In the wake of the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound flight on Christmas Day, security experts, political commentators and the media have been asking one question: How can the United States prevent terrorists from smuggling homemade bombs through security?
The most frequent answer has been full body scanners, a developing technology used in a handful of airports around the world. Although these scanners may be effective, they are at best the right answer to the wrong question.
The question that law enforcement and security professionals must ask is how to prevent the terrorists themselves from getting on the airplane.
Once we focus our attention on individual terrorists rather than their potential weapons, one fact is immediately clear: We must completely change the way we go about airport security and counterterrorism in general.