Terror myths

The notion that full-body scanners would solve the airline terrorist problem that ails us lasted a little more than a week.

Discover.com lists five reasons why body scanners may not be the solution to terrorists trying to sneak bombs and bomb-making material onto planes — and “they won’t catch most of the explosives terrorists use” only makes it to #2.

The bottom line? Playing catch-up with evildoers probably won’t do much good, which is essentially what the TSA is doing with its embrace of full body scanning technology-along with its current rules about liquids and removing one’s shoes, for that matter.

Meanwhile, a study out today on homegrown terrorists finds that most of the ones who commit acts of violence — or threatened to since 9/11 were U.S. citizens — 63 of the 139 were U.S.-born, 22 were naturalized citizens and 25 legal residents.

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Thirty-two were Arabs, 24 African-Americans, 24 South Asians, 20 Somalis and 20 whites. The authors say there is no “single profile or a common warning sign that signifies a homegrown terrorist.”

It also credited Muslim leaders in the United States with “vigorously monitoring” their communities for signs of threats.

Here’s the full report.

  • Elizabeth T

    how often have you discussed with your friends what you’ve managed to “get away with” going through airport security? I’ve managed to get on board a plane with both a 3″ pocket knife (Oct 2001) and — my all time favorite —

    a boarding pass which did not match the name on my ID (Oct 2007).

    This latter one ultimately convinces me that “security” is the reliance on good people to behave and obey the law. And that TSA (and DHS) is really not worth the money being spent on them compared to, say, basic education.

  • GregS

    This post is chuck full of illogic.

    1) No one has suggested scanners will SOLVE the airline terrorist problem.

    The scanners are designed to raise the barrier to snuggling explosives on planes and raising the barrier is what security is all about.

    2) “Thirty-two were Arabs, 24 African-Americans, 24 South Asians, 20 Somalis and 20 whites.”

    Who came up with this weird mix of race and ethnicity!

    Gosh, isn’t religion the common denominate of Islamic terrorists?

    A profiling system that focuses a HIGHER LEVEL of scrutiny on travelers from Islamic regions would be MORE effective than a method that screens all passenger at the SAME LEVEL.

    Notice the words in caps.

    Over the last few weeks NPR, MPR, CBS, ABC, NBC, NYT, etc have all publicly genuflected to the liberal myth that profiling passengers is ineffective.

    The argument goes something like….”this guy was a black Nigerian” – forgetting of course that Islam is a religion, not a race and that the north of Nigeria has always been a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.

    All the media has managed to do is demonstrate how muddled the thinking is in MSM newsrooms.