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Should the U.S. require security measures in baggage-claim areas in light of the Moscow bombing?

An explosion at Domodedovo Airport, on the southeast outskirts of Moscow, killed dozens of people Monday afternoon in what appears to be a terror attack. The explosion took place near a cafe outside the international arrivals area.

By Andrea Caumont  |  January 24, 2011; 11:18 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Crowds waiting to get into the airport would still be vulnerable to a suicide bomber but at least there would be less physical infrastructure damage to the airport itself.

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | January 24, 2011 2:12 PM

There are three vulnerabilities: the check-in counters, the TSA check area and the baggage claim areas. At least Dulles has removed the crowds that used to cluster in the ticketing area waiting for TSA clearance to another level. However, there is only a cursory check by a private contractor to see whether someone passing through to the TSA area has a ticket. And there is no check to see whether it is a valid ticket for that day's flight...kind of a wave through with the idea that TSA will do the detailed checking.

Posted by: seahawkdad | January 24, 2011 4:26 PM

This just proves that the current methods used by TSA at the gates are ineffective and that they should adopt the Israeli model.

Where does the perimeter begin? Moving the scanners to the terminal entrance? The parking lot? When you leave your door?

This strategy simply doesn't work and the naked scanners are useless for this type of attack. The only one's being "caught" are law abiding citizens trying to make a flight.

The bomb was in the bag, not on the bomber so all of the checkpoint scanning and groping in the world wouldn't have found it.

It's time TSA got ahead of these events instead or over-reacting to old tactics.

Posted by: fisher1949 | January 24, 2011 5:33 PM

Seahawkdad is exactly right. If the terrorists want to attack the airline industry/infrastructure, then blowing up airplanes with body-cavity bombs is only one of their options. People gather in airports outside security perimeters or, like for TSA, at them by necessity or preference.

We're kept safe by the small numbers and general incompetence of the terrorists, not by TSA and the like.

Posted by: TexLex | January 24, 2011 8:29 PM

So many venues are so much more vulnerable than baggage claim areas, and we can't have security in every one of them.

That being said, however, I wouldn't object to better baggage claim security, if only to prevent bags from being stolen.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 24, 2011 8:37 PM

Possibly a clash of civilizations, would deter our Muslim friends. You cannot simply go on forever, killing innocent people. Doesn't wash.

Posted by: dangreen3 | January 24, 2011 8:40 PM

Dear god please no more frakking police state mission creep. It's disgusting, and a total waste of time.

The 47% (currently) needs to grow a set of balls, because it's obvious they're total wimps.

Posted by: Nymous | January 24, 2011 8:40 PM

Amazing. Yes, they should have security the moment we leave our homes. Perhaps a good pat down and X ray in the driveway, nothing is too much to keep us SAFE!

Posted by: cz_man | January 24, 2011 8:48 PM

No. It would cost billions and effectively force security on everyone entering the building. At MSP with the temperature -30. And if you put a crowd outside a building, the bomber will just walk into it. Face it, you cannot eliminate crowds. Other means must be found of addressing any additional checks.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | January 24, 2011 8:50 PM

The problem with our security measures is that for the most part they are a form of theater and have minimal effectiveness. I am also concerned about encouraging a creeping police state but at the end of the day there really are people who want to kill us just because we are Americans, Russians, French, or whatever. Terrorists pursue their own goals and our views or other characteristics are incidental to them. Right now various holes in security exist in baggage claim (and transport) operations and for mutual safety they need to be addressed and closed.

Posted by: kirtu | January 24, 2011 8:52 PM

We can not allow ourselves to turn into another Israel, traveling door to door in armored buses and cars and all carrying sub machine guns in the name of public safety.

The infrastructure required to support such a state would cost billions of dollars we can't afford. That money is better spent undermining terrorist support networks and helping identify and treat those whose psychological makeup is most vulnerable to radical influences.

In short focus on cooperating with moderate Muslim regimes to de-radicalize their populations.

Posted by: ArtDodger69 | January 24, 2011 9:04 PM

This is an utter waste of time.

Those of us with real counter-terrorism experience know this.

What is effective is not screening (other than basic checks), since trained terrorists could get thru all the devices we have, but the use of either trained dogs or pigs (yes, as in truffle hunting) for sniffing out explosives.

Living in fear is not only un-American and unpatriotic, it's ineffective.

Posted by: WillSeattle | January 24, 2011 9:15 PM

Why extend security only to baggage claim areas? Why not check in counters? Why not airport parking lots? Why not surrounding malls? Why not people's bedrooms?

People can choose to live in fear and demand that the government make them safe, or people can choose to be brave, to recognize that the price of ultimate safety, in stifling liberty and autonomy, is a price greater than death. It is only by choosing not to cower that we can defeat terrorists.

Posted by: sage5 | January 24, 2011 9:25 PM

If Will Seattle were REALLY knowledgeable about AVIATION SECURITY COUNTER-MEASURES, as opposed to whatever he thinks he knows about CT measures, he would know, as we do know, that bomb sniffing dogs, unfortunately, are ONLY AS GOOD AS THEIR HANDLERS, AND THE DOGS COMING OUT OF LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, WHERE MOST OF THEM ARE TRAINED, AND FROM THERE TO VARIOUS POLICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT DEPARTMENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY, ARE NOT KEPT CURRENT IN THEIR TRAINING, BECAUSE THEIR HANDLERS ARE NOT THAT PROFICIENT IN KEEPING UP THEIR TRAINING, THE DOGS FREQUENTLY, I STRESS FREQUENTLY MAKE MISTAKES IN DETECTION, THEY TIRE EASILY, THUS ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION AFTER ABOUT 15 MIN. OR SO, THEY ARE MISCUED BY INCOMPETENT HANDLERS, THE LIST OF WHY SUPPOSED BOMB SNIFFING DOGS ARE NOT THE ANSWER GOES ON AND ON-THUS, THEY SERVE AS LITTLE MORE THAN WINDOW DRESSING IN THEIR AIRPORT APPEARANCE-NOT IN THEIR ASSIGNED PURPOSE-WHICH IS TO ALERT/DETECT EXPLOSIVE CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS IN TIME TO AVOID AN ATTACK.

As for pigs, that's a non-starter pigs do not relate to humans the way dogs do, thus they can't be trained easily-I don't know where in hades you're getting your info., WillS, but it has nothing to do with aviation security, that's for sure.

Posted by: Spring_Rain | January 24, 2011 9:43 PM

Russia has a problem because of Chechnya. France has a problem because of Algeria. Great Britain had a problem because of Northern Ireland.

Do you SEE a pattern here people?

It's time to get the hell out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, ...

19 people flew 4 planes on 9/11 and we've acted like the whole damn Islamic world was in on it. If we stop messing with other people, there will be less of them that will feel they need to fight the imperial menace invading their homeland and our airports will be significantly safer.

Posted by: overdrive_68 | January 24, 2011 9:45 PM

A bigger risk point is in the huge lines while waiting to check-in or be screened. Maybe they should find a way to make it so that air travel isn't simply an experience in queueing.

The more I think about it, we should just probably ban all gatherings of more than 5 people.

Posted by: staticvars | January 24, 2011 10:10 PM

Brainstorming, I wouldn't mind some passive scanning people aren't even aware of that detects explosives.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 25, 2011 7:44 AM

Thank you SAGE5.
I hope you do not mind if I repeat part of your comment. I found it very appropriate.

"People can choose to live in fear and demand that the government make them safe, or people can choose to be brave, to recognize that the price of ultimate safety, in stifling liberty and autonomy, is a price greater than death. It is only by choosing not to cower that we can defeat terrorists."

Posted by: observer31 | January 25, 2011 9:55 AM

@Itzajob wrote:
"I wouldn't object to better baggage claim security, if only to prevent bags from being stolen."
.
And this is how straw men arguments are born.
-Please provide *any* evidence that there is a rash of bag theft from airports.
-Now explain how this is any different than it has been in the past.
-Now explain why we should give up our civil rights (4th amendment) in order to protect a few bags?

Posted by: rpixley220 | January 25, 2011 10:26 AM

NO... wait for the first IED to explode, then point fingers.

Posted by: whocares666 | January 25, 2011 11:20 AM

In addition to increased baggage claim security, I have one other suggestion. Seize every arab/muslim in the US and shoot them on the spot. Leave The bodies in the gutter as a reminder to potential sympathizers.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | January 25, 2011 11:24 AM

They probably should, but knowing the stupid United States like I do, they won't implement any type of safety measures until after there is a massive explosion in one of the baggage claim areas that kills a few hundred people.
That is the way the United States operstes, they wait until after the fact before they enact any type of safety measures.
Just look at the history of the USA.
And one of the biggest open holes the USA has is the mexican open boarder where any friggin terrorist in the world could sneak across with explosives and set them off in a major metro area.
Which is a time bomb waiting to happen.

Posted by: JimW2 | January 25, 2011 12:07 PM

Rpixley220, find someone else to read my post aloud to you, and listen more carefully this time. I am opposed to further useless airport security.

As to evidence of baggage theft, I make no claims as to its prevalence. All I can say is that it's happened to me.

Sheesh! Trolls!

Posted by: Itzajob | January 25, 2011 12:12 PM

From another poster here:
"This just proves that the current methods used by TSA at the gates are ineffective and that they should adopt the Israeli model. "
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The "model" this poster refers to is based on protecting TWO Israeli airports. We have a few more to cover.

Posted by: jimbob3 | January 25, 2011 12:45 PM


Most terrorists are bumbling incompetents.

Law-abiding citizens are inconvenienced for no good reason.

I'm okay with scanning carry-on and checked luggage. That should be enough. The "pat downs" are ridiculous.

I would remind some of the posters here that NONE of the 9/11 terrorists were remotely Mexican.

Posted by: tony_in_Durham_NC | January 25, 2011 1:05 PM

Tony, I'd remind you that a good portion of the Post's commenters are racist nuts...

Posted by: Nymous | January 27, 2011 12:26 AM

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