Sunday, December 27, 2009

If Real People were in Charge of Airline Security

 Merry Christmas from Al Qaida was the message brought by 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to the city of Detroit on Friday. I'm sorry, it's time to start profiling these nuts.
A few facts about this guy:
1. His father warned the US embassy in Nigeria that Umar was a threat.
2. He was placed on a watch list but not the "do not fly list" by US officials.
3. According to Fox News he was not “watchlisted” as of 25 December 2009.
4. He was seated in the section of the aircraft most vulnerable to explosion:
A former government official who is very familiar with airline security but not involved in this investigation, told Fox News that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's airplane seat selection does not appear to have been randomly selected. The suspected terrorist was sitting in seat 19A, which, according to the official, is located right above the fuel tanks, atop the wing and next to the skin of the aircraft.
If there is an explosion, the official said there is a high likelihood that the explosion could be accelerated by the fuel tank, damaging the plane's structure and puncturing the skin, which would bring down the plane.
The official said that when homeland security analyzes attempted plots, one of the first things they look at it is where the suspect was sitting on the aircraft. This seat selection is considered one of the two most vulnerable parts of the aircraft, according to the official.

It's time for profiling these idiots. So here's what you do, National Security guys. You give your big long watch list to the airlines and let them decide what to do with them. Flight attendants are trained to lie and disarm. Here's the way it might have gone Saturday:

Boarding Supervisor: Take a look at that name, sound Arab to you?
Flight Attendant: Ya think? Let's check the list. There he is, he's on it. But not a "no flyer."
Boarding Super: let's see where this joker is seated. Hmm. 19A, that's right over the wing. Says here he's a diabetic. gives him a pass on carrying liquid meds. What do you think?
Flight Attendant: Let's call him up. I definitely want to change his seat.
Supervisor: (announcing) Mr. Adu Taliban, Mr. "Imfromthetaliban"  of Nigeria, please come to the podium.

Abdumutallab, (approaching the podium nervously): yes, is there something wrong?

Flight attendant and Boarding supervisor look at each other and nod
Boarding Supervisor: Mr. Abdumatallab, we would like to board you first. Please follow our flight attendant, and this security guard onto the plane. Because of your medical condition we would like to board you first.

Boarding Supervisor: (after they have left, announcing): We have a few seat changes on our flight this afternoon--if I can have volunteers who are willing to serve as "passenger watchers" come to the podium at this time I can offer free tickets to wherever Northwest flies....

On the aircraft--
Flight Attendant: Mr. Abdumatallab, for your own safety and the safety of our passengers, we are seating you in the back of the aircraft next to the bathroom, it's the safest place on the plane. I'll hang on to your bag with your medication, you can just ring if you need it. I'll keep my eye on you the whole flight so you won't have anything to worry about. Oh, and you'll be right across from the Israeli rugby team, so I'll have some nice strong men to take you--help me if you have a seizure. Enjoy your flight.

There you go, no rights violated. the threat is reduced, and the would be terrorist (if he doesn't pee his pants) is less likely to follow through with any attempt. If only the world was a sane place. 

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