OK, here’s something that’s really baffling. A guy hides some sort of ineffective bomb in his shoe and seemingly tries to use it to blow up a trans-Atlantic flight. We know the following things about this person:

  • He was travelling with a suspicious passport.
  • He travelled using a one-way ticket.
  • He checked no luggage.
  • He had a bomb in his shoe.

If you could choose to focus your investigation on finding people who met any of those criteria, where would you start? With people who have strange passports, people who check no luggage on long flights, people who travel on one-way tickets, or people wearing shoes? Unfortunately, airport security officials seem to have opted to focus on people wearing shoes.

I’m no Bruce Schneier, but it seems to me that the smart choice would be focusing on people who fall into the other categories. Indeed, not only would doing so have caught the dolt who smuggled the bomb onto the plane in his shoe, but it also would have turned up the terrorists who executed the September 11 attacks. Not to mention the fact that we already have computer hard drives that have a list of all of the people with one way tickets and no luggage, and we don’t know the contents of everyone’s shoes, or carry on bags, or pantlegs, or wherever else someone might hide an explosive device. I find this all very exasperating.