This is a partial transcript from The War on Terror: The Hunt for the Killers. For a complete transcript of the entire broadcast click here.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN ASHCROFT, ATTORNEY GENERAL: September the 11th, a day that reminded us in no uncertain terms that we have enemies in the world and that these enemies seek to destroy us. We learned on September 11th that our way of life is not immune from attack and even from destruction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VESTER: Over the last four months, we have heard so much about how the 9/11 terrorists slipped through the cracks and how the attacks might have been prevented. But that was then and this is now. So what do you need now to be safe from terror?
Gavin De Becker has some answers. He's a renowned violence expert and he's done a lot of work with the CIA. Also he's written a new book. It's called Fear Less: Real Truth About Risk, Safety and Security in a Time of Terrorism.
I talked with him a little bit earlier and asked why he is so sure that we will never see another mass hijacking like we saw last September.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GAVIN DE BECKER, FEAR LESS AUTHOR: I believe that that was the hijacking to end all hijackings. American passengers will not participate with the old belief, which is that if we just go along with this, we'll be OK. That myth is shattered forever, and we'll never have another hijacking like that.
VESTER: Now, one of the things after 9/11 that the airlines said, "OK, we're on the job. We're getting things safer." And many of them have said, "All right, we've made the cockpit safer."
DE BECKER: Yes.
VESTER: In many cases, I guess, they stuck a bar...
DE BECKER: That's correct.
VESTER: ... in front of the door. Is that really doing anything? I mean, is that enough?
DE BECKER: It isn't doing enough. No, certainly not. In the book, I outline all the suicide hijackings that have occurred, going back to 1970. There's a lot more than people realize. And certainly, the number one precaution to be undertaken is proper entry-resistance material on the cockpit door and a proper locking system. And that is now going to be required by the secretary of transportation to be completed within the next 18 months. And I don't know to what degree they're doing it, but it's not the quick fix that we've been living with since September 11th.
VESTER: One of the other things you suggest to make our flights safer is to seal off the cockpit the entire flight.
DE BECKER: Yes.
VESTER: That means no food service.
DE BECKER: Well, certainly no food services. That's the...
VESTER: I mean for starters.
DE BECKER: That's the most controversial one. The pilots hate it.
VESTER: I can imagine. Why would pilots agree to that? They're stuck!
DE BECKER: Well, what I propose is that they pre-stock the cockpit with food. And in these times, when every newspaper and news channel is talking about the danger of hijacking and terrorism, you know, they could bring a tuna sandwich and a thermos of coffee, if they had to. But it seems crazy to make the door entry-resistant and then open it up 15 times during every flight from New York to Los Angeles, doesn't it?
VESTER: Yeah, but you also have to understand that a pilot is locked inside that tin can for some big, long flight from Boston to Los Angeles, and, I mean, you know, they're the ones who are flying us from here to there, and don't we have to kind of make them a little more comfortable?
DE BECKER: Well, they still come out to go to the bathroom, of course.
DE BECKER: But that is unpredictable, and passengers can't see when that's happening.
DE BECKER: But pilots are used to sitting in the seat...
VESTER: That's true.
DE BECKER: ... and flying airplanes, and that's what they do. And you know, every cab in New York City has greater security for the driver than any jumbo jet in America has, and that's crazy. And that's easy to stop.
SCOTT: Let's talk about screening, this time screening of bags.
DE BECKER: Yes.
VESTER: New regulation in place. The airlines are supposed to comply by the end of this week.
DE BECKER: January 18th, yes.
VESTER: Right. Explain in lay terms what this new law requires.
DE BECKER: Well, the good news is that I think Secretary Mineta's office, the transportation secretary, has absolutely kicked ass. I think he's done an extraordinary job of moving government and industry faster than they're used to moving. By January 18th, every bag in America will go through some screening process, either X-ray, e-scan, the equipment you see when you do your carry-on bags, or dogs that can sniff explosives — they're very effective, there just aren't enough of them yet — or bag matching, or the hand search.
It's not perfect, but it's a huge step in the right direction, and it's part of why I tell Americans in Fear Less that it is already safer to fly now than it has been at any time in their history.
VESTER: Well, a lot of people felt safer, you know, after 9/11. They said, "Well, gosh, that'll never happen again." And then we have this Richard Reid guy with a sneaker, you know, trying to light it on fire.
DE BECKER: Trying.
DE BECKER: Failing.
VESTER: True. Well, he wasn't exactly the brightest bulb, was he? But you're going to have somebody smarter.
DE BECKER: He also had an extraordinary security precaution working against him, just like the American Airlines flight where someone tried to break into the cockpit, stopped by the passengers. He was stopped by the passengers. The three Greyhound incidents, where people attacked the drivers, stopped by the passengers. proving decisively that American passengers are up to the task of defeating terrorist acts when they happen. What I have done a lot of work in book is to get them up to the task of seeing conspiratorial behavior while it's happening, so that we know what to report and what to be alert for.
VESTER: The mayor of Detroit?
DE BECKER: Yes, the mayor of Detroit called me an idiot!
VESTER: Well, you said it's easier to fly into Cairo and have a vacation than to spend time in Detroit. And he says you're an idiot.
DE BECKER: Right.
VESTER: Do you stand by your statement still?
DE BECKER: Well, I stand by the premise of what I was saying is true. What it was based on is I have two friends who live in Detroit. They canceled their trip to Cairo for fear of being killed in Detroit. And we looked up the murder rates and found that the murder rate in Detroit was 22 times higher. So I could have used Los Angeles or New York or Chicago. I happened to have used Detroit because that was the city.
I spoke to the mayor's office afterwards. I did apologies to the various news channels. I love Detroit. I go there a lot. Tens of thousands of books have been sold there that I've written. I helped them with their anti-violence. And you could say it about any city. But the premise of what I said is absolutely accurate. Most American cities have a higher homicide rate than Cairo does. I was trying to put it in perspective.
VESTER: OK. So you guys mended fences. You kissed and made up. It's all fine.
DE BECKER: It was his first day in office, 31 years old, cares about the city, the new mayor, I mean.
DE BECKER: And I love the fact that Detroit is interested in working on its reputation because that's how you reclaim a place that has become affected by crime.
VESTER: OK. Just had to ask.
DE BECKER: I'm glad.
VESTER: Gavin De Becker, renowned violence expert. The book — once again, this is just coming out — is called Fear Less. Thanks very much.
DE BECKER: Thank you very much.
Be sure to watch The War on Terror: The Hunt for the Killers every weeknight live at 10 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel for all the very latest news on America at War.