Analysis of Terrorist Attacks against the Aviation Industry

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Terrorism is a tactic act or strategy to achieve specific objectives best known by them. This strategy is often used between nations that have unequal power struggles; for instance, a powerful nation-state fighting against a weaker nation. Usually, the violence is purposely to create fear in the target population and often triggers a violent response from the state. Focusing, my interests in the aviation industries, I will highlight and discuss the acts of terrorisms against these industries.

            Airports and airlines across the world are currently at risk regarding security since the terrorists consider such places to be an attractive target. As reported by Danielle Haberfeld, “On October 31, 2015, a Russian Airbus A321 plane was shot down on its way from the Sinai Peninsula to Saint Petersburg by a bomb that was planted under one of the plane's seats".  After further investigation, it was found out that the Islamic State was responsible for the terror attack which claimed 221 lives. Shortly after the Sinai attack other three more significant attacks were witnessed against the aviation industry. In, the first attack, on February 3, 2016. A bomb was planted by Al-Shabaab Al-Mujahideen on a passenger plane in Somalia, which caused a hole in the plane shortly after takeoff. The second attack was carried out a month later on March 22, 2016, in Brussels by the Islamic State. Two suicide terrorists exploded at the entrance to the international airport terminal in Brussels, and another suicide terrorist blew himself up inside a train carriage in a subway station. The third terror attack took place on June 28, 2016, in Ataturk international airport in Istanbul, Turkey. In this attack, three terrorists opened fire at the departures terminal and later detonated explosive vests, killing more than forty people and injuring 150 others.

All the above-highlighted attacks are so defining; they led to the implementation of the aviation security in some number of ways as I will explain below.

 In my own opinion, Technology is the most pivotal tool that contributed to all these acts of terrorisms, I mean before the attack, the airport operators had not yet thought of coming up with more advanced strategies that were going to elevate the aviation security. However, everyone thought that everything was safe not until when these attacks happened subsequently, these tragic events were brainstorming. Also, technological advancement is still the key factor, for instance previously all the airport systems in civilian aviation were potentially hackable like the reservation systems. Flight traffic management systems, access control management systems, departure control systems, passport control systems, cloud-based airline data storage, hazardous materials transportation management, cargo handling, and shipping. Presently, all these services cannot be easily hackable due to the improved security after the act of terrorism against the aviation.

Replacing machines to handle most airline services has also really helped in reducing the rate of crisis since all the major attacks. It is likely that most of the human operators were corrupt in such a manner that they would give out sensitive information that might harm the airport premise.

Addition of more checkpoints is also another thing that has helped in minimizing the acts of attacks. Before the advancement of the screening technology, passenger security screening has been relying on a one-size-fits-all approach where every passenger is directed to a walk-through metal detector and x-ray screening. Currently, with the new technology in place, new technologies have been added to the process of screening at every checkpoint in each airport premise, these devices have been added to the process to screen for explosives, and some improvements made regarding the efficiency of checkpoints. With this advancement, it is reported that the number of terrorist attacks has declined greatly due to the maximum security being achieved.

In the United States, in response to recent terror attacks, it was decided to implement strict inspection of travelers. As such, the head of the American Transportation Security Administration updated security inspection protocol in airports and decided that passengers can now be required to undergo inspection by body scanner technology, as opposed to certain cases in the past when passengers could request a manual inspection. This update is designed to reduce the security weaknesses that exist in the detection of metallic and non-metallic contraband during a manual inspection.

In conclusion, more can be done to manage risks while also creating a more seamless travel experience. Security needs to be upheld from different angles; it is high to wave goodbye to these attacks that have claimed lives of our beloved ones for this to be effective, there is a need for national integration, nations need to come together table out issues that are likely to pave the way for these attacks.  I also think that each nation needs to send out their qualified soldiers to battle with these militants, this will make them inferior hence a decline in the criminal acts. However, strategies to improve security in all airlines need to be implemented, by recruitment of professionals from all the relevant fields.

Also, travelers who do not require an entry visa to the United States will be required to undergo a biometric security check, iris scan, and fingerprint checks. In addition to information about visits to countries that may provide a breeding ground for terrorist activity, such as Somalia, Mali, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Colombia, Venezuela, and others. It should be noted that efforts are currently being made in the United States to write a law prohibiting foreign fighters from flying. The law is supposed to be based on a database of people under surveillance by law enforcement agencies in the US and its goal, among other things, is to improve information sharing between law enforcement and security officials in airports.



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October 30, 2023

Corporations Military

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Company Aviation

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