In the wake of the expose by a so-called terrorism and security expert regarding the failure of airport security to prevent him from smuggling bomb components on board a flight from
Anti-terrorism activities are not limited to filtering passengers in the hope of preventing a terrorist to get on board an aircraft, an activity wherein our airport security has shown to have a weakness. There are three dimensions to anti-terrorism --- prevention, apprehension and information. With particular reference to this expose by the security expert, it appears that the anti-terrorism efforts of the government have failed.
Failure in the prevention aspect was proven by the successful smuggling of the bomb components on board an aircraft. In the apprehension aspect, one week after the expose, authorities have yet to apprehend the individual who carried out the act. Even if there is a claim that his experiment was conducted upon the initiative of an influential and well-placed government official, the fact remains that there was no coordination with airport and police authorities, therefore they should have immediately conducted operations to trace him and apprehend him. As they say in tagalog, “sa presinto na lang siya magpaliwanag”.
But what the authorities have to show for themselves after this incident are a lot of excuses and a faceless name. In the aftermath of the September 11
The security expert said he conducted the tests on August 14. By mentioning this date, the authorities could have reviewed the tapes of their security cameras and verified the identities of all the passengers on the specified flight on that day, and by a process of elimination, they would have been able to confirm if the expert really did board that flight or not. They would have seen if he really was thoroughly checked or if there was laxity on the part of the airport security personnel.
But the inability of the authorities to do these post-incident activities show that they have also failed in the investigative and apprehension aspect of anti-terrorism.
They might dispute this by saying that they just withheld the information so as not to jeopardize their operations. Assuming that they were able to identify the expert but were just withholding the information, then they would have failed in the third aspect, which is informing the public.
A vital part of anti-terrorism is giving the public a sense of security and confidence that the government can protect them and are competent to shield the people from terrorist attacks. So far, the authorities, with all their excuses, have only added to the anxiety of the people over their safety.