We awakened September 11, 2001, to a day filled with possibility, a day that progressed like its predecessor before it. To our disbelief and horror, America came face-to-face with its vulnerabilities; our nation confronted the inconceivable “the perceived impenetrable armor had been penetrated” and 2985 of this nation’s citizens lost their lives to terrorism.
This nation’s Chief Executive Officer and President George H Bush summed the emotions that engulfed the populace and galvanized the sentiment that rippled throughout many sectors of our nation’s communities, “Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution…. Our nation, this generation, will lift the dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail….Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.”
For approximately nine plus years we lived those words and justice searched diligently for the perpetrators of 9/11. Justice did introduce itself to Osama Bin Laden on May 2, 2011; he was the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorism attacks. This introduction brought with it Osama Bin Laden demise. 9/11 gave rise to the need to enhance security processes and procedures. Standard Operating Procedures that employed across the board; the security screening processes, e.g. metal detector, keys, coin change and pocket knife (or box cutter), x-ray machine and full body scans. The processes continued upgrades to limited liquids container sizes and full body pat downs.
Problematic scenarios still plague the industry;
- Training for airport screeners is spotty, and deadly weapons continue to get through security.
- All checked baggage is being screened for explosives, but not all carry-on bags and passengers.
- The screening technology itself, which experts say is the future of aviation security, needs refining.
Further proactive measures are being implemented and employed, however as the tenth anniversary of 9/11 approaches and our intelligence community advises creditable sources that terrorism is once again raising its ugly head.
The key factors that will determine the success or failures of proactive security measures are thorough analysis of systems/organizational strengths and weakness, strategic allocations, placement and applications of proactive measures in real world scenarios. The battle is ongoing, but success can be attained.