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Published:December 29th, 2009 11:01 EST
Why Are Airplanes Still a Prime Terrorism Target?

Why Are Airplanes Still a Prime Terrorism Target?

By Sean Beelzebul

After the cataclysmic 9/11 hijackings and subsequent destruction, airplanes have continued to be targeted by terrorist cells. From the shoe bomber a few years ago, to the liquid explosives in the UK, to the foiled attempt on Christmas this year, airplanes have still been targeted as an effective conduit for acts of terror. With the ever increasing security on America`s and the world`s airliners, terrorism analysts speculate on why such a difficult target is still targeted.

From the experts I have spoken to, I have come up with a few reasons why Airplanes are targeted more frequently in acts of terror than other means in America. One might think that crowded social spaces and other means of transportation could become targets, but so far this has not been an issue.

From my research, I have determined that the main reason why Airplanes are still a choice terror target is because of the desire to maximize damage and destruction. If an airplane is hijacked it can be used as a large guided bomb "much like the events on 9/11. If the airplane is not being used this way, simply detonating a device on airplane not only kills many people, but instills fear in the American populace and serves as a reminder of the terror of 9/11.  Another probable reason for the use of airplanes in acts of terror, is the risk a terrorist places upon himself of being caught should they enter the country through peaceful means.

If a terrorist wishes to cause destruction on American soil, utilizing an airplane is an easier route as it minimizes security check points to just the initial check in to get on the plane. Often, entering the plane from another country that may or may not have good security, this method reduces the number of encounters with authorities.

Finally, the terrorist world has a fascination with the use of explosives and suicide bombing. These techniques are their methods of choice, while other terrorist groups might prefer acts of terror which focus on capturing hostages, targeting computers, and preserving their own lives, the typical fanaticism which runs through Islamic extremism is focused on the usage of explosives and suicide type missions.