By Yossi Melman
There are 11 visible security and inspection points at Ben-Gurion Airport. They spread from a roadblock at the airport entrance to the airplane gates.
It is not just because the Tel Aviv hub is a relatively small airport compared to major European and American airports, which can afford to exercise the strictest security measures regardless of the cost – it is the byproduct of a holistic security doctrine engraved in nearly 50 years of experience from blood and tears.
Since its first tragic failures, Israel has improved and upgraded its security measures on land and in the air. For decades, security experts from international airlines, police forces and security agencies have come here to learn Israeli know-how and doctrines.
Sure, there is no hermetic security, and terrorists take advantage of loopholes. But there is no need to be a genius to understand that what happened yesterday in Brussels was a colossal security and intelligence failure. According to media reports, Belgian authorities had advance warning about an “imminent terror attack.”
Yet neither the country’s police nor its security forces increased their presence in the streets or by deploying check points at the entrances to the airport. No wonder that the terrorists managed to enter with explosive belts.
What happened yesterday was the result of years of negligence.
Belgium’s security services lack necessary intelligence. The writing was long on the wall. Since 9/11, as well as Madrid, London, Turkey, Bali and more, the international community should have come to realize that it is at war. It took measures but was slow, even reluctant, to draw the necessary conclusions.