Smuggling explosives onto a plane – as happened on a Detroit-bound flight Christmas Day – is not difficult, aviation security analysts tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. If someone really wants to bring bomb-making components onto a commercial plane, it can be done. Perhaps bomb-sniffing dogs or a pat-down or the new high-definition screening devices might have detected the chemical explosive Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab secreted on his body. Then again, they might not have caught him, considering passengers can bring 3-ounce containers of liquids on board.
“You don’t have to be James Bond to figure this out,” said Todd Curtis, an aviation industry security expert. One security analyst says only two changes have made flying safer since Sept. 11, 2001 – stronger cockpit doors and passengers more willing to resist terrorists, which is just what happened in the skies near Detroit. “There’s no way to prevent this, absolutely not,” said security expert Bruce Schneir. “The way you become safer is through investigation and analysis. Clearly there was a breakdown, and the breakdown happened long before he got to the airport.”