An MIT student was arrested at gunpoint today at Boston's Logan International Airport after she entered the building wearing a black hoodie with a computer circuit board and wiring attached. Star Simpson, 19, claimed she was just at the airport to pick up her boyfriend, and was charged with possessing a hoax bomb device. "She …
"god bless MIT students"
Maybe "God help MIT students" and the rest of us.
When God was passing out "sense" she must have thought "scents" and went looking for the perfume section.
Maybe MIT should have some simple entrance exams, possibly including paperclips and power outlets- for the ones who otherwise slipped through the gene-pool screening process.
Re: Hollywood's fault
You think LAX is bad? That place is a cakewalk compared to BWI.
BWI, in addition to being situated close to the capitol, is where the TSA tests all it's new and improved "safety" techniques. It gets this dubious honor because it's the less busy of the two functional international airports in the DC area (Reagan doesn't count, because it's a favorite of Congress, and Dulles is too big to experiment on).
I was hassled at BWI because my ID doesn't match my appearance (I GOT A FLIPPIN' HAIRCUT AND SHAVED!). I was hassled at BWI because my laptop was "too big for the xray machine" (It's a 15.4" unit, and much smaller than the bag that it followed through the machine. Really this was just an excuse to knock me over to "private screening" in a glass cubicle, where they ran through my carryon, confiscated my condoms ("They contain too much liquid." No, they're unlubricated. They don't contain ANY liquid. It says so on the wrapper), booted up my laptop, gave me shit about not being sure it was a computer because it ran Windows, gave me shit about my second laptop battery (forgive me for not checking the potentially explosive device in the cargo hold, where a fire can go unnoticed long enough to bring the plane down, instead of under my seat where I'm going to notice a fire really quickly), gave me BOATLOADS of crap about my inverter (primarily because they had no idea what the hell it was), questioned me heavily about my USB GPS receiver (they couldn't fathom why it wouldn't have a display, and were convinced it was a bomb because it's got a magnet on it), turned on and inspected my Nintendo DS (and ganked the stylus without me noticing). Then they pulled out my checked luggage, we went through that together, and they questioned me again about every electronic bit and piece. Then they gave me hell about having liquids in there (until I pointed out that they were in my checked luggage, where such things are still allowed). I made it to the gate 3 minutes before departure (after arriving 3 hours EARLY), and my checked baggage ended up stowed in the galley because they'd already sealed up the cargo hold.
On my return flight, at LAX, I had *EVEN MORE* electronics in my carryon. I spent 45 seconds in the queue at security (as opposed 10 minutes at BWI), there were no problems with my ID, and my bag didn't even get a second pass through the x-ray, one of the guards helped me pick up the loose pocket bits out of the belongings tray so I could shove them back in my pockets quicker, and I even got a "have a nice flight". LAX had more glass cubes, but they were all empty.
I quite enjoyed LAX. Very nice airport, even though it is a tremendously long walk from the end of terminal 6 (where my plane parked) to terminal 7's baggage claim (because they decided terminal 6 didn't need a baggage claim) and the people who work there don't have a stick up it.
In the USA, armed robbery with a fake gun is still armed robbery.
By the same token, menacing people with a fake bomb is also a crime, as it should be.
Unlike the incident with the Lite-Brites, the intent was to terrorize people.
"Art" is no more of an excuse than "I was just playing".
I hope she does not see the light of day for many years to come. It will deter others.
Just plain idiotic.
I love the amount of sympathy this girl is receiving here. What she did was plain idiotic. I do hope she gets off, but she deserves to have the crap scared out of her by a possible 5 year sentence, because what she did in a post-9/11 US is just crazy.
You can't seriously think a cop (of the non-bomb squad variety) or security guard is going to really know the difference between a Hollywood style fake bomb or the real thing. They reacted in the proper fashion, and it is lucky she dropped when they told her to. Because yes, they would have shot very quickly. If someone came in with a real bomb strapped to them, and was told to drop and didn't immediately, what is going to stop them from just detonating their payload? At least taking a shot at them may give everyone some chance to survive.
And her color has nothing to do with it. She was wearing what authorities thought WAS A BOMB! I've been harassed multiple times when flying, and I am white. And all I had was a laptop last time. But, I was flying into NYC and back home on the same day, had very short hair (think #2) and a military style flight jacket on. Not the best garb to wear to the airport when you're not actually military.
I'm not defending the US gov't mentality when it comes to dealing with terrorism, but I am originally a New Yorker. And I watched those towers fall on TV worried the entire time that my family and loved ones that were working there are still alive. I don't agree with many of the policies and actions the US has been taking in their war on terrorism, but I think the police reacted properly in this situation. She act stupidly and unfortunately for her may now have to pay the price. She should be glad to still be alive.
You can't blame security for being so dumb. Don't forget the APEC crap here in Oz recently.
One of the Chaser guys was dressed as Bin Laden but all the security were worried about was an unauthorised traffic stop!!!
Good job he wasn't carrying play dough.
Star Simpson. She is a Simpson! Who would have known?
Armed robbery with a fake gun...
...may be a crime, but carrying a vaguely gun-like object and suddenly having someone imagine they are being robbed is not. And that's a lot closer to what happened in this incident than any "armed robbery." Any threat was in the airport security people's imagination.
It's really pathetic that people's lives are so empty that they imagine things to be scared of to give their lives meaning. There are plenty of things to be scared of, but brown people with breadboards aren't one of them.
Hey everyone, look at me, I'm a fucking idiot!
I say she would think twice about pulling this stunt at Glasgow Airport. She knows she'd be on the receiving end of the awfiest punch in the pus courtesy of one of the baggage handlers. Even if she was on fire. Silly silly girl.
Silly over-reacting yanks..
So.. You're walking round displaying some "art" of very dubious coolness, playing with some plaster as a method of stress relief and/or concentration aid, and some dumb yank starts pointing a gun and yelling at you.
She is very lucky she didn't wind up shot. The chances of a yank cop being able to differentiate between "compliance with instructions" and "acting in a threatening manner" is probably somewhere near nil, and the chance of them wanting to show how big and strong they are because they can shoot an innocent unarmed person (like those lucky ones in Iraq and Afghanistan) is very high. She's quite lucky there.
And, she still faces further charges.
Terrorists don't need to fight the yanks. It seems that the yanks are leaki1ng IQ points like a sieve leaks water, and pretty soon they will not even have the intelligence to remember to breath, curing the world of so many problems in one hit.
Only 20 or 30 years ago the yanks deserved the respect and thanks of (much of) the rest of the world. Not now. They have made the world worse, and have brought yet more hatred on themselves. It would be nice if they all went home, closed their borders, and let the rest of us live in peace without their unwanted unwarranted interference. Well, let the few decent people there out, shut the rest in.
Does said student read _The Register_
Or someone close to her. Perhaps we can get a first hand of the incident. Maybe a scoop for vulture central!!
We can hope!
They didnt think it was a real bomb
.. otherwise they would have shot her in the head straightaway..
isnt that how the British react ?
She was stupid.
Stop playing the race card...
Please stop playing the race card. This story has nothing to do with race whatsoever...
If you are foolish enough to walk into an airport with something that looks like a bomb strapped to you then you deserve to be shot. Black, white, brown, yellow, green, red it’s not a race issue.
If you are foolish enough to run from armed police (several clearly in police uniform) then you deserve to be shot. Especially when there are electrical wires protruding from your trousers (Something people seem to have missed) shortly after a major terorist attack.
I'm sorry that the police might be using their ‘intelligence’ (pun fully intended) to consider Asian-looking people more of a threat than those of a Caucasian extraction. But perhaps if you consider the very high proportion of terrorists that are actually Asian then this is just common sense. But I guess that this is the same reason that the police get stick for stopping and searching black folk in London even though we know there is a huge black (sorry teenage) gang problem and that a vastly disproportional amount of muggings are carried out by young black males…. Perhaps they should stop and search office workers and families instead just to equal things out.
As for the fact that it didn’t ‘look like a bomb’, what sort of f***tards are you? If I were to build a bomb a breadboard is *precisely* what I’d be using. Etching an intricate PCB seems like a huge waste of time I could instead spend saying goodbye to loved ones before I blow myself to hell. I must admit that the 72 virgins are quite a sweetener. Just a shame I’m not a muslim…
Anyway, stop playing the race-card, it just angers the liberal simpletons.
Remember folks, if you do happen to be black, living in a predominantly white country under constant threat from radical muslim terrorists please think twice before you walk into an airport with something resembling a bomb strapped to your chest….
Darn, they didn't shoot her!
If they had, I would have my perfect nominee for this year's Darwin Awards. And still have no sympathy for her. I can imagine the disruption and fear this caused for other passengers, just because this little twit no doubt thought she could "make a statement". My only regret is that her idiocy is linked to a technical course, normally this behavior is the domain of the trainee McFlippers on the art courses and the associated losers in the student union offices. MIT must be getting desperate!
I haven't read everyone's replies...
...but if you think the student is the dumb one here, I'm with ya.
She should have been shot!
Darwin was probably weeping in his grave.
Anyone who is unaware of the paranoia in airports since, ooh, six years ago, must have been living under a rock. Either that, or she lacks the ability to put two and two together in a real-life situation (loose wires + flashing lights + play dough + airport == BAD).
Doesn't say much for MIT's admission standards, I have to say...
Now that's lucky
She should try that stunt in the London tube.
She's an Idiot, and...
If she wanted to dress up in something arty next time, leave the electronics at home. Although even the shirt didn't look as weird as what she was wearing on her head, was it a hat, or a wig? Combine the two and yeah you call security in the hope that whatever is sitting on her head is contained and dealt with.
As for this happening in the States, that doesn't surprise me at all.
You are indeed.
the real reason?
It as become some sort a new national sport (at least in the US and Canada) to get into airport and other "secure" areas wearing obvious terrorist props to prove how insecure their are. But since she was not able to prove her point, she simply lie in an attampt to avoid trouble. Even a 10 year old whould not show up in a aiport with such a obvious terrorist disguise. She earn that 5 years jail.
She will probably show up on: Ameria most stupid peoples!
It looked like a bomb?
Come off it people, it looked nothing like a bomb. A bomb looks like a suitcase, or bag, or other unassuming item that no one would ever take a second look at.
A breadboard on your shirt doesn't make you a bomber. No-one planning on blowing anything up would place the device so obviously.
I pretty much agree this girl deserved to be shot, however...
The comparisons you make with Jean Charles de Menezes are totally incorrect. That's the false account that *cough* "somehow" got spread about in the tabloids in the days following the shooting. It later emerged that there was nothing suspicious about his appearance or behavior. He entered the station calmly like anyone else, used his oyster card to get through the barrier, and only dashed from the bottom of the escalators across the platform to catch a train that was already there. Once onboard he sat down calmly. He was never even aware he was being followed before the armed police came in and blew him away (without shouting any warning, because a warning is just a chance for a suicide bomber to detonate.)
Personally, I think the shoot-to-kill policy itself was quite justified when dealing with suicide bombers, but it was criminal negligence on the part of the police to firstly misidentify a completely innocent man, and secondly allow him to enter the tube when they could have apprehended him earlier, in the open, where the shoot-to-kill would not have been necessary.
<slight misquote>She was lucky she didn't end up in the mourge</slight misquote>
So even the cops are admitting that they aren't competent to carry firearms now?
And as to the people that said you can't expect security to know what a bomb looks like, I can say that yes, I'd expect them to have had every possible incarnation of a bomb pounded into their head before being let loose in the airport. It's their *job* to recognize a bomb.
That said, security seems to have handled this pretty well, note that they probably got a paciced call from the ticket counter woman about a woman 'with a detonator and explosives and wires and things'.
As to the 'hoax bomb' charge... well, I'm pretty sure if you had something that vaguely looked like a bomb, you'd have a panic before you got within 10 feet of the doors, let along all the way to the ticket counter. This however, did not even vaugely look like a bomb, it looked like homemade flashing lights.
the Play-Doh is really weird, though given that it was probably red or green or some other non plasticine color, (I've never heard of light gray play-doh at any rate), it wouldn't really contribute to a bomb scare.
Simon & his race card...
Hey, here's an idea for you Simon - though you've probably thought of it already. Why don't we just round up all the coloured people in the UK and exterminate them. Problem solved huh?
"under constant threat from radical Muslim terrorists" & "vastly disproportional amount of muggings are carried out by young black males" Don't believe everything you read in the Daily Mail.
You might want to look at the defcon security badge for this year, as for the girls device it was a bread board with a star picked out in leds lots of little leds the playdoh is not a factor it was in her hand and no one could have told it from nothing at a distance. Basically someone in Boston hates leds and thinks you need them to make a bomb which you don't my other thought here is you could apparently walk into an airport and as long as your bomb didn't have a bunch of leds and a visible battery you would be fine. This only happens in Boston why I couldn't begin to tell you but if they continue to call their obvious mistakes understandable this will continue to happen as will tunnels that collapse on people and other signs they have systemic lead poisoning in that city. We have nothing but stupid people reporting false alarms for some time now it hasn't saved a single life it won't stop terrorists it's been a complete cluster fuck there is no safety in this never has been never will be.
I'm an inconsiderate moron,perhaps MIT will help me. I am white,so I'm hoping "positive"discrimination won't hurt my chances!
Stupidity on both sides
My view on this matter: both sides in this incident were/are acting stupidly in this.
Was the student's decision to wear the breadboard and carry a lump of play dough into an airport particularly smart? No, it was not. However it isn't possessing a hoax bomb either, that would imply some form of intent on the part of the device's maker/owner to use the device as a simulated bomb (take note of this whoever posted the 'armed robbery with a fake gun' diatribe).
But honestly I have to say this security obsession is definitely getting out of hand. Last October I was held at Heathrow security because the x-ray operator believed that my AA Mini-Maglite was dangerous. Flying back into New York City after spending July 2005 at the LSE in London I was held by US Customs for over an hour while they picked apart every piece of luggage I had and then was questioned by security after the customs agent thought I was 'acting suspiciously' ie standing for over an hour in an over heated airport terminal wearing a wool suit and rain coat after 14 hours of travel and hankering for a smoke and bed
A bit of historical perspective
Before D.B. Cooper, in the early 1970s, you could buy a one-way ticket with cash, no id necessary, and take your hunting rifle as a carry-on.
Leave the kid alone
I lay the blame with airport security paranoia & ignorance. I recently got special attention going through KCI. They did not know passports can set off their metal detectors. I got my passport last January and it has the 'chip' in it and the front cover is a metal shield for it when closed. DHS has been issuing these passports for almost a year now and they did not know? They are leaking more than IQ points.
Last I heard it was 12.
I guess that's inflation for you. :)
Welcome to America now check your bomb
You have to love that the DA will prosecute this case and when you juxtaposed it with the case in Jena, it makes you wonder if there is any common sense in the US court system.
And I think it was an artist prank to generate social art, i.e., our reaction to it, I think it was a success.
Any money that if she'd been left alone to wander around the airport like that she'd have gone to the papers and we'd all have read about the spunky MIT student who exposed serious security flaws. Bl**dy attention seekers.
Arrest was also an act of ART
She was artfully arrested. Should be put in the cooler to cause distress to all involved. Bomb or no bomb she was not natural and nearly a bombshell as well with no shoes. Ask her to bleach her hairs blonde so at least whe will be idetified more easily
>They didnt think it was a real bomb
>...otherwise they would have shot her in the head straightaway..
Damn right, what are they supposed to do wait for it to go off?
They carry guns for a reason.
Yes? No? Let the bullet decide!
Was she f***ing stupid? Yes. Was the response reasonable? I would say so. Should she go to jail? Yes. Do I know what colour she is? Only since reading the comments, and it hasn't change my mind.
Is this reduction in civil libities a bloody joke? Yes
Does that change anything? NO!
Regardless of how over the top you may feel the security is (and I do), the fact that it's there is well known. If I wanted to blow up a plane, it'd be easy - and the current security stuff wouldn't stop it. Build the explosive into the heels of your shoes (old one, I know), and/or give it to your child as playdoh to play with. The USB GPS mentioned above could just as easily be a remote (or pressure sensitive) trigger. Neither is banned in the plane (from what I've seen), so there's your bomb.
Of course, if you want to make sure you get away with it, carry a fake bomb too, since people seem to think that since she was so obviously carrying a fake, she /couldn't/ be carrying a real bomb.
She should go to jail to stop other people doing the same thing - otherwise you'll get lots of students "sticking it to the man" as it were, and the airports are enough of a mess already.
Your Eurotrash racism is showing. She’s of partial Hawaiian descent. Don’t assume all “slightly dark-skinned” people in the US are Latino. Native Americans, Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders (like American Samoans) for example, who number in the millions, are not Latino.
I’m surprised no one has pointed out the obvious here: Doing “Art” at MIT is like doing “science” at the Sassoon Academy.
Even more stupid - Idiot security staff
On a recent trip to the USA wth my Daughter we met by far the most stupid staff at the security screening.
My daughter who is disabled is 13, about the hight of the avarage five year old.
First they refused to beleve her age and when shown the passport went off to check her passport with a supervisor as they were convinced it was fake.
My daugher has 2 rods in her back. She can not walk very well. But they insisted she walks through the screening. Very difficult and distressing for her.
The alarm goes off.
We give doctors letter about the rods.
"Scary lady - keep away"
they take a scared little girl to a glass booth, make her walk and refuse to hold her hand
Search her with the metal detector. The alarm goes off.
Then proced to remove her clothing.
A second security fool keeps us her parents away.
More messing with the metal detector, and finally she has no clothing on from the waist up.
Security person now noticed the long scar running down her back.
"does she have any metal in her back" she askes,
Yes - read the letter we gave you.
She now reads the letter.
The next thing is the fool is complaining that my daughter should have told her.... She is Disabled, she has speech and language problems. HOW can she tell you.?
After all it was not her fault she treated us all as criminals first then asked questions later.
All this happened in public view.
We spent over 30 minutes at this security check, BTW it was Chicargo Airport.
If this lady was a representative of the avarage Security person, then I am no way supprised that this incident happened.
Darwin Awards 2007
It's a real shame she missed out this time, perhaps she can try harder and still make the 07 awards listing.
She is the most promising candidate I have heard of for a while!
She's an ugly munter, and with those barins they should have shot her anyway and done her a favour!!
I mean, how can you defend going into an airport with something that "LOOKS" like a home made bomb.. A circuit board with flashing lights and a gob of Playdoh is exactly what you see in films like "Speed" when they're trying to make a "this is the man with the bomb" moment, I'm an electronics engineer, and excuse me for not being able to tell the difference.. The police DID NOT over react.. Her actions were pretty much the same as going into an airport and Yelling "I've got a bomb" at the top of your voice.. Expect to be handcuffed at the very least, and possibly dead!!
All the English yelling about American over reaction should remember a young Brazillian man who got dead for fare avoidance!! Yes but that was just after the underground bombings.. And this ain't so long after some idiots drove two jumbo jets into the World Trade Centre.. Apparently they took over the planes using Stanley knives and toe clippers!
If you're going to blame anyone apart from this idiot for not being able to walk into airports wearing what looks like a bomb at first glance, blame the Islamist fundimentalists.. Otherwise SHUT the F**K up and let the police do the best they can at protecting you and me from nutters and loons!
just because shes a student...
...doesnt imply she is intelligent! Lets face it, it was unbelievably stupid and, given the current climate, she was lucky not to have been shot first and questions asked afterwards. I think she got of quite lightly. I think a few years behind bars in lesbos wont neccesarily do her any god but it will be a valuable reminder for any other 'students'
As to where this mentallity eventually takes us - now theres a real good question. Maybe its this paranoia that terrorism has provoked will take Western countries to the point where nobody is trusted and our freedom is all but sapped away. Then, we will be just like the Eastern dictatorships - job done!
...for making me side with the security forces! It's not often that I agree with the actions of security forces in this type of situation "the Lara Croft behind the curtains springs to mind" but, in this case, I think she should be charged.
From what was said in the article, it seems that the girl knew her device would look like a bomb and hoped it would get a reaction -- and she got one.
Strangely, though the thing that struck me about the linked article was the American use of the word "Co-Ed" am I right in thinking that a male student would simply have been referred to as a "student"? For some reason this strikes me as a little sexist...
the problem is they think its fine!
I live in Boston so i got alot of media coverage of the brain set of MIT students. When asking about 10 students if you think its ok to walk into an airport looking like you have a bomb. 8 of them 8!!!!! said that it should be ok and in no way should anyone bother or arrest you for doing it. HELLO PEOPLE! proof that smart people really aren't very smart.
This girl is what could reasonably be described as a silly cow. The cops could have saved everyone a load of time and let her go onto the Darwin awards. Based wholly on this article she knew very well what was a highly likely result of her stunt. Make her pay the fine and court costs and make sure she spends the next five years helping the bomb squad do investigations, including the morgue work!
Boston Logan= Origin of Flight 11 and 175
Boston Logan is the origin of Flight 11, this is the one that flew into the north tower and 175 into the south tower of the World Trade Center on Sept 11.
Sorry if the people that work at the airport there are a bit wound up......
An aside about 'coloured' people at the airport.
In big cities in the USA a large fraction of the airport security screeners are 'coloured', or more specifically African-American.
Note to British left-wingers -- In the USA darkie != Muslim
Is it or isn't it?
Seems there was a guy named Richard Reid who had wires running out of his clothing. If not for some alert individuals taking some action, we would have had another airliner falling in pieces from the sky.
Boston is known here for being one of the main centres of "Political Theatre." It was also the origin of the flights that crashed into the towers. I'm glad the cops there seem to have grown some balls finally.
> If you are foolish enough to run from armed police (several clearly
> in police uniform) then you deserve to be shot. Especially when
> there are electrical wires protruding from your trousers
Simon, I take it that you're referring to Jean Charles de Menezies.
Yes, someone did run through the station, jumping over the barrier and down the escalator, followed by uniformed police with guns, and witnesses reported seeing that to the media. But that person was a plain clothes police officer - probably the one who killed Jean Charles. Jean Charles had walked through the station, picking up a paper IIRC and using his oyster card to get through the barrier. He ran the last few feet to get on the train when he saw that it was waiting (something that many people would do). As for the allegation of wires coming out of his trousers, that proved to be completely unfounded.
It is often reported that a *growing* proportion of Americans think that Sadam was responsible for 9-11. The myth that you are spreading will gain credence in the same way. We must all do our utmost to point out the truth whenever we see it.
Mindless bootlickers galore
What a shitload of racist, sexist, philistine (anti-learning, anti-culture) comments!
"Now don't get me wrong, but the Gestapo are at least trying to stop the Jewish Conspiracy taking over the world..."
What the lunatics who think the cops are always right and anyone they waste is always wrong (and if innocent then a provocateur into the bargain for potentially bringing the lads in blood into disrepute) forget is that paranoid cops mean the death of quality of life. They are making the cop thug into the standard for "normal" behaviour!! "She's guilty cos she did something a cop thug would never do! Stupid ugly stuck-up spoilt bitch..."
The De Menezes fuckup - fortunately - hasn't led to security controls before using the trains or tube yet, but it won't be long. Think of all the quality jobs it'll create! And the boom for manufacturers of security equipment!
I'm not going to take any of these squealing haters seriously until they demand full security checks before boarding any public transport including buses. And entering any building at all including homes. And even then I'll heckle them for not having stringent enough rolling security checks on the security personnel.
And double punishment should be handed out to anyone who refuses to confess prior to committing any presumptive crime.
A world to make my old headmaster thrill with joy - the one who whipped a lad in front of the assembled kids (primary school) for winning a spitting competition in the playground.
What could be more barfable than twisted bitter failures making themselves acceptable to the Kray-ven cops by mindlessly licking their boots.
Good on you, Star! Freedom is useless unless we exercise it!
What DOES a bomb look like..?
She was most definitely stupid.
I keep reading a lot of comments here that the security should have known what a bomb would look like. You all seem to forget that terrorists are inventive and constantly looking for ways to bypass the system. If security was waving everyone with a "bomb like" package hanging off their tits, sooner or later you'd have Bin Laden trying to walk through security with a pair of bulgarian airbags and a breadboard.
Before 9/11, a box cutter was something that security would have waved through. I can just imagine someone pre 9/11 complaining in a namby pamby manner that "ooh security took away my box cutter, they should know that its not a bomb".
Jeez, the additional security is one of the reasons why the number of security incidents are as they are. If it werent for tight security I wouldnt even step near a plane.
What's to stop...
...anyone taping a ceramic knife (easy to obtain from any professional kitchenware shop) to their leg and strolling through the metal detectors at airport "security" unhindered? Yup, got it in one, nothing. Airport security is just for show, that's why it is so annoying.
A couple of years ago I had the misfortune to get stuck at Venice airport in Italy for about 20 hours. What was interesting was watching the departures of different flights. Whenever a flight with a US airline was due to depart, heavily armed police would appear everywhere to reassuringly menace the American passengers. Flights with other airlines, even to the USA, just had the usual passport & boarding pass checks. I can just imagine the impression the American passengers got - "Gee, it's great to see the Italians taking the terrorist threat so seriously" In actual fact, it was just for show.