Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Practice Bombs Are OK

What the hell, man?

Two men taken off a Chicago-to-Amsterdam United Airlines flight in the Netherlands have been charged by Dutch police with “preparation of a terrorist attack,” U.S. law enforcement officials tell ABC News.

...

The two were allowed to board the flight at O’Hare airport last night despite security concerns surrounding one of them, the officials said.

The men were identified as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al Soofi, of Detroit, MI, and Hezem al Murisi, the officials said. A neighbor of al Soofi told ABC News he is from Yemen.

Airport security screeners in Birmingham, Alabama first stopped al Soofi and referred him to additional screening because of what officials said was his “bulky clothing.”

In addition, officials said, al Soofi was found to be carrying $7,000 in cash and a check of his luggage found a cell phone taped to a Pepto-Bismol bottle, three cell phones taped together, several watches taped together, a box cutter and three large knives. Officials said there was no indication of explosives and he and his luggage were cleared for the flight from Birmingham to Chicago O’Hare.

Once in Chicago, officials say they learned al Soofi checked his luggage on a flight to Washington’s Dulles airport for connections on flights to Dubai and then Yemen, even though he did not board the flight himself.

Instead, officials say, al Soofi was joined by the second man, Al Murisi, and boarded the United flight from Chicago to Amsterdam.

When Customs and Border officials learned al Soofi was not on the flight from Dulles to Dubai, the plane was ordered to return to the gate so his luggage could be removed. Officials said additional screening found no evidence of explosives.

I just flew to Australia and back.  During that time, I was patted down, forced to take my laptop out of its supposedly X-ray friendly bag, asked questions about my wife’s medicine and put in an X-ray backscatter machine that irradiated me and snapped pictures of my junk.  Read this story about TSA digging through a woman’s purse and accusing her of embezzlement because she had checks on her (note: TSA is not supposed to be screen for criminal activity).

And these bozos were allowed to board not one but two flights with a mock bomb in their luggage?  And they were then allowed to check their luggage on one flight while they boarded another and escaped to Europe?  The excuse I expect to be made is that they were flagged by TSA and their luggage searched and found to be harmless.  But you don’t let mock bombs go through.  That only sets the stage for them to try with real bombs and non-bulky clothing. I mean, what is a cell phone strapped a bottle of Pepto suposed to be if not a mock bomb?  Was he planning to call the bottle when he landed to make sure it was OK?

Stories like this make me really think our elaborate security screenings are so much anti-terrorism kabuki.  The illusion of safety is more important than the reality of it.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/31/10 at 04:41 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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