Video from AP:
Today, FOX News’ headline on the attack–since changed in the article, and also on the homepage–claimed this is the “First Terror Attack in Years,which they’ve since changed to “Jerusalem’s First Terror Attack in Years.” But the first headlines showed complete ignorance. I guess they forgot about the decapitated baby and stabbed family in Itamar. Or the rockets and missiles sent into Israel every day for the last week. Or the repeated rockets shot into Sderot, where poor, working-class Jews live and cannot afford to move out. Or the daily terrorist attacks you don’t read much about, like the attack on the Jewish woman and her Christian missionary friend as they were hiking in the forest. There are Islamic terrorist attacks on Israel and its civilians every single day. You just never hear about it. And even though FOX News changed the headline, the lying crap remains in the story:
Israel Rescue workers and paramedics treat a person wounded by an explosion at a bus stop in Jerusalem, Wednesday, March 23, 2011. A bomb planted at a telephone booth exploded at a crowded bus stop Wednesday in central Jerusalem, wounding many people in what appeared to be the first militant attack in the city in several years. (AP Photo)
An explosion at a crowded bus stop in central Jerusalem has caused dozens of casualties, police said.
(Telegraph) Scores of ambulances converged on the area, near the central bus station and a city conference hall in a Jewish neighbourhood of Jerusalem.
Around 25 people had been wounded, according to medical sources, 15 of them seriously. No deaths were reported.
Police described the explosion as a “terrorist attack”.
The explosion appears to be the first bus bombing in the region in several years and comes amid rising tensions between Hamas militants and Israel.
Update (M&C via DPA):
Jerusalem – A woman injured in a bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday died of her wounds, Israel Radio reported.
Some 31 people were injured by the bomb, which was placed next to a bus shelter by Jerusalem’s convention centre. The bomb exploded as two packed buses were passing.
We now remove our shoes at the airport because terrorist Richard Reed smuggled a shoe bomb onto a jetliner shortly after 9/11. We are also forbidden to bring certain amounts of liquids with us in response to the 2006 “liquid bomb” plot against at least 10 airliners traveling from the UK to the US and Canada. And now Americans are forced to deal with invasive pat downs and full body scans in response to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s attempt to bring down Northwest Airline flight 253 on Christmas day in 2009, by hiding a bomb in his underwear.
Yet what if terrorists emulate Abdullah Asieri, who attempted to assassinate Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, head of Saudi Arabia’s counter terrorism operations, with a bomb that reportedly evaded airport security because it was planted in the terorrist’s rectum? Subsequent forensics revealed that the bomb was not a rectal device but the same bomb used by Abdulmutallab. Drug smugglers frequently attempt to hide contraband in body cavities. Does anyone seriously think a suicide bomber would hesitate to do the same thing? One thing is certain: the same public that is outraged over full-body scans and pat-downs will never submit to a “routine” body cavity search. More importantly, if these types of bombs are virtually undetectable, doesn’t that make a complete mockery of the current procedures?
The second issue is our apparent determination to ignore the most successful airport security strategy currently in use. Israelis have a far more effective and far less invasive and time-consuming system. Why? Because it is the exact opposite of ours: in America the focus is on finding an explosive device. In Israel, the focus is on finding the person carrying the explosive device. Each passenger passes through several layers of security, and each layer is manned by people looking for unusual behavior. Lines are staggered to prevent creating large bunches of people who might be targeted by a terrorist who has gotten into the terminal. In addition, each airport is equipped with a blast-proof luggage screening area, complete with “bomb boxes” which can be used by screeners if they encounter a suspicious piece of luggage.
These bomb-proof areas serve another purpose as well. By isolating luggage in such an area, it no longer becomes necessary to evacuate an entire terminal if something proves suspicious, something which could take several hours. Only the people in the screening area need to move — and only a few meters away.
But the most important part of the equation is summed up by Rafi Sela, the president of AR Challenges, a global transportation security consultancy:
They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you. Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes … and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.
The third issue is the insistence that the federal government control airport security. It may seem like an odd question to ask with regard to airport security, but why is the federal government thirteen trillion dollars in debt? Because there are few direct consequences for government officials behaving irresponsibly. If a TSA agent allows a terrorist on a plane and that plane blows up, maybe the agent will be fired and most likely the government — meaning taxpayers — will be sued for damages. If airlines themselves are responsible for security, they would be incentivized to provide the best security available for a simple reason: failure on their part could bankrupt the company. Airlines would also likely compete with each other to provide the best combination of security coupled with minimal intrusion and inconvenience in order to maximize their market share. And the cost of that security would be borne by the people it is keeping secure, instead of taxpayers.
Barney Frank Picture via israelmatzav.blogspot.com
As columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed out, Americans have taken to a new slogan which neatly encapsulates their consternation regarding airport security. It was inadvertently coined by John Tyner, a 31-year-old software programmer from Oceanside, California. When he refused to allow a Transportation Security Administration official to administer a pat-down near his private area, he uttered a phrase which has resonated nationwide: ”You touch my junk, and I’m going to have you arrested.” Yet as a Senate hearing on Wednesday indicated, the TSA is not backing down. TSA administrator John Pistole says he is sensitive to privacy concerns but insists that “government must provide the best possible security for air travelers.” Thus, the inevitable question: is this the best possible security government can provide? It is hard to reach that conclusion when one considers the salient issues surrounding the controversy.
The first issue would be terrorist creativity and determination.