March 8, 2010, - 12:36 pm
You or I get told we must throw out our carry-on toothpaste tube if it exceeds three ounces. But, just a little more than two months after Islamic terrorist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to detonate his Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight, a Dutch investigative reporter was able to smuggle more than enough liquid to make a bomb, onto a flight.
Alberto Stegeman, of “Undercover in Nederland,” which airs on Dutch TV, is known for sneaking bombs and explosives through airports, onto planes, and past various other “impenetrable” security. This is just the latest, and the way he did it is very clever . . . but not too clever that terrorists didn’t think of it. Or me. In the past, I’ve decried the fact that passengers were allowed to buy wine and other liquids in airport shops and restaurants, and then take them on planes, because I noted that, some way, somehow , this would enable terrorists to get their liquid bombs on flights. And Stegeman proved me right.
Stegeman demonstrated how he and two associates smuggled bottles of water from Schiphol International Airport to London’s Heathrow International Airport and onto Dulles International Airport in Washington.
The bottles could have held liquid explosives, yet he managed to get them aboard easily, he said.
“It is still possible to bring a bomb on the airplane into the United States from Schiphol,” Stegeman said. . . .
On Feb. 16, Stegeman’s team boarded a British Midland Airways Limited plane at Schiphol with six Bacardi Rum bottles that were bought a week prior at the duty-free shop, taken home, emptied and refilled with water. The day of the flight, the three posed as if they were buying the bottles anew at the shop. The cashier sealed them, marked them with their ticket and flight date, and returned them back. At Heathrow, the group transferred to United Airlines 925.
At security checkpoints in both Schiphol and Heathrow, the bottles didn’t raise suspicion, Stegeman said.
This happened at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport, the site from which the Abdulmutallab Flight 253 originated. Could this happen at U.S. Airports? Probably. But even that makes no difference because we don’t control airport screening at foreign airports whose flights land in and fly over U.S. airspace, and fly many American passengers.
Feel safe yet? You shouldn’t There are a million ways around airport security and screening for liquids, etc. The best way to screen passengers remains the system only the Israelis use, profiling.
Tags: airport, Alberto Stegeman, bomb, Dutch, duty free, investigative reporter, liquids, reporter, Security, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Undercover in Nederland, United