"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."
Ronald Reagan

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Retired Geek - What Are The TSA Agents Looking For? Part 5 - Final in This Series

In 2007, Congress mandated that the Trans­portation Security Administration must screen 100 percent of all cargo carried by passenger planes by August 2010. Screening each and every piece of cargo—approximately 7.6 billion pounds are transported by U.S. air carriers every day—places a tremendous burden on an already struggling economy, not to mention American taxpayers.

EDS screening technology already widely used to monitor checked-in bags at UK airports but is not used on freight

The lethal chemical compound PETN, favoured by al-Qaida, is detectable by state-of-the-art airport scanners, but closing a "security loophole" by expanding their use to all freight cargo would be complex and costly, experts warned.

The use of PETN, or pentaerythritol tetranitrate, in the Yemen cargo devices and the Christmas Day Detroit airliner attack last year has raised concerns that the sophisticated explosive is extremely difficult to detect. These anxieties were heightened when it emerged that one of the printer bombs was not detected during an initial examination of a UPS package at East Midlands airport early that turned out to be a viable bomb.

But Norman Shanks, the former head of security at BAA, owner of Heathrow, said today the threat could be countered by a type of screening technology already widely used to monitor checked-in bags at UK airports, but not currently used on freight.

Explosive Detection System (EDS) machines can detect densities of lethal chemical compounds, and some produce images with the same level of detail as hospital MRI scanners. Shanks, who helped install EDS machines at Heathrow in the 1990s, said: "The problem with the x-rays they use for cargo and for passenger screening [of cabin baggage] is that the majority do not have the capacity to detect explosives."

Another concern over EDS technology was cost and slowing down the security process, added Shanks, who said the industry could get round the problems by prioritising items from blacklisted countries: "You could use EDS technology to screen parcels from certain countries that we are concerned about."

However, experts cautioned that closing the freight security loophole would involve considerable cost and logistical complexity. According to the Airforwarders Association, a recent US mandate that requires screening of all cargo on passenger planes entering or flying within the US would carry an immediate cost of $700m (£436m) and require 9,000 employees. Philip Butterworth-Hayes, an aviation consultant, said: "The technology exists. It's horrendously expensive and will take many years to install at all the various cargo depots and freight-forwarding places. If you add up all the places cargo can access the airside at airports, there are many thousands of places, and to put screening units in all those places is very complicated.

The target was the great urban sprawl along the Great Lakes: Cleveland, Detroit, and Chicago. It doesn't require pinpoint accuracy to hit densely populated areas there. A plane on approach to any one of those cities will be over populated areas for an hour or more, giving plenty of leeway for a timed explosion.

Both of the so-called printer bombs employed circuit boards from cellphones to activate the detonators. There were no SIM cards, so that they could not be triggered by a phone call. They were designed to act as timers.

The ultimate purpose of the Islamic Terrorists in this case is to rain death and destruction from the Sky causing disaster, loss of Life and a World Wide Media event.

TSA - PETN 5 Part Series:

NOTE: To share or email this 'Specific' article, you must click on the Title of the article.

No comments: