FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
In light of the botched Christmas day airline bombing - some say it's past time to start profiling passengers - especially from certain countries.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/05/art.body.scan.jpg caption="An airport staff member demonstrates a full body scan."]
The U.S. is demanding more careful screening for people who are citizens of - or flying from - 14 countries considered security risks... including Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The screening is to include things like full-body scanning and pat-downs, searches of carry-on bags and explosive-detection technology.
From the school of common sense comes the idea that it makes sense to more thoroughly screen passengers coming from countries where they may have been exposed to radical Islamic teachings.
But improved technology alone isn't the answer. The former head of security for Israel's airline El Al - which is arguably the most secure airline in the world - says we need better questioning of passengers. He suggests hiring well-educated, highly-trained agents who know what to look for. He says profiling isn't about singling out certain ethnic groups but about asking the right questions and spotting suspicious behavior.
Others claim that automatic profiling based on nationality doesn't work... terror suspect Richard Reid was British and Jose Padilla was Hispanic-American. But the fact remains that nearly all of the largest and deadliest terror attacks worldwide in the last 20 or 30 years have been carried out by young male Muslims from Arab countries in the Middle East. At what point does political correctness have to make way for our national security interests?
Oh, and President Obama's call for tougher screening procedures of passengers arriving in the U.S. from those countries deemed a security risk have been all but ignored in many places.
Here’s my question to you: When it comes to airline security, is it time to start profiling?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Dave from Brooklyn writes:
When a TSA agent sees a nervous individual looking around all the time with a bulge in his pocket, he is not doing anyone any favors by searching an 80-year-old grandmother in a wheelchair to avoid being accused of profiling. I want them to profile! We should do it like Israel does it – no one messes with their airline security. Clearly the way we have been doing it hasn’t worked.
Rus from St. Paul, Minnesota writes:
Profiling on race or religion won't get us anywhere closer to being safe. Profiling based on behavior, like if a passenger purchases a one-way ticket, pays cash, and has no luggage while leaving the country, then red flags should be raised. If we can't even put those clues together, why would any other type of profiling work?
Harold from Anchorage, Alaska writes:
Any non-citizen wishing to fly to the U.S. should be subject to a strip and/or body cavity search. Anybody refusing can stay home. Period.
Andrew from Coral Springs, Florida writes:
As a Muslim, I say yes: profile. Do we really want to risk the security of our nation in order to appease people who may get offended? Don't just pull every Arab over that you see, but apply common sense in order to protect our people. Furthermore, it is interesting how quick Muslims seem to be in denouncing profiling against them, yet I have never heard any group ever denounce acts of terror performed by "Muslim" extremists.
Tom in Tampa, Florida:
Probably, but terrorists are likely to be way ahead of us by choosing radicalized westerners to do their dirty work in the future. I am 66 and still remember the misguided, but dangerous, youth of the 1960's. They were not Middle Eastern.
Misty from Shawnee, Oklahoma writes:
Of course we should start profiling. There is an obvious pattern with these terrorists. Flying is a privilege these days, not a right. If you don't like the rules, take a bus or a boat. I for one don't want to be blown out of the sky.