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The Trombone ForumPractice BreakChit-ChatPurely Politics(Moderators: bhcordova, RedHotMama, BFW) Security against ISIS terrorism in Australia
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Graham Martin
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« on: Jul 30, 2017, 11:27PM »

Following advice from an overseas security source, four people in Australia have been detained over an alleged plot to blow up a plane using a bomb hidden in a kitchen meat grinder. The authorities, recently combined, are continuing to gather evidence following counter-terror raids in Sydney. It is obviously good that the plot was discovered.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-31/sydney-terror-investigation-continues-with-four-men-arrested/8758066

What is not good is the fact that new security measures have been introduced at all Australian airports and passengers are now required to arrive 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for overseas flights. Eeek! I am wondering what this says about the previous security measures they had in place and what they were not doing that they now are. Not that security experts have got any confidence in most of the precautions:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-31/sydney-terror-raids-airport-security-measures-expert/8759152

What is the situation with airport security in the US?
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Grah

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« Reply #1 on: Jul 31, 2017, 06:16AM »

It's kind of a joke. I guess it is as adequate as it needs to be, at least until it isn't.
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« Reply #2 on: Jul 31, 2017, 06:35AM »

2/3 hours has been the standard for at least a while, but it also often seems not to be an issue to arrive a good bit later--have to ask the frequent flyers once things get settled.
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« Reply #3 on: Jul 31, 2017, 07:24AM »

I had a cheap waiter's corkscrew in my bag I forgot about. Just a corkscrew, handle, and small foil knife. It made it in and out of maybe 5 airport screening stations... then I got to the small airport in Little Rock, Arkansas. They found it and declared it a threat. Oddly enough, it was not declared a hazard for the several inch corkscrew that could do some actual damage, but for the < 1 inch foil cutter knife.


Or flying home from Wisconsin, it's the cheese state, and I brought home cheese. In the bag from the shop, receipt included, in their packages... and declared that I had food at the scanner. It was wiped down, I was wiped down, and everything was checked for bomb residue. Apparently, cheese looks like plastic explosive maybe?


Or... I've flown two more times in the past couple months. It's summer. It's hot. The new "high security" body scanners found places where I was sweaty, clothes stuck to my body, and flagged them. It's such a nice thing to get forcibly felt up in the airport... Yeah, RIGHT.


That said, have a buddy who works for the FAA as a tech. They use those guys to test the screening all the time, pulling them aside before the go through, handing them something that should be caught, and seeing if it is. Most get through no problem. A recent large scale test found the same on large scale.

So lots of false positives, lots of missed ACTUAL positives...

They're largely feel good measures. But still, they advise a long lead time for security and such prior to your flight to get through them.



I would note, for all of the security checks and screenings... the single place where someone could conceivably do the most damage (shy of another 9/11)... would actually be the security line at a busy airport, with everyone standing and waiting to get checked.
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Graham Martin
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« Reply #4 on: Jul 31, 2017, 04:08PM »

It turns out that the real reason our Australian police acted so quickly with raids on the suspected terrorists was because the tip off came from MI5 in the UK, and the British Government declared they would issue a public security alert for Australian travel if the raids did not happen promptly. Yeah, RIGHT. Apparently MI5 got their information from another overseas country, whose security had intercepted communications to the conspirators from Syria. One wonders why the Australian authorities did not pick this up?

British concern may have been so high because of the level of sophistication the accused terrorist cell exhibited. :-0

The Australian government obviously did not like this threat about a travel warning from Pommyland because it made them look bad and they therefor directed the police to take immediate action. The police had previously been hoping to gather more evidence before arresting the men.

So far nobody has been charged with anything and, despite the fact our PM says our security agencies are second to none in the world, I am inclined to think political control and the newly combined agencies are not efficient at combatting terror at all. In fact, authorities now say that the men detained in counter-terrorism raids on the weekend may have already made one attempt to smuggle their homemade bomb onto an international flight prior to the raids. Now they tell us! Yeah, RIGHT.

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Grah

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« Reply #5 on: Aug 02, 2017, 01:28AM »

Security in general is a joke.
Not just at airports but everywhere.
They can only do so much, but honestly, if you knew the system then the security in place would be helpless to stop any attack (especially if you were acting alone)
Most security I come across in my job, isnt there as a deterent, its there to give people some kind of peace of mind.
Oh look, they have security checks.....i feel so much safer now.
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« Reply #6 on: Aug 02, 2017, 08:31AM »

What is not good is the fact that new security measures have been introduced at all Australian airports and passengers are now required to arrive 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours early for overseas flights.


That's a law?

I don't think there is a LAW (in the US) that you have to be there a certain amount ahead of time. When I've been to the airport there was no one at the door checking to see if I was arriving two hours before my flight.

There IS a practical reality of getting there soon enough to get through screening in time, but that lead time varies on how busy things are and how fast the screeners are.

But when they say to get there 3 hours before hand that implies there is a 3 hour line (+ walk time to gate) to get through and I've never been in one that long. I've never even been in a one-hour line.

The problem is you don't know how long the line is until you get through it and there is no tracking of line time that I can detect.


It occurs to me, however, that with the time it takes to get to the airport plus the ostensible two-hour lead time plus the flying time plus the time I wait for a rental car to materialize... I could just about drive where I'm going and not be much worse off.   

That has been literally true in cases when I didn't have a non-stop flight. Yeah, RIGHT.
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« Reply #7 on: Aug 02, 2017, 11:56AM »

The problem is you don't know how long the line is until you get through it and there is no tracking of line time that I can detect.
I've had a few times in the past in larger airports where the security was quite long. And customs... not so much in north america, that was quick, but to europe or south america was another long hurdle. And then you might have a good hike across the terminal through heavy traffic.

My nearby, smaller airport... notice is an hour for me. Tickets are online. I've learned the art of the over-sized carry on and no checked luggage. Security almost never has a line. I go through, get felt up, move on. Get to the gate, wait 15 minutes, and board. Easy.

Bigger airport a bit further out, and longer trip with checked bags... Yeah, I build in a lot more padding.

The basic and unfortunate thing is, you don't know how long the line is until you get there... and if you get there too late, you miss an expensive flight and any potential schedule based off of it.

More security and screenings = longer wait.

Not that those screenings do much besides account for peace of mind (by aggravating a bunch of people crammed into a small space for a long period of time).


It occurs to me, however, that with the time it takes to get to the airport plus the ostensible two-hour lead time plus the flying time plus the time I wait for a rental car to materialize... I could just about drive where I'm going and not be much worse off.   

That has been literally true in cases when I didn't have a non-stop flight. Yeah, RIGHT.
My rule of thumb is an 8 hour drive. Less than 8, and I drive. Around 8, it depends. Past that... unless it's to a small or obscure airport, flying is often the best route.
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« Reply #8 on: Aug 03, 2017, 06:24PM »

Just flew into sydney last night from Germany for the 'summer' break. In Frankfurt it was the usual 20-30 minutes through customs. In Hong Kong we did get an extra check on all the hand luggage... Opening every bag that came through; including my trombone case. It did add about 30 minutes on to the boarding time but on a transfer you have that time anyway.
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