I've debated writing this article. Not because I don't think this is a conversation that needs to be had, but moreso because I'm fearful that this might give people who wish to do us harm ideas of how to do so more effectively. But in light of the failed attempt for underwear bomb part II, I think it needs to be said.
We have a glaring hole in our 'security' network at airports. And I'm not talking about screener incompetance, or poor equipment, or strip searches, or even shoes. (Okay, I am talking about incompetance. But not on the part of the lowly worker bees. They're following the piss-poor guidlines that they were given.)
I'm talking about the security screening lines themselves and explosives, but not something discrete or that's meant to be hidden.
In Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the 'targets of opportunity' suicide bombers would attack (especially if they thought they would be searched) were the checkpoints themselves. They'd agree to the random search, pull their vehicles over to the cordoned search area, and then detonate them when they were one car away (turning the cars in front and behind them into secondary devices)
The same concept could be used at an airport BEFORE going through our 'security cooridor.'
Yes, blowing an explosive with 2-3 oz of chemical explosive in a plane is bad for the plane and its occupants. Maybe. The smaller the charge, the less likely that it will actually cause critical damage to the plane. Just blowing a hole in a plane isn't enough to take one down.
Now compare that to blowing a backpack/duffel bag full with 20 lbs of semtex, nails, marbles, glass, with a copper and cement sleeve in the middle of a crowded airport security screening line.
Someone could walk right in with it, and there's nothing in place to stop them until they actually GET to that security check. Its actually pretty simple to walk in with their 'carry on' get into a crowded airline terminal security screening line, and then detonate.