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Category Archives: Crime and Terrorism

Smokes on a Plane

Keeping in mind that the news reports are still coming in, let’s talk about what we know so far about the smokes-on-a-plane story developing at Denver International Airport. From what has been reported it appears that a Qatari man, possibly a diplomat, was arrested after making a comment about trying to light his shoe on… Continue Reading

Suicide by Small Plane

We’re heard the term before – suicide-by-cop. This is where someone threatens the police with a gun to get the police to kill the individual. On February 18, we witnessed suicide-by-small-plane. We did not witness a terrorist attack. We barely witnessed an attack on a government building. Had Stack intended on causing mass casualties, he certainly did not pick an effective tool for the job.

What does this say about general aviation security? Should we be concerned? Want the solution? Read on. Continue Reading

Plane crashes into office building

The word is just coming out now about an airplane that crashed into an office building in Austin, TX.

Already the reporting is all over the place about the intentions of the pilot, how the plane was flying (“full throttle” by one account, but how does someone on the ground know the throttle settings of an plane?). Just like the Cory Liddle crash into an apartment in Manhattan, there is a ton of speculation going on.

General aviation security has been an issue for many years, with arguments on both sides about whether more security is needed. I’m sure this will also re-energize the Large Aircraft Security Program discussion.

First, understand that this has happened before. In 1994, a man stole a small Cessna aircraft and flew it into the White House. In 2002, a 16-year-old stole a Cessna 172 and flew it into the Bank of America building. Continue Reading

Jihadists continue to look for aviation security weaknesses

According to a CBS news report Jihadists continue to attempt to exploit gaps in aviation security. One website invites members to post methods of circumventing aviation security and how to bypass screening, while others ask about the capabilities of screening detection equipment. On one site a visitor asks a question involving the whole body imagers:… Continue Reading

Fixing the System

As more and more news reports begin to come out about this incident, along with the inevitable “what needs fixing,” stories, let’s take a look at what really needs fixing.

The No-Fly and TIDE List

TIDE is the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center and is a repository of information on international terrorist identities. According to a recent press report, there are about 550,000 people on the TIDE list, 14,000 on the Selectee and 4,000 on the no-fly (click here for source).

We need to continue initial efforts by TSA to clean up the no-fly and selectee list. The fact that this guy wasn’t on the no-fly list may just be an indication that he had not done enough previously to warrant being placed on the list. To screen everyone on the TIDE list however, will take more time and may potentially let the bad guys know that they are on the list. Sometimes, in law enforcement and intelligence, it’s not good to let the hunted, know they are being hunted.

Deployment of Whole Body Imagers … Continue Reading