Thursday, January 07, 2010

Tracking Terrorist Packages

UPS and FedEx have great systems for tracking packages. Those parcels might be in the air, on the ground, at the start of their journey, or at the end. But both companies know the status and location of virtually every item they handle. The same can be done for human cargo.

Meanwhile, what percentage of airline tickets are purchased with cash? Maybe it is time to prohibit cash purchases. The New York City subway system will not take bills larger than $20. Maybe people who want to buy airline tickets with cash should be photographed and subjected to an on-the-spot background check. In the US, instant background checks are used by gun sellers. Sellers at gun shows are expected to use the instant checks. Why not create something similar for those with a sudden need to fly to the US without luggage?

Terrorism Report Cites Human Errors, Lack of Tracking System

Jan. 7 -- A combination of human errors and lack of a system to track leads contributed to the U.S. failure to block a man from trying to bomb an airliner on Christmas Day, according to a review ordered by President Barack Obama.

“There was not a comprehensive or functioning process for tracking terrorist threat reporting and actions taken” that would hold agencies “accountable for running down all leads associated with high-visibility and high-priority plotting efforts,” said the report released today.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man, has been indicted on charges of trying to destroy a Northwest Airlines plane carrying 290 people as it approached Detroit on Dec. 25. The plot was foiled when the explosives he was carrying failed to ignite and passengers and crew aboard the flight subdued the suspect.

Abdulmutallab’s name had been in a federal database of individuals with possible extremist ties.

The government today released a declassified version of the review Obama ordered of intelligence and security procedures following the incident.

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