18 January 2007

9 yr old is able to defeat TSA.

Okay so I laughed hard when I heard this story , about a 9 yr who stowed away on board a plane after only stealing a car to drive himself to the airport, during the throw-away minute near the top of the hour by my local all news radio station. However, as I heard more about this and how this kid was able to defeat the security measures that are in place is when I got very, very angry. Let us take this incident apart (at least from what is being reported) and look at the Swiss cheese effect that has occurred here. Think about these points and how dangerous this event actually was to our security.

1.He was able to con the ticket agents into issuing him a new boarding pass to supposedly catch up with his mom on board the plane.
Now, I don't know about the rest of you loyal readers, but for myself I would look to confirm that his mother was on board the plane or was ticketed to ride on board. Instead the ticket rep, just hands over a boarding pass to this little kid on the belief that he was just separated from his mother. Think about this idea and then tell me that I am over-reacting. What if this kid was instead a indoctrinated terrorist? Some terror groups through out the world have used children as the major parts of thier army in wars of aggression against the government. From what I have read on the media they have been using kids to do everything from be observers of thier enemies up to and including actually being part of raids and attacks.

2.How in the world was he able to get past the security screen?
Last time I flew last year just to go from coast to coast. I had to stand in line and even with my two forms of picture ID was still randomly selected for additional screening. Which is totally cool, because I am totally use to it now. Let alone they always seem to pick me for additional screening when I go to work. I think it is because the couple of the women MA's that work the gate I come through think I am cute, or at least that is what my ego tells me.
Back to the question at hand though. If I can't get by without being harassed by the rent-a-cops belonging to the TSA, then how in the bloody hell did a 9 yr old get pass the central screening prior to heading to the gate. I would think that they would have stopped the kid, because they are supposed to screen the boarding passes before letting the passangers on to the gate area. It looks like this didn't happen. If it did happen then the port police would of been called aand the kid detained until his real parents showed up. Yet another flaw in the TSA and most airport security screenings profiling. Yet another hole in the system which bad things could happen to airline travelers. If the security personnel fail to notice a child does not match hs boarding pass let alone the adults he is walking with. Then would they notice an unusually acting married couple? What about an adult with a child and the adult (or child) seems distant? This seems to just prove again that we are not completely safe with the new measures put in since Sept '01

3. Boarding Gate agents and Flight Attendents failing to notice an extra passenger on board.
Come on folks. A passanger airplane even the Boeing 747 series is pretty small after a while and at the boarding situation if there is an extra passanger they usually don't let the board. Let alone an unaccompany minor, how could this kid con two (or more adults) that he blonged on that flight? Let alone being noticable to the flight attendents if he did try to keep moving between the toliets and some seat. I would think maybe even hope that flight attendents are paying more attention to things now post Sept '01. Don't give me that he was just a kid and not noticable, that is total BS. Even when I have flow as a kid, the flight attendents were noticing me as I bounced around in my seat. A few times they would come and complain to my parents chragrin that I was making too much noise. My point though was that I was noticed. Again I ask how was a 9 year old kid who got on in Seattle able to make it to Phoneix and then to San Antonio before being busted by a boarding agent in San Antonio trying to stoaway onboard another plane and head to Dallas. This is where the last hole was stopped an a potentinal event was stopped. Although in other times and places in travel to the US and although some were over-reactions and others were not. However, both times there was some one acting on thier suspisicions which caused police to act and stop a potential event.

So these 274 (figuring 137 people total on each flight based on typical Southwest aircraft) people put at risk by security personnel, Southwest Airlines personnel, and finally some one in general not acting on thier "this is odd" intution. They were probably afraid of catching heck from supervisors or someone else for rasing the alarm. I would rather live with a few more moments of intestigation and over reaction to possible securtiy issue then read or experience a terrorist event.



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