Reply To: Air marshalls on all US carrier into USA… a step too far?

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SimonRowberry
Participant

Expat

I hear what you say. However, that does not make Wildgoose’s post any more acceptable.

Our decades of exposure to terrorist attacks, from a wide range of sources, not just the IRA, have enabled us to create a set of security services (internal and external) which are excellent. Let’s not forget how many potential attacks they have apparently foiled since 9/11. They have also had considerable success at addressing the “breeding ground” issue at its source.

To take Wildgoose’s post(s) to its/their logical conclusion would be for us to view all non-Caucasians and/or Muslims as potential terrorists. Such an attitude would be utterly unacceptable and would cause further alienation. In the UK and other countries (Denmark and Finland are two from which I have recent first-hand experience), this is already starting to happen to some extent, particularly in terms of anti-Islam feeling, and this is self-defeating.

We should also remember that the threat is against ALL travellers and is potentially indescriminate – enhanced security is in the interests of all of us, irrespective of colour or creed.

I am convinced that there is actually NO security answer to this problem – there will always be loopholes to be exploited, no matter what measures are put in place. We must be addressing the strategic geopolitical issues in parallel and knee-jerk reactions that cause further alienation will work against this.

The fact remains that the 25 December potential bomber was known to US security services and his own father had alerted agencies about his increasing apparent militancy. The fact that this was not, it seems, acted upon and that he could board a plane, transit AMS and then prepare to detonate a device on board are precisely the issues that should concern us; I am unconvinced that the presence of a skymarshall, armed pilots or FAs or whatever, would have prevented what was an extremely close call.

On the subject of Sky Marshall weapons in the confines of an aircraft – I understand that they use special bullets that are effectively lead shot in a canvass sheath. When they are fired, they are lethal at very short range, but as they move further from the gun the velocity decreases rapidly. I also understand that they are “unlikely” to be able to penetrate an aircraft fuselage for this reason. If this is the case, I suppose the question to be asked is whether Sky Marshalls would be able to get close enough to a potential terrorist to fire the gun with any “meaningful” effect?

By the way, have readers picked up on this:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8449696.stm

If it is true that Emirates FAs expected passengers to subdue “potential terrorists”, then it gives us a whole new set of issues to worry about…….

Regards,

Simon

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