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It Is Impossible To Have A 'Perfectly Secure' Public Place, Says Homeland Security Expert Juliette Kayyem In Wake Of Istanbul Attacks

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Is it possible to keep airport travelers completely safe?

That's a question on the mind of security officials and travelers alike after suicide bombers attacked Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday, killing 41 people. 

To homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem, the answer is: not quite. The closest officials can get is by managing risks as best as possible.

"You are never going to get a public place that depends on the flow of millions of people per day perfectly secure," Kayyem said.

Instead, you have to focus on setting up layers of security—multiple checkpoints, surveillance, and roaming patrols. But even then, Kayyem said, eliminating all risk is impossible. In fact, the Ataturk Airport had many of those safeguards in place.

"The idea you can have a point after which everyone is safe—it's somewhat realistic," Kayyem said.

"The alternative is an airport system where you have to get there six hours before, and we know what that's like because everyone was complaining a month ago when the TSA lines were too long," Kayyem said.

To hear more from homeland security expert Juliette Kayyem, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.

WGBH News coverage is a resource provided by member-supported public radio. We can’t do it without you.
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