Israel’s much-vaunted airport security isn’t so secure after all. That’s the message from David Suleiman, an investigative reporter in that country who recently managed to penetrate security at Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv — and managed to do so with ease.
Indeed, Suleiman succeeded in getting hired as a maintenance man at the airport, even though he deliberately passed off the photo ID of another person as his own. Moreover, Suleiman got hired the very same day he showed up for his job interview, despite having filled out forms for a security check!
Not only did the reporter gain access to sensitive parts of the airport, but he was also able to walk unchallenged into a cockpit!
Suleiman wanted to see if he could duplicate the same security breach in which Islamic terrorists blew up a Russian airliner over Egypt’s Sinai peninsula last October after they hid a bomb in a Schweppes soft drink can. The bombing, which took place with the connivance of airport staff, killed 224 passengers.
Not only did Suleiman manage to bring cigarettes and cans of soft drinks into Ben-Gurion’s supposedly sterile areas without undergoing a security check, but he filmed himself placing the cans aboard the airplanes.
So what’s been the reaction of the folks who run Ben-Gurion, the Israel Airports Authority? They’ve filed a police complaint against Suleiman for impersonating a public employee!
But Pini Shiff, Ben-Gurion’s former security chief, has been more responsible. Suleiman’s bogus ID should have been discovered immediately, says Shiff, who accused the maintenance company at the airport of sloppy recruitment. The flaws that Suleiman exposed, Shiff added, were “very grave.”
And to think that in a recent post at Intl. Airport Review, I referred to Israel’s airport security as the gold standard!