LONDON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- European governments concerned with airport security should invest more in human intelligence and less in regulations and technology, a security expert says.
Marijn Ornstein, the manager of security policy at Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, said human resources can do a better job than technology in spotting inherent threats, EUobserver reported.
"If you look at all the recent terrorist incidents, the bombs were detected because of human intelligence not because of screening," Ornstein said at a Global Security Challenge event in London Thursday.
"If even a fraction of what is spent on screening was invested in the intelligence services we would take a real step toward making air travel safer and more pleasant," she said.
EU and national-level regulators have entered into an "arms race" with terrorists in which they are always one step behind, she said.
"With every incident that happens, the regulators ask for more measures, more measures, more measures," she said.
"As soon as they heard about this [the recent plot to load PETN explosives into printer ink cartridges] we got letters from the U.S. and the U.K. telling us to take out all the ink cartridges coming through, which means we are fighting yesterday's war because there is no terrorist in the world who is now going to put PETN into an ink cartridge anyway," she said.
Kevin Riordan, the U.K. technical director of private security company Smiths Detection, agreed.
"We need to move to dynamic screening -- we need to know where you've bought your ticket, where you've been before, not just what you keep in your bag," he says.
"We need to move away from devices and materials to passenger intent. There's all sorts of information available out there and we're not using it," he said.