Speaking to a Denver CBS News affiliate, Steenhoek recalled that things started to go sour after she set off an alarm at the security
checkpoint. She said it could have been the jewels sewn into the pockets of her jeans that caused concern, but before long she was undergoing
other examinations and ultimately tested positive for traces of explosives.
I think there is more to the story than what's being told. Explosive residue and hidden possible contraband warrants an extensive search, I
I apologize if my post appears to be an attack on your character. I'll admit there is a bit of misdirected anger which
I should reserve for ANY TSA employee. You're simply a target of opportunity so please don't be offended.
Unfortunately I find your last sentence disturbing. They found no explosives or contraband on the lady.
Therefore TSA has faulty equipment and or incompetent employees. However, as we have witnessed if you give these idiots an inch they will take a mile.
You have just agreed to give them their inch. To even engage in a discussion of this nature lends credibility / legitimacy to their very existence.
The link suggests the need for TSA to exist should be brought into question.
The Odds of Airborne Terror
by Nate Silver
Not going to do any editorializing here; just going to do some non-fancy math. James Joyner asks:
There have been precisely three attempts over the last eight years to commit acts of terrorism aboard commercial aircraft. All of them clownishly
inept and easily thwarted by the passengers. How many tens of thousands of flights have been incident free?
Let's expand Joyner's scope out to the past decade. Over the past decade, there have been, by my count, six attempted terrorist incidents on board a
commercial airliner than landed in or departed from the United States: the four planes that were hijacked on 9/11, the shoe bomber incident in
December 2001, and the NWA flight 253 incident on Christmas.
The Bureau of Transportation Statistics provides a wealth of statistical information on air traffic. For this exercise, I will look at both domestic
flights within the US, and international flights whose origin or destination was within the United States. I will not look at flights that transported
cargo and crew only. I will look at flights spanning the decade from October 1999 through September 2009 inclusive (the BTS does not yet have data
available for the past couple of months).
Over the past decade, according to BTS, there have been 99,320,309 commercial airline departures that either originated or landed within the United
States. Dividing by six, we get one terrorist incident per 16,553,385 departures.
These departures flew a collective 69,415,786,000 miles. That means there has been one terrorist incident per 11,569,297,667 mles flown. This distance
is equivalent to 1,459,664 trips around the diameter of the Earth, 24,218 round trips to the Moon, or two round trips to Neptune.
Assuming an average airborne speed of 425 miles per hour, these airplanes were aloft for a total of 163,331,261 hours. Therefore, there has been one
terrorist incident per 27,221,877 hours airborne. This can also be expressed as one incident per 1,134,245 days airborne, or one incident per 3,105
There were a total of 674 passengers, not counting crew or the terrorists themselves, on the flights on which these incidents occurred. By contrast,
there have been 7,015,630,000 passenger enplanements over the past decade. Therefore, the odds of being on given departure which is the subject of a
terrorist incident have been 1 in 10,408,947 over the past decade. By contrast, the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are about 1 in
500,000. This means that you could board 20 flights per year and still be less likely to be the subject of an attempted terrorist attack than to be
struck by lightning.