Monday, December 28, 2009

Warning Flags, Ignored

Let's see — Here are a few things we know (from the news reports) about the piece of sub-human garbage who tried to kill a large number of humans on Christmas:
    • He bought a one-way ticket
    • He paid cash
    • He apparently bought it pretty close to the last minute
    • He checked in with no checked baggage

All these are things we have been told ad infinitum would always produced detailed secondary screening. But it's pretty clear no secondary screening — detailed or otherwise — ever took place. If it had, that screening would probably have turned up the fact that
    • He had been reported as a dangerous extremist to US and foreign authorities by his father,
    • He had been denied a re-entry visa (to return to school) by the British,
    • He was associated with al Qaeda in Yemen, which has claimed the blame for this attack, and
    • He was on a warning list of dangerous, terror-connected individuals, even though
    • He hadn't (yet) been promoted to the no-fly list

These are just a few warning flags. I've no doubt there were more.

It looks to me like the bureaucrats of the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) really don't know what they're doing. As a result, they are mainly just hassling ordinary passengers without doing what's needed to make us safer.

One more thing: After Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber", tried to blow up a plane over the Atlantic 8 years ago, we all had to start taking off our shoes for screening. Since this guy had his PETN explosive in his underwear, will we have to start taking ours off for TSA?

UPDATE: Another missed warning flag — on his way to a frigid city, he had no coat.

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