Security officials realize that putting explosives in people's baggage is maybe a bad idea…

So, you’re managing security at an airport. How do you train your bomb sniffing dogs? Well, you might just set up some dummy luggage at a remote site and let the dogs check them out. Or, you could actually put explosives in people’s bags, just to give the dogs something to find…

Which works nicely, in theory… train like you work is a good idea. But what happens when they don’t find the explosives? Right, they get loaded on aircraft, and present a rather nasty surprise for the unsuspecting airline passenger.


  1. I think it’s time to make another “Airplane!” movie. There’s so much good stuff to work with.

    Over on Salon there’s a running series called “ask the pilot”, which is written by a commercial airplane pilot. He had one story about TSA people taking his nail clipper. He said, “I’m going to be flying the airplane. What do you think I’m going to do, stab myself in the neck and wrestle control from myself?”

    Meanwhile John Perry Barlow is has a chilling and depressing story to tell about being busted for a joint found by overzealous bag searchers.

  2. Technology Review reports this month that while 100% of US airline passengers and their luggage are screened (with varying success), LESS THAN 10% OF AIR CARGO is screened. And nearly all US passenger flights have some air cargo aboard.

    You might ask, “Is the US government patently stupid? Do they not have a single person in homeland security that understands anything about risk assessment?” My theory is that they do, but they deliberately ignore it. The administration is only interested in doling out money in a way that is highly visible. Air cargo isn’t visible, but making voters wait in line and take off their shoes is a constant reminder that their government is doing something, and that they should remain very, very afraid.

  3. Gary,

    You spoke too soon. The next day a fake bomb was put into a suitcase in Newark, New Jersey by security guys on a training exercise. It had fake explosives, wires, and a clock. It turned up in Amsterdam. Apologies for being too lazy to find the link (but everybody knows how to use Google).

Comments are closed