Speaking of air security, this update on the case of Rajib Karim raises questions equally relevant to the state of security in American airports: what did British Airways know about him when they hired him? Were there questions they could have asked, but didn’t? Were red flags in his behavior as an employee missed or ignored?
Political correctness has made it acceptable in practice to play fast and loose with risk management, making air security vulnerable to being treated as an academic exercise and losing sight of what is at stake: if something goes wrong, or if an opportunity is left to be taken in the wrong place and at the wrong time, people will die. And if the potential loss of life does not move the airlines and policymakers, one would think the economic impact might.
That is, unless the air travel industry and security apparatus have decided en masse that, with regard to accusations of “Islamophobia” and “profiling,” “[perceived] persecution is worse than slaughter.”
“British Airways worker ‘offered to be suicide bomber and advised terrorists of airline’s weaknesses’,” from the Daily Mail, November 29 (thanks to Zulu):
A British Airways computer expert who is alleged to have offered himself as a suicide bomber appeared in court today to deny terrorism charges.
Rajib Karim, 31, of Newcastle upon Tyne, remains in custody and is due to go on trial on January 24 at Woolwich Crown Court in south east London.
Bangladesh-born Karim appeared via videolink today at the Old Bailey where he pleaded not guilty to two charges of preparing for terrorism.
Each count covers the period from April 13 2006 to February 26 2010 and includes the allegation that he ‘offered to be a martyr or suicide bomber’.
The first charge alleges that he engaged in conduct in preparation of terrorism, with the intention of committing acts of terrorism, including that he ‘incited the giving of permission to carry out terrorist acts in the United Kingdom’.
Karim is also said to have offered to travel to Yemen or Pakistan to carry out terrorism training, and to have advised about potential recruits to commit terrorist acts in the UK.
Also among the conduct said to form part of the allegation was that he stayed in the UK long enough to obtain a British passport.
It is further claimed that he ‘advised and counselled the commission of terrorist acts by providing information’ on topics such as such as liquids allowances on planes, airport security and scanners, and immigration questions to travellers.
He was also said to have provided details on BA computers and their vulnerability to a physical or ‘internal systems’ attack to inflict financial loss….