Vigilance shouldn't ebb, air travelers say

Staff WriterMay 3, 2011 

Even after Osama bin Laden's death, Triangle air travelers say, U.S. airports should keep up the body scans, pat-downs and other security measures that have become familiar since September 2001.

"There's still terrorism going on," said Carl Covington, 44, of Hope Mills, a military contractor who was flying home Monday from work in Kuwait. "Having one man go down ain't really gonna stop this. But it's good that he is dead - that's one less guy we've got to worry about."

Covington and other passengers arriving Monday at Raleigh-Durham International Airport said they didn't feel any safer after bin Laden's death. And some worried that the risk of terrorist attack would only increase.

"I was a little bit leery this morning as I flew out of Portland, Maine, wondering about retaliation," said Chris Dileo, 63, of Cary. "I guess it's wait and see. We probably had better be on our toes for a while following his demise."

Jenny Kaiser of Goldsboro noticed a "buzz of excitement" when passengers on her Sunday night flight out of Los Angeles learned that bin Laden was dead.

"But I don't feel relieved," said Kaiser, 31. "Somebody else is just going to take over where he left off."

Owen Jacobs of Tampa, an Army veteran, said the nation should renew its vigilance.

"I'm a little worried about security threats going up over the next couple of weeks," said Jacobs, 31. "We need to keep our eyes more open because there's a lot of people that want to do harm to us."

He said most Americans have come to accept airport security checkpoints as necessary for travel safety.

"Think of the alternative of not checking and what could happen," he said. "That what-if is worth going through the extra hassle."

Covington agreed.

"Whatever measures they need to keep the place safe, that's what they should do," he said. "And I think we should all commend them for the job that they're doing. It's either that or death."

bruce.siceloff@newsobserver.com or 919-829-4527

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