Very little public anger has been directed towards the terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda, who have allegedly been plotting to blow up a plane using an improvised explosive device (IED) crammed into a mobile phone.
Instead a great deal of anger and frustration has been directed towards airport security and airlines for implementing measures to check that passengers’ mobile devices are not IEDs.
It really is quite perverse. Somewhere in the world a security agency has done a fantastic piece of work, by infiltrating Al-Qaeda, finding out what they are planning and then attempting to prevent a terrorist atrocity. However, in relation to this particular story most people have shown little concern about being blown out of the sky but a great deal of annoyance that they will have to make sure their iPhone is charged whenever they fly. So, a big pat on the back for the security services, because their excellent work appears to have been somewhat overlooked.
Although this plot may have been foiled, the certainty is that the terrorists will not be giving up. This means that additional security measures and procedures will need to be implemented in the months and years to come, as and when further threats are identified. I anticipate that future security measures may well be far more intrusive than proving your phone works, especially if terrorists begin to hide explosives within their body! So to those people complaining about keeping their phone charged… I suggest you stop whinging.
Having said that, it is important that airports’ security procedures cause as little disruption to passengers as possible.
Some countries’ airports are better at doing this than others. From my experience, the USA is one of the worst and I have had some very unpleasant experiences at American airports. I have stood in immigration queues for hours; found security staff to be unnecessarily officious and the procedures for catching internal connecting flights more exhausting than doing the Royal Marine commando challenge. As a result I haven’t been on holiday to the States for over five years.
The recent security scare has caused me to reflect on that, I should be blaming Al-Qaeda for these inconveniences and not an allied country or their security staff and airlines. Perhaps we could all be more appreciative of the efforts being made to make air travel safe. Especially, as nobody knows what has happened to the missing Malaysian flight MH370!