|You are in: Talking Point: September 11|
Monday, 16 September, 2002, 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK
Has security improved?
Security has been stepped up significantly worldwide in the year following the 11 September attacks.
The US has seen a radical shake-up of its intelligence agencies with an annual budget of $37bn being put aside to co-ordinate counter terrorism activities.
Airports and major urban areas have seen visible increases in armed police and security.
However, a number of reports have suggested that security lapses are still occurring, particularly at airports, with sharp objects and other banned items still getting through, compromising the safety of passengers.
Has security been improved enough? What more can be done? Do you still travel by plane?
I don't think enough has been done. We're still taking baby steps towards security.
I dare say that we've "closed the barn door after the horses have bolted." Terrorists will attack at a point of weakness, not strength. So, confiscate all the knitting-needles you want from old grandmothers, the next attack will come elsewhere.
Igonikon Jack, USA
Sadly, I feel that these security steps are no more than plain window dressing, as reflected in many readers comments, airlines still issue metal knives, forks, glass bottles etc once on-board a flight. Having your nail clippers removed from your bag at the check-in only makes it more infuriating once you are inside the plane.
I find it strange that we are not allowed to carry the smallest of potential weapons through 'security' at airports, and then are encouraged to buy as many potential Molotov cocktails, in the form of whiskey etc. as we can carry on to the plane.
There is no such thing as '100% security'. Assassinations of world leaders and attacks on 'secure' premises have proven that time and again. Our focus should be on prevention. One year down the line and I am unable to recall a single meaningful act that has helped lessen the hatred that plagues us.
April, UK expat in Switzerland
I was at Los Angeles International Airport on July 4 (the day of the shooting) and if we have more security lapses like that one, we can all expect another 11 September.
The security thing has gone overboard. When is the last time you have heard about 19 hijackers taking over planes with box cutters and plastic knives? Never. This is not like an every day thing you should expect. No matter what you do, someone who has had a really bad day will show their anger in public and do the unbelievable, no matter how much you raise security.
David Pranklin, UK
Airlines are no longer the main issue. Before 11 September, the belief was that a hijacker's plan was simply to land the plane and demand ransom for hostages. These days the assumption is different. The days of hijacking are over as passengers see themselves as having no chance of rescue anyway, and would be prepared to fight a hijacking terrorist to the death.
I am a regular flyer and am not overly concerned about terror attacks. However, I do despair at how complacent airlines can be. After effectively locking the pilots into their flight deck for the duration of the trip post 11 September, I now see the door frequently opening in-flight for the crew to receive refreshments. Also as pointed out previously, the airlines continue to give out potential weapons. Air France issue plastic knives, but steel forks, while BA use all plastic cutlery, serve wine in plastic cups but then give out the wine in glass bottles. All the terroists did was find a weak point within the system. They will try do so again in the future, and unless the airlines take safety more seriously I am afraid they will succeed.
Claire, London, UK
I travelled on a codeshare flight with an Air Canada plane and staff, but Qantas catering. The Air Canada staff were amazed to see that metal knives and forks, plus real wine glasses and bottles were being used at a time of heightened security.
It's also interesting that - in the US at least - cigarette lighters and matches aren't on the named list of prohibited cabin items. Given that flights are generally non-smoking and the case of the shoe bomb, why are these still allowed?
In the US in the last year about 45,000 people were killed on the roads, about 30,000 children were abducted, 120,000 children went missing in violent circumstances. If I was going to the US my preoccupation as regards safety would NOT be with terrorism but rather the mundane which has no political mileage. Why is everybody ignoring the fact that the threat of terrorism compared to everyday threats is statistically irrelevant?
A ban on all hand baggage apart from medicines would go a long way to improving security. We can do without it for a few hours whilst in flight where there is normally good catering anyway.
Rich, Berlin, Germany
I have taken several European flights this summer and the added security has varied in its intensity. On the first occasion, flying to Paris, the pair of small nail scissors in my hand luggage did not cause any problems. However, flying to Mallorca recently, the same pair of scissors was detected, removed and 'destroyed'. Still, on both occasions I had to pay an extra £7 on my ticket for the security measures, arguably seeing nothing for it, where is this money going, if not to protect our safety?
Jay, London, UK
My family and I flew out to Barbados just three months after 11 September and the security was visibly stringent, checks before you checked in, more scrutinising of bags, and checks just before you boarded. May this year and I noticed that those security checks have now gone, no additional check-in checks, no checks before you get onto the plane. I'd rather spend an extra hour in security checks than gain an hour in waiting room.
Dug Falby, London, UK
I recently bought a Swiss army knife air-side in a duty free shop at Geneva airport. I carried the knife in my hand baggage and subsequently went through the x-ray machine before boarding the plane. The knife was not picked up which disturbed me on two counts: Firstly, why was I able to buy this air-side at all? Secondly, why was it not detected?
In the past year I have probably taken about 40 flights altogether. I was travelling a couple of days after 11 September too, there were huge lines at the departure gates at Heathrow, even before the x-ray machines and officers were checking everyone's boarding cards against their passport. I was impressed. One year on, I still travel a lot. There are no queues at the departure gates, all you need to do is casually flash your boarding card to officers. On the way back, British/EU citizens no longer have to stop at the passport control desk, they can now just flash their passport in front of the officers and are good to go. BR> Marianne, London, UK
David Lovelace, London UK
Although security has been tightened up, it has surprised me that there has not been significant attacks, although not on the scale of 11 September. We must accept that there are potential lunatics out there, these people are determined, and believe that it is what Allah wants. As to whether I would fly again, my lifestyle means I don't fly, and I would certainly think long and hard about it. Sad, but true.
The world has suffered a great loss with the human tragedy that we all so clearly remember from the graphic scenes of this sad and sorrowful incident a year ago but we have to get over these things to move on and grow in our personal walks. It is time that the world grew stronger from this and put to the side the deep hurt and mourning that we all had share in this affair. Turn to God and rejoice.
A. Dugan, Belfast, Northern Ireland
06 Jul 02 | UK
08 Aug 02 | UK
02 Jul 02 | Americas
16 Aug 02 | Americas
07 Jun 02 | Americas
16 May 02 | Americas
17 May 02 | Americas
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Top September 11 stories now:
Links to more September 11 stories are at the foot of the page.
|E-mail this story to a friend|
Links to more September 11 stories
To BBC Sport>> | To BBC Weather>> | To BBC World Service>>
© MMIII | News Sources | Privacy