Over the weekend, LaGuardia Airport in NYC was temporarily shut down following an incident in which a homeless man approached a security checkpoint with what looked like a bomb. After pressing what appeared to be a detonator several times, the man was apprehended and the airport was evacuated. The package was found to have contained no explosives and the airport was reopened within a few hours.
While this incident highlights the ease with which someone could bring a real bomb into a very crowded airport like LaGuardia without passing any sort of exterior checkpoint, I was encouraged to read that several people had called police to alert them about the man’s suspicious behavior. It is this type of vigilance on the part of everyday citizens that will help keep us safe as much as any type of security program. We must all be aware of what is going on around us, especially in attractive terrorist targets like airports and other transportation hubs, and be ready to alert the authorities if we see something or someone that seems suspicious. The alert that you give to police may just give them the few minutes warning needed to prevent a catastrophe.