Former Israeli Airport security official says the security at the Brussels Airport was a pathetic joke
Jerusalem – Authorities in Europe and across the world tightened security at airports, railway stations, government buildings and other key sites after deadly attacks Tuesday on the Brussels airport and its subway system.
With Brussels on lockdown and the French prime minister saying that Europe is “at war,” European leaders held emergency security meetings and deployed more police, explosives experts, sniffer dogs and plainclothes officers, with some warning against travel to Belgium.
After a string of extremist attacks targeting the heart of Europe over the past year, some analysts say Europe will finally have to implement a much tougher level of security not only at airports, but also at “soft targets” like shopping malls — the kind that Israelis have been living with for years.
“The threat we are facing in Europe is about the same as what Israel faces,” said Olivier Guitta, the managing director of GlobalStrat, an international security consultancy. “We have entered an era in which we are going to have to change our way of life and take security very seriously.”
Strong criticism of Belgian security came on Tuesday from Pini Schiff, a former security director at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, which is considered among the most secure in the world. After Palestinian attacks on Israeli planes and travelers in the 1970s, Israeli officials put in place several layers of security at that airport in Tel Aviv, meaning an attacker who escapes notice at one level of security would likely be captured by another.
Schiff said the attacks at the Brussels airport mark “a colossal failure” of Belgian security and that “the chances are very low” such a bombing could have happened in Israel.
There are some, however, who fear that little more can realistically be done.
“The public needs to understand that if we are to continue enjoy living in a free society we have to respond in a proportional way,” said Simon Bennett, director of the Civil Safety and Security Unit at the University of Leicester, England. “In my opinion, airport security is as tight as we can reasonably make it in a free society.”
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