Loy: Hijackings a Greater Threat Than Missiles

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U.S. intelligence reports suggest that terrorists are more likely to try to hijack a commercial airliner or sneak explosives onboard than attempt to shoot down an aircraft with shoulder-fired missiles, the top official of the Transportation Security Administration said Thursday.

Citing the intelligence reports he receives every morning, James M. Loy told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s aviation subcommittee “there are no immediate threats” from shoulder-fired missiles in the United States, according to a Washington Post account.

Meanwhile, an Associated Press account of Loy’s appearance reported that he pressed for more money for his agency. Loy noted these security weaknesses due to budget problems:

–The government does not routinely screen airline passengers or their carry-on bags for explosives.

–It does not have enough equipment to test how well screeners can identify threatening items carried by travelers themselves or in their luggage.

–Only 18 or 20 airports will get federal money to permanently install machines that detect bombs in checked baggage.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A38367-2003Oct16.html

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