Expert: Security Checkpoints Near Soft Targets May Soon Become The Norm

A Day May Come When You'll Be Patted Down Going Into Stores

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Counter terrorism experts say a retaliation attack for Osama bin Laden’s death is inevitable. Terrorists are expected to aim for more vulnerable soft targets like shopping malls or museums.

They are places jam-packed with people — pedestrian malls, shopping centers and stadiums.

“Yeah, I feel safe. But of course in the back of my head I know that things can happen,” one person told CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Counter terrorism expert Juval Aviv said terrorists seeking revenge for Osama bin Laden’s death will turn to attacks less dramatic than the destruction on Sept. 11 — focusing instead on soft targets like hotels, places of worship and mass transit hubs.

“It’s easier and less complicated to carry out,” Aviv said. “What they’re going to achieve if they’re successful is to kill as many people as possible.”

Security consultant David Boehm said the future could include security check points entering all soft targets — like your local department store. Boehm said even with a police presence, the areas are vulnerable.

“The reason they’re called ‘soft’ is because it’s so easily accessible to anyone. There has to be security checks for the safety of all people,” Broehm said.

Added security is a turn-off for some New Yorkers.

“There’s a police presence and they search someone with a backpack. Somebody that looks suspicious, but it’s random. I would go if that if that is the case; not if everybody is being searched,” one New Yorker said.

“It’s better to be safe than to be sorry,” another person said.

Despite the challenges to secure high-volume soft targets like Times Square, security experts said one of the best lines of defense is already in place and doesn’t cost a thing.

“We are millions and millions of eyes and ears. We need to assist the police. We need to assist each other and keep each other safe,” Boehm said.

It’s freedom, coming with an increasingly heavy price.

Would you be okay with security checkpoints outside department stores or places of worship? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.


    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

    Benjamin Franklin

  • Frank

    The softest target is our economy. Hassling people going to a shopping mall or baseball game with further hurt our economy. TSA is doing Bin Laden’s job for him.

  • Ron Dearborn

    Way to go CBS! How to destroy even further, the floundering economy nationwide! There couldn’t be any softer target than the pentagon having allowed a “something” to hit the building even though it is supposedly the most defended building in the entire world, figure that one out. A total stand down if there ever was one. Soft targets? What a joke!

  • TPM

    10 years ago in their most successful attack ever the terrorists were able to kill a grand total of 3,000 people on 9/11. For comparison deaths from traffic accidents in the US average around 40,000 per year, or about 3,000 per month every month. That means that over this last decade when everyone was so obsessed with terror you were more than 120 times as likely to die in a car wreck. I’m sorry but I don’t see the terrorists as a threat worth giving up any liberties for. Not one. The odds of being killed in a terrorist attack are statistically insignificant and I’ve never worried about it once. What I do worry about is the fear, idiocy, and overreaction of sheeple that is causing our society to destroy itself from the inside.

  • Roland

    “It’s freedom, coming with an increasingly heavy price.” Great job feeding us the state’s propaganda.
    It’s like a guy who has had 800,000 of his one million dollars stolen being told, when the thief comes back for another 100,000, “Well, that’s the price you pay for being a millionaire!”
    “Uh, dude, I’m not a millionaire anymore.”

  • MarineForRonPaul

    This will be the start of the new civil war, and I say bring it on.

    Ron Paul 2012

  • O. bin laden

    Get Obama and the liberal leftist out of washington and that will be the biggest reduction in lawbreaking. and corruption.

  • HR

    Also Id like to correct the newscaster, the price of security is becoming higher; namely at the cost of freedom. But, as one of our founding fathers once said “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains or slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!” Of course we could have police stationed at every corner, video cameras on every street, maybe even in your home, maybe even the army stationed on every major city street and down town. Then we’d probably be more safe, but what the hell is the point then? Life wouldn’t even be worth living.

  • Liberty Jones

    “The terrorists hate us because of our freedom”. Looks like another win for the terrorists.

  • HR

    yall are ****ing nuts. Keep it up and I’m leaving the country for good. Don’t worry about me I’m just getting a few advanced degrees I’m sure you guys will be fine without people like me **shrug**

  • Joseph Rodrigues

    The Police State of America is going to really take off now.. We are becoming the most represive State in the world. He who is willing to give up his freedom’s for security deserve niether!

    • multi-v

      You’re clearly misinformed—your comment is laughable.

      Police state? Right. Not! Even! Close!

      Syria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, North Korea, China etc, those are police states, the United States, not by a long shot. But keep on with your conspiracy theories—it’s fodder for the educated community.

      • Alex

        Muli-v, first of all, Joseph doesn’t put forward a conspiracy theory at all. He is not saying that this is some kind of clandestine plot or cover-up. Joseph may be guilty of hyperbole, but that is not the same as being a “conspiracy theorist”.

        I would say that Joseph’s comment is hyperbolic. However, at least he shows awareness that our freedoms are declining and the U.S. government becoming ever bolder about taking our freedoms from us. If you have not noticed this trend at all, it is you, not people like Joseph, who are ignorant.

  • multi-v

    Security check points are inevitable. Stores are private property and if they want to search every person walking in, they can—metal detectors, looking thru bags, etc. If you don’t like it, shop elsewhere. As for “public” transportation hubs, they’re not as public as you think, in NYC, the Bridges, Subways, Train Stations, etc are all public/private, you don’t have a right to use them, it’s a privilege. If you don’t like it, drive your own car which inevitably will be searched before entering a tunnel or parking garage.

    No one wants to be searched, of course privacy and our civil liberties are at stake, however, sadly, it’s an issue of security—personal and public that we all need to become accustomed to. You can quote Ben Franklin all day long, but this isn’t the 18th Century, it’s the 21st—huge difference.

    • Alex

      Once again, you’re showing a lack of understanding about the issue and about the nature of security and freedom.

      Yes, a private company has the right to search people as a requirement of entering their property, but this is fundamentally different than a public institution doing the same thing. Like you said, if it is a private company doing the instrusive behavior, you have a right to simply walk away. They are not allowed to confiscate your property – although they may tell you to leave it outside – and they cannot detain you as if you are a criminal. None of these things are true when the government is in charge of security (e.g. TSA patdowns, Border Patrol searches/detentions).

      It is additionally sad to see you treat this as if these “searches” actually increase security. Do you think the pilot of a jet plane needs an additional weapon to hijack the plane? Then why is he searched? What about airport staff (who have potential weapons all around them at work)? Read The Atlantic’s article “The Things He Carried” and see if you still believe “security checkpoints” are effective.

      Lastly, even if they were effective, please explain why it is okay to treat citizens as if they are criminals. You criticized Joseph earlier for calling the U.S. a police state, but what is the definition of a police state if not a state where the government treats all of her citizens like potential criminals instead of individual human beings who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

      The world is not safe and it never will be – but, even though we cannot be safe, we can be free. Security is the silver tounged call of the cowardly. Let us stand up for the values this country is meant to stand, stop giving in to fear, and embrace liberty.

  • IraqVet

    There, there, there now, of course they will silly…but don’t worry because the TSA will be there to molest your children so you can feel safe about your cowardly life.

  • casey

    ok sooooooo. yes i hate obamma, i hate the fact that when he was in office, he used cnogress and senate to forcefeed policy after costly policy to the american public, i also hate that when bush was president he was vetoed with everything he tried to do during his last two years due to the same democratic majority. not that bush was a saint, but he kept the country safe when every expert in the world said another attack was immenant. as for obamma……..and osama. beginning to think this is all a ruse to bring emotion from the ppl to obama. however, growing up, conflicting stories often tell the truth. first he was armed and holding a hostage, then unarmed. not that it matters, but if you mr president are going to lie to us, at least keep your story straight. besides this all provides a releif from the fiscal mess youve made of this nation, and really that is the point of it all isnt it. wag the dog

  • Jim Thomas Wilson III

    We are not a police state or a country under unconstitutional martial law of Nazi style security for the greater good. You can take my liberty and freedom over my cold dead body America! I draw the line here! I didn’t serve in the Navy to enslave our people to Governmental authority! I took an oath to that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. Even if it is our own Government I must stand against!

    An Oath I will not break or yield!


    • IraqVet

      That’s the difference between veterans and civilians…which is why most politicians show both disdain and a lack of fidelity to the constitution because they are a reflection of their electorate…Kind of a disturbing thought when you think of the like of Porklosi, Chuckles Schumer, Bonnie Frank, Harriet Reid and all their ilk in both parties.

  • LiberateDemocracy

    I think we should all have cameras installed in our homes and vehicles too. Let’s invade Pakistan, Syria and for sure those Chinese too.

    I mean hell, if we’re going to give our freedom away to a tyrannical system and go performing ‘kinetic humanitarian action’, er um, I mean ‘acts of war’… why not do it full bore?

    This whole thing stinks of power mongering religious zealots like Alexander the Great.

  • Kevin

    How ridiculous! So, now tyranny is freedom? Why not have security checkpoints everywhere? Why not cameras and audio bugs in every home, apartment, car and business in America? That will surely allow us to catch all of these scary terrorist boogie-men hiding under every bed in the America. The only terrorists we should fear are the ones running this so-called “War on Terror”. This is the beginning of the end of the USA folks, get out while you still can.

    P.S. This is a great way to accelerate the demise of our dying economy and currency too. Way to go!

  • fury

    Oh yeah, and if you’re concerned about how quickly things are moving, listen to this “A Stephen Harper majority is key to forming the Federal Reserve bankers’ North American Union. The Federal Reserve bankers’ plans for a takeover of Canada in 2009 were defeated in 2008 when Stephen Harper won only a minority government. In 2008 the Feds were so sure that Harper would win a majority that they printed $billions in North American Union Notes dated 2009.” Guess who just got majority. Be prepared for tough times ahead if you don’t act up now. And don’t believe this whole Osama facade. Your Government is lying to you and trying to get you mobilized to support yet another war, the next to be in Pakistan. Just look at the signs, it’s all in the works. Stay AWAY from mainstream media and seek independent news sources, inform yourselves people and please, open your eyes….
    End the Fed

  • Marilyn

    I think every American needs a personal guard to make sure they don’t get food poisoning, don’t slip in the bathtub, fall down the stairs,and most of all no one should drive. Safety first. This is how ridiculous this idea of security checks everywhere is. And, we don’t have the money. America is about freedom!

  • Roger Clouse

    Ben Franklin said it best,” Those who give up freedom for security deserve neither.

  • Guy McLendon

    Actions by government create hatred, and thereby creates the very risk that government professes to protect us against. If we reduce government, we’ll reduce the risk … and the gestapo at the airports & shopping malls can fondle their own crotch rather than yours.

  • DougR

    No, I won’t be patted down going into stores. I’ll leave this god-forsaken mess of a country before I’ll submit to that kind of treatment.

  • Tovia

    Dot hey take us for complete idiots? This was a giant set-up for tyranny all along….

  • logical conclusion

    Be honest. If someone would have said 10 years ago that to fly you’d have to allow a government employee touch you anywhere he chooses for whatever reason he deems necessary you wouldn’t have believed it.

    The only logical conclusion to be drawn if we are going to truly feel (not be) safe is for full cavity exams.

    You’re not with the terrorists are you? You want America to lose? Think of the children! USA USA USA USA.

  • Jon Pryor

    So for all the people I’ve heard who apparently support the DHS & TSA by uttering such iunane statemens as “Air travel is not a right” and “Don’t like it? Take a train a bus or a boat.” how will this new violation of you Constitutional rights go down? Do you think you’ll have a choce once it gets to this point? Later they’ll be outside your house.

  • Sam

    Those people who are willing to exchange freedom for security deserve neither.

    Or, as was said by Samuel Adams:

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty,
    the tranquility of servitude
    better than the animating contest of freedom,
    go home from us in peace.
    We ask not your counsels or your arms.
    Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
    May your chains set lightly upon you,
    and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”

    Remember that…..


    Yes, the cost of freedom is to lose it. Yes, protect my freedom by putting checkpoints everywhere, spy on me, treat me like a slave! I need to be groped by men in black uniforms; it just makes me feel safe and secure. I love it when men in black uniforms violently put down peaceful protests that are protected under the Constitution. I love showing my body off in naked-body scanners, and I get an unhealthy dose of radiation–it just makes me feel so safe. You know how we should protect our freedom, spy on each other. Yes, that’s right, just like the Stasi. Who the hell wrote this article, George Orwell?

    • Alex

      To be fair, the real George Orwell would never have written something like this. He would have wrote about someone writing something like this. The author is something more like Goebbels.

  • Jack

    seems bullish

  • Johnny

    Muslims had nothing to do with 9/11. 9/11 was an inside job. It was done by those who desire a police state. We were suckered hook, line, and sinker. Let’s hunt down the REAL bombers of the 3 WTC towers.

    • Anuel Jackson

      finally someone with some real common sense, and why did they bring down WTC7 because that is where all the CIA and FBI records were kept(might find out where the money went),some were evidence file against those said entities, plus the fact that the owner would make a “killing” off his insurance policy at the same time

  • Guns save lives!

    Here’s the simple answer. The reason we’re not currently being attacked at our hotels, malls, etc… is because the terrorists simply DO NOT KNOW who has a gun on their person.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Guns SAVE lives! Even the thought that you may have a gun saves lives. Or maybe you want to give up ALL your liberties and freedoms and cower in fear as the terrorists want you to.

  • Nonya Bidnez

    Hell to the NO would I ever subject myself, children, family or friends to anything like this. How do WE know that the people doing these pat downs aren’t terrorists themselves eh? God help us!

  • Adam

    The police state is winning and it’s up to you and I to stop it. Call your representative and remind him of your fourth amendment rights.

  • fedup

    Shoppers have nothing to fear. Obama has already addressed this issue with unemployment and inflation. People can no longer afford to drive to the mall let alone shop.

  • PT
  • Anon

    Nice. So we should give up freedoms for security… and call it freedom. GENIUS. Sure shuts up all those 4th amendment windbags.

  • bubba

    Better to live each day with a slightly increased risk of dying than to be searched each time you enter a store.

  • Amber

    I already refuse to show my receipt as I walk out the door. If you think I stole something prove it and arrest me otherwise what’s in that bag is now mine and hands off. It’s a policy not a law – I’m free to reject their policy and they’re free to request I no longer shop there (it’s never happened). Same with this – if you think I’m a terrorist prove it and arrest me otherwise hands off. If that means I can’t enter the store then fine. There are other stores, they aren’t all going to adopt this. Using the ones that don’t molest you, online shopping and free delivery I think we can manage just fine. The only thing we have to admit is should anything happen we can’t complain, if we’ve balanced our freedoms against these searches and rejected the searches we have to accept there could be consequences. But I guarantee you if there’s an attack it will be like the “shoe bomber’, it won’t come from anything they could have found in a search and mall security, policy and homeland security will all be scratching their heads about how they didn’t think of “that”.

  • 911_millionaire

    Yahoo! Let the War for Southern Independence begin again. The day that starts is the day I start packin’ heat.

  • Eric Moquin

    Yes and no reader. Marxism is both an economic AND socio-Political theory or “worldview”

  • Ken

    No Karen, if it were Nazi Germany it would be the towel heads that would be thrown in the oven. I’m not saying that is right but……I’m sure Hitler and Osama are burning together right now. I bet they are bunk buddies and more. lol talking about their hatered of Jews while burning in a lake of fire.

    • dividedwefall

      oh my…do you read alternative news sources? study up on psychological warfare and look at hitler as both master and slave. in war games, nothing is as it seems on the surface…sun tzu?

  • Reader

    Marxism is a economic theory not a political one.

    • dividedwefall

      um…they kind of go hand in hand…it’s a bit of gray line.

  • Rick

    More Americans should be getting their concealed carry licenses from Florida or Utah. If terrorists hit the mall that you’re shopping in, you can fight back.

  • karl anglin


  • ReadThis

    This is why I support the petition to “stop invasive TSA screening”

    Google “Mike Doherty Petition”

  • Kay

    I am not ok with being searched so I can enter a store! this is getting outrageous! I want a President that terrorists will fear not laugh at!

  • jfc

    Surrender all your freedoms so that we may be free? Does it get more Orwellian than that?

    A police state is not worth defending.

  • Karen

    BINGO! Me too~! Nazi Germany all over.

    • damitX2

      i’ll fight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • blake

      it has very little to do with marxism, lol… it is just wrong. i love how people throw “ism” terms around as if they know what they are talking about… but i agree. it is very very wrong.

  • Karen

    Oh, thought so. This is what this is all about. Fell like Nazi Germany yet?

  • http://Google Casandra morales

    If You want terrorism to stop! Stop Police corruption! Miami Florida Police are the ones to blame for 911!

    • Allend

      Every time we put up another checkpoint or give up more liberty in the name of security the terrorists win. We have surrendered so much of our freedom to the faceless bureaucrats in DC that we are now a police state. When will it end when the police set up a checkpoint outside our homes to check us as we leave and enter our houses?

      • Tommy Krenshaw`

        Amen. Perfectly stated.

        I’ve had enough.

      • Stuart Stevenson

        I, too, have had enough.
        My consent is withdrawn.

      • kathleen koblensky

        I think it is a plan has been slow in the works..this is how it is done…strange things are going you not say??? look look look,they say,,look at how good we are to you!!! Protecting you…do not be afraid little puppy…never have to think for yourself..we will do it for you…hush little puppy don’t you cry……

    • Not too tricky

      CBS is full of useful idiots attempting to inflame fear and worry. Working hard to shepherd the lemmings into their nice comfy box on the edge of a cliff. What makes these morons think our enemies were not already looking at these so-called soft targets? The defense best suited to stopping them is the very same defense that has stopped them so far.

      That’s us, people. You and me. Eyes open and looking out for our own is always going to be more effective than some task force of goobers pulling out every third to fifth person for “random ” pat-downs while some minimum wage rent a cop (no offense guys, a job is a job these days) giving his best Clint Eastwood glare will not keep anyone safe.

      • Ron Dearborn

        Sorry, didn’t mean to leave as a reply to this comment. I have since left it as a comment to the article, my bad.

    • Ron Dearborn

      Way to go CBS! How to destroy even further, the floundering economy nationwide! There couldn’t be any softer target than the pentagon having allowed a “something” to hit the building even though it is supposedly the most defended building in the entire world, figure that one out. A total stand down if there ever was one. Soft targets? What a joke!

  • Cebes

    5 Computers, 100+storage devices, disks, DVD’s thumb drives confiscated. Do you think these terrorists who we’ve labeled as smart and detailed with their planning will attempt something in the near future? I think they have the notion every move they make may be caught by the eye in the sky. Who really knows what information was kept on those devices? How many names are liked to how many others. How many pieces of the puzzle do we now have? Maybe the whole puzzle. They don’t know. Not even the #2 in the organization knows for sure what #1 was recording on all those devices. #2 is trying to dig the deepest hole he can find right now. It may be his grave.

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