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The leg / groin bomber.


TRIBE Member
And with the No Lavatory Use 1 Hr Before Landing, I can only feel sorry for the poor soul who is going to soil her/himself on some flight somewhere, when not allowed to use the facilities for a completely unforeseen and uncontainable digestive development.

Maybe there'll be pre-clearance for situations like Chron's, but I'm talking Bad Shrimp Cocktail eaten at the point of depature. Even worse if their identity gets leaked (sic) and it becomes a meme...

It'll be a shitstorm.

As a person with Crohn's I damn well hope so! Maybe I just won't eat for the 2 days before I fly to Florida.


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Went from regular security to the gigantic hand search line. Still had lots of time to spare before my flight and didn't come too much earlier.


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What Israel can teach us about security - thestar.com

While North America's airports groan under the weight of another sea-change in security protocols, one word keeps popping out of the mouths of experts: Israelification.
That is, how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which deal with far greater terror threats with far less inconvenience.
"It is mind boggling for us Israelis to look at what happens in North America, because we went through this 50 years ago," said Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy. He has worked with the RCMP, the U.S. Navy Seals and airports around the world.
"Israelis, unlike Canadians and Americans, don't take s--- from anybody. When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for – not for hours – but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here. We said, `We're not going to do this. You're going to find a way that will take care of security without touching the efficiency of the airport.'"
Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel's largest hub, Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport, has not been breached since 2002, when a passenger mistakenly carried a handgun onto a flight. How do they manage that?
The first layer of actual security that greets travellers at Ben Gurion is a roadside check. All drivers are stopped and asked two questions: How are you? Where are you coming from?
"Two benign questions. The questions aren't important. The way people act when they answer them is," Sela said.
Once you've parked your car or gotten off your bus, you pass through the second and third security perimeters.
Armed guards outside the terminal observe passengers as they move toward the doors, again looking for odd behaviour. At Ben Gurion's half-dozen entrances, another layer of security is watching. At this point, some travellers will be randomly taken aside, and their person and their luggage run through a magnometer.
"This is to see that you don't have heavy metals on you or something that looks suspicious," said Sela.
You are now in the terminal. As you approach your airline check-in desk, a trained interviewer takes your passport and ticket. They ask a series of questions: Who packed your luggage? Has it left your side?
"The whole time, they are looking into your eyes – which is very embarrassing. But this is one of the ways they figure out if you are suspicious or not. It takes 20, 25 seconds," said Sela.
Lines are staggered. People are not allowed to bunch up into inviting targets for a bomber who has gotten this far.
At the check-in desk, your luggage is scanned immediately in a purpose-built area. Sela plays devil's advocate – what if you have escaped the attention of the first four layers of security, and now try to pass a bag with a bomb in it?
"I once put this question to Jacques Duchesneau (the former head of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority): say there is a bag with Play-Doh in it and two pens stuck in the Play-Doh. That is `Bombs 101' to a screener. I asked Duchesneau, `What would you do?' And he said, `Evacuate the terminal.' And I said, `Oh. My. God.'
"Take (Toronto's) Pearson (airport). Do you know how many people are in the terminal at all times? Many thousands. Let's say I'm (doing an evacuation) without panic – which will never happen. But let's say this is the case. How long will it take? Nobody thought about it. I said, `Two days.'"
A screener at Ben Gurion has a pair of better options.
First, the screening area is surrounded by contoured, blast-proof glass that can contain the detonation of up to 100 kilos of plastic explosive. Only the few dozen people within the screening area need be removed, and only to a point a few metres away.
Second, all the screening areas contain `bomb boxes.' If a screener spots a suspect bag, he/she is trained to pick it up and place it in the box, which is blast proof. A bomb squad arrives shortly and wheels the box away for further investigation.
"This is a very small, simple example of how we can simply stop a problem that would cripple one of your airports," Sela said.
Five security layers down: you now finally arrive at the only one which Ben Gurion airport shares with Pearson – the body and hand-luggage check.
"But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America," Sela said.
"First, it's fast – there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."
The goal at Ben Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in 25 minutes tops.
And then there's intelligence. In Israel, Sela said, a coordinated intelligence gathering operation produces a constantly evolving series of threat analyses and vulnerability studies.
"There is absolutely no intelligence and threat analysis done in Canada or the United States," Sela said. "Absolutely none."
But even without the intelligence, Sela maintains, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – who allegedly tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day – would not have gotten past Ben Gurion's behavioural profilers.
So. Eight years after 9/11, why are we still so reactive?
Sela first blames our leaders, and then ourselves.
"You can easily do what we do. You don't have to replace anything. You have to add just a little bit – technology, training," Sela said. "But you have to completely change the way you go about doing airport security. And that is something that the bureaucrats have a problem with. They are very well enclosed in their own concept."
And rather than fear, he suggests outrage would be a far more powerful spur to provoking that change.
"Do you know why Israelis are so calm? We have brutal terror attacks on our civilians and still, life in Israel is pretty good. The reason is that people trust their defence forces, their police, their response teams and the security agencies. They know they're doing a good job. You can't say the same thing about Americans and Canadians. They don't trust anybody," Sela said. "But they say, `So far, so good.' Then if something happens, all hell breaks loose and you've spent eight hours in an airport. Which is ridiculous. Not justifiable."
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judge wopner

TRIBE Member
a great article that puts this in its proper perspective

Is aviation security mostly for show?

By Bruce Schneier, CNN

Last week's attempted terror attack on an airplane heading from Amsterdam to Detroit has given rise to a bunch of familiar questions.

How did the explosives get past security screening? What steps could be taken to avert similar attacks? Why wasn't there an air marshal on the flight? And, predictably, government officials have rushed to institute new safety measures to close holes in the system exposed by the incident.

Reviewing what happened is important, but a lot of the discussion is off-base, a reflection of the fundamentally wrong conception most people have of terrorism and how to combat it.

Terrorism is rare, far rarer than many people think. It's rare because very few people want to commit acts of terrorism, and executing a terrorist plot is much harder than television makes it appear.

The best defenses against terrorism are largely invisible: investigation, intelligence, and emergency response. But even these are less effective at keeping us safe than our social and political policies, both at home and abroad. However, our elected leaders don't think this way: They are far more likely to implement security theater against movie-plot threats.

A "movie-plot threat" is an overly specific attack scenario. Whether it's terrorists with crop dusters, terrorists contaminating the milk supply, or terrorists attacking the Olympics, specific stories affect our emotions more intensely than mere data does.

Stories are what we fear. It's not just hypothetical stories -- terrorists flying planes into buildings, terrorists with explosives strapped to their legs or with bombs in their shoes, and terrorists with guns and bombs waging a co-ordinated attack against a city are even scarier movie-plot threats because they actually happened.

"Security theater" refers to security measures that make people feel more secure without doing anything to actually improve their security. An example: the photo ID checks that have sprung up in office buildings. No one has ever explained why verifying that someone has a photo ID provides any actual security, but it looks like security to have a uniformed guard-for-hire looking at ID cards.

Airport-security examples include the National Guard troops stationed at U.S. airports in the months after 9/11 -- their guns had no bullets. The U.S. color-coded system of threat levels, the pervasive harassment of photographers, and the metal detectors that are increasingly common in hotels and office buildings since the Mumbai terrorist attacks, are additional examples.

To be sure, reasonable arguments can be made that some terrorist targets are more attractive than others: airplanes because a small bomb can result in the death of everyone aboard, monuments because of their national significance, national events because of television coverage, and transportation because of the numbers of people who commute daily.

But there are literally millions of potential targets in any large country -- there are 5 million commercial buildings alone in the United States -- and hundreds of potential terrorist tactics. It's impossible to defend every place against everything, and it's impossible to predict which tactic and target terrorists will try next.

Security is both a feeling and a reality. The propensity for security theater comes from the interplay between the public and its leaders.

When people are scared, they need something done that will make them feel safe, even if it doesn't truly make them safer. Politicians naturally want to do something in response to crisis, even if that something doesn't make any sense.

Often, this "something" is directly related to the details of a recent event. We confiscate liquids, screen shoes, and ban box cutters on airplanes. We tell people they can't use an airplane restroom in the last 90 minutes of an international flight. But it's not the target and tactics of the last attack that are important, but the next attack. These measures are only effective if we happen to guess what the next terrorists are planning.

If we spend billions defending our rail systems, and the terrorists bomb a shopping mall instead, we've wasted our money. If we concentrate airport security on screening shoes and confiscating liquids, and the terrorists hide explosives in their brassieres and use solids, we've wasted our money. Terrorists don't care what they blow up and it shouldn't be our goal merely to force the terrorists to make a minor change in their tactics or targets.

Our current response to terrorism is a form of "magical thinking." It relies on the idea that we can somehow make ourselves safer by protecting against what the terrorists happened to do last time.

Unfortunately for politicians, the security measures that work are largely invisible. Such measures include enhancing the intelligence-gathering abilities of the secret services, hiring cultural experts and Arabic translators, building bridges with Islamic communities both nationally and internationally, funding police capabilities -- both investigative arms to prevent terrorist attacks, and emergency communications systems for after attacks occur -- and arresting terrorist plotters without media fanfare.

They do not include expansive new police or spying laws. Our police don't need any new laws to deal with terrorism; rather, they need apolitical funding.

The arrest of the "liquid bombers" in London is an example: They were caught through old-fashioned intelligence and police work. Their choice of target (airplanes) and tactic (liquid explosives) didn't matter; they would have been arrested regardless.

But even as we do all of this we cannot neglect the feeling of security, because it's how we collectively overcome the psychological damage that terrorism causes. It's not security theater we need, it's direct appeals to our feelings. The best way to help people feel secure is by acting secure around them. Instead of reacting to terrorism with fear, we -- and our leaders -- need to react with indomitability, the kind of strength shown by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.

By not overreacting, by not responding to movie-plot threats, and by not becoming defensive, we demonstrate the resilience of our society, in our laws, our culture, our freedoms. There is a difference between indomitability and arrogant "bring 'em on" rhetoric. There's a difference between accepting the inherent risk that comes with a free and open society, and hyping the threats.

We should treat terrorists like common criminals and give them all the benefits of true and open justice -- not merely because it demonstrates our indomitability, but because it makes us all safer.

Once a society starts circumventing its own laws, the risks to its future stability are much greater than terrorism.

Despite fearful rhetoric to the contrary, terrorism is not a transcendent threat. A terrorist attack cannot possibly destroy a country's way of life; it's only our reaction to that attack that can do that kind of damage. The more we undermine our own laws, the more we convert our buildings into fortresses, the more we reduce the freedoms and liberties at the foundation of our societies, the more we're doing the terrorists' job for them.

Today, we can project indomitability by rolling back all the fear-based post-9/11 security measures. Our leaders have lost credibility; getting it back requires a decrease in hyperbole. Ditch the invasive mass surveillance systems and new police state-like powers. Return airport security to pre-9/11 levels. Remove swagger from our foreign policies. Show the world that our legal system is up to the challenge of terrorism. Stop telling people to report all suspicious activity; it does little but make us suspicious of each other, increasing both fear and helplessness.

Counterterrorism is also hard, especially when we're psychologically prone to muck it up. Since 9/11, we've embarked on strategies of defending specific targets against specific tactics, overreacting to every terrorist video, stoking fear, demonizing ethnic groups, and treating the terrorists as if they were legitimate military opponents who could actually destroy a country or a way of life -- all of this plays into the hands of terrorists.

We'd do much better by leveraging the inherent strengths of our modern democracies and the natural advantages we have over the terrorists: our adaptability and survivability, our international network of laws and law enforcement, and the freedoms and liberties that make our society so enviable.

The way we live is open enough to make terrorists rare; we are observant enough to prevent most of the terrorist plots that exist, and indomitable enough to survive the even fewer terrorist plots that actually succeed. We don't need to pretend otherwise.


TRIBE Member
mephisto: were you entering the US with such lax security?

exiting from newark to yyz

unfortunately these security hassles have ruined my nye since i'll be spending tomorrow making contrails from toronto->west palm->toronto->new york->toronto. then airlining back to newark the day after, operating back to toronto... then airlining back to newark again on tues, operating back to toronto *braf*

Subsonic Chronic

TRIBE Member
I heard on CBC radio yesterday that apparently the CIA had created a file on this dude, but neglected to share it with other intelligence agencies. Isn't this the EXACT reasons we were given for why the 9/11 attacks were allowed to happen? At least in the official government version, the excuse is that intelligence agencies weren't sharing information and even though there were signs that all these dudes training to fly in the U.S. were planning a big attack, no one was able to coordinate all the information.

Now, 9 years later and absolutely nothing has changed, except it takes 2 hours to get onto a flight and you can't bring benign items like toothpaste or nail clippers on board.

judge wopner

TRIBE Member
I heard on CBC radio yesterday that apparently the CIA had created a file on this dude, but neglected to share it with other intelligence agencies. Isn't this the EXACT reasons we were given for why the 9/11 attacks were allowed to happen? At least in the official government version, the excuse is that intelligence agencies weren't sharing information and even though there were signs that all these dudes training to fly in the U.S. were planning a big attack, no one was able to coordinate all the information.

Now, 9 years later and absolutely nothing has changed, except it takes 2 hours to get onto a flight and you can't bring benign items like toothpaste or nail clippers on board.

this sounds easy after the fact,

consider that at any given time there are thousands of people the CIA or other intelligence agencies are tracking but dont have enough evidence to charge and/or detain them. you cant simply ban each of them from getting on a plane or travelling without legal recourse and evidence.

civil liberty and human rights groups have brought to light unfair detention practices and the pitfalls of no-fly lists against people who have yet to commit a crime or at least be charged with one, so had this person been placed on a no-fly list and was detained in holland (i think thats where he boarded) the natural question would have been "why?", what evidence is there against him to constitue a national security threat? if there wasnt enough of one to seem obvious, or if they were still trying to really find out his status, it would be another case of abuse of powers and over zealous law enforcement detaining innocent people because they are muslim.

its difficult to say with any accuracy how to prevent potential targets from staging an act of terrorism without making a leap from "suspect" to potential threat significant enough to warrant "no fly list" status or to be detained prior to boarding a plane coming into the US.

even if such info was shared, theres nothing to suggest it would have mattered as he managed to board a plane to the US without a passport, they would have been no way to positively identify him.

and does anyone think sharing info on people who havent yet commited a crime with other intelligence agencies should really be the order of the day in light of the Arar affair in which one agency took what we thought to be suspicous info as sufficient to deport and obtain through torture information?
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This is Historic Times Blog Archive The Shotgun Approach


TRIBE Member
So, was it a one-way ticket then?

Where did you learn that? And where did they learn it from?

Betcha anything that they were reading news stories before formulating their false flag fantasies.

So why would the initial news stories be more trustworthy then later stories, especially when the rush to get information in a new and big cycle-fueling story typically results in innacuracies?

Anyway, your stubbornness is hilarious. Read the first link:

The "one-way ticket" meme was originally sourced to anonymous U.S. officials and has since been recited as an undisputed fact.

It has been referenced repeatedly by commentators attacking the U.S. government for missing red flags about Abdulmutallab. See for example this Michael Gerson column in the Jan. 6 Post ("Airline attack shows Obama's listless approach to terrorism") and this Michael Mukasey Wall Street Journal effort ("The president's job is not detecting bombs at the airport but neutralizing terrorists before they get there.")

In a typical case on Dec. 28 -- when the accurate information was already available -- CNN anchor Erica Hill asked: "So, just how did a guy on a terror watch list with a one-way ticket paid for in cash, with no luggage ... manage to board a U.S. airliner and allegedly try to blow it to pieces? Simply put tonight, who screwed up?"

And here's Rush Limbaugh on Friday: "When a 20-something Muslim male buys a one-way ticket with cash and has no luggage, that's not a dot. That's a fire alarm! He may as well have "I'm a terrorist" taped on his T-shirt."

But published reports on Dec. 28 cited the conclusion of the Nigerian government that Abdulmutallab had a round-trip ticket to Detroit. It had been purchased in Ghana on Dec. 16 for $2,831, according to the AP, citing Civil Aviation Authority director Harold Demuren. His return date was found by the Nigerians to be Jan. 8. (A Dutch government report described by the International Herald Tribune on Dec. 31 also said Abdulmutallab had a round-trip ticket, but it's not clear whether the Dutch were simply relying on the Nigerians' conclusion.) A full account of Demuren's comments can be found in the Nigerian newspaper The Nation here.

While the New York Times published a correction on Dec. 30 saying it had erroneously reported Abdulmutallab's ticket was one-way, many outlets that have mentioned the one-way ticket haven't run corrections.

So where did the false meme come from? Anonymous U.S. government sources. And unless there's classified information suggesting otherwise, those sources were clearly mistaken.

The first citation of a "one-way ticket" we could find is a report on Christmas day by MSNBC (cached version here): "Federal officials identified the man as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, of Nigeria, who was traveling one way, without a return ticket."

Another early reference is in the Dec. 26 edition of the New York Daily News: "Officials said Abdulmutallab was traveling one way, without a return ticket."

MSNBC's Pete Williams tells TPMmuckraker: "Though there were federal officials who initially said it was one-way, we've [been] saying since that it was round trip, which it clearly was."

But there are a whole lot of media consumers out there who believe Abdulmutallab came to Detroit on a one-way ticket.

The "one-way ticket" has been cited by CNN, Fox, Time, Newsweek, the AP, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Gannett News Service, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, the Sacramento Bee, the Globe and Mail, the Washington Times, Congressional Quarterly and many other outlets, according to a review by TPMmuckraker.

The Today Show's Matt Lauer even asked about the one-way ticket in a question to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano (who did not address the matter in her answer).

The only substantiated reference to a one-way ticket in we could find is the statement by a Ghanaian official last week that Abdulmutallab purchased a one-way ticket in cash from Accra, Ghana, to Lagos, Nigeria. That was in addition to the purchase of the ticket from Lagos to Detroit via Amsterdam, according to Deputy Information Minister Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, quoted in the Wall Street Journal. The Journal says Abdulmutallab took Virgin Nigeria flight 804 from Accra to Lagos on Dec. 24, before getting on a plane en route to Amsterdam.

There are few signs that the "one-way" meme will die any time soon.

The AP, which two weeks ago reported the correct information from Nigeria, ran a story Friday ("Experts say terror watch lists have limited uses") stating that Abdulmutallab purchased a one-way fare.​
So, looks like those who believe the "one-way ticket" meme are suckers for the mainstream media, since its MSM outlets that made the error and propagated it.

International sources, including the Nigerian government, a nigerian newspaper, a dutch newspaper, and various american outlets that did manage to get it right all say it was a round trip ticket.

That's what Im basing it on, not the New York Times.

What are you basing your contention on? A conspiracy that used MSM news sources for their riff, and now that you've heard the tune, you can't abide a change?

judge wopner

TRIBE Member

whats your feeling with the testimony by Kurt Haskell and the "well dressed indian man" theory?

ive read that some witnesses gave conflicting testimony, while others matched his, and that the Dutch authorities have scanned the airport tapes claiming no such man existed and the the would-be bomber boarded by himself with no intervention by any such person?

Haskell is a lawyer i believe and it looks like he has simply asked for the footage of him in line as he was right behind the bomber, to verify the whole period in question but they have refused.

most of the info i can find on this is only from non-mass media sites so im not sure about its veracity.
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Staff member
When I left TO on the first of Jan there were no extreme lineups and search was the same as usual. In Dubai is was very relaxed but efficient as it usually is.


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There was nothing unusual going to London on the 3rd either. I think its primarily just US flights, and maybe an extra 10 minute wait at security for everyone else.


TRIBE Member
I left Toronto yesterday to NYC and it was the same as Dec 30th. Regular security and then a complete pat down. The lines were non-existent this time. I brought two "personal items" on board this time and no hassle. From what I understand it's just for all flights going to the US.