How Israeli Methods Avoid a 9/11
The changes were inevitable. The September 11 hijackers used box cutters as weapons, so box cutters were banned. Richard Reid smuggled explosives onto an American Airlines plane in his shoes, so passengers were ordered to remove their shoes for screening. The recent London air-terror plot was predicated on liquid explosives, so now almost all liquids are forbidden, too.
With the innumerable draconian restrictions put in place by authorities since the September 11 attacks, air travel has become infinitely less pleasant. But has it become any less dangerous?
Of the visible changes to airline security in the past five years, most have been "irrational, wasteful and pointless," according to Patrick Smith, a long-time airline pilot and author of a popular column on air travel for salon.com. The "senseless confiscation of pointy objects," he argues, has contributed little to preventing another world-changing disaster.
Shabtai Shoval, president and founder of Suspect Detection Systems in Tel Aviv, goes a step further.