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Liquid Explosives Found at West Virginia Airport?

An airport in West Virginia was evacuated after a woman's water bottle tested postive for explosives - twice.

From the AP:

West Virginia airport terminal was evacuated Thursday after a female passenger's water bottle twice tested positive for explosives, a Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman said.


"The bomb squad is on site and the woman is being interviewed by the FBI," Amy von Walter said.

Security checkpoint screeners got a positive test on a machine that uses swabs to find traces of explosives, von Walter said. A bomb- sniffing dog also reacted to the water bottle.

A screener noticed the bottle in a woman's carryon bag as she prepared to board a flight to Charlotte, N.C., said Tri-State Airport authority President Jim Booton.

Commercial airline service was temporarily suspended, and about 100 passengers and airport employees were ordered to leave the terminal, Booton said.

At least one flight was diverted to Charleston's Yeager Airport, about 60 miles away.

And this AP report says that bomb-sniffing dogs sniffed out the woman's bottle:

tCEREDO, W.Va. (AP) A West Virginia airport terminal was evacuated Thursday afternoon after a bomb-sniffing dog reacted to a bottle filled with a liquid in a passenger's luggage, an airport official said.


A screener noticed the bottle in a woman's carryon bag as she prepared to board a flight to Charlotte, N.C., said Tri-State Airport authority President Jim Booton.

The woman was detained for questioning, commercial airline service was temporarily suspended, and about 100 passengers and airport employees were ordered to leave the terminal, Booton said.

At least one flight was diverted to Charleston's Yeager Airport, about 60 miles away.

The FBI is investigating.

And get this from the BBC:

The bottle was subjected to a swab test and a sniffer dog examination and both tested positive for explosives.


A security guard first spotted the bottle in the bag, Tri-State Airport authority chief Jim Booton said.

Officials say the woman is of Pakistani origin and was travelling on a one-way ticket to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Chris Yates from Jane's Aviation told the BBC that both tests were extremely sensitive.

Added: I put the question mark at the end of the header of this post because it has not been confirmed that the woman in question had explosives in her water bottle. Although the guy from Jane's Aviation said these tests are very senstive, I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be a false alarm - at least I hope it turns out that way.

Update: Thanks to commenter Growler who points to this press release from the TSA:

HUNTINGTON, W. VA. - At 9:15 a.m. EDT at the Huntington, W. Va., airport, Transportation Security Officers detected suspicious items at the checkpoint in a passenger's carry-on bag. There were four items containing liquids, and two containers tested positive for explosive material.


Federal agencies including the TSA and FBI are on-site conducting interviews and gathering information. The concourse was cleared, affecting approximately 100 passengers.

As of 3:30 p.m. EDT, bomb technicians were on the scene, and the terminal remains closed.

I have to ask the obvious question: why was she attempting to bring on four containers of liquids when the new rules specifically say no liquids except baby formula/milk and liquid medicines? And it doesn't appear that these containers contained either one of the approved liquids.

Update II: As suspected, it was a false alarm. Her cosmetics caused all the fuss. Again, I'm asking why she was carrying these on the airplane. Was she living under a rock and not hear that virtually all liquids were banned from being in carry-on luggage?


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Comments (54)

Chris Yates from J... (Below threshold)
Chris Yates from Jane's Aviation told the BBC that both tests were extremely sensitive.

Mass spectrometer?

Yay! Another one caught!</... (Below threshold)
Josh:

Yay! Another one caught!

After the London crackdown,... (Below threshold)
Shig:

After the London crackdown, I cancelled my wife's trip to Cleveland (from here in NC) ...She'd possibly be in Charlotte right now.

This is a reckless post abo... (Below threshold)
joe bloe:

This is a reckless post about "Liquid Explosive Found at West Virginia Airport" It is not reported that there was anything in the bottles.
And thanks for highlighting the unconfirmed report that the woman is of PAKISTINI origin. ONE WAY TICKET blablba bla. I wonder, do you work for the paranoid TSA?

Charlotte has a large hezzb... (Below threshold)
jp:

Charlotte has a large hezzbollah sleeper cell they know about

Joe Bloe, the title is a qu... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Joe Bloe, the title is a question, note the squiggly mark at the end of it, "Liquid Explosive Found at West Virginia Airport?", meaning that it is being reported by the AP and other news agencies that they have POSSIBLY found liquid explosives. They are also reporting she is of Pakistani descent. Get a grip man. I wonder, do you work for the paranoid DNC?

joe bloe:[sarcasm]... (Below threshold)
Annoynamous:

joe bloe:

[sarcasm] Yes, must be paranoia, because surely no one would want to try to blow up a plane in mid-flight. That's just crazy talk. [/sarcasm]

Go blog yourself.... (Below threshold)
ihateblogs:

Go blog yourself.

Well, maybe you should also... (Below threshold)
Mary Jane:

Well, maybe you should also talk about those guys from Pakistan or wherever who were arrested in Michigan for buying 1000 cell phones. Turns out the charges were dropped against them. Are we really to the point of trying to demonize anyone who looks like they might be Islamic? If that is true then a new form of patroitic xenophobia is afoot.

No Mary Jane, we shouldn't ... (Below threshold)
J.R.:

No Mary Jane, we shouldn't demonize anyone who looks like they may be Islamic.

But we sure as hell better look at them more closely!

Mary Jane, if you don't thi... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Mary Jane, if you don't think that a couple Pakistani guys, in Michigan no less, with over 1000 cell phones in their vans, with the batteries stripped out, were'nt up to anything, you are a fool. They were only released because people like you would scream and cry bloody murder if we held them. They will resurface, you can count on that.

One side effect we're going... (Below threshold)
cirby:

One side effect we're going to see from searching for liquid explosives and things like TATP is a lot more "work accidents" among the bad guys.

They only have a few paths to try and make explosives, and one is the "fulminate" track. Silver and mercury and lead fulminates all blow up pretty good, with the side effect of blowing up really easily.

Too much in one place, or a small impact, or even a nearly-undetectable static spark can set off the more "interesting" compounds...


Cirby, that should prove hu... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Cirby, that should prove humorous. Interesting thought too, maybe after the metal detector they could place a ballistic tent you must walk through that provides a few static sparks. You know...just in case!

Mary Jane:*They* d... (Below threshold)
Annoynamous:

Mary Jane:

*They* demonized us first.

The word "xenophobia" implies an irrational hate and fear of the "other". If the people you are fearful of claim they desire you and people like you to die, and make attempts to cause just that to happen, is hating and fearing them really so irrational after all?

If Islamic people do not want to be hated, perhaps they should ask themselves WHY they are hated and look for the "root causes", as it were.

John, mass spectrometry may... (Below threshold)
Todd:

John, mass spectrometry may not be sensitive enough in these times. How about gel electrophoresis to really slow things down - and it has the word 'gel' in it.

Western Blot assays seem appropriate based on its name alone. X-ray crystallography could be used to find neuroprotein conformity abnormalities in TSA bureaucrats.

All the tests mentioned should be implemented immediately to add to the insanity.

I work at a major internati... (Below threshold)
liberty:

I work at a major international airport and according to my friend who is the handler of Max the bomb sniffing dog... the dog doesn't respond to trace - there has to a pretty substantial amount for the dog to respond.

Those dogs are pretty amazing. They are regularly recertified and have to pass tests and training runs all the time.

If the tests are very se... (Below threshold)
JP:

If the tests are very sensitive, would that indicate an increased chance at a false positive?

Would make sense to me; I'd rather have the inconvience of a few false positives than to have a test not sensitive enough missing some explosives.

I'd say with a pair of positives, combined with Fido the Wonderdog, they made the right call. I guess we'll just have to wait for more info.

If there were explosives in the bottle, I wonder if this was a dry run [or wet run] designed to probe our capabilities.

straight from the TSA's sit... (Below threshold)
growler:

straight from the TSA's site:

Security Officers Detect Potential Explosives

Press Office
Transportation Security Administration

August 17, 2006
Media Inquiries Only - (571) 227-2829
All Other Inquiries - (866) 289-9673

HUNTINGTON, W. VA. - At 9:15 a.m. EDT at the Huntington, W. Va., airport, Transportation Security Officers detected suspicious items at the checkpoint in a passenger's carry-on bag. There were four items containing liquids, and two containers tested positive for explosive material.

Federal agencies including the TSA and FBI are on-site conducting interviews and gathering information. The concourse was cleared, affecting approximately 100 passengers.

As of 3:30 p.m. EDT, bomb technicians were on the scene, and the terminal remains closed.

Did anyone see the idiot re... (Below threshold)
Cheney's Dick:

Did anyone see the idiot representing the police? I don't think he'd know the difference between trinitrotoluene and rubbing alcohol.

Reducing the likelihood of ... (Below threshold)

Reducing the likelihood of false positives, it is being reported that not one but two bottles in her bag tested positive. Also indicates a possible binary explosive device requiring their combination before detonation.

However...

My initial reaction:

"It is possible that her bottle, while testing positive for explosives, indeed contained simply water. If this proves to be the case, it means that where she came from, either her home or from among friends, there is possibly an explosives lab / bomb assembly operation running - somewhere in or near Huntington, West Virginia.

In the approximately 6 hours since the initial detection (9:15am) and the time the story was reported (3:30pm), the Pakistani woman’s background was most certainly traced and her home and those of her connections paid an unceremonious visit at both ends of her flight (Final Destination: Detroit, Michigan).

First reaction to this event, if indeed the dog and machine are not giving simultaneous false positives, is that it likely may simply be sloppiness on the part of a group with sinister intent, but that this plane may not have been an intended target."

We'll know more for certain as the hours pass.

Christian Patriot's comment... (Below threshold)

Christian Patriot's comments were deleted. As I said before, civil debate is more than welcome, but disgusting and offensive language is not.

Sorry it took me so long to take care of this.

Kim

Seems like America's got qu... (Below threshold)

Seems like America's got quite a few racists still. I love the people who say things like "should we demonize them? No, but we should watch them very carefully," and "if you don't think that a couple Pakistani guys, in Michigan no less, with over 1000 cell phones in their vans, with the batteries stripped out, were'nt up to anything, you are a fool" and (my favorite) "If Islamic people do not want to be hated, perhaps they should ask themselves WHY they are hated and look for the 'root causes', as it were." (sic)

Because, when we get right down to root causes, it wasn't like the East just radicalized itself, fools. If you can stop fixating on 9/11 for about ten seconds, and maybe look back just a bit, you'll understand that it wasn't exactly a total surprise for anyone but you, and maybe if you'd taken your self-absorbed head outta your rear, you'd have seen this coming. Like...oh...when the FIRST WTC bombing happened.

So pardon me if I, a non-Muslim who seems to get mistaken for one at every turn, don't feel particularly sympathetic to you [sarcasm] poor poor never-been-discriminated-against folks [/sarcasm]...like...at all.

Oh, and those guys with the cell phones? They really weren't up to anything. Jackass. So screw you, you racist dimwit.

"Are we really to the point... (Below threshold)
JB:

"Are we really to the point of trying to demonize anyone who looks like they might be Islamic?"

Demonize, no. Simonize, yes. We need to wax that Muslim ass before we get waxed.

Looks like today is Dhimmi ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Looks like today is Dhimmi Day.

Christian Patriot go back ... (Below threshold)
Sultanofsham:

Christian Patriot go back to the DU and quit with the agent provocateur crap.

Hey Salil, need a waaaaahmb... (Below threshold)
JB:

Hey Salil, need a waaaaahmbulance?

Would you prefer death to discrimination? You should be concerned about your ass getting blown up because America has hit the snooze button on Jihadism yet again.

Oh, and the East "radicalized" itself roughly around when Mohammed came out with this new-fangled invention called Islam. Know what you're talking about. Read the Koran.

Christian Patriot - NO ONE ... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Christian Patriot - NO ONE who is a Christian would speak that way about ANY group of people.

And frankly, as a New England native, I'm pretty put off by your use of the word Patriot.

Change your name or hit the road. Hit the road anyway.

And the simple solution would be to have anyone who's water tests positive for explosives drink it with a Pepsi & Pop Rocks Chaser - if they blow up, they are guilty. If they don't, they are innocent!

Kim, I am no fan of deletin... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Kim, I am no fan of deleting comments - but ol' Christian Patriot hit a new low if you ask me. Of course, no one asked me :)

They should have made her d... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

They should have made her drink it until it was finished or she had something interesting to tell.

They should have made he... (Below threshold)
cirby:

They should have made her drink it until it was finished or she had something interesting to tell.

"Hey, y'all, I can belch the alphabet, REALLY LOUD!"


Christian Patriot is just a... (Below threshold)
Nahanni:

Christian Patriot is just another Democratic turd floating in from the sewers of DU/Kos.

However he and the other trolls here serve to illustrate just how psychotic those who still claim to be "liberals"/"progressives"/"Democrats" have become. They are mentally unstable and will start to get violent soon.

Doesn't it all boil down to... (Below threshold)
killerwhale:

Doesn't it all boil down to a question of will? The sad fact is that religious fanatics won't listen to reason. The Islamofascist world view requires our death. Think about the really abysmal state of affairs for the Islamic youth in the world today. The only real "hope" they have is what the are told by their Imam in the local mosque. Islamic "civilization" isn't capable of keeping up in a modern society, and so they are determined to destroy what can't be controlled. Look at the disaffected youth in France for example. The only real way to control the situation is to deport those people back to where they came from, and the French understand that. So, it comes down to a question of willpower. Does Western civilization have the stomach to do what is necessary? What will happen when the US Goverment decides to start killing these people without compunction, you know, like what happened in the South Pacific in WW2? When is the world going to understand how dangerous the USA actually is? Public opinion can change rapidly, and Iran doesn't seem to understand this. So, liquid explosives in a smaller airport doesn't really surprise me, what is really surprising is the fact that people haven't been killed here yet. Yes, I believe that muslims MUST be profiled and, sadly, they should be watched carefully, because Islam is out to kill Western Civilization, and if you pay attention, They make no bones about it.

So the dogs are going wacko... (Below threshold)
Hey Mikey:

So the dogs are going wacko in Seattle (shut the port down for hours) and in West Virginia (poor Pakistani woman with a one-way ticket). Sounds like some kind of canine hysteria is being triggered by Islamofascist, I meant, Neo-con puppet dog handlers. Or maybe this is all just a sick joke to see how scared we can be made. Now that does qualify for terrorism. In any case, who would profit by the American people feeling scared?

Yeah cirby, I guess we woul... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Yeah cirby, I guess we wouldn't want someone who possibly was trying to board with explosives in a water bottle to be forthcoming about what is really in those bottles.

Especially when drinking liquids is required for some of the exceptions to the liquids ban. Wouldn't want to enforce that on someone we're actually have cause to be suspicious about, now would we.

Hey Annoynamous,Ma... (Below threshold)
Mary Jane:

Hey Annoynamous,

Maybe they hate us becuase, you know, CIA death squads murder leaders in 3rd world and other countries who are threats to the globalist agenda? Take Iran, 1953, we overthrew an elected government. Then we helped install the current theocratic government by bringing back the Ayatollah Khomeini. We even cut a deal with the Iranians to hold onto the US embassy personell until Regan was in office.

This is an ideological war with large corporations pulling the strings. First it was the germans (funded by Bushs grandpa during WWI), then the communists (who we also helped get funded), now the terrorists and the Islamofascists.

There is no good ideology. It all kills. It all turns other human beings into things worthy of abuse and death. We can nuke the japs and napalm the Viet Cong. We make them seem less than human and deserving of what we do so we can sleep at night. All the while the money keeps being slipped under the table and most people are too dumb drugged by alcohol and TV like something out of 'They Live'.

Wake up people. Islam is not the enemy of Christianity. The current Jihad, going both ways, is just a front from what is really happening.

Alhumdillah

jpm100:Yeah cirby... (Below threshold)
cirby:

jpm100:
Yeah cirby, I guess we wouldn't want someone who possibly was trying to board with explosives in a water bottle to be forthcoming about what is really in those bottles.

Boy, that joke just went right by you, didn't it?

(You could get a lot of back pressure off a bottle of nitro...)

Good points "CHRISTIAN P... (Below threshold)
virgo1:

Good points "CHRISTIAN PATRIOT"

I concur..

Mary Jane, "I'm he... (Below threshold)
WTS:

Mary Jane,

"I'm here to kick a** and chew bubble gum, and I'm all out of bubble gum."

Sorry, but you brought it up.

Could you maybe highlight or bold the part of your text that adds anything to the conversation

Boy, that joke just went... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Boy, that joke just went right by you, didn't it?

Yes, yes it did. :(

I set off the bomb sniffer ... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I set off the bomb sniffer at Gatwick in London. Really professional security there, unlike ours. They let me go after saying that some compounds in my medicine bag set it off.

Very courteous; the whole time they were searching it, they were casually asking me questions about myself, sizing me up. I did not feel intimidated in the least, and they probably got more info out of me than I had realized.

So, this could be nothing, except for the obvious cultural dimension adds more suspcion.

I'm a white guy with the last name, "Mitchell." Please don't tell me the cops should be quite as worried about me as they are a Pakistani. That's not commonsensical.

We even cut a deal... (Below threshold)
We even cut a deal with the Iranians to hold onto the US embassy personell until Regan was in office.

I'm glad you said that. It's helpful when loons identify themselves so quickly.

We even cut a deal... (Below threshold)
We even cut a deal with the Iranians to hold onto the US embassy personell until Regan was in office.

I'm glad you said that. It's helpful when loons identify themselves so quickly.

(Grabs napkin, and gets rea... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

(Grabs napkin, and gets ready to tuck in:)

Sahil:
Seems like America's got quite a few racists still.

Right, because Allah know there aren't any Middle Eastern/Muslim racists. Everyone there is living so much in peace and harmony that Coca-Cola's sprout from the ground in abundance.


I love the people who say things like "should we demonize them? No, but we should watch them very carefully," and "if you don't think that a couple Pakistani guys, in Michigan no less, with over 1000 cell phones in their vans, with the batteries stripped out, were'nt up to anything, you are a fool"

So, you have a rational explanation why someone would have 1000 cel phones in their van, stripped of chargers, etc. And if such a quantity was needed, why they just didn't order it directly from the cel phone company (which would have probably given them a bulk discount)? Yeah, I didn't think you did, asshat.

and (my favorite) "If Islamic people do not want to be hated, perhaps they should ask themselves WHY they are hated and look for the 'root causes', as it were." (sic)
Because, when we get right down to root causes, it wasn't like the East just radicalized itself, fools.

True, the Middle East, in particular radial Islam has been running batshit crazy for the past 1200 years. Had there been semtex vests and carbombs back then, I'm sure our history books would be replete with stories about them.


If you can stop fixating on 9/11 for about ten seconds,

We will, when the muslims stop fixating on "those evil jooooz" for 10 seconds. Deal?


and maybe look back just a bit, you'll understand that it wasn't exactly a total surprise for anyone but you, and maybe if you'd taken your self-absorbed head outta your rear, you'd have seen this coming. Like...oh...when the FIRST WTC bombing happened.

Many of us had seen it coming since fucking longer than that...Beirut (the first round), Locherbie. Yeah, the WTC should have been a warning...had the government (under the glorious Bill Clinton) had treated this as a terrorist case and not a criminal investigation.


So pardon me if I, a non-Muslim who seems to get mistaken for one at every turn, don't feel particularly sympathetic to you [sarcasm] poor poor never-been-discriminated-against folks [/sarcasm]...like...at all.

Let's have a pity party for the ol' boy. Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. Everyone has been discrimiated at one time. The Irish, the Japanese, The Germans, Blacks, etc. So, don't feel so fucking special.

The Jews (still ongoing for the past 2000 years or so).

Well, I'm sorry you feel so downtrodden. God knows I've been labeled in the past because of my looks. Frankly, until about 20 years ago, a middle-easterner passing by me wouldn't even trigger so much as a passing glance. Sadly, that is not true today.

Fuck your root causes, the root causes are simple--bloody single-mindedness of a few extreme radial religious freaks, with the tacit complicity of millions more have brought all this attention to them. They've woken us up, and we are fucking cranky.

As Yamamoto once remarked: We have awakened a sleeping giant. Some of us have hit the snooze button. I'm pouring a hot cup of coffee.


Oh, and those guys with the cell phones? They really weren't up to anything. Jackass. So screw you, you racist dimwit.

Why don't you take those 1000 cel-phones, and shove them up your arse? Don't forget the semtex either.

(end goddamn fucking rant!)

And apologies to the rest of you, I'm tired of people excusing the fucking obvious. I'm tired of us having our hands tied. I'm tired of watching fucking HIZBOLLAH supporters marching up and down our streets.

<a href="http://www.cbsnews... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Woops, just makeup:

But law enforcement sources say the substances that tested positive were cosmetic-based products and not a threat CBS News reports.

Dogs are VERY sensitive det... (Below threshold)
epador:

Dogs are VERY sensitive detectors. I've seen them close down a check point for the nitrate in a single canister of Black and White fquids the system does work to detedt potential theilm.

Unfortunately Nitrate (and other volatile substances associated with explosives) is relatively ubiquitous.

Nothing to bitch about - this a a good demonstration that despite current lack of technology for scanning for liquids, there is good sensitivity for detecting threats.

I'll take a few flase positives versus crispy critters (dead burnt bodies) any day.

What they didn't publish is... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

What they didn't publish is that those bottles were full of deadly dihydrogen monoxide.

Racism? Last time I checke... (Below threshold)

Racism? Last time I checked, Islam was a religion, not an ethnicity.

Common sense hijacked... (Below threshold)
Edmonton Journal:

Common sense hijacked

Paula Simons
The Edmonton Journal


Why don't we just simplify this?

Why don't we just strip all air travellers naked and have them fly empty-handed and bare-bottomed?

That would keep us all safe.

And it would make flying a heck of a lot more entertaining ... or at least distracting.

Lord knows, we're going to need a few entertaining distractions under this newest security regime, which bans all liquids, gels and aerosols from carry-on luggage, for fear they could hide liquid explosives.

NO CHEEZ WHIZ

No lattes. No bottled water. No hand sanitizer. No contact lens solution. No mascara. No ketchup. No yogurt tubes. No Cheez Whiz. No Pepto-

Bismol.

We're going to be an ugly, cranky lot when we tumble out of our high-security flight capsules.

I'm trying to imagine how you fly any distance with a baby or toddler if you can't bring along basics such as baby wipes, homo milk, diaper cream, sterile water, strained peas, or apple sauce.

Or how you weather a long-haul flight to Australia or India or Thailand without toothpaste or roll-on deodorant or shaving cream or lip gloss to freshen up midway.

Or what it's going to be like to fly 12 hours sitting next to a screaming 13-month-old with an empty belly and an itchy bum or a crabby adult with morning breath and chapped lips.

Never mind that the odds of Islamo-fascist terrorists blowing up a flight between Edmonton and Fort McMurray or Calgary and Saskatoon are wildly remote. Once more, hysteria has vanquished common sense and all who fly will pay the price.

TWEEZERS DEEMED LETHAL

Generals, the old saying goes, are always prepared to fight the last war. Hence, our social weakness for Maginot Line defences, absurdly elaborate security protocols that guard us against last season's bogeyman.

Ever since 9-11, we've been barred from bringing our nail files and knitting needles and tweezers onto airplanes, even though no one's yet hijacked a plane with a crochet hook or an emery board. Now, we're busy banning pudding and hair mousse and snow globes and highlighter pens and frozen gel packs, even though any would-be jihadists have given up now on liquid explosives and moved on to some other tactic.

(Thank goodness Richard Reid, the so-called Shoe Bomber, put his explosives in his runners, not his jockey shorts, or we might have been flying bareback long ago.)

I wouldn't mind the inconvenience, if I thought all this busy work made us any safer. But I'm afraid we're trading in our comfort for a false sense of security. While airport security screeners across the country are distracted, chucking out all that cologne and mouthwash and eye-glass cleaner, who knows what real mischief terrorists could be up to?

Meanwhile, since no one has given screeners a master list of what is and isn't banned, individuals are using their own judgment. What you are or aren't allowed to take on board depends greatly on which airport you're at and the screener you meet.

Think about the logic of this -- if I can use that word. We can't bring juice or bottled water or hand lotion from home on board, because we might have filled the bottles with liquid explosives. What about all those restaurants and shops on the other side of the security zone, in the "hold" area?

Why can't we buy "safe" apple juice or Vaseline or duty-free Scotch in the secure zone and bring it on the plane?

No airport or government official I've spoken to so far has been able to give me an answer to that one.

It's grimly ironic that this latest terrorist scare coincides with an effort by airlines to cut their costs by drastically cutting back on customer service. These days, when on-board meals amount to little more than pretzels and Peek Freans, we've become resigned to packing on-board picnics or buying takeout at the airport to eat on the plane.

Now, when we imagine danger lurking in every plastic packet of soya sauce or strawberry jam, in-flight meals will get even more spartan.

The other compounding complication is the hit-and-miss ability of airlines to keep track of our checked luggage.

The airlines have long advised travellers to carry their toiletries with them in their carry-on bags -- and with good reason. You never know when you could fly to Comox, B.C., and see your suitcases -- with shampoo and toothpaste -- end up in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Of course, I want our skies to be safe.

And of course, I understand the desire to harmonize Canadian air regulations with British and American rules. I don't want to get blown out of the sky any more than the next person.

But allow me a moment to mourn the death of common sense, for the loss of our capacity to differentiate between a hungry baby crying for his stewed peaches and an al-Qaida operative.

Maybe it won't be so bad. Maybe the airlines will go back to serving food again. Maybe they'll start keeping milk on board.

Maybe they'll start selling little tubes of toothpaste and hand cream in the cabin.

Or maybe, after they strip us naked, they'll at least give us some of those white paper medical smocks to wear. And, if we're lucky, a set of ear plugs.

psimons@thejournal.canwest.com

More inside info on October... (Below threshold)
Mary Jane:
Salil, if worrying about an... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Salil, if worrying about an Islamic Extremist (aka muslim) killing more innocent people (including their own) is racism, fine, call me a racist. I will say it myself, I am a racist. I am sick and tired of the one RACE (though Islam is a religion) that will not stop trying to kill me and my countrymen. Oh, and what race are you? Cause I hate that one too. You know, the whiney ass race that could care less about his (supposedly) fellow Americans. As far as taking my self-absorbed head out of my ass, gee, I didn't know that going about my business, you know, living, working, having a family and friends, wanting to LIVE, was grounds for being murdered. I am also unsure of what could be MORE self absorbed than a bunch of whacko fanatics believing that everyone who doesn't bow to them should die. That is pretty much the epitome of self absorbed. Anyway, I gotta roll, I have a shipment of 1000 cell phones with no batteries to pick up, you know, cause that is so logical. Man, how in hell am I going to explain to my Indian wife that I am a racist?

It's possible that the fals... (Below threshold)
Dave:

It's possible that the false positive was a plan to probe the system. There can't be many substances that give a false alarm to machines and dogs both. I think this is easier to believe than the 'living under a rock' story.

Dave, you are a racist. Joi... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

Dave, you are a racist. Join the club.

Christian Patriot's comment... (Below threshold)

Christian Patriot's comment was gratuitously offensive so it was deleted.

Kim

So this war on terrorism ha... (Below threshold)
Frank:

So this war on terrorism has something to do with religion and not money?

I had the crazy idea that this was all precipitated by the impending switch from US dollars to the Yen or Euro as reserve and oil trade currencies.

I must be paranoid though. I am sure that all parties will meekly accept the decision of the market. Even if they will lose bilions.




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