Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Terror checks

Popped over to the Angry Exile for my daily dose of antipodean (At least from the UK) invective, and came across a link to this article about Israeli airport security.

Think about it; there's Israel, for all its good and bad bits, stuck amongst a hornets nest of terrorist activity. Rocket attacks, suicide bombers and all the other components of asymmetric warfare, and their airport security takes 45 minutes, tops. What the hell? Then think about what you have to go through to get on a plane at any North American or UK airport. Whole body scanners, the 3-4 hour wait to board, virtual strip searches, and false alarms shutting down whole airports. Yet nutters still slip through the net. When was the last time an Israeli jet subject to a terrorist attack?

We've got the 2010 Winter Olympics over on the mainland shortly, and in addition to the lack of snow, the 'Terror alert' means security around Vancouver is going to be tighter than a Mosquitoes arse. Did toy with the idea of going up to Whistler for the games, but friends who have cabins up there aren't renting as they normally would, and most folk I know are going to look for a big screen location in Downtown Vancouver rather than travel up the Sea to Sky.

What are the Israelis doing right that we in the 'civilised' west are getting bass ackwards? Their focus is looking for suspicious behaviour, not what people are carrying.

The point is that not even the most psychopathic individual does anything without a bit of a mental run up at it. They prepare themselves for the act, and it doesn't take a towering genius to spot the signs. There's a look in the eyes it's hard to describe properly, non verbal clues like dissociation, nervousness, various anxiety symptoms; and that appears to be what the Israeli security bods look for. Not objects that might be used in a 'terror attack', because as I learned in my often mis-spent youth, even a tightly rolled up newspaper can be an effective weapon (Brummie Brick). There is even a tome with many of these 'recipes' in called the 'Anarchist cookbook' describing how household items and chemicals could be turned into explosives or other forms of harmful substance. Yet the point is that even if being in possession of a length of 50lb breaking strain fishing line wrapped around two bits of wood equip you with a handy dandy garrotting wire, does not automatically make you a murderous thug. You are more probably a fisherman who makes his own traces and put said items in the wrong jacket pocket last weekend. As the Israelis seem to understand, it is the motivation that counts.

Over in the UK the idiocy has reached the point where sports shooters on their own land get arrested for carrying a firearm, yet despite blanket bans, gun crime runs rampant through most major British cities. The rules over here regarding carrying a pistol are very strict, yet gangland shootings still happen in Vancouver and other Canadian cities.

Was talking with youngest on Skype a few minutes ago about jurisprudence and the difference between Law and Justice. She's studying law, and even she has trouble with applying rules in a blanket fashion. Her own morality baulks at the thought of the innocent suffering instead of the guilty. I recommended viewing 'Billy Budd' to see how the unswerving course of the law can convict an innocent man. Highly stylised of course, but then aren't all stories that reach the mainstream?

Love them or hate them, if the Israelis are doing something right, perhaps we should be taking a note out of their copybook?

Just a thought.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails