LAX’s dry ice prankster is not an Islamic radical. He’s not a right-wing extremist. He’s not a terrorist, or even a real bomber. He is a garden-variety knucklehead working a thankless job and there are plenty like him on tarmacs throughout the country. That’s my major airport security concern.
I have long believed that the tendency of Americans intent on massacring innocent people to choose as their method spree shootings instead of bombings (which seems the more common approach in most of the world) is because guns are widely available here and much more user-friendly than crude explosive devices. People generally follow the path of least resistance.
The Transportation Security Administration may not be an effective anti-terrorism unit (and certainly not a cost-effective one), but it has succeeded in making traveling by air with any type of luggage a real hassle. It has done a decent job of shutting the front door, but motivated infiltrators will just try the back. The weak underbelly of our airport security system lies beneath the jetway.
From the Daily Breeze:
Bennett [the iceman] was one of 50,000 workers who has a credential to access restricted areas at the airport and had undergone screening and a security background check, Gannon said.
It is wonderful that the airport employs 50,000 people, but even with screening, starting with a number that large ensures that a few will slip through the cracks. There might also be employees with completely clean backgrounds who grow disgruntled with the low wages and work hours. As their discontent simmers, they might become more receptive to bad actors with fat wallets.
According to the Daily Breeze article, airport police authorities have had longstanding concerns over the fact that airport employees and TSA officers don’t go through security checks. It’s not truly a secure area when thousands of people need only the benefit of the doubt to access it, and it doesn’t become more secure by removing nail clippers from old ladies.
Nobody except maybe Nicolas Maduro wants another terrorist attack on a U.S. airliner. Let’s make the back door at least difficult enough to breach to funnel potential attackers back toward the security system we pay good money for.