THE LAND OF THE FREE has decided that ordinary people will pay for a security cock-up that allowed an alleged terrorist on board a plane on Christmas day.
Security staff who already terrorise ordinary people with bizarre security checks are now banning all electronic devices from being carried on planes. Well, sort of. Like most knee-jerk shut-the-door-after-the-horse-has-bolted measures, it will be up to a security person on the ground to decide if someone is going to use their Iphone to play games or blow up the plane.
According to a press release, the US Department of Homeland Security says it will be up to the bloke at the airport to decide.
But since this is probably the same bloke who apparently failed to find a packet of powdered explosive and decided that a syringe of chemical explosive was probably okay, this directive is probably a bit daft. Now the same bloke is not going to let you on board an airplane with a mobile phone for the next few months.
Quite why Homeland Security is picking on electronics users is not clear. Reportedly the device used in the latest incident was strapped to the terrorist's body and no MP3 player, Iphone, or portable computer was involved.
Neither was the use of any electronic gear involved in the fact that the suspect was not placed on a no-fly list despite a warning from his dad that he was likely to do that sort of thing.
Allegedly the bomb material was identical to that used by the would-be shoe bomber in 2002, so there was nothing involved that security forces did not know about. Finding this sort of gear should have been fairly basic.
For a while US Customs snoops have been copying the hard drives of those who carry laptops on planes, but now it looks as though if you plan on flying to the US then you'd better not take any electronics gear with you. µ