The system uses teams of screeners who review each traveler’s passport or driver’s license and boarding pass and then ask questions related to things such as age and place of birth and other data that could raise doubts. The questions are based on more 100 criteria that have been proven to uncover anomalies that can lead to identifying terrorists through further screening. The criteria remain secret.
But Mr. Arad recalled one case involving Israel’s El Al airline in the 1940s. A British woman who was six months pregnant tried to board a jet at Heathrow Airport bound for Israel. Even though her outward appearance and pregnancy made her an unlikely terrorist, the questioning uncovered the fact that the hotel where she planned to stay in Israeli did not exist.
A search of her luggage turned up a bomb designed to explode at 10,000 feet. The bomber, it was later learned, was a Syrian intelligence officer who duped the woman by befriending and impregnating her and then sending her to Israel with the bomb planted in her luggage without her knowledge.
Mr. Arad calls the system “common-sense” security.
“The way to do it is to recruit smart people, not technicians” who can determine if someone poses a risk to the flight, he said.
“You need smart people who, when you come with your boarding pass or your driver’s license, look at you and say ‘Sir what is your name?’ and by asking you five, six questions determine, with common sense and criteria, whether you need to go through some extended additional security screening, or ‘You’re a good boy, you’re good to go,’ ” Mr. Arad said.
The method will reduce the public backlash and increase security efficiency, he said.
“You have to focus on the problematic people who might pose a risk to the flight,” he said.
Mr. Arad said he believes that it is urgent to improve security system.
“If people won’t move their [rear ends] here, it will happen again,” Mr. Arad said, referring to the Sept. 11 attacks. “I’m determined to make a change.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Bill Gertz is a national security columnist for The Washington Times and senior editor at The Washington Free Beacon (www.freebeacon.com). He has been with The Times since 1985.
He is the author of six books, four of them national best-sellers. His latest book, “The Failure Factory,” on government bureaucracy and national security, was published in September 2008.
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