Earlier this year two different airport terror attacks took scores of innocent lives in Brussels and Istanbul.
Mix with those incidents the bombing that rocked a terminal in Shanghai and it's clear that airports remain a hot target for those looking to strike fear in the traveling public worldwide.
Since September 11, airport security has been at the top of the priority list for state and federal authorities in the United States. From that horrifying Tuesday in September, the Department of Homeland Security has been established along with the Transportation Security Administration and the more covert on-plane air marshal position.
Which is why it's curious that after nearly fifteen years of small scale security breaches, this past month two major false alarm events stirred chaos and hysteria at two of America's biggest international airport destinations, LAX in Los Angeles and JFK in New York.
The international arrivals terminal is viewed at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK ) airport on October 11, 2014 in New York City. (Getty Images)
The JFK incident is still confusing to many who were there as terminal by terminal people began screaming in panic that “someone” was coming or that shots had been fired. This led to thousands of passengers spilling out onto tarmacs, into restricted security areas and flooding transportation corridors around the airport itself.
It all began when authorities responded to a call of reported gunfire outside of the airport's terminal 8. Naturally, passengers in terminal 8 reacted in justified fear upon seeing officers with weapons drawn, calling out demands, but what about the rest of the terminals that had nothing to do with the unsubstantiated call?
Several terminals that weren't affected or even being responded too started reacting in a similar fashion and fear consumed the property, causing the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to have to also respond to the hundreds of security breaches being cause by the chaos.
Fast forward to the most recent incident in Los Angeles that began with an initial response by airport police to a bizarre encounter with a man wielding a plastic sword and dressed as Zorro. Shortly thereafter reports rolled in about an active shooter situation and police then responded to that as well.
Much like the JFK situation, word spread quick and reports of people claiming shots had been fired made its way through terminals not directly affected to which passengers responded similarly by jumping ticket counters to hide and breaching secure areas to flee.
At this point, authorities from both airports have admitted that these incidents to be false alarms and potentially were just people getting spooked by loud noises.
It's certainly plausible that the post-September 11 mantra of “see something, say something” comes to mind as playing a role in these erroneous calls even though no one legitimately saw anything.
Of course, as authorities always suggest, it's better to be safe than sorry and to report anything suspicious or concerning immediately.
And while I believe the official narrative of both events being false alarms, I don't think I'm alone in feeling it rather strange that these incidents have happened so close to one another and at two of the country's most significantly targeted airports.
These incidents required a huge, coordinated response which drew a lot of attention. It should concern everyone that these were two new opportunities for those looking to do harm down the line to see exactly how authorities reacted and might potentially jeopardize first responders when it comes to protocol.
Many questions have been asked of airport police on both coasts following these situations and I have yet to hear anyone ask whether or not authorities have considered whether or not they've tipped their hand to the enemy that have no doubt been watching their every move.
Wade Heath is a Speaker, Columnist and Host of The Millennial Report. Contact him: WadeTheBlaze@Gmail.com
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