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jfrenaye
12-28-2009, 08:19 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/12/28/new.york.explosive.onboard/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn

A man was questioned by the FBI after he was discovered to have taken a "pyrotechnic device" onto an airline flight from Baltimore, Maryland, to New York City, FBI spokesman Richard Kolko told CNN Monday.

The incident comes in a period of heightened alert on airlines, following what authorities describe as a failed plot to detonate an explosive device on an international flight into the United States on Christmas Day.

Authorities found that Thomas Ouellette, 67, of Bonita Springs, Florida, brought the pyrotechnic device onto the flight that landed at LaGuardia Airport Sunday night and interviewed him, Kolko said.

OK "fireworks/bomb" tries to take down a flight on Friday. **** hits the fan on Saturday.

TSA/US Air (I am sure) allows a man to board with fireworks from Baltimore (suburb of DC) to New York (prime target)

I mean really, did they not get the memo out?

Ned
12-28-2009, 09:46 PM
It was US Airways Express flight 4126. John, I think we can really rant against TSA on this, but not US Airways. Airlines have no control of airport security, with DHS/TSA having jurisdiction of inspections of passengers and their belongings prior to boarding, and no airline inspects passengers and their belongings once on board without specific provocation.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/TRAVEL/12/28/new.york.explosive.onboard/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn


OK "fireworks/bomb" tries to take down a flight on Friday. **** hits the fan on Saturday.

TSA/US Air (I am sure) allows a man to board with fireworks from Baltimore (suburb of DC) to New York (prime target)

I mean really, did they not get the memo out?

jfrenaye
12-29-2009, 08:06 AM
But the TSA is putting the responsibility on the airlines. The directive calls for airline personnel to pat down all passengers at the gate for incoming international flights (unless I read it wrong).

We cannot afford to put TSA agents in every international airport to gate screen passengers.

But also, the TSA jsut relaxed the memo because the carriers *****ed and now it is up to the carrier's discretion as to what they want to enforce?

We are a joke. Get rid of the TSA and let vigilante justice take over---we will be in a far better place!

mtp51
12-29-2009, 08:42 AM
John, I wish you would tell us how you really feel.........

Ned
12-29-2009, 08:51 AM
The directive states,
ACTIONS REQUIRED: If you conduct scheduled and/or public charter flight operations under a Full Program under 49 CFR 1544.101(a) departing from any foreign location to the United States (including its territories and possessions), you must immediately implement all measures in this SD for each such flight.

Note the words, "If you conduct..."

Then later on it states,
The aircraft operator or authorized air carrier representative must ensure all passengers are screened at the boarding gate during the boarding process using the following procedures

The whole thing is so poorly written and confusing it's amazing even for DHS/TSA. It's hard to tell what and who in this tale of stupidity.

For international flights, DHS asked the countries which have planes flying to the US to have their security agency, and the airlines ensure these directives are carried out. I don't know about elsewhere, but in speaking with Philadelphians coming back from Paris, it was the French security people, not the airlines, performing the pat-downs and the bag searches at the gate.

Beyond that, if I'm not mistaken, flight 4126 was a domestic flight.

At this point in the US, with TSA having taken over security at the airport, the airlines don't have the personnel to do gate searching, nor do they have anyone trained for it. I can see it now, and overly eager airline agent groping passengers. That will bring tons of law suits.

Over at CT, a number of people are saying we should be going to full body scans instead of pat-downs, that it would be more effective. I couldn't tell if any of them were Joe Lieberman or not.;) But it's interesting when I wrote about the privacy issues the same people, including Lieberman agree that full body scan xray equipment shouldn't be used. Now its we liberals with privacy issues that allowed the Northwest incident and are making passengers less safe. Such bunk.

If we're going to use full body scanning they have to come up with better procedures to ensure the privacy issues are eliminated (it's possible) and they've got to eliminate the problem of too much radiation. The manufacturers say it's no problem, but the effects of radiation are cumulative. For once a year vacationers, no sweat, but for those of us who travel regularly, it's a problem, when you add up other xrays, etc. that you get over time. Some doctors are becoming concerned that yearly mammograms are causing cancer due to the cumulative effects of radiation. It's a real potential problem.

On a cost basis, does that mean we should have a full body scan at the gate? And who's going to pay for that. Each machine costs about $350,000 (includes the control and review room for the unit), installed (I won't worry about the cost of running the thing for now.). PHL alone has 121 gates, with many more planned for the future. If we assume you could use 1 machine for every 2 gates (might hold up boarding when 2 side by side gates are used at the same time for boarding) that's 60 units at $350K or $21,000,000 just for PHL. If you've got to have separate units for many gates, then you're talking up to $41M for just one airport, and it's not even close to being our largest in the US.

But the TSA is putting the responsibility on the airlines. The directive calls for airline personnel to pat down all passengers at the gate for incoming international flights (unless I read it wrong).

We cannot afford to put TSA agents in every international airport to gate screen passengers.

But also, the TSA jsut relaxed the memo because the carriers *****ed and now it is up to the carrier's discretion as to what they want to enforce?

We are a joke. Get rid of the TSA and let vigilante justice take over---we will be in a far better place!

jfrenaye
12-29-2009, 08:53 AM
Check this YouTube video out. Caution SEVERE LANGUAGE.

But I am not so sure he has it wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA8x_YypfjA

Ned
12-29-2009, 09:14 AM
Forgetting the airlines for a moment, he sure has it right about bat day. In many stadiums, which still have bat day (most don't any more I'm told) they now give out the bats when you leave the game. By the way, when the Yankees moved to their new ball park this past season they eliminated bat day.

At the last game in Connie Mack Stadium in Phila., many years ago, they made the mistake of giving out a wooden seat slat as a souvenir to each person as they entered the ball park. By the 4th inning things were out of control. The only thing you could hear was the hammering of those slats on everything, to get more souvenirs. People carried out everything at the end of the game, even sinks, toilets, and urinals from the lavatories. When the vet closed, you better believe they didn't make the same mistake.

Of course, TSA forbids bats from being taken into the cabin by passengers. :D

Check this YouTube video out. Caution SEVERE LANGUAGE.

But I am not so sure he has it wrong.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA8x_YypfjA

Loonbeam
12-29-2009, 10:01 AM
Full body scanning does not have to be an every person operation. Instead, it could be treated in a similar manner to the way pat downs are supposed to occur (i.e. randomly). Put a truly random number generator at the metal detector security that beeps for random people. Those people get extra scanning, as well as those flagged (if the bing goes off you get pulled aside, no prediction, no exceptions). The rest follow normal current procedures.

Then, for PHL you would need maybe 6 machines, all controlled from the same operator room. This would also resolve radiation issues (although most of the new machines use a different type of radiation that is less cumulative).

Again, the question is whether you want reasonable security, or the illusion of 100% security.

The directive states,


Note the words, "If you conduct..."

Then later on it states,


The whole thing is so poorly written and confusing it's amazing even for DHS/TSA. It's hard to tell what and who in this tale of stupidity.

For international flights, DHS asked the countries which have planes flying to the US to have their security agency, and the airlines ensure these directives are carried out. I don't know about elsewhere, but in speaking with Philadelphians coming back from Paris, it was the French security people, not the airlines, performing the pat-downs and the bag searches at the gate.

Beyond that, if I'm not mistaken, flight 4126 was a domestic flight.

At this point in the US, with TSA having taken over security at the airport, the airlines don't have the personnel to do gate searching, nor do they have anyone trained for it. I can see it now, and overly eager airline agent groping passengers. That will bring tons of law suits.

Over at CT, a number of people are saying we should be going to full body scans instead of pat-downs, that it would be more effective. I couldn't tell if any of them were Joe Lieberman or not.;) But it's interesting when I wrote about the privacy issues the same people, including Lieberman agree that full body scan xray equipment shouldn't be used. Now its we liberals with privacy issues that allowed the Northwest incident and are making passengers less safe. Such bunk.

If we're going to use full body scanning they have to come up with better procedures to ensure the privacy issues are eliminated (it's possible) and they've got to eliminate the problem of too much radiation. The manufacturers say it's no problem, but the effects of radiation are cumulative. For once a year vacationers, no sweat, but for those of us who travel regularly, it's a problem, when you add up other xrays, etc. that you get over time. Some doctors are becoming concerned that yearly mammograms are causing cancer due to the cumulative effects of radiation. It's a real potential problem.

On a cost basis, does that mean we should have a full body scan at the gate? And who's going to pay for that. Each machine costs about $350,000 (includes the control and review room for the unit), installed (I won't worry about the cost of running the thing for now.). PHL alone has 121 gates, with many more planned for the future. If we assume you could use 1 machine for every 2 gates (might hold up boarding when 2 side by side gates are used at the same time for boarding) that's 60 units at $350K or $21,000,000 just for PHL. If you've got to have separate units for many gates, then you're talking up to $41M for just one airport, and it's not even close to being our largest in the US.

jfrenaye
12-29-2009, 10:52 AM
I think Ned was talking about radiation to the passengers not the screeners.

I don't know enough about the machines, but I have to think technology could "read" the scans and alert a human when an abnormality was detected. That way there is a minimal privacy issue unless it flags you.

NW CTC
12-29-2009, 11:29 AM
Maybe I'm missing something - but what's to say the Nigerian had actually strapped the materials to his body prior to going through security? After all, news reports state that he was in the restroom for 20-30 minutes; what's to say that he wasn't taping the pouch into place during that time? I realize that would mean that the pouch was overlooked in screening but that's certainly not outside the realm of the imagination, is it?

As to the syringe, all he had to do was say he was diabetic and it was filled with insulin for emergency use. Oh, so sorry, didn't realize a physician's note was needed, etc.

If (and I realize it's a big 'if' any of the above are correct, I don't see that a full-body scan would have made any difference. Would it?

Ned
12-29-2009, 11:34 AM
If we're going to spend that kind of money, we should screen everyone with the damn machine. It supposedly takes about 15 seconds to get through it. That's faster than a pat-down.

If you use this kind of machine, you don't need the metal detectors which have many false positives which require extra scanning which wastes lots of time. On a recent flight, I had to wait for almost a minute and a half each, while they unsuccessfully put the 2 guys in front of me through the metal detector 5 times each then wanded them unsuccessfully before they finally sent them to secondary screening. It turned out one had a hand wash packet in his pocket which set off the detector and wands and they never figured out why the other guy had a problem.

With regard to the radiation, I'm not concerned about TSA agents. I'm concerned about travelers, especially frequent fliers like me who will be irradiated often, and the cumulative effects of the radiation. Take the radiation at the airport we're already subject to (leakage from the carry-on units - and there is some) add in the scatter-technology xray used for the full body look, and the diagnostic xrays we get from doctors and hospitals and for quite a few travelers that can really add up.

As for 6 machines, there is no way that would be possible at an airport like PHL, in my opinion, even if we scan people at TSA security. My number came from TSA's latest stupidity about requiring pat-downs at the gate during boarding.

At PHL there are basically 7 terminals (A has AW and AE which might be called A but are very separate by use and distance). Each terminal has at least 4 lines. Each line will need one of these units. So that's at least 28 units (A palry $9,800,000), so we're now getting some reality to costs vs. effect.

(Unless there's some kind of tip, I have a real problem having people go through TSA security, and then having to do it all over again at the gate. Once though TSA security, it's supposed to be a secure area, after all. The extra boost you get by having the second check unless there is a specific reason on a specific flight just isn't going to yield any real boost in security.)

DHS/TSA keeps talking about keeping terrorists off guard by being random. That's total bull$hit. Terrorists are going to plan for the worst, the toughest security, not the easiest, that is unless DHS/TSA and their counterparts in other countries are going to continue to be so damn incompetent about what they do. The terrorists have already proved that.

Full body scanning does not have to be an every person operation. Instead, it could be treated in a similar manner to the way pat downs are supposed to occur (i.e. randomly). Put a truly random number generator at the metal detector security that beeps for random people. Those people get extra scanning, as well as those flagged (if the bing goes off you get pulled aside, no prediction, no exceptions). The rest follow normal current procedures.

Then, for PHL you would need maybe 6 machines, all controlled from the same operator room. This would also resolve radiation issues (although most of the new machines use a different type of radiation that is less cumulative).

Again, the question is whether you want reasonable security, or the illusion of 100% security.

Ned
12-29-2009, 11:43 AM
Today we now know he had the explosive sewn into his underpants.

A full body scan would have seen an unnatural shape to the underwear. A pat-down search would have felt something unusual near his crotch as the wad of explosives was apparently to large to have not been touched in a pat-down search. He got neither in Amsterdam.

Initial pat-down searches do have the problem of not being able to check the crotch (Although in Paris I was groped by the security guy and screamed at him. He stopped and never checked my upper body at all and sent me through as he was embarrassed. He supervisor gave him the evil eye when I screamed at him.) of anyone or a woman's breasts.

A full body scan can check those areas. The proposed procedure for using the machine still has privacy issues, in my opinion, but they can be overcome. The details in the scan are very sharp, very sharp indeed. In fact one unit manufacturer said he was surprised how much and well you could see of anyone's body. Until the procedures are improved, I'd rather stick to a pat down.

Maybe I'm missing something - but what's to say the Nigerian had actually strapped the materials to his body prior to going through security? After all, news reports state that he was in the restroom for 20-30 minutes; what's to say that he wasn't taping the pouch into place during that time? I realize that would mean that the pouch was overlooked in screening but that's certainly not outside the realm of the imagination, is it?

As to the syringe, all he had to do was say he was diabetic and it was filled with insulin for emergency use. Oh, so sorry, didn't realize a physician's note was needed, etc.

If (and I realize it's a big 'if' any of the above are correct, I don't see that a full-body scan would have made any difference. Would it?

Loonbeam
12-29-2009, 12:10 PM
The image sharpness is controlled by the scanning software and can be reduced for initial view, then enhanced if something needs attention. This is already done for facial features.

And I spoke to my client. The newer machines use NO radiation (as is commonly defined in the matter of X-rays). The frequency used is actually very close to wi-fi/broadband emissions at a strength of about 4 times a wireless router (since the range is short not much energy is required at all.

As she put it, its comparable to having your blackberry or Iphone on your hip all day in terms of EM exposure.

Also, the cost of a full installation is around $200,000 for the first machine (not counting infrastructure) and $150,000 for additional on the same controller. They are currently recommended for secondary screening only at this time due to the time it takes to process an image.

As a side note, if you want real privacy concerns, the scanning field can be up to 50 feet wide for a low res scan, and would not need the imaging chamber. In fact, it would be entirely possibly to do it without people knowing.

Kairho
12-29-2009, 03:25 PM
@pourmecoffee (http://twitter.com/pourmecoffee) I think naming the full body scan machines, "PassengErotica 2000" has a lot to do with the privacy concerns.

Ned
12-29-2009, 03:29 PM
There are two technologies, which TSA has been testing; "millimeter wave" (MMW) technology which bounces radio-frequency waves off people to construct a 3-D image within a few seconds, and "backscatter" units which use X-ray scanning.

While current orders by TSA are for MMW units they have not ruled out the backscatter units which are xray units.

With regard to the MMW units no long term testing has been completed on their cumulative effect on human tissue that I can find. Radio waves, of both short and long wavelengths can have adverse health effects on people according to their power, and the duration of exposure. Until more is known about their health effects there can be no reasonable assumptions made, in my opinion.

While MMW emissions can not in anyway be regarded as xray emissions, their emissions are indeed radiation.

As you stated, "The image sharpness is controlled by the scanning software and can be reduced for initial view, then enhanced if something needs attention. This is already done for facial features." While true, that does nothing to abate my privacy concerns, which are many. I believe that privacy safeguards are relatively easy to create and ensure stay in place, however, TSA has been so far completely unwilling to really listen to privacy concerns about the technology, nor change anything about their procedures and rules for the use of this technology.

I'm not knocking the technology itself, though I think there needs to be extensive testing to determine their safety before we go whole hog using it. I am angry at TSA for their refusal to put privacy safeguards in place even though they would have no effect that I can see on the efficacy of the units' use.

Getting the new head of TSA in place might help with that, but so far Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) continues to hold up the approval of Erroll Southers, a former FBI special agent and a counterterrorism expert, who has the unanimous bipartisan blessing of 2 Senate committees. He's just another "Elephant" with no solutions other than trying to stop someone he dislikes from trying to solve our problems.

By the way, the TSA "full body scan" program implementation is going ahead full bore, even though the Senate's main a$$, Joe the Jerk Lieberman contends otherwise. Today there are 40 ?full body scanning? devices in 19 airports across the country. TSA will be installing 150 more next year. That?s $52,500,000 worth of the scanners (includes installation and the room needed for observation of the results) already planned.

As to the money for these units, their installation costs are high. The installation requires significant costs for a control room for each set of units, data connections, power connections which are far more than a 110V outlet, etc. We can't say the costs are only $200,000 per unit.

Arizona Road Warrior
12-30-2009, 06:51 AM
Getting the new head of TSA in place might help with that, but so far Sen. Jim DeMint (R., S.C.) continues to hold up the approval of Erroll Southers, a former FBI special agent and a counterterrorism expert, who has the unanimous bipartisan blessing of 2 Senate committees. He's just another "Elephant" with no solutions other than trying to stop someone he dislikes from trying to solve our problems.

Do you really think that if Erroll Southers was confirmed as the head of the TSA within a month or two after being nominated in September that it would have prevented the actions of Abdul Farouk Umar Adbulmutallab? I don't think that there would have been full body scanners located in at the airports in Nigeria or Amsterdam if Mr. Southers was confirmed. This situation was the failure of sharing information among the various security agencies not having full body scanners in US airports.

In regards to Senator DeMint, I may disagree with his politics but it is his right to call for a debate on the Senate floor and a vote on the nomination. When the Democrats was out of power and one of them did something similar, did you said ?He\she is just another "Donkey" trying to stop someone he dislikes?? It took the Obama administration nearly nine months to nominate a person for the head of the TSA. Where is your criticism of the Obama Administration for taking so long to nominate someone? If this was really a priority for this administration, why did it take nine months? Furthermore, it was the Democratic leadership of the Senate that tabled the floor debate and vote until 2010? By the way, it seems to me that Erroll Southers is more qualified to head up Homeland Security than being the head of the TSA especially given the person that is now running Homeland Security.

It seems to me that the appointment of Erroll Southers is more political than about improving our airport security. It has been reported that one of the primary objectives of the appointment of Mr. Southers and\or the Obama Administration is to unionize the 50,000 TSA screeners. I don?t think that the unionization of the TSA screeners is going to solve problems (unless the problem is the DNC needing money) or improve airport security.

Ned
12-30-2009, 07:54 AM
ARW, you took my quote out of context.

The comment about holding up Erroll Southers clearly referred to my statement, "I am angry at TSA for their refusal to put privacy safeguards in place even though they would have no effect that I can see on the efficacy of the units' use." (Referring to "full body scanning")

Directly following that sentence was the one you started my quote with, "Getting the new head of TSA in place might help with that..."

I do believe that if there was someone who was the head of TSA instead of an acting head, we might quickly retire the problem of privacy with the "full body scanning" units. Quite a bit of the privacy problem has been eliminated in the last 6 months by manufacturers, but there are still some things to work out.

And no, I don't think Southers being confirmed as head of TSA would have don't anything about Abdulmutallab. TSA had nothing to do with the problem. Having a competent head of DHS and getting information sharing going between the CIA, FBI and DHS and its agencies, plus the Dept. of State, would have helped and probably prevented Abdulmutallab from boarding with the explosive.

I didn't like the Napolitano appointed then (but hoped it would be ok) and still don't.

As to DeMint and what he's doing, yes I have called many Dem senators Donkeys and some A$$es, including my own senator Spector the Elepha$$. I surely won't be voting for him in the fall.

And I agree that Southers would probably make a better head of DHS than Napolitano. Of course, I think that W would probably make a better head of DHS than Napolitano, and I think he's a total ...

In my column I was very critical of her on Monday, and her statement that "the system worked as it should have." I said to that, "Is she serious?"

Hell, the system didn't work at all, in part or mostly because the CIA continues to be a rouge organization. They didn't share their knowledge of Abdulmutallab, but then again, he wasn't unknown to DHS. They had more than enough on him to red flag him for secondary screening, and a pat-down search would have likely found the explosive sewn in his underwear. And the Dept. of State had enough reason to revoke his Visa, like the UK did earlier this year. That would have prevented him from coming on that plane, though someone else would probably have been sent in his place.

As far as unionization goes, I'm pretty ambivalent about the issue. I don't think holding up the nomination over the issue is right at all. A lot of the issue has to do with work rules and no one knows what they would be like. I don't think unionization will necessarily help TSA make us more secure, but I don't think it will necessarily make us less secure either.

If we want to improve our personnel situation with regard to screeners, we need more highly educated, more highly trained people to take the job. That will mean we need to pay more than a few dollars more to them. We need psychological profiling to be a mainstay of the TSA security system, and our current personnel don't generally have the qualifications neccessary to carry that out.

Do you really think that if Erroll Southers was confirmed as the head of the TSA within a month or two after being nominated in September that it would have prevented the actions of Abdul Farouk Umar Adbulmutallab? I don't think that there would have been full body scanners located in at the airports in Nigeria or Amsterdam if Mr. Southers was confirmed. This situation was the failure of sharing information among the various security agencies not having full body scanners in US airports.

In regards to Senator DeMint, I may disagree with his politics but it is his right to call for a debate on the Senate floor and a vote on the nomination. When the Democrats was out of power and one of them did something similar, did you said ?He\she is just another "Donkey" trying to stop someone he dislikes?? It took the Obama administration nearly nine months to nominate a person for the head of the TSA. Where is your criticism of the Obama Administration for taking so long to nominate someone? If this was really a priority for this administration, why did it take nine months? Furthermore, it was the Democratic leadership of the Senate that tabled the floor debate and vote until 2010? By the way, it seems to me that Erroll Southers is more qualified to head up Homeland Security than being the head of the TSA especially given the person that is now running Homeland Security.

It seems to me that the appointment of Erroll Southers is more political than about improving our airport security. It has been reported that one of the primary objectives of the appointment of Mr. Southers and\or the Obama Administration is to unionize the 50,000 TSA screeners. I don?t think that the unionization of the TSA screeners is going to solve problems (unless the problem is the DNC needing money) or improve airport security.

tdew
12-30-2009, 09:30 AM
THE HAGUE, Netherlands ? The Netherlands announced Wednesday it will immediately begin using full body scanners for flights heading to the United States, issuing a report that called the failed Christmas Day airline bombing a "professional" terror attack.
"It is not exaggerating to say the world has escaped a disaster," Interior Minister Guusje Ter Horst told a news conference.
She said the U.S. had not wanted these scanners to be used previously because of privacy concerns but said the Obama administration in Washington now agreed that "all possible measures will be used on flights to the U.S."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091230/ap_on_re_us/us_airliner_attack

Kairho
12-30-2009, 09:34 AM
Flying High (http://www.slate.com/id/2239935/?from=rss)
Why are we so bad at detecting the guilty and so good at collective punishment of the innocent?

By Christopher Hitchens

Loonbeam
12-30-2009, 10:51 AM
As far as DeMint goes, you know, 8 years ago I might have been willing to say he really was concerned about unionization. Now, with all of the despicable activities that have occurred on BOTH sides of the aisle, I have to honestly wonder if its that, or is it a conscious act to prevent the TSA from having a leader, to make them look bad if things go wrong for political gain.

Yes, I have no proof, even anecdotal. But in today's political climate, is it REALLY that far afield as an assumption?

Arizona Road Warrior
12-30-2009, 11:16 AM
If we want to improve our personnel situation with regard to screeners, we need more highly educated, more highly trained people to take the job. That will mean we need to pay more than a few dollars more to them. We need psychological profiling to be a mainstay of the TSA security system, and our current personnel don't generally have the qualifications neccessary to carry that out. I agree.

The first thing that I will do is to increase the salaries. The starting salary for a TSA screener ranges from $ 24,000 to $ 35,000 with $ 28,000 being the average from what I found on the Internet (it is about $ 13.50 per hour - $ 28,000 divided by 52 weeks divided by 40 hrs). At these salaries, you are not attracting the best security personnel. Get the starting salaries to $ 40,000 to $ 50,000.

The second thing that I will do is to make a BS\BA a requirement for a TSA screener.

Eileen Sellers
01-08-2010, 10:41 PM
A full body scan would have seen an unnatural shape to the underwear.


I don't know. If the gentleman was a person who needed adult diapers, I dont' think a body scan would detect anything in the diaper. I guess it just "depends".

Which brings me to the real problem. I think that diapers, baby or adult, could be tampered with to be injected with any powder and it would not be detected through a baggage scanner. So, that being the case, a body scan is useless, if the explosives are in the carry on diapers, going undetected though xray machines.

That being said, I don't think it is unreasonable to ask people to buy disposable diapers after check in, just as they do water and other material necessary to personal travel needs.

Loonbeam
01-08-2010, 11:27 PM
Lets just say that given my mother in law's medical conditions, the lack of a protective undergarment even long enough for her to wait in a security line would risk a severely embarrassing incident if not what would be considered a biological hazard...

Kairho
01-09-2010, 06:52 AM
How do you get the baby to pee at the right time?

jfrenaye
01-09-2010, 08:26 AM
I don't know. If the gentleman was a person who needed adult diapers, I dont' think a body scan would detect anything in the diaper. I guess it just "depends".

Which brings me to the real problem. I think that diapers, baby or adult, could be tampered with to be injected with any powder and it would not be detected through a baggage scanner.

Its been a while since my kids were in diapers, but if I recall, when they loaded up with pee the fluff 9or whatever is inside them) sort of congealed to keep the pee away from them. Certainly this is some sort of chemical reaction and if there was a suicide bomber willing to take his own life (or even an infant) and there was a way to have urine (or a component) activate something--a bomb, a chemical gas that woudl permeate the cabin, etc. It could be very effective.

It is a given a kid will pee on a flight of any length

Eileen Sellers
01-09-2010, 09:25 AM
How do you get the baby to pee at the right time?


I was thinking more of powder explosives in the fillament. Which then brings up talc powder containers as well. The xray machine can't tell
the difference.

Ned
01-09-2010, 10:08 AM
Eileen, if you're talking about putting the explosives in the extruded filaments, it isn't going to work, and why bother, you could embed explosives in the non-woven absorbent material far more easily.

The problem, of course, is the urea and what it would do to the explosive either way.

Moreover, an explosive sniffing dog could detect the explosive. Use of these dogs is something I've been advocating for years, but TSA seems to only want expensive hi-tech solutions of dubious benefit.

Beyond that, it would be even easier to take a small thin block of C4 or other high explosive, wrap in saran and stick it up the sphincter with a rubberized end or wire so you could pull it out. That would get it past most dogs, and definitely past a pat-down search or full body scanner.

Kairho
01-09-2010, 11:08 AM
Moreover, an explosive sniffing dog could detect the explosive. Use of these dogs is something I've been advocating for years, but TSA seems to only want expensive hi-tech solutions of dubious benefit.
The TSA National Explosives Detection Canine Team has been in operation for quite a while. I've seen them at checkpoints a few times and am sure they are sniffing checked luggage, too.

Ned
01-09-2010, 11:18 AM
They are indeed at work, but they are far too few in number. I the last 3 years I've run into them only once, in Houston.

I run into them more often in Amtrak stations in PHL and NYP. They seem to be at those stations about half the time I'm there.

The TSA National Explosives Detection Canine Team has been in operation for quite a while. I've seen them at checkpoints a few times and am sure they are sniffing checked luggage, too.