August 19, 2010
Over the last few months, I have had the good fortune to take a number of flights to interesting places. From Brussels to Berlin, Frankfurt, Rome, Prague, Lisbon and Edinburgh and a few connecting flights after. All good fun.
But something seems wrong. Not wrong perhaps, but different.
I can clearly recall in the days just before and after the invasion of Iraq, boarding flights at Heathrow and seeing security officers search people of what may or may not have been Muslim faith. At the time, there was a lot in the press about ‘profiling’ and the UK government and others denied any such actions. None the less, it did appear to be happening.
Of course, a terrorist can come from anywhere and look like anything. Who knows who to search? But that said, to my knowledge, there have yet to be any white middle class, middle aged, middle management men holding a laptop or briefcase that have tried to blow up a plane.
These flights over the recent months have gradually built up a pattern in my mind though. I don’t recall seeing a single person abord my flights that might have been a Muslim. I know, that is very stereotypical and I am sorry for it. But still, I don’t recall even one.
What I am now wondering is whether the airport security industry has become so draconian that people in Europe that are from or are descended from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other nations simply do not travel by air. Could this be real?
I hope not, but not being a part of that community, I cannot say.
Does this also mean that the long queues of people in airports waiting for the opportunity to pass barefoot through a metal detector and have a wand waved at them are being protected from a threat that does not even use planes any more?
From a civil liberties standpoint, the increased security is great for big government. More checks are required and easily justified to any government that chooses to monitor their population more closely. For freedom loving individuals, such checks could be justified security or a gross invasion of privacy – that is up to the individual.
But if the threat level has subsided – and it may or may not have, I am not a security professional so have no idea about this – then should governments reduce the security level slightly at some point in time?
Of course, these musings are simply speculation. I may have had several unusual flights, or be imagining things.
What do you think? Is it me? Or have you noticed something similar on recent travels as well?financialguy