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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Airport security faces new challenges

December 28th, 2009
11:39 AM ET

Thousands of airline passengers around the world are facing mounting delays and increased security measures since a failed terror attack on a U.S. jetliner over the Christmas holiday.

Airport officials have raised the security alert for people traveling to the United States and passengers were being subject to body frisks and luggage restrictions.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/28/blog_art.jpg caption="Travelers face new security measures in the face of an alleged terror attack."]

Many airlines are only allowing travelers to have one piece of hand luggage and passengers are being warned that they will not be allowed to leave their seats one hour before landing in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security in the United States has significantly increased the number of air marshals on flights, a department official told CNN.

The official, who asked not to be identified, said the ranks of the marshals have been increased by cutting vacations and leave and by pulling in air marshals from instructional and administrative posts.

A lone suspect allegedly tried to ignite an explosive device on a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Detroit, Michigan on Christmas Day.

The device apparently failed to detonate and the suspect was subdued.

We’d like to know what you think about the possibility of new delays and security measures at airports.

Are things going too far in the name of security or is it all justified if it prevents an attack? Are you willing to put up with hand luggage restrictions and body frisks? Are you more scared to fly now?

We’d like to know what you think below so please post your comments.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. Gregory

    I think these new steps are superfluous. They will increase delays and aggravation and cannot replace well planned and implemented screening. Taking aside suspicious passengers for screening by security employees who are properly trained may not be politically correct, but it is far more effective. The cost of hiring, training and retaining good employees would be easily offset by fewer delays to passengers and flights and a reduced need for expensive security equipment.

    December 28, 2009 at 11:56 am | Reply
  2. John

    I'm willing to put up with anything if it means that I'll stay alive. Obviously, it is pretty annoying to have delays and have lengthy baggage checks etc, but I guess it's just a price that I'm willing to pay for if it means I stay safe. Hopefully though there can be a more streamlined and efficient way that we can go through security because it can be a very disorganized affair.

    December 28, 2009 at 11:57 am | Reply
  3. Shambhu Nath Jha

    This is very important measure.If we can save lives of people and if we can prioritize peace,we do not mind to have extremely tight regulations at the ariport security.


    December 28, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  4. jay

    Hi Becky, love the show!

    The american authorities have again dropped the ball and have passed on to the passengers and flight crew the responsibility they refused to accept when this attackers father reported him.
    I am glad I do fly to the US anymore, or at least I
    try to avoid it as much as possible.

    The flight attendants are now in the position to be
    the police, a job they are not trained for and ill suited for.

    I suspect that we will see more reports of 'disruptive passengers' as
    people will be mistaken for terrorist that have spent too much time
    in the restroom or are not the mood to deal with the attendand intrusive paranoia as was the case the following day after christmas 2009.

    This new laptop restriction I find the most disturbing as I am a business man.
    It seems americans are isolating themselves from international students, tourists and now business people in their endless search for security.

    I think many people hoped that right wing fear mongering ended George Bush, but
    it seems it only began. I feel sorry for the many business's and their employees
    that will suffer due to these new flight restrictions which clearly show
    the americans authorities cannot distinguish between credible threats and
    harassing innocent people in the name of securtiy. Perhaps everyone should
    be handcuffed during the flights!?


    December 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  5. Michael

    If someone wants to get something on a plane, there is really nothing that can be done to stop it. An airline employee can be compromised, someone can get a job in a duty free store a swap the contents of a bottle, a person can swallow something and bring it up while in flight. The best defense is the guards looking at the people,and making judgment calls on who to inspect. It is also important that passengers keep an eye out unusual behavior. Spending money on machines and delaying lines will not deter someone who in intent on doing harm.

    December 28, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  6. Jill

    I don't like flying under the best of circumstances, but I'm more put off by the prospect of not being allowed to use the bathroom or my laptop than I am worried about onboard terrorists. Instead of knee-jerk responses that make passeners' even less comfortable (if that's possible), focus on how this fellow got through security with dangerous materials to begin with.

    December 28, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  7. Larry

    When it's time to go, it's time to go. In reality, even with nutters on aeroplanes, it's still the safest form of transport!

    December 28, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  8. Dimitris

    Whenever I hear about failed or increased airport security checks I always remember the case of the old lady ahead of me at Heathrow a few months ago who got in trouble because she had a bottle of Magnesia milk with her. The security person asked her in the most serious tone one can imagine if she had a prescription for it. They missed the Nigerian guy, but they surely got that old lady!
    In all it is not the security measures that will prevent terrorist attacks, it is the people who implement them. If most of them act like robots sticking to the book and failing to read between the lines then any degree of increased security will not help to deter someone who is determined. We all saw and continue to see the ridiculous forbidding of carrying liquids through security, only to be able to go to the duty free shop five steps after security and buy as much flammable liquids in the form of e.g. vodka as you like! A bottle of vodka smashed in the plane cabin and set on fire can cause way more problems to a flight than the few grams of PETN that the Nigerian guy had. The big difference is that airports get money for selling these at the duty free shops...

    December 28, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Reply
  9. Linda

    Lets face it we have all gotten use to all our electronic devices. I am pretty sure we can do without them for a few hours on a flight without the business going under. If everyone is one the same page and know ytou can't use a laptop then there should not be a problem with any bosses.However, this all boils down to the fact that our govt failed us again when it comes to security. I think it is going to come out that we have very few marshalls in the sky and no one is checking the lists. You can't tell me that we can't figure out how to get a super computer to combine all list's of all suspects and be able to tell it to pick out a name if it shows up. We have become laxed in our security and the enemy knows it. They are watching us but we are not watching them.

    December 28, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  10. Linda Newcomb

    There will always be the little "hacker" type who will want to show he/she can "get it done" in spite of all security measures. We "comrads" are to be the "big brothers" watching vigilantly to tell on a possible perp. I have always enjoyed "watching people" for their multi differences: hair; clothes; manerisms; attitude, etc. This adds a new element to "waiting" in a crowded environ. I'll continue to say a prayer for all our safety while en route and thank "God" when we arrive safely. God Bless America!

    December 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  11. Barb

    I flew domestically today in a country far from America. And some percentage of the passengers were being pulled over for chemical swab tests - something I'd never seen at that airport before. I (49 year old woman) and a very senior granny in a wheelchair were two people pulled over. Several young men who appeared to be of middle eastern descent, travelling together, were allowed on their way without a second glance. Somehow, the manner in which these increased security measures are put into practise is not reassuring me. If you'd asked me if I'd rather fly on the plane with the apparently wheelchair-bound senior woman, or the trio of young people who showed foreign passports as their ID for security, I'd definitely choose to fly with granny. Of course, there's always a first time for a granny or a middle aged woman from New Zealand to be a perp, so random screening should probably still be used. But I think it's a mistake not to screen EVERY passenger that fits whatever profile we have for the troublemakers, which might involve types of names, might involve physical features, etc.

    Am I more "scared" to fly? Not necessarily. However, I do consider it more WORK, because now I feel like I have to keep alert to what's going on around me, and that if I don't, the price of inattention could be very high. I was quite discontented when the bloke seated across the aisle from me, wearing knitted gloves in the southern hemisphere summer, stopped reading his book at descent time and started fiddling with his crotch. I played "dirty old woman" for the last half hour of the flight, staring at the bloke's crotch as he fiddled with it and periodically tugged at his gloves. When he gave me a dirty look, I glared angrily and with a bit of disgust as if to say, "Don't you know that that is really not appropriate to be doing right now given recent world events?" and kept watching. As if staring at an old bloke fiddling with his crotch is how I *wanted* to spend a half hour of my day. Ewwwwweee.

    December 28, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  12. Fred

    Something does not smell right here. Nigeria is a non visa waiver country, That means this guy had to have a valid visa in his passport to board the plane. The airline faces huge fines if they let someone without proper visas one their plane. Mine are always checked and double checked. Cat Stevens and Ted Kennedy were on the no-fly lists and actually refused boarding. Yet this guys gets on?? The US Embassy that granted his visa doesn't check the lists??? Then what are visa's for?? Next, lets look at what is reported to have happened. He try's to ignite in his seat on landing. Why not in the bathroom over the ocean? PETN is not a primary explosive, it has to be detonated with an explosive charge, not a match. When lit with a match it burns like cordite, exactly what happened. Shouldn't this guy or those who sent him know that? So it almost looks like he could have been sent
    to create an incident but not do any real damage. So that leaves us with only 2 possibilities; 1) Our air travel security system is completely useless or 2) this was deliberate for some reason. What other explanations are there?

    December 28, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  13. Vijay Choudhary

    Safety of the passengers is the prime concern of all: the passengers and authorities. New innovations to smuggle explosive into the aircraft adopted by the terrorist must be strictly curbed and exposed to the world even at the cost of delay and incovenience. Human life is more important than little delay in checking!

    Vijay Choudhary

    December 28, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Reply
  14. Peter

    Lets face it, if a none US citizen buys a one way ticket paying in cash from Yemen via Amsterdam to the USA and has no check in luggage, how much more of a hint does anybody needs to see that something is not right here??????

    I first plane the people who checked him in, however with that being in Yemen I'd say ok they are in a differnd world there anyway, but when he checked in for his connection flight from Amsterdam then the alarmbells should have gone off loud and clear.

    What no check in baggage, one way ticked, payed in cash ?????????

    Too many people are NOT doing their jobs will cost lifes and airlines money for whats up next.

    I dont even want to get into the fact that the US embassy in Nigeria knew that there was something fishy going on with this guy.

    And then there are innocent people, who just want to have a holiday in the US and cant get a visa, strange world we live in.

    December 28, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  15. Steve Grumman

    I am no more afraid to fly now than I've been most of my life. Incidents are going to happen – some possibly preventable, others not. Fortunately, no life was lost in the Detroit incident and people are proving not afraid to defend themselves when confronted with terrorism.
    However, I do feel that anytime a government is made aware that something is amiss with an individual, it should calmly and carefully investigate the matter and if need be, put the individual on the warning list and when he or she checks in for a flight, a courteous, proper, and thorough screening be made before allowing the individual to board. It's happened to me – and I fully cooperated because I felt that I was helping the authorities to do their task. If one is clean, the search is concluded and life goes on – albeit a bit more secure.

    December 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  16. Louise

    If someone wants to harm the passengers on an airplane, it doesn't matter how many security measures are used. That person will do the harm he wants. When it's time to go, it's time to go, and there's nothing we can do about it. We can't always be in control!!

    December 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  17. Cheryl

    Whatever is deemed necessary by the authorities to minimize the risk of another disaster would be welcomed by me. Unfortunately if that means delays and more restrictions in havd luggage then I am okay with that. Everyone needs to realize that all these measures we see as an inconvience is only for our safety and protection and should appreciate the efforts being made to keep us out of harms way.

    I am a very frequent flyer and this will not stop me from flying, however I promise that I will be much more vigilant when doing so.

    December 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  18. Gary

    I fly domestic every week. This incident does not make me afraid, but reinforces the need for security forces to use the information they have. What is the good of a watch or no fly list if additional measures are not being taken when those on the list board an airplane? In additon, let's do a better job of profiling and pulling aside those who meet certain criteria. I know we have to protect the rights of individuals, but we also need to ensure the safety of those flying.

    December 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  19. Babakay

    Becky, I feel treribly disturbed by what happened. i'm a frequent flyer and i know coming in out of US will be a problem now for most travellers. I support the search as much as it will put more confidence on travellers. We must be ready to follow simple instruction. If you dont use your laptop or other electronic device in one day will you lose anything? Safety is more important.

    December 28, 2009 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  20. Darwin

    Let's do a thought experiment: If you were to take "security" to the extreme what would it mean? I believe that would look something like people flying naked after disrobing at airport security, you know, just to make sure no one is concealing anything... and if you want that last pinch of "security" handcuff everybody, arms behind their backs, to the seat. I believe that no one would be willing to fly like that and even then some determined nutcase would be willing to conceal something in an accessible cavity... Imagine cavity searches in at the terminal.

    As it has been said many times before, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance and procedures and systems can not be a substitute for common sense and observation.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  21. SeedyLamin

    It hurts hearing the news of a fellow African adding injury to insult in the wake of a terrorism act. Africa has been painted with all sorts of human violence except terrorism and why would a young teenage come this far?
    Thanks to modern technolgy intercepting him. I would recommend that detective devices on action be implanted on flights prior to boarding, on motion and before dissembarkation. This will help pilots and air marshals aboard to notice directly what's going on linked on a transmitter that can be heard far and away. The device would be kind of a sensor that can detect even the pulling of a hand or finger....Think about this and see what can be done to reduce this menace of mass life taking practices like terrorism....... Air cabin crew student from the Institute of Travel & Tourism in the Gambia.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  22. Taras

    The only thing I am scared of is the incompetency of the so called $10 dollar an hour security forces that supposedly are protecting us. If this attacker would ahve been screened by a professional security indivudual he would have never made it on a plane.

    You can xray and search all you want, if the desire to attack is there it can't be deteceted other than profile interviews.

    Ask the Israelies, they have doing it succesfully for years.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  23. Mike

    I was just subjected to the new rules coming back from Costa Rica yesterday. Everyone was frisked searched leaving Costa Rica. I can understand that given the circumstances, but they also locked the bathrooms so that nobody could enter 1 hour before we landed. The pilot kept apologizing for it. This is ridiculous and one feels that we are living in a Stalinist country. They could have nearly the same effect just locking the bathrooms 15 minutes prior to landing.

    December 28, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  24. tom

    The TSA has been closing the barn door since 2001.

    None of these measures have any relevance to security. The sole useful measure taken since 2001 was reinforcing cockpit doors. Every time we mindlessly over-react to one of these incidents the terrorists chalk up another easy victory. We should take 90% of the money being wasted on the TSA and apply it to useful, and far less expensive, security measures that actually work - like bomb sniffing dogs and honest police work (not the sort that generates "plots" out of thin air by paying informants to make them up).

    December 28, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  25. Marian Nielsen

    It's no use trying to camouflage what the real issue is which is a lapse in the security system. What's the point of requesting information and having it on a database if it is not shared with all other agencies and airports for daily use to check all travelling passengers? Having Air Marshalls will not keep us safer as that is allowing for a lapse in the initial security checks that should happen. The security agencies and airports have to do their job diligently and be accountable for major lapses. With all the warning about the Student, he was still issued with a multiple visa by the US Embassy to travel and yet, no one bothered to subject him to additional security checks i.e. full physical body checks as a result. What a major f... up! Excuse the language but that is what it is and in this instance, someone's got to call a spade a spade!

    Thank God the spirit of Christmas was with the innocent passengers and he alone got badly burnt with no major disaster. Now we also know that Al Qaeda had warned of terror six days ago and yet the authorities failed to act to secure passengers’ safety. We are really under-estimating the evil intent of Al Qaeda!

    December 28, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  26. James

    I'm a nigerian living abroad,this is one of the problem facing our country. people that are well connnected and rich get away with lots of things because i can't imagine how this boy got a visa and also beat security at the airport. common people in that country are not capable of such act and this are people america embassy in nigeria will denial visa.security should be step up at the airport for the safety people.

    December 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  27. Windy

    I think that, once again, the point is being missed. Most of the new measures implemented are just there to provide the appearance of security, not security itself.

    If someone's close relative contacts you concerned that their relative is headed down an extreme path? Maybe you should put them on the "No Fly" list. There are BABIES on the "No Fly" list, but this guy, who they were tipped off about? Ah, let's just wait and see what happens.

    They could have put a stop to this without ever needing to ramp up the "security" measures. Screen stuff? Sure. Watch out for suspicious behavior? Awesome. Put people who you've been tipped off about by FAMILY MEMBERS? Really obvious. Tell people not to use laptops? Ridiculous, not to mention useless. Same to the "No getting out of your seat an hour before landing" What's that going to prevent? Most people have to take a seat 20-30 minutes before landing anyway.

    The sad thing is, they'll keep implementing the more ridiculous regulations in the hope that it will make people feel better about their chances of dying in a terrorist attack. Maybe they even think it will deter terrorists, because, you know, they've gone through all this trouble, but I'm sure they'll turn right around and leave when they find out how much red tape they have to go through /sarcasm.

    To sum it all up: Come on guys, use common sense. Focus on paying attention to any intelligence you get, updating your no fly and watch lists, and streamlining and increasing the effectiveness of pre-flight searches. Don't profile, but don't reverse profile.

    I think observation is important, but kick the silly stuff like laptop use. And maybe don't add fuel to the fire of the riled up masses. People will see an umbrella and think it's a gun, among other things.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  28. Eddie

    Why are terrorists targetting flights to USA or attacking US interests?

    If USA wants to be 100% safe, then stop all flights in and out of the country! Of course that is ridiculous. So, USA should do more to be peaceful i.e. pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, stop preaching to others.

    Tighten security seldom can prevent a very determined enemy.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  29. Judy

    I am not afraid of flying but am not excited about our newest "safety" measures. Are we that stupid that we think that the terrorist will wait until one hour of the arrival to do his dirty little deed. Do we think that they can not swim or do not want to get their jackets wet by falling into the ocean. Come on people this is crazy. I think the boy came in contact with reality and did not want to go on with his mission and put it off as long as possible and then started this fire at his seat and not in the wc so he would be caught.
    If we want to stop this then we must target the people that fit the profile and I for one think that profiles are okay. If small blondes start blowing up airplanes then feel free to stop me at every point along my journey and search away. If it bother me then I should go after L'Oreal to get a list of who else buys their products and watch them.
    The airlines along with their govt. may soon see that the red ink is growing and the black ink is not needed at all. If it is too difficult and too uncomfortable to fly then God help the global economy and it recovery. It will not stop with flights but on to car rentals, hotel rooms, restuarants, gift shops, etc. etc.
    And we allow this to happen because of one disgusting jerk. They accomplish their goal of taking down our country with little or no effort. So for them the mission was accomplished.
    Keep flying and pray that common sense will enter into this some how some way and don't throw the baby out with the bath water just to be PC.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  30. Jay

    No, I'm not more scared, despite the attempts by terrorists and the cable news networks to make me more scared. Reasonable counter measures are well, reasonable – but overreaction just gives the terrorists what they want. Then there is the homeland security industry in the US. Since 911 we have spent billions on airport security – much of it senseless security theatre. It's become a huge industry and that industry has dispatched its lobbyists to appear on CNN and other networks to call for more funding for security and to scare us into giving it to them. Most of those lobbyists are former Bush Administration Homeland Security appointees like Tom Blank, that are now working for the industry. Unfortunately, when CNN interviews these lobbyists you identify them as former Homeland Security officials and you fail to mention their current jobs and the conflict of interest.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  31. Marti

    I know this is going to slow the progress of boarding the plane. I was at Heathrow boarding an Air India flight to JFK in New York. As the only "white" person boarding the plane, they went through my carry on bag for a good 10 minutes. Inside I felt I was singled out, but I kept a smile on my face and acted like it happened all the time. The reason I flew Air India, who had a wonderful crew, was that I saved $1,000.00. I know people of all races and, yes, there are bad people everywhere, but most people were and are as friendly as could be. Would I be afraid to fly again? Not a bit. We're all going to die and if I'm to die because of man who's radicalized, so be it. God will be the final judge of this man, not me.

    December 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  32. Rick Williamson

    I'm not any more scared than I was previously...but I sure am NOT going to fly anywhere unless I absolutely need to. I'm all for security screening after being in Manhattan on 9/11, but the amount you have to go through these days is ridiculous and now it's only going to get worse. I mean, one shoe bomber and the whole world has to take their shoes off? Now you are not allowed to get up from your seat one hour before landing?

    No I'm not scared, just irritated at the amount of security we have to go through, so I would just rather not bother...especially when my wife & I take our 2 kids through and the whole process is more stressful than it's worth.

    Goodbye airlines, been nice knowing ya!

    December 28, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  33. Richard

    I'm not afraid to fly, but I hardly want to anymore because its such a headache... My caveat being that flying almost anywhere other than the US is generally a real joy.

    Passengers are subjected to more and more absurd limits because the upstream screening system failed. And everyone acknowledges that this is just "keeping up appearances" measures which makes the whole Emperor Has No Clothes game all the more galling. Keeping up the illusion for a public that has already acknowledged that they understand that its just an illusion. Its insane.

    This is how terrorism wins, even when it fails. We become more cowed and more and more isolated from the rest of the world. Very sad.

    December 28, 2009 at 6:27 pm | Reply
  34. Matthew

    Just fly in an Israeli airline you will be safe. Muslims can't attempt their suicidal madness on Israeli airlines. Other airlines must adopt similar tactics, the issue of cost don't arise because Israeli airlines are no making losses.

    December 28, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  35. Hisham


    I would like to say that any ordinary person knows that the U.S.A first priorities is to ensure it's whomeland security , but what about the lies we always hear from the U.S adminstration that it works to bring piece in the middle east and other parts of the world .

    The obvious truth is that the the U.S is not concerned to make piece in the middle east , this state of no piece & war in the middle east is encouraged by the U.S under the condition that Israel is not suffering from any attacks from the palestinians under occupation.

    It is a criminal act from the U.S to shut it's eyes while a whole people is still under occupation for more than 60 years and to prtend that it is the first nation who seeks freedom to the world.

    December 28, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  36. Danil Ivanovich

    Hi, I am watching as much as I can CNN. I am living in Prague, working
    in Russia Moscow, Ukraine Kiev and other Central Europe countries! I am flying a lot! Moscow, SHO2 and Domodedova airport introduced already the 'body scanner'... I say one thing... please ... USE IT!
    I don't know why peoples are against it! I have nothing against it and have nothing to hide anyways! Do you really think that peoples behind their screens are paying attention to the 'body' itselves!
    For Christ sake..stop thinking 'small' think about your, our safety...and place these machines NOW! Sorry but I am become crazy if I read all these comments why some peoples are 'against' such machines! Just..
    place them! Greetz, Danil Ivanovich

    December 28, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  37. Chip Pierce

    Let's face reality – the terrorists are winning, and winning big.
    I used to like to fly, long ago. It was a classy way to travel.
    Now it's a bus with wings, at BEST.
    Not scared, just tired of lousy service from all US airlines, burned-out 64 yr old hag "flight attendants" and phony measures designed to make us feel "safe".
    So, I don't travel much any more by aircraft – it's that simple.
    I used to travel by plane every month.
    Now, I conduct all my training classes via computer now, and don't miss airports one bit.
    I recommend others do the same, so we can put the pressure on the airlies for a change.

    December 28, 2009 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  38. Andrew

    I feel that airline travel is as safe as ever. If driving was this safe, very few people would die. I think the new security restrictions are typical government over-reaction. What we SHOULD be doing is cooperating better with other governments and between US government agencies.

    December 28, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Reply
  39. Claudia

    What do we have to do to get some highly trained people who
    know what they are doing?

    1. One-way ticket
    2. Paid Cash
    3. No checked baggage
    3. US Embassy in Nigeria knew something was up with this guy
    4 DUH – red flags everywhere! Why was he not flagged , tagged and throughly searched? Or even better yet, not allowed to fly!

    So now, we, the every day Joe Citizens must be inconvenienced even further, because there are not competent people at the airports doing
    their jobs.

    It's too bad that the government does not operate more like the corporate world – you screw up – you pay the price..................

    December 28, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  40. Izzy Wizzy

    Racial profiling is "not PC", but if you go to cities like Houston, El Paso or anywhere else close to the Mexico border and get pulled over for a traffic violation, they'll ask for residency documents to see if your illegal or not. I'm not discussing immigration, but I think if we're profiling to keep our borders safe, we should do it for EVERYONE who looks different on all borders.

    For the record, when I returned from vacation from Brazil in 2004 and Mexico in 2008 both times I was searched right down to my undergarments. I couldn't be more Texan than pecan pie and was selected for checking. Awkward, yes. Did i get pissy about it? No. Anything to keep my country USA safe. If you don't like it you can go back where you came from. God bless USA.

    December 28, 2009 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  41. frederic

    No, i do not think the authorities are over-reacting. If anything, they are under-reacting.
    As another reader mentioned, political correctness should be put aside in these circumstances. I do realize muslim men are being screened more than others, but that is a small price to pay. If i were muslim, i would prefer to be screened more heavily, rather than running higher risks.
    In all honesty, i feel less safe with this administration running the show. Admittedly, i know little about the specific changes made by Obama in the past year, but i feel that the previous administration was more intense about thwarting terrorism. The torture investigations, the closing of guantanamo, the afghanistan deadline, etc. have shown how Obama is willing to sacrifice efficiency in the war on terror for an applause by the media and praise by pseudo intellectuals.

    December 28, 2009 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  42. Swirl Groove

    I'm willing for sure to coop with the new security measures, they are here to make sure we arrive safely to our dest.

    December 28, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  43. Nazir

    Its the right time to change the world order. Against US

    December 29, 2009 at 11:31 am | Reply
  44. cantubury

    Nobody, in the comments, seemed to be aware that this guy was a degreed "engineer". The USA gives visas to engineers, medical doctors and mathematicians as well as other scientists. He got his degree in London, where he was most likely recruited. Apparently we are so short on technical talent, we let any person with a shortage area degree in the country. The problem always lies with our schools and training facilities. Airport security is much more expensive, by the person than finding competent Americans and training them in these areas.

    December 30, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  45. Nkolika Obianyo

    I am a Nigerian , I support all efforts for thorough security checks at airports, but to single some countries out -Like Nigeria because of one demented young man whose father even reported to US embassy officials to stop him from flying to the US beause of his extremist views is discriminatory to say the least. I have this feeling that the US officials are relunctant to take blame for the security gap that made it possible for the young Farouk to do what he did. They should have cancelled his Visa after that report as the first measure, no they didnt, because the evidencde was not enough. Now they have enough evidence to profile the entire country. Pls re think

    January 4, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  46. Peter

    To classify Nigeria as a country of interest among the recent list is completely bias and unfair.Judging a country of 150 million persons by a single individual who hardly resided in the country most of his life is wrong.Nigerians are peace loving people and hardworking,they may be involve in other wrong doings like corruption,ethnic and religious violence,scams etc,but terrorism is completely not Nigerian.This is evident with the way the father of the alleged bomber reported his son to the relevant authorities prior to the incident.Every nigerian parent will do same if they were in such positions.
    Nigerians are not known for suicidal ideas,they always want to survive and live their lives to the fullest.
    The alleged bomber never had the Nigerian spirit in him,and should not be regarded as a true Nigerian.Everything he did was completely non Nigerian.
    The American authorities should re-evaluate the list recently released by fairly considering Nigeria's past record to present and see that Nigeria is not known for any acts of terrorism.

    January 6, 2010 at 11:12 am | Reply
  47. Wood

    Slam dunkin like Shaquille O'Neal, if he wrote inorfamitve articles.

    July 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply

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