Explosives Found in Carry-On Makeup?

Liquid makeup belonging to a woman who attempted to board an airplane in West Virginia has tested positive for explosive residue. As described, the incident obviously echoes the airplane bombings recently thwarted in the U.K. But there are a lot of false positives in these tests, I believe, and it wouldn’t be at all surprising, at this point, if the story turns out to be a false alarm. Here is how the woman is described:

[T]he woman is of Pakistani origin, lived in Jackson, Michigan and most recently lived in the Huntington area. She is being detained for questioning.

A federal official says the containers were make-up bottles, and it’s not known yet exactly what was inside. However, the official says the woman did seem to have legitimate reasons for traveling and did not fit any suspicious behavioral profile.

One striking aspect of the incident was Senator Robert Byrd’s reaction, which perfectly encapsulates the view of many Democrats that homeland security is entirely about pork:

“This is proof positive that it doesn’t pay to scrimp on homeland security in rural areas. We must not discount an airport or a chemical plant just because it happens to be in a rural state. Fortunately, it appears that an event with potential for serious consequences and calamity has been thwarted. If not for the keen vigilance of the well-prepared security personnel at Tri-State Airport, other resources would have been brought to bear including local firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, trauma suites at local hospitals, and the entire public health system. All must be fully trained and properly equipped to respond to a variety of disasters,” said Senator Robert C. Byrd.

I don’t think there is any danger of “scrimping” on public facilities in West Virginia as long as Byrd is in the Senate.


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