What is the "security risk" of a US-based passenger setting off a non-metallic bomb in a suicidal attack?
There is no overwhelmingly grave threat that even begins to justify the new TSA procedures that are focused on passengers bringing non-metallic bombs on an airplane. In fact, no airline passenger getting on a plane in the US has set off a bomb that has killed anyone in almost half a decade – nearly 50 years! Internationally, there were two failed attempts over the last 14 years covering every global plane flight in the entire world!
This suggests it is very difficult to find someone to board a plane in the US, who is suicidal, who is equipped with a working non-metallic bomb, and who can actually set it off.
Please download our Information Kit for more details. It was very interesting to find out that most passengers who actually set off bombs on flights did it for insurance purposes, and most often no one was killed and planes still landed safely.
Great Discussion On Vulnerability vs. Risk
In March, 2011, Jim Harper, a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee, testified in a Pennsylvania state hearing concerning a state bill introduced to curtail TSA activities in the state of Pennsylvania (Testimony)
We highlight the important testimony by Jim Harper concerning the TSA and the strip search scanners and sexual assault pat downs:
“The most common error I see in risk management is the propensity to address vulnerabilities rather than full-fledged risks. In late 2009, a bomber’s attempt to take down a plane by concealing explosives in his undergarments exposed a vulnerability. It is possible to sneak a small quantity of explosive through conventional security systems, though not necessarily the needed detonator and not necessarily enough explosive material to take down a plane.
But this says nothing about the likelihood of this happening again — or of it being successful. In hundreds of millions of enplanements each year, this attack has manifested itself once. And it failed. The TSA effort is going after a vulnerability — of that there is no doubt — but it is arguable whether or not it is addressing a significant risk.”
NOTE: We point out the so-called "underwear bomber" was going to be denied a visa as his father reported him to the State Department. Subsequent testimony by the State Department said they issued a visa anyway at the request of the intelligence community who did not want to compromise ongoing investigations.