Image by Aub Rey via FlickrWhile the TSA continue to defend its recent enhancements in security screenings at US airports, including subjecting passengers to new body scanners and aggressive pat-downs, the public backlash has not abated.
Google, as of this writing has 4,619 news articles on TSA.
Dave Barry had a TSA experience and wrote about it in his blog under the heading, Groin Update.
Hillary Clinton asked by CBS’s Schieffer, “Would you submit to one of these pat-downs?” said no. “Not if I could avoid it," Clinton said, with a laugh. "No, I mean: Who would?”
Sen. George LeMieux, (R., Fla.) was quoted in WSJ saying, "I wouldn't want my wife being touched in the way these folks are being touched."
Charles Krauthammer in WaPo writes that the "ultimate idiocy is the full-body screening of the pilot. The pilot doesn't need a bomb or box cutter to bring down a plane." Then ends with "Take my shoes, remove my belt, waste my time and try my patience. But don't touch my junk."
James Fallows in The Atlantic: " TSA is proving the one issue that can bring about previously elusive bipartisan unity."
Apparently, somebody back in 2005 had predicted this bipartisan furor over TSA.
Jeff Wise author of Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger interviews Security and Terrorism Expert Bruce Schneier for Popular Mechanics:
Since 9/11, cryptology expert and security consultant Bruce Schneier has been one of the most pointed critics of the government's anti-terrorism security programs. In his 2003 book "Beyond Fear," he coined the phrase "security theater" to refer to measures which are undertaken not because they will be effective at thwarting attacks, but because the agencies carrying them out need to appear to be doing something useful. In the interview, Schneier says, "Back in 2005, when this full-body scanner technology was first being proposed, I wrote that I thought this would be the straw that broke the camel's back, because it would unite conservatives and liberals. Nobody wants their daughter groped or shown naked."Also this item that the TSA would not appreciate: On the TSA scans "100 percent. It won't catch anybody."
Read the whole thing here.
So while the tempest is only going to get louder as more people fly this Thanksgiving week, we note with interest the news that Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had not only given the parcel bomb plot a code name but also released how much it spent on that operation -- $4,200 -- about how much a fancy coffee machine cost in US dollars.
DeLonghi ESAM6700 Gran Dama Avant Touch-Screen Super-Automatic Espresso Machine
List price: $4,200
The following via the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI):
AQAP Releases Special Issue of 'Inspire' Magazine 'Operation Hemorrhage' - Dedicated Entirely To Explosive Parcels Plot
Note to media and government: For the full report, send an email with "Inspire Operation Hemorrhage" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On November 20, 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released a special edition of its English-language magazine Inspire titled '$4,200' the total amount spent on the operation. Unlike the previous editions of "Inspire" this issue does not contain any contribution from Anwar Al-Awlaki nor does it mention him at all.Full report via subscription here.
This edition consists of 23 pages that are entirely dedicated to the recent parcel plot.
The magazine was first posted on the main Jihadi forum Shumukh Al-Islam. It was produced by al-Malahem media, the media wing of the AQAP.
Among the topics presented is the objectives of ‘Operation Hemorrhage’ (i.e. parcel plot):
-General details and objectives of the operation [which the magazine says was to cause economic damage to the United States]
-Technical details of the devices used [as well as a review of equipment in airport security which they have overcome]
-Economic leverage the AQAP believes it has gained over West
-Religious objectives of the attack
The magazine also includes "exclusive" images of the contents of the packages [i.e. printer, book].
The magazine also claims that AQAP was behind the incident of the UPS airplane in Dubai on September 3, 2010 and that the United States hid AQAP's responsibility.
The release includes a list of prisoners of Al-Qaeda in the West. The magazine offers a way to communicate with AQAP.
The Site Intelligence Group has a similar report here excerpted below, also available by subscription:
AQAP Releases 3rd Issue of “Inspire”, Dedicated to Parcel Bomb Plot |11/20/2010
"Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the third issue of its English-language magazine “Inspire” on jihadist forums on November 20, 2010. The issue is a special edition dedicated to the parcel bomb plot, or what they call “Operation Hemorrhage.” The issue features articles describing the details of the plot and the components of the bombs planted in printer cartridges and other object on cargo airplanes. For example, AQAP informs in one article: “We used a device that contains organic, non-organic material, and metals. The toner cartridge contains the toner which is carbon based and that is an organic material."
We have previously blog about this in The TSA, the terrorists who succeed even when they fail, and who the heck is going to do my cavity check? (November 17, 2010).
Update: On November 22, http://cryptome.org/ posted a copy of AQAP's Inspire Magazine (5.7 MB in English).