Saturday, October 6, 2012

Not terribly comforting

On the day most of the UK heaves a sigh of relief at the extradition of hooky Hamza it comes as no real surprise that one of the very things the U.S. intends to question him about should wander blinking into the light of day...
An airline security worker has been suspended after failing to spot a fake bomb as it passed through the X ray machine.
Manchester Airport said it had launched an investigation into the incident.
The Department of Transport carries out regular dummy runs at UK airports to ensure security is up to scratch.
A spokesman for the airport said: "We can confirm a security officer has been suspended but we cannot comment further as there is an ongoing investigation."
The Department of Transport spokesman said it conducts regular airport tests but could not comment further.
The spokesman said: "The safety of the travelling public is paramount, which is why the UK combines intelligence, technology and other measures to provide one of the strictest regimes for aviation security in the world.
One does wonder if the thing was a metal box with a few wires and 'bomb' written on it as I suspect a really professional terrorist would take greater pains to disguise an 'obvious' bomb. That's by the by though, we do to an extent rely on these guys as a means of last resort for boarding onto planes and put up with a lot of crap from them as a result. Mostly from what I can tell a lot of these terrorist plans are nipped in the bud by good intelligence and it's only the new or the random that gets through to cause us grief, though mistakes as in the 7/7 tube and bus bombings can be made too, not that those guys went through airport security of course.
Still you'd expect that at least the guys on the security desks would have a clue and are (hopefully) not minimum wage drones from Afghanistan with an axe to grind. However I don't know what kind of training these guys have and what they are supposed to look for, but it's not exactly comforting to know that in a test the buggers didn't find it.

4 annotations:

Barman said...

I normally travel through Heathrow.

I'd be surprised if the ignorant thugs there could find their own arses, let alone a sophisticated explosive device...

Anonymous said...

If your job entails detailed scrutiny, such as examining cell scrapes for traces of cancer, counting asbestos fibres, or checking a VDU for offensive items, it's not a good idea to work for more than about 40 minutes at a stretch. You get tired and prone to mistakes. I seem to remember reading somewhere that you could put a Kalshnikov through an X-ray after the operator had done a couple of hours' work, with a good chance it will be missed.

So how was this test conducted, I wonder?

StourbridgeRantBoy said...

It's probably a stab in the dark but i wonder what nationality the 'operater' was?

If you were at all jittery then FFS do'nt fly from Lutonistan...

Laurie -

Mad Numismatist said...

It never ceases to surprise me that these nutters actually try to put bombs onto planes, or hijack them for that matter. Surely the idea of terrorism is to terrify the largest amount of a population as possible, and Shirley, that would be as simple as dropping a hand grenade on the number 20 bus. There seems to be plenty of them floating around Manchester, so couldn’t be that difficult to source for a motivated Jihadi.

Or maybe there is another reason for the fuss at airports? Maybe it is just state intimidation and desensitisation of authority stop and searches. Exploding pants just seems to be… well pants to me.