be driving off into downtown before anyone is near you (and an rpg isn't that difficult to come by in LA).
Yeah, it's ok, I'm already on a few lists no doubt from previous travel patterns so this doesn't really matter... But just in case, we were playing poker, all night.