Expert: The Naked Body Scanner May Not Even Catch an Underwear Bomber

Economic Policy Journal

The backstatter xray machines, a.k.a. naked body scanners, are being installed at a fast and furious pace in airports across the country.

The justification for these machines is that we can’t have another Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab get through airport security. In case you have forgotten Abdulmutallab is the Nigerian who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253. Can’t let someone try that again.

Well get a load of this.

The November edition of Los Angeles Magazine (not online) has a long interview with terrorist expert, Brian Jenkins. You should recognize the name. I don’t watch much television, but I have spotted him on the tube a number of times. If he is on television that often discussing the hot topic of terrorism, you can be sure he gets the nod of approval from the regime. Here is his bio:

Brian Michael Jenkins, Senior Advisor to the President at the RAND Corporation, is the author of Will Terrorists Go Nuclear (2008, Prometheus Books) and of several RAND monographs, including Unconquerable Nation: Knowing Our Enemy, Strengthening Ourselves (2006) and two 2002 reports on al Qaeda. He formerly served as chair of the Political Science Department at RAND.

Commissioned in the infantry, Jenkins became a paratrooper and a captain in the Green Berets. He is a decorated combat veteran, having served in the Seventh Special Forces Group in the Dominican Republic and with the Fifth Special Forces Group in Vietnam. He returned to Vietnam as a member of the Long Range Planning Task Group and received the Department of the Army’s highest award for his service.

In 1996, President Clinton appointed Jenkins to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. From 1999 to 2000, he served as advisor to the National Commission on Terrorism and in 2000 was appointed to the U.S. Comptroller General’s Advisory Board. He is a research associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute, where he directs the continuing research on protecting surface transportation against terrorist attacks.

In the L.A. Magazine interview, he casually mentions that it is not clear that Abdulmutallab would have been detected, by the Naked Body Scanner, when he was carrying the explosives in his underwear. Jenkins carefully avoids giving the reason why, and one gets the impression from the article that he doesn’t give the reason because he knows how the Naked Body Scanning system can be defeated and doesn’t want any others understanding how.

Got that? Let me repeat. according to terrorist expert Brian Jenkins, the naked body scanner machine can be defeated. It appears that even the last underwear bomber might not have been detected, if he went through one. And the terrorist experts are aware of this. So do you have any idea$ why the machine$ are really being put in airport$?

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