Terrorism Question

May 17th, 2012

One common criticism I hear of TSA and onerous airport security goes something like this—if the terrorists were smart, the next big terrorist attack would *not* focus on bringing something dangerous onto a plane. It would be much easier for the terrorist to blow something up in a highly populate area with low security, etc. OK. Fine. That makes sense.

But it seems that terrorists are still trying to smuggle bombs onto planes, as we saw with the most recent would-be-underwear-bomber. I mean, after 9/11, there was the shoe bomber, the other underwear bomber, and probably other plots that were foiled and we know nothing about. They keep going after the place we *most* expect them to hit.

So what gives?

Are terrorists just really dumb, and intentionally go after such difficult targets? Or is there something special about airline travel that makes it such a key target, whereby terrorists knowingly go into what is probably the most high-security aspect of American society?

I don’t know.