TMIMG Question #4 - Security

by Dr. Madhi Obeidi and Kurt Pitzer

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TMIMG Question #4 - Security

Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:24 am

Pg. 112. I sent one of our highly skilled physicists, Dr. Widad Hattam, to a company in the United Kingdom, where she refined our ability to work with the Treibacher magnets. The British scientists she worked with might easily have guessed the true nature of her research. One of them, she later told me, even cautioned her against taking a magnet in her carry-on luggage on a flight back to Baghdad, because it might arouse suspicions at the airport security check. The inability of airport security to check all items of every passenger allowed small but dangerous materials to be smuggled between the Middle East and Europe. One of my staff members managed to bring a sample of uranium hexafluoride from Baghdad through Heathrow Airport to the University of Dundee in Scotland, where several resident Iraqi scientists helped him test the material. He sneaked it through customs by strapping it to his shin under the cuff of his pants. The fact that my colleague was able to bring radioactive material on an international flight is very scary indeed.

What are your thoughts on airport security and amusement park/ballpark security, etc. today as opposed to then?
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Betty Sue
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Unread postby Betty Sue » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:34 am

With all of the hoops we go through now I would hope that we have more security now than at that time, but there's always that negligent checker or that very innovative person who can manage to sneak something through. Then, when that hole's plugged up, someone thinks up something new.... :baby:
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Unread postby Raven » Thu Jul 12, 2007 11:46 am

I can only hope that our security now is enough to keep someone from trying to hurt or worse kill others. But at the same time I think if someone really wanted to commit a terrorist attack will find away. I certainly agree with Betty Sue.
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:30 pm

Having been through a few security lines over the past 6 months, I would say the airports are doing a good job, although it can be annoying. But I'd rather be annoyed and be safe.

Compared to other theme parks I've been to, Disney does a better job of checking backpacks. I think what the issue is at theme parks is that they are privately owned and aren't willing to hire the personnel needed to quickly get people through the security checkpoints.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:23 pm

I suppose it is the price we pay for living in the modern world but I agree that someone who is determined will find a way. Some airports seem to be better than others. I have actually gone through screening with a pair of kitchen sized scissors, not realizing they were in my carry on. :-O
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Unread postby suec » Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:29 pm

I agree that they may find a way. Although security seems to be tighter at airports, it doesn't reassure me that much. And there are so many alternative high-profile events for terrorists to target.
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Unread postby gemini » Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:44 pm

Unfortunately stepped up security will be a fact of life these days, a necessary inconvenience. You have shown me how behind I am not having been to an amusement park for a few years. I wasn't aware of their security procedures but see how they are necessary.

I was about to say that sleepers already in this country may present a bigger threat than someone smuggling something in. Evidently our authorites are aware and stepping up internal security.

I watched "United 93" last night which was a really enlightening film on how unprepared we were for the 2001 hijackings. It does bring home the necessity for improved security. It shows the unfortune people aboard those planes which are sometimes overshadowed by the thousands who died working in and rescuing those in the twin towers.

The horror of Sept 11th, brings home how much worse things could be if those same people had access to WMDs.
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:20 pm

gemini wrote:I was about to say that sleepers already in this country may present a bigger threat than someone smuggling something in. Evidently our authorites are aware and stepping up internal security.


True. I sure hope they are stepping it up. :freaked:
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Unread postby rainbowsoul » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:26 pm

I agree with all of you who have said that if someone wants to smuggle something into or out of anywhere - a way will be found. I don't know that a means to stop it in its entirety could ever be found and be enforced aside from disallowing ALL travel of any sort.... not a likely scenario.

What a scary thought - to actually be in a plane with someone who is smuggling radioactive materials :-O That is enough to make me just want to stay at home :-|
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Unread postby gemini » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:34 pm

Today on CNN a sting opertion testing our security took only 28 days to get a Nuclear License and buy enough material to make a dirty bomb. They said more interest was put on their credit check than on security. Our book discussions are always relevant
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:43 pm

gemini, I saw something along the same lines about a year ago but it dealt with ships and our ports. Such is the nature and purpose of terror, fear.

However, I'm thinking of the two car bombs that were recently thwarted in London and how security is working to a great extent.
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Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:33 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:I suppose it is the price we pay for living in the modern world but I agree that someone who is determined will find a way. Some airports seem to be better than others. I have actually gone through screening with a pair of kitchen sized scissors, not realizing they were in my carry on. :-O


Interesting that I haven't seen those scissors for months until this evening, when I happened to see them in my daughter's room. A lot of missing things end up there. :eyebrow: (When DITHOT realized she had them and didn't want to chance the security checkpoint again, she gave them to me)
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Jul 13, 2007 10:38 am

I wasn't about to chance taking them back. I'm glad they found a good home! :lol:
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Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby shadowydog » Fri Jul 13, 2007 11:19 am

Last fall I came through security between Canada and the US. They were more interested in searching for meat than anything else. They confiscated 2 cans of dog food and some doggie chicken jerky that I had purchased in the US before entering Canada. :censored:

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Unread postby Liz » Fri Jul 13, 2007 12:32 pm

Shadowydog, may I ask why they have a problem with dog food?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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