TSA Airport Lines – Bigger Target for Al Qaeda

Posted on January 5, 2010

Over at Big Government, Lurita Doan* has made an observation that needs legs, not dots to run over and connect it to the Department of Homeland Security.

Unintentionally, DHS is creating the next opportunity for a terrorist attack. Screening procedures, document checks, baggage X-rays, shoe inspections, as well as whatever new procedures are dreamed up to check for explosives in underwear, have caused longer delays at airports.  These procedures are why we are told to get to the airport early.

By creating these long lines of waiting travelers, DHS has created the next target for an al-Qaeda bomber. The line itself. A suicide bomber could kill more passengers by igniting a bomb in the midst of the long line of travelers as they wait to be screened by TSA. Why bother to try to smuggle explosive on the airplane when it is far easier to blow up people standing in line?  Not only is there no security involved, but the number of travelers is far greater.

Watching DHS continually overreact to security challenges and then inadvertently create even bigger potential security problems is painful.  As the 9/11 commission correctly noted, our leaders lack sufficient imagination.  And so, we are probably doomed to more of the same. [Big Government]

For my money this is a brilliant observation. Think of all the suicide bombers who have blown up lines of police recruits in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They didn’t try to sneak into the recruitment centers. More people were waiting outside.  Similarly the shooter at Ft. Hood struck a line of servicemen, not the facility they were waiting to enter.

Doan* is more than qualified to examine the nuts and bolts of security procedures and to think of their impact. She founded her own hi-tech surveillance company and went on to serve as Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) from 2006-2008. [Doan]


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