Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he may ban laptop computers in the cabins of all international flights into and out of the U.S. amid continuing terrorist threats to bring down airplanes, but that a final decision hadn’t been made.
“That’s really the thing that they’re obsessed with, the terrorists: the idea of knocking down an airplane in flight, particularly if it’s a U.S. carrier, particularly if it’s full of mostly U.S. folks,” Kelly said on “Fox News Sunday.”
Kelly said the department’s Transportation Security Administration “might and likely will” intensify scrutiny of carry-on luggage as well, because travelers are packing more into them to avoid airlines’ bag-checking fees.
“The more you stuff in there, the less the TSA professionals that are looking at what’s in those bags through the monitors” are able to discern about bags’ contents, he said. “What we’re doing now is working out the tactics, techniques and procedures, if you will, in a few airports to find out exactly how to do that with the least amount of inconvenience to the traveler.”
At the same time, Kelly alluded to the possibility that improved bag-screening devices could soon alleviate the need for such strict procedures.
“There’s new technologies down the road, not too far down the road, that we’ll rely on,” he said.
At least four of the largest companies making such devices have said recently they are developing scanners so much better at detecting explosives than existing X-ray machines that passengers could leave laptops, other electronics and even liquids in their bags.
Why Stop With Laptops?
Is it any harder to hide a bomb in a laptop than a camera, camera lens, electronic toy, flashlight, battery charger, or any number of other items that people might carry on planes?
I remember a time long ago when agents randomly took off a lens cap and looked through the camera. That is no longer done. But even that might not work.
Why not make a bomb that looks like a battery and fits in the battery compartment of a camera? One could even look through the camera and see it works. How about a few extra “batteries” to boot? How about extra camera bodies with no lens attached, all hiding bombs?
Surefire Way to Stop Bombs on Planes
Meanwhile, I offer a surefire method to prevent bombs from getting onto planes. Ban air flights.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock