Re: @Matt Phil O'Sophical Not a problem
Did they have many suicide bombings in Belfast then?
Not intentionally, even the IRA weren't that dedicated. Not so many virgins waiting for them in the marxist republican hereafter, I suppose. They preferred the proxy technique, locking civilians to bombs and forcing them to drive to targets.
How about IRA or INLA bombings of airliners? Oh, no, they didn't.
Only once, although they fired mortars at airports on several occasions, but there aren't very many internal flights in NI. Trains, buses, they were bombed, frequently. Despite the security theatre.
Indeed, the IRA often made warning calls to avoid civilian casualties so as to not upset their US donors.
Eventually, after the public reaction to murders like the Abercorn, La Mon, etc.
the Troubles led to 3530 deaths on all sides over just short of thirty years.
In a population of 1.5m.
AQ nearly topped that in a single day.
One incident 13 years ago, in a population of 250m, and you're still talking about it. There are twice as many firearm killings and 10x as many traffic deaths in the US, every year.
what you call "security theatre" I see as having been very effective, as showed in the link I included. I used to see it in countries like Israel where searching of bags going into shopping malls and at bus station queues was the norm,
Yes, it was the norm in Belfast too. Every large store had someone at the door whose job was to search bags. It might have found someone with a few kg of explosive linked to a timer, or a sputtering fuse, but almost all attacks on such buildings were through firebombs that were the size of, and often hidden in, cigarette packets. The "searches" never stopped those. Ask the stores why they still employed the security staff and the reponse was simple - after an attack one of the first questions the damage assessors asked was what precautions were taken. Not "searching" bags would mean that the store would be considered negligent, and lose much or all compensation. Pure theatre, on the CYA principle.
Alert people and good behind-the-scenes intelligence was what stopped the serious attacks, not the disruption to everyday life that we eventually realised was pointless.