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January 1st, 2010
10:51 AM ET

Airport Security Solutions

A week ago today, we were getting sketchy reports about some sort of incident aboard a U.S.-bound passenger plane.

As details of what happened aboard Northwest 253 trickled out, the story got much more disturbing.
THEN we started hearing about missed opportunities to "connect the dots".

This week, Kyra wanted to look at airport security changes that'd be easy to implement - and effective.




soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Boycotting none compliant airports is a grand idea but sooner or later these sleeper cells are going to go for the next best thing which is attacking the terminals themselves this is a none investigated issue.

    January 1, 2010 at 11:34 am |
  2. Jennifer L.

    The inadequate status of airport security leading up until last week's incident doesn't surprise me. On the weekend of December 12, my mother flew from Boston, MA to Washington, DC to visit. When she got to my home she was looking for hand lotion in her purse, dumped out its contents, and was shocked to see not one, not two, but THREE Swiss Army knives in her purse, which was her carry-on bag earlier that day. One of the knives was a full-sized pocket knife, and the others were smaller key-chain types. Yes, this was a purse that went through TSA screening at Boston Logan airport – where one of the 9/11 flights originated. How on earth did she get through security with those in her bag? We were all just flabbergasted.

    Let's hope that the Detroit incident serves as a wakeup call for ALL TSA security. They are NOT getting the job done!

    January 1, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  3. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    I think that we should profile all people with Islamic names and those who look like they might be Muslims. The Muslim faith should not be offended either because this war is against Muslims that are taught that they should do jihad and become a martyr! They also should know that these teachings come from the Koran! All Muslim people should denounce the way their young are being taught this hateful ideology! I have not read the Koran but have heard that some of the verses teach the hatefulness of other people and to kill the infidel. If their are such teachings like these in the Koran the Muslim people should re-write it! They also should denounce jihad and martyrdom! The extremists believe that jihad is to control the world but I think it should be taught as more of self control and as far as martyrdom it is one that would give his life for another not kill people that they hate!

    January 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
  4. Michael Cregge

    I think that we need to reverse the current policies on checked and carry-on luggage so that you pay to carry bags onboard, rather than pay to check them. The current practice of paying to check bags causes more people to carry them onboard in order to avoid the cost, but it slows the security screening and boarding processes. It may even impact the effectiveness of the security screening because of the higher demands it places on TSA crews. Paying to carry onboard would shift the behavior toward checking bags and yield the following benefits:

    – Speedier security check-in because there are fewer bags to go through the process
    – Speedier aircraft boarding because fewer people need the time to search the cabin for limited space in overhead compartments
    – More effective searches of the bags that are brought onboard because there are fewer items to search
    – Potential to shift available TSA personnel to more careful body searches and secondary screenings because there are fewer bags to search (may be able to shutdown a screening line or two)

    People who carry bags on board the aircraft get the benefit of skipping baggage claim, but at the expense of slowing down the check-in and boarding process. They ought to pay for that benefit.

    January 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  5. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    We should follow Israels lead with profiling I apoligize to the Muslim people but the odds of being attacked points towards the radical part of the Koran.

    January 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
  6. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I think these guys trying to blow themselves up must be stoned out of there damd minds I would give drug test.

    January 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm |
  7. Jim D

    Fire Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano then hire Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio or Tom Tom Tancredo to replace her. This would be a start but true safty in the air will not come back till after the 2012 elections.

    January 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  8. Michael Cregge

    A decision to adopt profiling makes sense, but it would be more challenging to enact from a civil rights/political perspective. I'm not sure we're there as a nation yet.

    January 1, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
  9. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Here's an Idea place bounty hunters in airports.

    January 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  10. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Here's your chance to tell how you would solve this proublem sound off and give your solution.

    January 1, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  11. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I think i would rather take my chances with a train or a cruise liner.

    January 1, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  12. Jim D

    I was just wondering what's to stop a Islamic Terriost from using a women with breast implants full of expolsives. Should we install Mammogram Machines at airports or just put strippers and porn stars on the no fly list.

    January 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
  13. A. Smith, Oregon

    In the past Bush-Cheney administration, CIA lapse of judgment and negligence resulted in 911 and Bush-Cheney rewarded that Govt. Agency with additional 10's of Billions of dollars. And then created the 100's of Billions of dollar Dept. of Homeland Security agency which was sold to the lawmakers and taxpayers as insuring that vital information was shared to all Govt. Agency's as it was collected. 7 Years later, we have the same problem and the same excuse from the CIA for its failure and lapse of judgment.

    The UK had the Nigerian bomber on its no fly list. The UK had the Nigerian bomber on its no entry thru any means list. The CIA was aware of that. The CIA was also aware the Nigerian bomber was in touch with the same Muslim Cleric that convinced Maj. Hussan MD. to recently murder his fellow Army soldiers.

    Recently, the CIA carried out a midnight attack which resulted in a large number of young Afghan civilian deaths. President Karzi specifically pointed out that attack was carried out by the CIA. Afghan citizens region wide expressed their outrage and anger at the American soldiers in Afghanistan over that incident. American soldiers didn't slaughter a large number of young Afghan civilians, the CIA did.

    Instead of rewarding the CIA for utter failure and inciting hatred and violence in the very people Americans want as our friends as the Bush-Cheney administration repeatedly did, President Obama should chop several CIA department Heads off when he returns from his vacation in Hawaii and meets with them.

    January 2, 2010 at 2:44 am |
  14. Overseas Contractor

    TSA needs to have clear-cut, and enforced, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) at all of the US airports. I travel a lot, and see an incredible variety of techniques(?) used by their personnel. The standard of training for TSA is weak at best. There seems to be no physical fitness standard for the personnel employed by TSA. It seems to be a "Jobs Program", as most of the TSA personnel I have encountered seem to have either no interest in their job, or just get a kick out of hassling people for sport. Compared to the level of professionalism I was witnessed in other airports, TSA is a "weak sister". I would start the fix at the top. Janet Napolitano needs to go. She has no background to qualify her for this position, and it flows downhill from her. Are we, as a country, willing to sacrifice our safety for an organization like TSA?

    January 2, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  15. frankie

    You reported about, and showed us a photo, of how the would-be bomber put explosives around his most private part. I used to think that full-body scanning machines were an invasion of privacy, but, now I think that they are a basic necessity. And also, if it was 100 percent possible to prevent every possible kind of today's terrorism, we would not have to be at war right now.

    January 2, 2010 at 12:37 pm |
  16. John Morton

    If current TSA staff can't detect strapped-on hardware with pat-downs, why don't they hire and train the visually impaired? Anyone who can read Braille with their finger tips, should be able to detect an extra strap...

    January 2, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  17. SamRam

    Without a doubt; if you are thre victim of an explosion and by some chance happen to survive with "only" injuries; when you arrive at the hospital, you wil be scanned and never know, or care, who is doing the scanning - and be most grateful you are there. I recently was diagnosed with prostate cancer and went through so many scans to make sure it hadn't spread that I do not even remember how many - I did not even consider who was "checking me out" and could care less. Let female TSA agents attend to female passenger scans; and let male TSA agents attend to male scans. If you have been to a high-school locker room; a health club locker room; a college or military locker room - you have, most likely, been more "exposed." Get a grip folks. We are talking life and death here for you as an individual; or your loved ones that are boarding planes; and we know that airplanes are the target of methodical attacks. You'll get over it! Be thankful we have the technology. Have a Safe, Secure and Happy Flight!! Happy 2010!!

    January 4, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  18. Dodie

    Question # 1 Why is the US experiencing more terrorists attempts than any other country in the world?

    How would you feel if you had Afghanistan and Iraqi military in your back yard, blowing up your city and killing innocent people, some of whom may be friends or family? I am pretty sure you would be outraged!

    No country on this planet likes another country’s military stationed there! Japan is requesting the USA move our base out of Okinawa and we refuse. They are currently protesting. What do you think will be next?

    By spending more millions of dollars on screening devices, and whatever along with removing our freedoms, why not go to the source of this whole problem….. I would recommend we pull out of the Middle East entirely! Al Qaeda is no longer in Afghanistan; however, large oil reserves are!!! The entire world knows this except for the American people! If you want to know the root of our problem… Google “Project for the New American Century”

    January 4, 2010 at 11:31 am |
  19. LouFur

    Subject: Air safety TSA.. Those with heart pacemakers are advised not to be "wondered" or go through xray machines. How will the tsa check those individuals with "pacemakers?

    January 6, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  20. Wale Falodun

    Kyra had a great episode yesterday about the future of terrorism. We do have to be vigilant. Its scary but we will get through it.

    January 7, 2010 at 10:31 am |
  21. Steve

    Re: "Heads must roll" – how, at this point, will that fix the problem or improve our intelligence and security? How many heads should roll? Who will take the place of the person(s) whose head rolls? Will "heads rolling" fix the problem? What is more important – fixing the problem or "off with their head"?

    I'd prefer our focus being on a complete and thorough cause analysis, and corrective action that will ensure the error does not occur again.

    January 7, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  22. Steve S

    Look, if the FBI under the Bush administration can monitor our internet activity to the point that a teenage girl was detained for "threatening" the president. How about looking externally to the same degree?! Its quite terrifying that the government is more concerned about watching us than they are about protecting us.

    January 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  23. pat mcginn

    The Isralys must have a good system .Mabe we could learn something from them?

    January 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  24. Concerned Citizen, South Carolina

    Re Flt 253 issues, why don't intelligence agencies create a "no travel in or to the US List" instead of a "no-fly list"? For goodness sake, all agencies, i.e., immigration, CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Agency (which is supposed to connect the dots), should share all lists.

    January 7, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  25. Usha

    Two comments about air security –

    1. How about putting some of the security scanning features in the plane you are boarding? this way regardless of where it originates we can scan the person as they are entering the plane and make a call of what to do before the plane is airborne.

    2. The muslims around the world are forcing us to have a holy war then why not call on the christians and others to offer daily prayers and what ever their religion suggest to do to gain spiritual strength. not only this is good for every ones soul but there is somethng to say about spiritual strength as well.

    thanks for this forum. keep up the good work

    January 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  26. Tony Loynes

    Re "Connecting the Dots". Maybe they should just let a Charge Card company do the job. They have a lot of experience in managing large databases; a large number of customers; a large number of transactions; and connecting many types of dots to identify both behavioral traits and fraud. This administration seems to have too many so-called leaders who are complete misfits, or have been installed with the hope that "on-the-job training" will suffice.

    January 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  27. JIM

    Kyra. 1-8-10

    Freedoms apply to life “at large” in the U.S. However, people would be stunned if they knew the “at large” rights they give up when the simply go to work; often free speech and due process are suspended. So it doesn’t seem to be such a large leap to say that flying a plane is a privilege situation with own security checks that present a far fewer set of limitations to ones’ rights due to processes that some see as not in accordance with the “at large” set of freedoms we enjoy. The procedural limitations are to ensure greater safety for passengers and crew. One doesn’t need be a savvy passenger to be familiar with these precautions well ahead of time. It’s part of the decision to fly or not fly. Therefore, getting “puffed”, scanned, swabbed, or sniffed (please no huskies, they’re brutal!) are necessary procedures par for the course in context of the post 9/11 world.

    The better question is why didn’t these procedures get implemented and maintained long ago; right after 9/11 or in 2004 in accordance with the 9/11 Commission Report.

    January 8, 2010 at 1:42 pm |