Yours truly was a TSA screener in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. I only did it for a year before I had to quit once I realized the TSA was merely a promotional agency designed to give the public a false sense of security in order to keep them flying. This latest ‘secret warning’ can just be added to the long list of threats they aren’t capable of even identifying, let alone deterring.
It isn’t that thermite is a new threat created by terrorists. It’s been around for over 120 years and has served very useful practical purposes. Of course it was also used to bring down the towers in New York depending upon which side of the conspiracy you’re on. Either way, it’s really great stuff for super hot welding.
I remember when I was in training to be a screener. Our trainers were all military at the time as they had initially taken control of airport screening in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Mine was a munitions expert. He did his due diligence in training us on how to spot the elements that make up an IED as it was expected if anyone tried to get on-board with one they would do it in pieces to make it easier to disguise. However, he clearly had his doubts as he explained some of the various other ways he could see a terrorist bringing down a plane.
His thinking was that a successful effort would involve hiding explosive components in plain sight. The issue of thermite came up when another screener questioned him about it. Thermite wasn’t on the radar because it isn’t an explosive, it simply burns really hot, about 3000 degrees centigrade.
He said he had used thermite in the past simply due to the ease of use. Just combine aluminum and rust with a hot ignition and you create the exothermic reaction hot enough to weld iron. So in keeping with the hiding in plain sight analogy, he asked what does virtually every traveler bring with them on the plane? A suitcase. A suitcase with a built in aluminum frame. Ta da! The aluminum frame is hollow as the point is keeping it lightweight. Just fill the frame with powdered iron-oxide rust.
Now you have your two components for a thermite reaction already in place and nobody will even raise an eyebrow. It won’t trip a metal detector (because your bag went through the x-ray anyway), bomb scanner, bomb sniffing dog or any other technology out there.
But wait you say. A terrorist has to get a hot ignition source on-board, don’t they? Well no, they don’t. You can make a magnesium strip fuse (components obtainable at your local Wal-Mart) and already have the fuse in place. The TSA allows your common everyday lighter on-board your carry-on baggage for ignition.
Honestly, I have no idea why a terrorist hasn’t already done this. It’s so easy. Do a little research on where the most vulnerable point is on a plane, book your seat there and set off a super heated incendiary fire that will easily burn through the airframe, fill the cabin with toxic fumes and if done properly, ignite the aviation fuel. Result? Catastrophic explosion and lots of dead people.
And again, this can be done with everyday items hidden in plain sight. Why not do some simple pre-planning and bring down airliners simultaneously across the country, or the globe, above heavily populated areas? Could the TSA stop this? Not in a practical way. Simply eliminate all carry-on’s of any sort. The public won’t tolerate it.
BTW, for those who say shut up you fool, your tipping off the terrorists, not really. No new info here. Easily Googled. My advice is just keep flying. When it’s your time to check out, you’re going anyway. If the TSA being in place makes you feel better, good for you. America isn’t in the business of stopping terrorists, we’re in the business of making money off them.