Skip to comments.While US flying Becomes More Painful, El Al Continues Effective Security
Posted on 08/14/2006 1:52:34 PM PDT by marshmallow
Doing more thinking about the new, more onerous restrictions on what you can carry on board flights today, Im reminded that El Al, as far as Ive been able to tell, has never had an in-air attack on one of its aircraft via a weapon smuggled on board. How do they do it? After all, they are target Number One of every Islamic terrorist in the world. And they dont do it by making every passenger submit to multiple indignities and force them to fly bereft of their possessions.
The difference is that while the Transportation Security Administration screens out weapons, El Al screens out terrorists. While the TSA would not mind a weaponless terrorist on board a US flight, El Al on the other hand has no problem with a regular civilian with a potential weapon.
And they do it with a tool that the TSA, the Bush administration, and the entire left-wing establishment refuses to use: Profiling.
What El Al does to secure its flights
For decades El Al has taken its security much more seriously than the US ever has. When you check in for an El Al flight, their representative will ask you so many questions, youll wonder if youre taking a flight or applying for a job. Not just the silly Did you pack your bags questions either, but detailed inquiries into your reason for flying, where you are coming from, your background, your job, and so on. (Heres an October 2001 USA Today article on El Als security screening.) And once on board, theres even more security, including armed guards.
El Al knows that they have much more to fear from a 35-year-old college-educated Muslim from Saudi Arabia who has spent time in Pakistan and who has a chemical engineering degree and a history of attendance at radical mosques than they do from a 90-year-old grandmother from Winchester, Illinois, carrying a bottle of Gatorade on board to stay hydrated on her flight. Heck, Grandma Millie (thats really Melanies grandmother) would probably be allowed to board carrying a machete.
Reading the 10/01 article, Im dismayed at what weve failed to do and lessons not learned in the past five years.
For Americans considering an end to free and easy flying in the USA, El Al provides a glimpse of what might lie ahead after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. [Unfortunately, not an accurate prediction.] ... Despite their current anxieties, Americans also might balk at El Al-style ethnic profiling. Staff scrutinize the passengers names, dividing them into low-risk (Israeli or foreign Jews), medium-risk (non-Jewish foreigners) and extremely high-risk travelers (anyone with an Arabic name). These people automatically are taken into a room for body and baggage checks and lengthy interrogation. Single women also are considered high-risk, for fear they might be used by Palestinian lovers to carry bombs.
To sift out who is who, screeners usually begin by asking passengers whether they understand any Hebrew, which most Jews do. Officials argue that such blatant discrimination is necessary.
... In fact, El Als security kicks in long before the passenger will notice. Call an El Al office in any city to book a ticket, and your name will be checked against a computer list of terrorist suspects compiled by Interpol, the FBI, Shin Bet (Israels intelligence service) and others.
... Once you board, up to five armed undercover agents will travel with you in strategic aisle seats, ready for attack. Furthermore, like many Israelis, cabin crews are former soldiers in the Israeli military who have received combat training. The cockpit door, of reinforced steel, is locked from the inside before passengers board and is opened only after everyone has disembarked at their destination. No matter whats going on in the rest of the plane, it is never opened during flight.
... By El Als standards, my screening was light only 10 minutes of questioning by two well-paid officials with full military training. It ended with one of them locking all the zippers on my suitcase with plastic ties.
... A lot happens behind the scenes, too. Once luggage moves from the check-in desk to the conveyer belt, it is put in a pressurized box that detonates any explosive before the bag is loaded on the plane, Dror says. No unaccompanied bags are allowed. Those bags remain behind.
By contrast, our new government bureaucracy has given us pat-downs of 10-year-old girls, grandmothers forced to remove their shoes, mothers forced to taste test their own bottled breast milk, and hundreds of thirsty passengers forced to sit through transcontinental flights without books, music, or movies to pass the time. All because we dont want to take the politically incorrect step of profiling. Im glad political correctness trumps safety and convenience.
Apparently my daughter's asthma medicine is now considered a national security threat and as a result, was trashed.
The Israelis know how to take care of business. We only know how to take care of political correctness. God help us, it will take another 9/11 to change us.
I wish I'd though of booking El Al for our flight to Europe in three weeks. But no - we're on British Airways, changing planes at Heathrow.
We have indulged in the sham of airline security since long before 9/11. Recent events haven't changed a thing. Neither the TSA, DHS, nor the Bush Administration are serious about airline security as long as profiling is not part of the security procedures. Making grannies and 4 year-old children take their shoes off while Middle Eastern men between the ages of 17 and 40 walk through the "security" screening untouched, is just BS.
Until we get serious about screening and quit the "Show 'n Tell" method of security screening that makes idiots think they are safe aboard commercial aircraft, we will be attacked and threatened again.
Something to factor in, is Israeli air traffic is insignificant compared to ours. They don't have a lot of people or airports to deal with. - tom
I have experienced, firsthand, what an El Al security check is since I flew from Budapest to Tel Aviv at the end of April 2006. It is a bit disconcerting at first but it is all for the safety of the passengers and crew members. That is why we choose El Al in the first place! It took about 10 minutes, but it seemed like hours, and it was done in an extremely respectful and friendly manner. I enjoyed the flight, touring the country and coming back with El AL to Budapest to continue my holidays. Would fly with them every chance I get. Try them, you will love them!
I always thought the proper response was "Carry your gun if you've got it." Or maybe handing out knives or batons to passengers as they boarded. After 9/11, everyone knows that the government's lies about "just relax and don't fight back; we'll take care of you" was a bunch of BS. The terrorists would have to know there would be a bunch more flight 93's if the people on board knew it was up to them.
The terrorists will be successful if they can get us to alter our lives to meet their threats.
Which is exactly what the P.C. elite are doing for them.
We also have a lot more security personnel than they do. Their procedures are more efficient and sensible. If we adopted them universally, we would see a lot less of the chaos we're witnessing right now at British airports with cancelled flights and travellers trapped for days on end. But that would require inconveniencing some Muslims, so we're stuck with what we have.
What are El Al's fares like, compared to other carriers?
Last I checked El Al had something like 36 or 38 planes in their fleet TOTAL
More planes than that take off out of Santa Ana PER HOUR, Id bet.
Santa Ana is a relatively small and insignificant airport compared to some others like Atlanta or DFW or whatever.
Yes, if you have a tiny fleet of anything itll be much easier to protect.
The people that squeal for having to remove their shoes would really kick up sand if they had to undergo a legitimate interrogation prior to boarding.
You daughter's medicine isn't considered a national security threat. It was not possible for them to confirm what it was, and they decided it best to let you trash it vs taking a chance on your possibly sneaking liquid exposives aboard an airplane. Sorry, but they found that very scenario was going to be used by the terrorists in Britain.
On Sat, I flew and, knowing my meds and such were a potential problem, I put them in my checked luggage. Obviously not everyone had been aware of that resolution, and some require immediate access to the meds. But what else could they do?
What WE have, thanks to the Democrats, is union-controlled TSA (to buy Union votes with taxdollars), and crying about inspections of EVERY shipping container (by Union Longshoreman, of course).
I believe that because any of these issues are NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUES, NO Union thugs or members should be allowed to be hired for them. We don't need ANY special interest security forces whatsoever.
Thanks for the info, so, I may not be able to take my rescue inhaler onboard the airplane? I mention it, because I'm flying to Orlando in less than a week.
Part of effective profiling is not just in looking at ethnicity, it is looking at stress and fear. That blue-haired grandma forced to carry a bomb is going to be a stress meltdown. She is going to show. And she is going to fess up under interviewing. Bomb off, plane safe.
We don't need to interrogate everyone, just those who have a high probability of being a threat. And that would be YMMs. Background check them, carefully search them and their belongings, and interrogate them before allowing them to board. Re-evaluate when War on Islamic Terror is over or if Islamic terror strategy changes.
I'm kidding of course. I expected the brain dead civil servants.
In your scenario, I doubt that the blue-hair who has to blow up a plane or have her family killed is going to act just like she's on just another routine flight. That's where profiling behavior would have to be done. A few minutes of interrogation should identify that her behavior is a bit odd. But, if we think some TSA flunky is going to be able to do that, I think we're mistaken.