The headline on Breitbart Jerusalem: Top Jihadist Claims Islamic State Has Agents Working in Western Airports. Directly from Tel Aviv – The Islamic State has agents working in Western airports, metro stations and “very sensitive facilities in the world,” a leading Islamic State-allied militant claimed, in an exclusive interview.
If you read some of my earlier posts, you’ll find I’m been on the front end of this idea that wanna-be jihadis seek out and “find work at airports.” In Shoot Down, Duncan Hunter goes through the airport and is on the lookout for Muslims working at critical positions in the passenger screening process. He knew it was relatively easy to get a weapon aboard an airplane. But you needed a little help.
From Shoot Down:
“As he approached the expansive but narrow screening facility, Duncan Hunter pulled his rollerboard to the side and quietly observed the screening process. In a previous life, Hunter had been the general manager of a contracted airport security firm at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. When traveling alone, Hunter usually took a few minutes to watch the screening personnel; the x-ray screeners, the magnetometer guards, and the supervisors. He was always conscious that it was very easy to smuggle a weapon aboard an airplane. If you had a little help.
Just over ten years ago, as some of the 9/11 hijackers were still airborne, Hunter had called his friend and mentor, Greg Lynche, and immediately identified the method by which the terrorists were able to get their weapons aboard the airplanes. The pre-board screener—the person at the x-ray machine—had purposely ignored the weapons in the terrorist’s carry-on bags as they went through the x-ray machine. On that day, screeners at eight airports had all looked up from their x-ray monitors to see who was in line during a designated period, a window of transit. Hunter had also identified the group behind the infiltration of the airport screening process. A dedicated group of Muslims had manned every x-ray machine at every one of the airports where hijacked aircraft had departed. At the Boston and New York airports where hijacked aircraft had departed, every one of the Muslim screeners were relieved from their screening assignment and disappeared, immediately after the hijackers were safely on the screened or “sterile” side of the concourse. During the post 9/11 investigation, the FBI fanned out across dozens of American airports and was stunned to see weapons of all sorts on video tape, passing through the x-ray machines without being stopped by the pre-board screener. Six airports were noteworthy. Middle Eastern looking screeners allowed Middle Eastern men to pass through with knives and box cutters in their baggage. Once the men had passed through the concourse checkpoint, every one of the screeners disappeared from the airports.
Satisfied the screening process was unremarkably average; Hunter retrieved his bags and jumped into the rat’s maze disguised as passenger control. Minutes later, on the other side of the x-ray machines and metal detectors, Duncan Hunter continued his way down the concourse toward his departure gate. Had he waited an additional ten minutes, Hunter would have observed some curious activities at the x-ray machine he just monitored.
Five minutes after Duncan Hunter had passed through the airport security checkpoint, a woman at one of the x-ray machines began to check her watch repeatedly and surreptitiously glanced up from her monitor to look for certain faces in the passenger control lanes, before they placed their bags on the x-ray conveyor belt. Once the x-ray operator identified the six men in the security queue, she began to focus intently on her x-ray monitor screen. She never looked up until well after all the men had passed through the walk-through magnetometer and retrieved their bags from the x-ray machine. Several more minutes passed as some twenty passengers worked their way through the metal detector and baggage screening when the female x-ray operator suddenly turned to her supervisor and asked to be relieved. The tall supervisor snapped his fingers and motioned for a young man to replace the woman at the x-ray machine. The woman adjusted her head scarf slightly and slid out of the chair. She turned toward the supervisor, thanked him and nodded in appreciation. She stole a glace down the concourse, turned toward the ticketing area and departed the checkpoint, never to return.”
In the U.S., there is a reason the government federalized the airport passenger screening process. It was a broken process on the 11th of September, with contract personnel, poorly screened and willing to work for minimum wage. They didn’t take the jobs for the money or the opportunity, they sought out and (sometimes) found work in airports. A half-dozen GAO studies highlighted the problems with contract screening. The unclassified volume of the 9-11 report is strangely silent on the role the screeners played, other than some vague “we asked them and they didn’t see anything strange or different.” Of course we have no access to the classified volume.
Now we hear the Islamic State has agents working in Western airports, metro stations and “very sensitive facilities in the world.” Jihadis have had an infatuation with airplanes and airports going back to the 1970s. The world’s airports have made it very difficult for the terrorist groups to get a weapon aboard an aircraft and to hijack airplanes. If thwarted by security, it wouldn’t take long for someone to recognize that the inside of airport terminals can be just as crowded as the inside of a jumbo jet.
Tel Aviv and Baghdad have the most aggressive airport security procedures in place to ensure passenger flights are as safe as possible. American and European airports will soon be replicating their (Tel Aviv and Baghdad) three rings of security to ensure airplanes, airports, workers and passengers can work and travel in the safest way possible.
More to follow.