Israeli Security Expert to Canada: 'Full Body Scanners Useless'
Hana Levi Julian. . . .4/25/2010
An Israeli security expert tells Canada its full-body scanners are useless.
"I can overcome them with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747."
By Hana Levi Julian First Publish: 4/25/2010
An Israeli security expert told Canadian officials their multi-million-dollar
investment in full-body scanners for airports across the country was "useless"
and could easily be hoodwinked by terrorists.
Rafi Sela, former chief of security at the Israel Airport Authority, spoke
with members of Canada's House of Commons Transport Committee via video hookup
from Kfar Vradim last Thursday. He told the lawmakers, who were investigating
the state of Canada's aviation safety, that the 44 imaging machines“ each
costing $250,000 “ were a response that was too little and too late.
Sela, who helped design the security system at Ben-Gurion International
Airport, has some 30 years' experience in the field. He warned the lawmakers,
"You are reacting to incidents instead of being one step ahead of them" when the
acquisition of the scanners was announced, days after a Nigerian national tried
to blow up a U.S. airliner in December.
"I don't know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless
machines," Sela commented. "I can overcome the body scanners with enough
explosives to bring down a Boeing 747. That's why we haven't put them in our
Junior Transport Minister Rob Merrifield contended that the scanners met the
country's "stringent requirements," adding that "full-body scanners are used by
dozens of countries around the world and are considered one of the most
effective methods of screening."
The scanners are being used for secondary screening to detect non-metallic
threats. A passenger may choose a physical "pat-down" instead, according to the
Vancouver Sun; some with specific medical conditions or implants may
not be able to pass through the scanner.
University of Ottawa aviation security expert and political scientist Mark
Salter also testified, agreeing with Merrifield that the scanners were a
"genuine leap forward" and calling them a "much better mouse trap."
Sela recommended instead that Canada use a "trusted traveller" system that
sorted pre-approved, low-risk passengers, who could quickly be moved on with an
expedited screening process, from those who might require more investigation.
Such investigation would employ enhanced screening areas where automatic
sniffing technology could be used to rule out explosives on a person's body or
in baggage. He added that Canadians should also be using behavioral profiling.
Israeli security officials routinely use both.
Article courtesy of: