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Would full body scans at airports have caught the underwear bomber?

January 2, 2010

Not according to this article

The explosive device smuggled in the clothing of the Detroit bomb suspect would not have been detected by body-scanners set to be introduced in British airports, an expert on the technology warned last night.

I feel better now, don’t you? Actually I had a feeling that there would be some sort of limitation of this nature but was hoping I was wrong.

I guess it’s time to state the obvious- There is no one perfect system. We need a defense in depth strategy that is going to have to include some form of profiling.

(h/t)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2010 1:08 am

    Even more disturbing – if I understand the system right – is that it doesn’t penetrate skin. Now imagine a really fat terrorist, and what he could hide in his folds. (I apologize profusely for that disturbing mental image.)

    We’d have more luck focusing on things like, say, how they paid for their ticket, how much luggage they have, and if things like that match their stated travel plans (like someone flying to another country for several days but not having any luggage), than focusing on super-duper high-tech scanners that only catch a few things.

    Not that the high-tech stuff doesn’t have it’s place, but as you said, there is no one perfect system. We need a defense in depth strategy, and it is going to have to include some form of profiling.

    The problem is that people hear “profiling” and think “ZOMG, we’re going to strip search anyone who looks middle-eastern!” and immediately shut their brains down and fight it, regardless of what profiles are actually used.

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