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By Nachman Klieman

9417592_sDespite Supposed High Security Measures at Major Airports Thieves Proved Once Again That These Airports Are Penetrable

The ease with which robbers dressed as policemen entered Brussels Airport terminal and runway system in order to steal $50 million in diamonds has exposed faulty Brussels security measures.  Security experts believe similar faults are to be found at many of the world's major airports.  The robbery at Brussels airport took place within moments after the diamonds had been transferred from a Brinks truck from Antwerp to a Zurich bound aircraft.

Major Airports in the U.S. and Europe can be breached making them vulnerable for attacks against airplanes and passengers. Investigations of TV stations and newspapers occasionally reveal the soft belly of U.S. and European aviation security. The tough procedures and physical examinations demanded of passengers including the removal of shoes doesn't always provide an answer to the constantly changing dangers facing security agencies. While Homeland Security and Defense systems force millions of passengers to undergo often unnecessary tests, the worst challenges to airport security can usually be faced in their own back yard.

An Israeli security expert posed a question following the airport robbery. Why challenge passengers when breeches can be made through the grounds of many secure airports allowing for acts of terrorism?

In the past, security breaches like the one in Brussels has invited TV stations around the world with the opportunity to research security measures at their local airport.  Journalists often supported by hidden cameras, try to penetrate into restricted areas of airports sometimes with little difficulty. The journalist usually obtains an entry permit of the type issued to employees, contractors, or other personnel such as policemen connected with an airline or supporting agency. Once the journalist has gained entry into the airport he has no problem approaching parked airplanes on the tarmac.

According to the same Israeli security expert, "thousands of these entry permits are lost every year and it might take up to several months for the permit to be voided. The tests of the journalists generally proves the seeming ease which non secure personnel are able to penetrate restricted areas of airports in the U.S. and Europe."

Earlier media investigations have disclosed that while airport security generally remains tight they were able to disclose instances where breeches were made by investigators who entered secure areas of passenger arrival or by entering unsecured elevators or even walking alongside secure workers. In some cases the investigators managed to enter areas around parked airplanes to observe the loading of passenger baggage and to even board the aircraft and occupy an empty seat prior to takeoff.  Nobody tried to stop them or ask questions. These gaps in security proved that the danger of a potential terrorist attack was enormous.

ELAL aircraft are secured at foreign airports immediately upon arrival. Security is carried out by local police as well as EL AL's own security personnel. The stringent security is designed to protect both the aircraft and its passengers from attack.

The inherent security problem at many International airports must be addressed by local authorities. Although entrance to secure areas is permitted by the presentation of a valid airport employee badge, often times those same tags are never checked to see that the photo matches the face of the bearer.  The fact that security tags may not be checked for authenticity presents the grave danger that internal security procedures are turning lax. With security issues becoming ever so important to the public's safety as threats continue, it is urgent to take the necessary steps to ensure that an event like that which took place at Brussels airport cannot become a reality at other major airports as well.