Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Crash Of Russian Airliner in Egypt: U.S. Security Officials Worry About ‘Insider Threats In Airports’

Washington (CNN)U.S. homeland security officials are working to address aviation security vulnerabilities that come from more than 900,000 people whose jobs allow them largely unfettered access behind the scenes at the nation's airports.

Trying to address the so-called insider security threat could take on more urgency if the crash of a Russian airliner in Egypt's Sinai is proved to be the result of a bomb planted by someone with access to the plane.

Some U.S. national security officials, citing intelligence data, say there's a growing likelihood a bomb brought down the plane, and that it is likely the attackers took advantage of security gaps at the Sharm el-Shiekh airport to sneak the device on to the plane, though other causes have not been ruled out. Investigators say they haven't recovered physical evidence to corroborate suspicions of a bombing, and other possible causes haven't been ruled out.

While the U.S. has spent billions of dollars beefing-up screening of passengers with scanners and background checks, some top U.S. security officials worry about gaps in how airport workers are vetted.

The worries in the U.S. lie partly in the fact that the Transportation Security Administration, which oversees air travel security, relies on the operators of the nation's more than 450 airports to do the vetting of aviation workers. The airports use TSA contractors to do background checks, including checking terrorism databases, legal immigration status and criminal histories.

Source: CNN