International media reports today that 2 bombs went off in BRU airport, just outside of Brussels, Belgium, and Islamic State has claimed responsibility. How did they get these bombs past security? They didn’t…
Passengers queuing at terminal counters described sudden panic and mayhem as the explosions turned the departure area into a death trap with flames, smoke, flying glass and shrapnel.
This is far from the first time such attacks have happened. For example, just 5 years ago terrorists bombed DME outside Moscow, Russia, killing 37 people.
As passengers flying from US airports this year have been told to gear up for longer wait times, largely due to the additional time added to screening by body scanners that don’t actually stop threats, they should realize what this means is that the security queues are getting longer. It sounds an awful lot to me like the TSA is creating a target rather than protecting one. Would it make less of a terroristic statement for ISIS to blow up a TSA checkpoint with 150 people than to blow up a 737 with 150 people? Of course not.
This mess brought to the taxpayer at a cost of $8B per year.
Fighting the TSA in court is expensive! Want to contribute to the fight against TSA assholery? Donate via PayPal, Venmo, Chace QuickPay, Bitcoin, or check
Well, at least if the blow up the TSA checkpoint, they do some good by taking some TSA agents as well. But seriously, if you want to keep bombs out of an area, just set up an intense electric field that would detonate most bombs before they reach the target area. The allies did this in WW2 by flying such an emitter behind a low flying airplane over a mined area of the ocean.
Homeland Security Ghoul: Airport Security Checkpoints Create Terrorist Targets, So Let’s Move Them Back Further:
Former DHS secretary Michael Chertoff suggested that airport security checkpoints be moved further from airport terminals.
This morning, prompted by anchor Charlie Rose’s leading question—“Do we need to change airport security at this point, and move it back even further, if you would?”—Chertoff first made this important point:
“Well I have to say this is something I’ve spoken to people about for some time. The actual portion of the airport before the checkpoint is not really controlled by the federal government, it’s controlled by the local authorities. And it has increasingly become vulnerable, because as people wait to go through security they actually congregate there.”
In other words, security measures put in place to prevent (extremely rare) airport terrorist attacks ended up doing nothing to prevent one of those attacks from succeeding. We closed the gates to all but ticketed passengers, and increased the intensity and invasiveness of the security checks needed to get to those gates, thus creating the softest of soft targets—huge, penned-in crowds of people waiting in security lines.
A surprisingly astute observation from a longtime security official, responsible in some ways for the current state of affairs. What does he propose to do, now that it turns out that these policies and procedures did next to nothing to “keep us safe”?
“And so now there’s an effort I think on the part of TSA to start to move the airports into pushing the security envelope back. We’ve seen some of that in terms of not allowing you to park in front of the terminal, but I think we’re going to have to step that up.”
Ah. Of course. We’ll “push the security envelope back.” The old checkpoints created crowds, sure, but once we move the security checkpoints back, just a bit bit further (to just before you enter the airport, I guess), it will be much safer for everyone, at least once everyone gets past the new checkpoints. Maybe eventually we can push the security envelope back to before you get in your car to go to the airport—your garage door, maybe?
No matter what it takes, we can count on people like Michael Chertoff to come up with bad ideas to protect us from whatever the last thing that happened was, and you can count on the press to take seriously their grim nonsense.
TSA in every house 24/7
DHS’s Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel:
DHS’s questionable findings…
• Despite concerted efforts to stem the flow, we have largely failed to stop Americans from traveling overseas to join jihadists. Of the hundreds of Americans who have sought to travel to the conflict zone in Syria and Iraq, authorities have only interdicted a fraction of them. Several dozen have also managed to make it back into America.
• The U.S. government lacks a national strategy for combating terrorist travel and has not produced one in nearly a decade.
• The unprecedented speed at which Americans are being radicalized by violent extremists is straining federal law enforcement’s ability to monitor and intercept suspects.
• Jihadist recruiters are increasingly using secure websites and apps to communicate with Americans, making it harder for law enforcement to disrupt plots and terrorist travel.
• There is currently no comprehensive global database of foreign fighter names. Instead, countries including the United States rely on a patchwork system for swapping extremist identities, increasing the odds foreign fighters will slip through the cracks.
• “Broken travel” and other evasive transit tactics are making it harder to track foreign fighters.
• Few initiatives exist nationwide to raise awareness about foreign-fighter recruitment and to assist communities with spotting warning signs.
• The federal government has failed to develop clear early-intervention strategies—or “off-ramps” to radicalization—to prevent suspects already on law enforcement’s radar from leaving to fight with extremists.
• Gaping security weaknesses overseas—especially in Europe—are putting the U.S. homeland in danger by making it easier for aspiring foreign fighters to migrate to terrorist hotspots and for jihadists to return to the West.
• Despite improvements since 9/11, foreign partners are still sharing information about terrorist suspects in a manner which is ad hoc, intermittent, and often incomplete.
• Ultimately, severing today’s foreign-fighter flows depends on eliminating the problem at the source in Syria and Iraq and, in the long run, preventing the emergence of additional terrorist sanctuaries.
TSA wants to use more junk science to identify passengers at airports!
The Transportation Security Administration — whose budget is $7.3 billion this year — spends much of that money on security screeners at checkpoints and on equipment that can detect bombs or banned items like knives.
But the responsibility for security in public areas of airports is shared by the local authorities and the T.S.A., leaving vulnerabilities in the public areas where passengers check in and drop off their bags.
“We really need to re-examine how we allocate our resources,” said John C. Cohen.
Security experts have long argued that the most effective way to diminish threats to airports and other large public spaces involves a combination of tools, including greater use of surveillance cameras, bomb-sniffing dogs and, in particular, training more security personnel in the use of BEHAVIOR-MONITORING TECHNIQUES!
The use of behavior analysis remains controversial in many countries. Civil rights groups argued that the approach is too subjective and risks exposing some travelers to unwarranted profiling based on their race or ethnicity.
EPIC Scrutinizes DHS “Insider Threat” Database:
In comments to DHS, EPIC criticized a proposed “Insider Threat” database that would gather vast amounts of personal data on individuals outside the federal agency. EPIC urged DHS to limit the scope of data collection and drop proposed Privacy Act exemptions. Citing the recent surge in government data breaches, including the breach of 21.5 m records at OPM, EPIC warned that DHS data practices pose a risk to federal employees. EPIC has previously advocated for privacy protections in background checks and consistently warned against inaccurate, insecure, and overbroad government databases.
The TSA Randomizer iPad App Cost $1.4 Million:
You may have seen the TSA Randomizer on your last flight. A TSA agent holds an iPad. The agent taps the iPad, a large arrow points right or left, and you follow it into a given lane.
How much does the TSA pay for an app that a beginner could build in a day? It turns out the TSA paid IBM $1.4 million dollars for it.
The IRS could Stop You From Flying. Here’s How:
Citizens On Terrorist Watchlist – Include A 4-Year-Old Boy – Sue Government For Violating Their Rights:
‘Bigoted and misguided’: American Muslims file twin lawsuits over terror watch list
“The terrorism watch lists are premised on the false notion that the government can somehow accurately predict whether an innocent American citizen will commit a crime in the future based on religious affiliation or First Amendment activities,” said Lena Masri, legal director for the Council of American-Islamic Relations.
Investigative journalist Cenk Uygur livestreamed booting from American Airlines flight because pilot wasn’t ‘comfortable’
Only 3 U.S. Airports Require Employee Security Checks:
Less than a month after a news outfit reported that dozens of airport employees around the country have potential ties to terrorists, officials from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admit that only three airports in the United States require workers to undergo security checks. The astounding admission, delivered this week before Congress, comes on the heels of a number of cases involving gun and drug-smuggling schemes operated by airline employees at major airports, including those located in Atlanta, New York and San Francisco.
5 Alternatives To Get Through Airport Security Without A License:
TSA: You Could be a Terrorist if you have Good Posture, Sweaty Palms, Fidget or Whistle
Boston Police Finds Muslim Surveillance Program “Flawed and Problematic,” but Implements it Anyway:
John Horgan, then Director of the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies at UMass Lowell and currently a professor of Global Studies and Psychology at Georgia State University, served as an advisor to the Working Group. He explains that in his presentation to the group, “the very first thing I did was to outline and explain why there’s no consistent profile, and why (and how) any behavioral indicators seem to be identified only in hindsight … [T]here’s [no] clear checklist of symptoms that reliably predict[s] who is a terrorist. That doesn’t exist, and I made that very clear from the very first meeting I had with the group.”
An e-mail which lists “takeaways” from the first Working Group meeting acknowledges that behavioral indicators have been “disputed as unfounded” and it “may be challenging to craft specific intervention protocols” without them.
FBI is Hiding Microphones Under Rocks, Trees and Light Fixutres To Spy On Public:
How does the TSA decide if you are who you say you are?
What the hell were these 10 people doing on the terrorist watch list?
1. US Sen. Ted Kennedy
2. Bolivian President Evo Morales
3. Nelson Mandela
4 – 6. The James Robinsons (A former US Attorney General, an airline pilot and a third grader all share the name “James Robinson” and are all on the terrorist watch list.)
7. CNN Reporter Drew Griffin
8. 6-Year-Old Alyssa Thomas
9. 8-Year-Old Mikey Hicks
10. Stanford Ph.D Student Rahinah Ibrahim
Use of Government Watch Lists To Remove Rights is Unconstitutional and Dangerous:
Customs Agents, Local Doctor Subject 18-Year-Old To Vaginal, Rectal Probing In Search Of Nonexistent Drugs:
The list of invasions and indignities perpetrated on him by the Deming police and a far-too-compliant “medical professional” is long, ugly and comprehensive.
1. New Mexico native David Eckert’s abdominal area was x-rayed; no narcotics were found.
2. Doctors then performed an exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
3. Doctors performed a second exam of Eckert’s anus with their fingers; no narcotics were found.
4. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
5. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a second time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
6. Doctors penetrated Eckert’s anus to insert an enema a third time. Eckert was forced to defecate in front of doctors and police officers. Eckert watched as doctors searched his stool. No narcotics were found.
7. Doctors then x-rayed Eckert again; no narcotics were found.
8. Doctors prepared Eckert for surgery, sedated him, and then performed a colonoscopy where a scope with a camera was inserted into Eckert’s anus, rectum, colon, and large intestines. No narcotics were found.
1700 Americans are on the No-Fly List out of a total of 81 thousand:
The FBI’s no-fly list contains about 81,000 names, but fewer than 1,000 of those are “U.S. persons,” a top lawmaker revealed Monday, giving the outlines of the secretive program on the floor of the Senate.
Another list maintained by the FBI, dubbed the “TSA selectee list” because it triggers higher scrutiny but doesn’t ban flying, has some 28,000 records, of which fewer than 1,700 are U.S. persons, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said.
Now There’s An Even Longer TSA Line For PreCheck Registration:
Customers who apply for the program, which requires a fee of $85 and a background check, say they continue to face long waits to obtain the PreCheck clearance. Such delays could grow worse because the number of people signing up for PreCheck has more than tripled in the last few months, climbing to 16,000 a day on average in May, agency officials said.
That surge has led to long delays in processing applications. Dozens of passengers who have recently tried to sign up for PreCheck say they have been given appointments for the in-person interviews needed to complete the process that are weeks or even months away.