Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Endless security battles

  • Print

Defence experts are fond of saying that for every measure, there is a countermeasure. Well, let's hope they are wrong about underwear bombs.

Al-Qaida's foiled plot to blow up an American-bound airliner exposed a chilling new reality. Terrorist bomb-makers have designed an underwear bomb that is made completely of chemicals, including the detonator, making it undetectable by the conventional pat-downs and metal detectors used in most of the world's airports.

It is unclear if it would have been detected by advanced imaging screening devices, known as the "naked" X-ray machines. Some reports claim it would have been discovered, while others say it would have cleared security.

But even if advanced technology could have interrupted such a terrorist plot, the problem is many airports around the world do not deploy it, including many in major European cities.

When terrorists struck on 9-11, airport security tightened up dramatically, much to the annoyance of travellers. A year later, a man on a flight from Paris to Miami tried to detonate a bomb hidden in his shoes. Security increased again, and passengers are now accustomed to removing their shoes.

The advent of more sophisticated weapons resulted in newer screening devices, which some travellers claim are an invasion of privacy, since they render them "naked."

The question today is how much farther security can go before travellers are required to remove all their clothing for chemical tests before they board an airplane.

That, clearly, is not a realistic option. But does that mean airport security has reached the end of the line? Unlikely, but then terrorists haven't reached their optimum capability, either.

The best defence against terrorists is well-trained security officers at airports and aggressive intelligence, the kind that exposed the new underwear bomb in Yemen.

In the meantime, the war of measure-countermeasure continues. Hopefully, we will always be one measure ahead.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2012 A12

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Body pulled from river is missing 15-year-old girl

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A Great Horned Owl that was caught up in some soccer nets in Shamrock Park in Southdale on November 16th was rehabilitated and returned to the the city park behind Shamrock School and released this afternoon. Sequence of the release. December 4, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • A golfer looks for his ball in a water trap at John Blumberg Golf Course Friday afternoon as geese and goslings run for safety- See Joe Bryksa’s 30 day goose challenge- Day 24– June 15, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you agree with the mandatory helmet law for cyclists under 18?

View Results

Ads by Google