Foolish Aviation Security Measures are Self-Defeating: La Nacion, Chile
For many people outside the United States, the following sentence summarizes America’s reaction to the attempted terrorist bombing on Christmas Day:
“Fourteen countries have been penalized because of the failures of U.S. intelligence.”
After fleshing out this conviction, Raul Sohr of Chile’s La Nacion goes on to explain why the measures won’t work:
The new scanning devices will be capable of detecting low-density explosives like Pentaerythritol tetranitrate [PETN]. But the scanners are slow and it will be very difficult to check every passenger unless they are informed four or five hours in advance. What will the authorities do then? They will preselect those thought to be the most likely to carry explosives. A few words to the wise: there will be even stricter enforcement of ethnic profiling than is practiced today. People with Arab-looking, brown or black skin and those from the third world will be chosen for scans. And if someone rejects the procedure? Well, as I found out in Australia for the sake of carrying a camera, one can miss the plane. The issue is far more serious and intrusive when it comes to body checks, which may include physical intrusions into bodily cavities.
Al-Qaeda and its associates operate under the logic of the terrorist method. Until they observe conditions conducive to attack, they remain in the shadows disguised as ordinary citizens. They can strike at any time, anywhere on the planet. This opens the possibility of gradually extending the blacklist of nations. This is how at the blink of an eye, insignificant splinter groups can oblige those they call impious to adopt huge and expensive security procedures. Furthermore, they serve to make many Muslim travelers who’ve never had a shred of sympathy for the fundamentalists feel uncomfortable and even discriminated against – and far more responsive to their anti-Western discourse of hate.
By Raul Sohr
Translated By Miguel Gutierrez
January 11, 2010
Chile – La Nacion – Original Article (Spanish)
Fourteen countries have been penalized because of the failures of U.S. intelligence. The citizens of thirteen majority Muslim countries will be subject to more rigorous immigration controls when entering the U.S. The same measure will apply to nationals from third countries arriving from those nations. In Nigeria the news caused fresh annoyance. Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation with 146 million inhabitants, half of whom are Muslim with 40 percent Christian, and it has no history of movements with ties to international terrorist networks. Clearly, this was precipitated by the attempted December 25 attack against a U.S. flight between Amsterdam and Detroit. But as has been widely publicized, the attacker’s father had warned the U.S. Embassy about the intentions of Abdul Mutallab, which is why holding all Nigerians under suspicion is excessive.
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