One country comes to mind when you think of airport security: Israel. I have never been to Israel, but I know that they don’t mess around when it comes to airport security. They use layers of security. They profile everyone for “passengers who could pose a potential risk” aka intent. And they don’t have an ACLU.
“Before even entering the airport, all cars are stopped for a security check by armed guards. Cameras scan license plates to match them with a database of suspicious vehicles. Security officials said it’s one of the many security filters passengers pass before boarding flights, some of them unknown to the passengers and many others still kept secret.”
“The Israeli airport’s spokesman’s unit said the main terminal is equipped with 700 closed-circuit cameras and is fortified against explosions. The large glass wall at the front and even the trash cans inside are bombproof, they said. ”
“Before approaching the ticket counter, passengers are thoroughly questioned by ‘selectors’ who look for travelers who match a suspicious profile.”
Israel also uses “Behavior Pattern Recognition” (which has been implemented in at least two US airports, Logan International in Boston and Miami International)
“The process scans the behavior of people in airports to identify potential terrorists. Pattern recognition, in the normal course, identifies vaguely delineated entities, such as diseases, human faces, or video images. This article presents behavior pattern recognition as a logical neural process, which senses the behavior of objects in the environment. The human mind applies the process, supporting it with massive memories and myriad analytical subsystems. Behavior pattern recognition enables the human mind to understand events.”
“Israeli security systems evaluate a series of events to reach a conclusion. Their airport screening supervisors have a score sheet with a list of behaviors on it.”
Security Solutions asked:
“What can U.S. airports learn from the way Ben Gurion manages aviation security?”
“According to Raphael ‘Rafi’ Ron, who served as director of security at Ben Gurion for five years, aviation security in the U.S. suffers from two shortcomings that Ben Gurion has dealt with and overcome. First, the U.S. has failed in its efforts to develop comprehensive layered security programs that protect airports in their entirety, from perimeter access roads to passenger checkpoints. Second, airport security directors in the U.S. have failed to come to terms with what Ron calls the human factor — the inescapable fact that terrorist attacks are carried out by people who can be found and stopped by an effective security methodology.”
Mr. Ron, now President of New Age Security Solutions, is a consultant for Logan International Airport in Boston. Ron makes note of the differences between Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport and Boston’s Logan:
“Ron acknowledges that specific procedures probably will not transfer directly from Ben Gurion to Logan or to other U.S. airports. Ben Gurion, for example, is relatively small. It deals with 6 to 10 million passengers a year, whereas 25 to 30 million passengers move through Logan. Ron also notes that while the terrorist threat in Israel is similar to the threat posed by terrorists to U.S. airports, the level of intensity is lower in the U.S.”
Israel’s policy in short: it’s all about the people, stupid. Profile everyone, assess terrorism risk, respond accordingly.
Like Melissa Clouthier, I too was selected to be randomly screened at an airport shortly after 9/11, while traveling (solo) with my kids (ages two and eight, at the time). I blame the gum that was all over the seat of my pants. Yay, kids! The incident happened at MCI in Kansas City. My two-year-old son was screaming because he thought, as the agent wanded me, that I was being harmed. He was not in a stroller and kept coming over to me, the agent said “he cannot touch you”. Another mommy who was also on our flight picked him up, he screamed louder, as me and my threatening self were cleared for takeoff.
According to the TSA’s website, they’re no longer causing separation anxiety:
“We will not ask you to do anything that will separate you from your child or children.”
As of today, you and your children are subject to screening. Now that you know this, talk to your younglings about what’s going to happen at the airport. There is a possibility that they will be patted down or wanded with a hand held metal detector, demonstrate these actions to them at home so that they know what to expect. And if you’re one of those people with small children who’s boycotting air travel until the TSA changes their policy, many thanks. Personally, I like my flights children free.
Rebecca Grunewald is a ruling-class RINO, born and raised inside the beltway. She now plays modern domestic goddess in Middle America. Her hobbies include practicing elitism, eating peas and superior tweeting.