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January 5th, 2010
11:56 AM ET

Screening must include religion, ethnicity

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/01/03/brennan.plane.terror/smlvid.us.airline.suspect.cnn.jpg caption="YOUR CAPTION BETWEEN QUOTES" width=300 height=169]

Steven Emerson
Special to CNN

In the wake of the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day, security experts, political commentators and the media have been asking one question: How can the United States prevent terrorists from smuggling homemade bombs through security?

The most frequent answer has been full body scanners, a developing technology used in a handful of airports around the world. Although these scanners may be effective, they are at best the right answer to the wrong question.

The question that law enforcement and security professionals must ask is how to prevent the terrorists themselves from getting on the airplane.

Once we focus our attention on individual terrorists rather than their potential weapons, one fact is immediately clear: We must completely change the way we go about airport security and counterterrorism in general.

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Filed under: Human Rights • Religion • Terrorism
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Jim

    How do you prevent terrorists from getting on an airplane?
    Use our technology ,Find them where they hide & take them out. Dead Terrorists cannot board airplanes.

    January 5, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    We must focus on both the "individual" and the device.

    January 5, 2010 at 11:59 am |