By Jack Fink

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DALLAS (CBS11) Aviation security analyst Chaim Koppel is convinced terrorists blew up the EgyptAir jet.

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Koppel, the managing director of International Security Defense Systems in Dallas, believes it was an inside job because he says it’s easier for terrorists to use airport employees rather than passengers to sneak a bomb on a plane.

“Using one of the thousands of people working at the airport knowing the system, knowing the ability of every system, smuggling in an IED to explode on board the airplane,” said Koppel.

Koppel says airport employees who work in the secured side of the terminals should face the same security measures as passengers.

“That’s the most vulnerable part of our aviation security system is the screening of employees. Physical screening of employees, and that’s where emphasis should go to and money should go to.”

Stewart Young, a passenger returning to his home in Nashville, said it’s an issue he’s often considered.

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“You can’t help but think about things like that,” said Young.  “You see reports from time to time: are the folks working at the airport all checked out?”

Another traveler, Annalisa Mena agrees.

“So whether it’s the employer who has to be vigilant about their employees or if it’s an outside force, you have to be vigilant,” said Mena.

In a statement, the TSA says:

-It has increased screening of aviation workers from approximately 3 million in 2014 to nearly 17 million in 2015. Screening protocols vary by time, location, and method to enhance unpredictability.
-Its Federal Security Directors stipulated that the majority of airports reduced employee access points to an operational minimum (airports further reduced more than nine percent of access points across the system).
-It has required that airport workers and flight crews be screened prior to conducting personal travel.
-The agency has required that airport badged employees be vetted every two years via a fingerprint-based Criminal History Records Checks (CHRC).
-It has focused additional resources to conduct inspections of aircraft, catering, cargo, vehicle inspections, and baggage security activities. From December 2015 to the present time (April 2016), TSA completed 28,000 inspections, which included insider threat elements. In December alone, 7,000 inspections were focused on the insider threat.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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