Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

While US flying Becomes More Painful, El Al Continues Effective Security
Bettnet.com ^ | 8/13/06 | Domenico Bettinelli

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, I’m reminded that El Al, as far as I’ve 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 don’t 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, you’ll wonder if you’re 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. (Here’s an October 2001 USA Today article on El Al’s security screening.) And once on board, there’s 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 (that’s really Melanie’s grandmother) would probably be allowed to board carrying a machete.

Reading the 10/01 article, I’m dismayed at what we’ve 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 Al’s 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 (Israel’s 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 what’s going on in the rest of the plane, it is never opened during flight.

... By El Al’s 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 don’t want to take the politically incorrect step of profiling. I’m glad political correctness trumps safety and convenience.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: airlinesecurity; elal; mdm; wot
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-71 last
To: Spiff
So your plan is: After some more airliners are brought down, we'll take steps to prevent whatever has already happened?

Sorry, I'm not convinced.

And if you're willing to bet a thousand lives on our ability to spot a developing plot involving little old lady mules before an attack, well, I guess I'll decline that bet.
51 posted on 08/14/2006 4:14:48 PM PDT by Gorjus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Gorjus
So your plan is: After some more airliners are brought down, we'll take steps to prevent whatever has already happened? Sorry, I'm not convinced. And if you're willing to bet a thousand lives on our ability to spot a developing plot involving little old lady mules before an attack, well, I guess I'll decline that bet.

You're right. We should cavity search each and every passenger to make sure they don't have hidden bombs up their butts.

Get a clue.

52 posted on 08/14/2006 4:19:59 PM PDT by Spiff (Death before Dhimmitude)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 51 | View Replies]

To: gogogodzilla

You really think thats going to happen in england?


53 posted on 08/14/2006 4:36:09 PM PDT by ketelone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
Exactly. The Tel-Aviv airport is deserted except at certain times when tourists are coming and going, and most of the tourists and other business people do not come into Israel on El-Al.

Six of the world's ten busiest airports by passenger [2005] are in the US with Atlanta [86 million] and O'Hare [77 million] leading the pack. Heathrow is third with 68 million followed by Tokyo [63 million], LA [61 million], and Dallas [59 million].

I have flown El Al into Tel Aviv and was impressed with the security screening, but there is no way we can replicate it given our passenger volume.

54 posted on 08/14/2006 4:37:41 PM PDT by kabar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: Argus

Oh, I agree... but everyone doesnt have as riotous proclivities as some.


55 posted on 08/14/2006 4:37:52 PM PDT by ketelone
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow

El Al profiles. What a concept huh?


56 posted on 08/14/2006 4:39:16 PM PDT by ladyinred (Thank God the Brits don't have a New York Times!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Sender
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.

Thank you for noting this!

57 posted on 08/14/2006 4:55:45 PM PDT by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† | Iran Azadi | Appeasement=Suicide | Hezbo rockets carry "peaceheads")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
If El Al decided not to open and check your bags, it was because you were not a threat. They use psychological profiling and you passed the test.

On a similar note, when I once visited Belarus I was warned that they would dump out my bags and all sorts of horror stories. They did not. I was honest with them and they saw no threat, so they bid me happy vacation.

If only our own security could do as well.

58 posted on 08/14/2006 7:15:32 PM PDT by Sender (“Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Sender
If El Al decided not to open and check your bags, it was because you were not a threat. They use psychological profiling and you passed the test.

The "profilers" were a couple of kids. They let my wife and I pass through, and checked the bags of several 65 and 70 year old ladies who were much less of a threat than we were.

The whole thing looked random to me.

It was, however, very orderly and efficient.

When we got back to Newark, going through customs was chaos. Too few agents, too many people.

I could have been bringing in 100 pounds of coke and they would have never known it.

59 posted on 08/14/2006 8:02:14 PM PDT by sinkspur (Today, we settled all family business.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 58 | View Replies]

To: sinkspur
That reminds me of when I once went to Mexico about...oh, 30 years ago. Before terrorism. Going into Mexico, they made it very obvious that I had better not be bringing any drugs, guns or other contraband. I was suitably impressed.

Coming back in to the USA, I could have brought a rocket launcher and a camel. In my shorts. If the camel would fit.

60 posted on 08/14/2006 8:15:00 PM PDT by Sender (“Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.”)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 59 | View Replies]

To: stylin_geek

"Well, great, I don't know that my inhaler has a prescription label on it. The pharmacy normally puts it on the box. "

You shouldn't ever throw away the prescription label, even if it is attached to the box, until you use up the prescription or get it refilled. You may need the info on the label if there is ever an emergency.


61 posted on 08/14/2006 11:02:18 PM PDT by Kirkwood
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Reily
Its the "Plague of Lawyers" that will spring into action at the slightest perception of discrimination.

Well, I concede that you make a valid point, especially after starting to read John Stossel's book "Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity". However, if Bush, DHS, TSA, or whomever decided to start profiling, all they have to do is include a clause that states that, as a nation in war, we have the right to defend ourselves in any manner we see fit and lawsuits for searches conducted to safeguard our security (which includes profiling) will not be accepted.
62 posted on 08/15/2006 3:26:56 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: DustyMoment
Except we are not a nation at war !
We are a nation at 'Congressional Resolution' or whatever the hell that constitutional abortion is !
I don't blame Bush for this, this stupid '1/2 war 1/2 peace notion is a relic of Cold War power politics and super power restraint.(SARCASM MODE ON> Besides a 'Declaration of War' is so 18th century ! SARCASM MODE OFF>) I am sure the his advisers deluded themselves into thinking that a 'Congressional Resolution was all that was needed. It is an outmoded concept now and should have been discarded at the end of the Cold War. On September 12 2001 Bush should have asked for a 'Declaration of War', he would have gotten it then ! I think the fact that terrorist organizations a re not state entities is a phony argument against such a Declaration and would be less a twist of the Constitution then a 'Congressional Resolution'. (Besides when is Congress ever resolute !)Now he wouldn't get such a declaration, the Administration stepped up and could have had the saber instead they chose the putty knife and are now paying the political consequences. A 'Declaration of War' concentrates the mind and defines in no uncertain terms the political state of play between the belligerent nations.
63 posted on 08/15/2006 7:38:33 AM PDT by Reily
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 62 | View Replies]

To: Argus

Whatever happened to Secy. Mineta? I heard he stepped down due to health problems, but haven't heard who will replace him. Mineta was so much the problem in not allowing any profiling. Bush let him get away with that absurdity. I am not flying any more unless there is a family emergency. Just not worth it.


64 posted on 08/15/2006 7:46:35 AM PDT by Sioux-san (God save the Sheeple)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Sender
God help us, it will take another 9/11 to change us.

That still won't do it. They'll just blame Bush.

65 posted on 08/15/2006 7:58:54 AM PDT by al_c
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Reily
Except we are not a nation at war !

Yes and no. If we go back in time to around the 60s, Congress cut itself a cozy deal with the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. While the Tonkin Gilf Resolution ended up being based on an incident that never happened, it allowed the Congress to duck its Constitutional duty to formally declare war and allowed the President to introduce troops to Vietnam. At that point, the donnybrook was on and the Congress proceeded to snipe at the president (regardless who it was) until Nixon haggled us out of Vietnam at any price. It is worthwhile to note that, at the height of the bitterness, between Congress and the President over Vietnam (I think during Nixon's administration), Congress would cut off the funding for the war. That meant that troops on the ground, in theater, had no money for bombs, bullets, mortars, artillery shells, or gas for airplanes. Meanwhile, the VC had free reign to shoot our guys down as they so pleased. How many men did Congress kill by this reckless and careless behavior? How many extra names were added to The Wall because of it? The next month, Congress and the President would kiss and make up and Congress would turn the money back on. This went on for about a year and a half, before the issue was resolved once and for all.

In the 70s or 80s, Congress was so enamored of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution, they passed the War Powers Act that allows the President to commit troops to any combat zone for up to 90 days without authoriization from Congress. And, when a President would use the War Powers Act that Congress gave them, those gutless cowards in the Congress would start sniping again.

In essence, this is where we are with Iraq, today. Congress gave Bush the authorization to commit the troops and, since that time, they have done nothing but snipe. Maybe, we should schedule a week long, mandatory viewing of World Trade Center for Congress until they remember why we went to Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place.

What we are seeing is the Tonkin Gulf Resolution being played over and over. The Congress has found a great way to duck its obligations and blame the president. It's too bad that Bush won't speak up and remind the nation that THEY authorized sending troops to fight the WOT. They way these gutless cowards talk, you'd think that Bush cooked the whole thing up and executed the plan all by himself. Not bad for someone that the left castigates as "dumb"!
66 posted on 08/15/2006 8:20:56 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 63 | View Replies]

To: Lazamataz

Re. post 35, just to be clear, I have no problem with profiling at airports or on imposing stringent security. Where you're mistaken is in claiming it's "politically correct" to oppose internment camps for American Muslims.


67 posted on 08/15/2006 8:29:19 AM PDT by zook ("We all knew someone in primary school who had a really powerful magnet")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: marshmallow
We can't profile terrorists.

Only terrorists can profile us.

68 posted on 08/15/2006 8:35:27 AM PDT by N. Theknow ((Kennedys - Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat - But they know what's best.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Argus
What are El Al's fares like, compared to other carriers?

Usually a little higher. But for you, today only...

69 posted on 08/15/2006 8:40:52 AM PDT by N. Theknow ((Kennedys - Can't drive, can't fly, can't ski, can't skipper a boat - But they know what's best.))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: DustyMoment
I agree 100%
Great historical summery as to how we got into this constitutional mess.
Of course as I said the argument as to why the 'Declaration of War' is out-moded was the possibility of super-power confrontation that my or may not have happened over Vietnam. As you brilliantly pointed out its now a convenient dodge for Congress to avoid its constitutional responsibilities.
70 posted on 08/15/2006 11:41:51 AM PDT by Reily
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 66 | View Replies]

To: Reily
I said the argument as to why the 'Declaration of War' is out-moded was the possibility of super-power confrontation

Solely for the point of discussion, this leads to another interesting observation. At the time that the Constitution was written, government bodies were controlled by people considered to be gentlemen, and men. When we see the battle tactics employed by both British troops who would march into battle, assume a firing position, shoot, and fall back to re-load, it reminds us of a totally different world, then. Gentlemen conducted war according to certain gentlemanly rules of warfare. For example, each side's military wore a uniform that identified them as a member of the opposition force. And, before starting war, one side formally notified the other that a state of war exists between their two countries.

I think the point I'm taking the laborious route to come to is agreeing with you that Declarations of War are outmoded. Gentlemen do not, necessarily, run governments anymore. Certainly, neither Hezbollah nor al Qaieda, are government bodies and their "soldiers" wear no uniforms. To declare war against al Qaieda, to whom would we deliver it? And, under what rock would we have to crawl to find the individual terrorist to deliver our Declaration of War? The breakdown in this protocol can be seen as recently as the beginning of WWII when Japan was planning its sneak attack on Pearl Harbor while it was still taking peace with SoS Henry Stimson. The formal Declaration of War came NOT from Japan or another Axis country at the time, it came from the US Congress the day after Pearl Harbor.
71 posted on 08/16/2006 11:28:09 AM PDT by DustyMoment (FloriDUH - proud inventors of pregnant/hanging chads and judicide!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 70 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first previous 1-5051-71 last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson