No, the idiot failed to blow himself up, and consequently didn’t blow anything else up either, but aside from that the latest terrorist attack can be counted a magnificent success because it has produced the desired result: mindless panic and the imposition of a welter of new random, ineffectual restrictions on travelers.
I’d give the TSA a few points for thinking that maybe restricting passengers to one carry-on might give them more time to check that bag more thoroughly, if I wasn’t a regular traveler and only too well aware that the only result of this will be that people will get bigger bags and pack them more tightly, thereby probably making it even harder to see what is in them. Not to mention causing yet more chaos with regard to overcrowded overhead bins.
As for the restrictions on leaving your seat and having anything in your lap, how on earth this that going to stop a determined terrorist on a flight longer than a couple of hours? The only way you can make aircraft totally “safe” from passengers is if they are stripped naked, gagged and bound in their seats for the duration of the flight, and forced to listen to government propaganda about how safe they should be feeling. Oddly no one at the TSA has yet suggested that. Probably it is only a matter of time.
And, as Tom Abba noted on Twitter, I’m looking forward to the TSA requiring people to remove their underpants at the security check points. After all, that’s what they did with shoes. Maybe the terrorists should try hiding explosives in a bra next. The TSA folks will be falling over themselves to implement new checks as a result of that.
As indeed some of them will doubtless now pay extra close attention to all young black men, because as we all know you can tell a terrorist by how different he looks from you.
No, the real questions we ought to be asking here is how someone who had already been identified as a risk was able to board a flight without any extra checks carrying an explosive that had been used by terrorists before, and a syringe, which I’m sure is more obvious and more dangerous than a nail file or a lipstick. Those questions deserve answering. But they are awkward questions, so what we get instead is new regulations that ban people from reading books for substantial parts of the flight because, you know, those intellectuals are a dangerous lot. Furthermore a lot of the regulations are things that the cabin crews will have to enforce. That’s going to lead to a lot more air rage, I suspect. (And what’s the betting that enforcement won’t be nearly as strict in Business and First.)
If I hadn’t made commitments to go to various conventions next year, and didn’t have to fly in order to get to see Kevin, I would be seriously considering giving up air travel altogether, because I think that’s the only way we can stop this nonsense. Get the airline companies lobbying Congress and then perhaps something will be done.