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Airport Security Essay

The department of homeland security has spent $40 billion rebuilding the aviation security system since September 11, 2001. Since then airport security has changed drastically, changed the whole world’s attitude towards airport security. The terrorist attack also showed the entire world how easily the old system was to manipulate and how much improvement airports need before they can truly be considered secure. The attacks forced the airline industry to renew and strengthen their focus on security.

Many airports in the U.S. have introduced ethnic profiling since September 11, 2001 and the evidence shows this method has helped improve airport security. “The suspects who have since 9/11/01 been picked up are at least mostly Arabs” (Gale “Airport Security.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection). Security checks are not intended to embarrass or harm anybody; they are a necessary precaution to protect all passengers including Muslims. Not only does the TSA keep an eye on airline security around the globe, but also they have many different layers of security in our nation’s airports.

The newest and most controversially is the full body scanner. These x-ray machines strip a person down to their birthday suit. Airport screeners are now federal employees. People are now having to wait longer to be able to pass thru security line to check in. many travelers get pulled aside for full body searches. There are 40 active full body scanners at 19 different airports, by the end of the year officials would like 500 in place. Today forty five thousand employees are working as passenger’s screeners in more than four hundred airports around the country. “Our top priority is the safety of the traveling public, and TSA constantly strives to explore and implement new technologies that enhance security and strengthen privacy protections for the traveling public”. (“TSA Takes Next Steps to Further Enhance Passenger Privacy.”)

Though airport security was enforced, there was another incident. On Christmas December 25,2009, a twenty-three year old Nigerian named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate explosives aboard a Northwest Airlines flight traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan. Abdulmutallab had hidden plastic explosives in his underwear, which had gone undetected during the passenger screening process. Abdulmutallab had also been identified as having connection to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda less than two months before the attempted bombing, and his own father had contacted the American embassy in Nigeria to warn them of his son’s extremist beliefs.

The only reason the bombing Failed was because abdulmutallab did not properly activate the device, and other passengers aboard the plane subdued him. Two weeks after that incident Obama administration mandated extra scrutiny- including full body pat downs- for people flying into the United States from 14 mostly Muslim countries. Under the new rules, all citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen must receive a pat down and an extra check of their carry-on bags before boarding a plane bound for the united states, officials said. Citizens of Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria- nations considered “state sponsors of terrorism” (“Airport Security” January 6,2010).

Airlines are still responsible for checking passenger information against government-issued watch lists intended to flag potentially dangerous travelers. Two of the lists are often referred to as the “No-Fly” (“Airport Security” January 6,2010) list, are the “Terrorist Watch List”, (“Airport Security” January 6,2010) and travelers appearing on these lists are subject to more detailed search or in the case of the “No Fly” list, are denied the ability to travel. We should appreciate that the airport security is making our trip safe and secure. Any inconvenience people feel is unimportant compared with saving lives by preventing terrorist attacks.


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