Experts Say Air Security, Fliers’ Needs Must Balance

Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, have scheduled hearings for later this month to learn how a Nigerian man with ties to al-Qaida was able to board a plane in Amsterdam with explosives that he allegedly tried to detonate en route.

"This hearing will give us a unique opportunity to provide the public with insight on this event and the security failures that led to what the president has appropriately labeled a systemic failure," Thompson, Mississippi’s 2nd District congressman, said in a statement regarding the Jan. 27 hearing. "Our homeland security resources must come together to ensure that an incident like this does not occur again."

Congress should try to avoid stepping up aviation security so much that "it would be like flying naked and putting everybody to sleep," said James Carafano, a homeland security expert at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington.
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