Santa and his reindeer aren’t the only ones expected to take to the skies this upcoming holiday season. It’s the people on the naughty list that have government officials concerned, and they’re considering making some bold changes to air travel.
The notoriously busy holiday travel season of Christmas and New Year’s is a hotbed for terrorist plotting, and over the past few months, one major airline attack has been unraveled. But it’s not just one attack; it’s more like a series of them. UK newspaper Daily Express reports:
Terrorists are plotting to blow up five European passenger jets in a Christmas “spectacular”, security experts say.
… Whitehall officials admit that a terror strike on the UK is now “almost inevitable” particularly with British jihadis returning from fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Counterterrorism officials in Europe and in the US have started talking about possible measures they can take to prevent a large-scale act of terror in the skies. A solution they’ve considered includes banning mobile devices outright in plane cabins and prohibiting carry-on luggage onto the planes.
It’s not just the buzz of imminent attack that has international governments worried; the sophistication of bombs and incendiary devices has increased over the years and terrorist groups have their hands on more powerful methods to carry out large-scale attacks. More security would definitely help. But at what cost?
US Department of Homeland Security chief Jeh Johnson—who’s dealing with a rough week of back-and-forth immigration talks with House Republicans—hasn’t ruled out carrying out these measures:
You can expect airlines will resist any rash decisions, because—according toBloomberg—”the bag fee, and a cavalcade of others in the years since, has produced more than $6 billion in new annual revenue for the airline industry.”
I haven’t even mentioned the passengers that carry uncheckable items like handbags and laptops with them. Twitter users have responded in alarm:
Hopefully, international counterterrorism agencies can work together to combat any epic plans conjured up by terrorist organizations. Right now, airlines aren’t going to be making passenger lives any crazier, but that could change sooner than later.
One thing’s for sure: we might here “At This Time” as often as “Happy Holidays” over the next few weeks.
Courtesy of IJ Review