TSA Chief: Multipoint Strategy Provides Layers of Security

Because of their visibility to the public, Transportation Security Administration officers are mostly associated with airport checkpoints, but TSA Administrator Kip Hawley says the traveling public should be assured that multiple levels of security are actually in place. Other levels include intelligence gathering and analysis, checking passenger manifests against watch lists, random canine team searches at airports, federal air marshals, federal flight deck officers, and more security measures both visible and invisible to the public.

"TSA's mission is to protect the nation's transportation systems while facilitating the movement of people and commerce," Hawley says. "We recognize the importance of physical screening to the security of our aviation network, and our risk-based strategy includes innovations and investments in training, workforce deployment, and technology. At the same time, we are committed to a strategy that goes far beyond physical screening. It begins with intelligence gathered by multiple U.S. agencies that is analyzed, shared, and applied. It includes checking every passenger manifest against terror watch lists and observing behaviors and activities in the airport environment. And, finally, it includes a law enforcement presence in airports and on aircraft, and a partnership with airlines, airports, pilots, flight crew members, and the traveling public--all of whom are committed to stopping terrorists in their tracks."

Each one of these layers alone is capable of stopping a terrorist attack, but in combination their security value is multiplied, creating a much stronger, formidable system, Hawley says. A terrorist who has to overcome multiple security layers in order to carry out an attack is more likely to be pre-empted, deterred, or to fail during the attempt.

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