At the time of writing, the death toll in yesterday's savage attack in Istanbul is over 40. King's College security analyst Frederic Ischebeck-Baum:
Ataturk Airport is one of the international gateways between East and West, between North and South, and with the start of the holiday season, while all security is focused on the European Football Championship, it represents the perfect target.
By beginning their attack outside the security perimeter of the airport, the terrorists simply overcame all security measures inside. This means theoretically that, in order to establish airport security from now on, the security perimeter will have to be made wider and will have to span around the airport...
As we observed yesterday, while Mark is traveling overseas researching a forthcoming book, we could easily run the "Steyn was right" series all summer. It would be too sad and bleak to do so, but today Australia's Daily Telegraph, in its editorial on the airport attack, takes note of another ancient insight from Mark:
SIX years ago, following the introduction of further airport security measures in the US, American-based columnist and author Mark Steyn made the following acute observation:
"The second thought that strikes you is that the ever- longer lines to get into the 'secure' area are now the least secure area in America. Why not blow up the security line? You could kill as many people as on an aeroplane, and inflict more long-term economic damage.
"But don't worry. The Transportation Security Administration has plans to expand the 'secure' area, so the insecure perimeter will be somewhere else, with even more vulnerable people standing around waiting to get into it."
Steyn's views from 2010 rang true following the terrorist attacks in March at Brussels airport, which targeted two security check-in areas, and they ring true again following yesterday's horrific terrorist attacks at Istanbul's Ataturk International, which also occurred at a security point.
An initial and understandable impulse may be that we need to rethink how airport security should operate — perhaps by expanding the secure areas. But as Steyn more recently pointed out, that would only shift potential targets:
"Clearly we need a secure zone outside the secure zone — maybe, say, outside the concourse. So everyone has to crowd on the sidewalk. And then when they blow that up we can move it back to the perimeter of the airport. And then ..."
And then ... where?
Indeed. We mourn the dead in Istanbul as in Brussels, but, as Mark remarked on another occasion, you get the feeling our rulers are hoping we're getting used to it.