Today's terrorist organizations have been unable to recruit middle aged or old people thus far. All of their operatives, aside from leadership, have been under the age of 35. This is not only true for al-Qaeda, but it is true for many similar organizations in the past such as the ETA, IRA, the FALN, the Weather Underground, the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, and the Tamil Tigers.
So while racial profiling is unconstitutional, don't we have the ability to develop a few algorithms to detect people who fall outside the pattern of 'domestic frequent flyer?' Aren't we looking for people who are young and do not fly frequently? Aren't we supposed to be scanning and/or interrogating people who are on the elusive "watchlist?" Why is it that the TSA, with 60,000 employees, is essentially a reactionary agency which bans substances and objects as aspiring terrorists try them out? Today, toner cartridges. Tomorrow, iPods?
We've also learned that nine years after their most successful and audacious attack, al Qaeda is still obsessed with air travel. And they have reached the point where they don't necessarily need to destroy aircraft. They seem content to cause delays and costly disruptions. This suggests that al Qaeda is still in a corner, unable to mount different international attacks such as car bombs, nuclear bombs, or chemical attacks. When your enemy stops sending operatives to North America and is reduced to sending mail bombs from Yemen, it is fair to conclude that the enemy is less mobile and has fewer resources than 10 or 15 years ago.
But we Americans have our reactionary TSA, which is a portrait of inefficiency and ineffectiveness. The TSA seems to believe that more frequent seizures and searches of domestic passengers is the solution to preventing aspiring terrorists from boarding planes in European airports. In a country that values ingenuity and entrepreneurship, the TSA has none of it.