Profiling not always bad idea

Perhaps it is time federal airport security screeners are told to do more “profiling” of a sort.

Recently, a San Francisco woman managed to sneak aboard an airliner in San Jose, Calif. She succeeded only on her fourth attempt. She was discovered only after the plane landed.

Marilyn Jean Hartman was thwarted three times. That should have been enough to alert Transportation Security Administration screeners that she was a potential problem.

TSA officials said Hartman was allowed to board the plane because screeners found no prohibited items on her.

Of course, it would not be necessary for someone bent on causing harm to have any of the items on the TSA’s list to create a substantial amount of mayhem on an in-flight airliner.

Hartman’s stunt is being investigated by the airline, the airport and the TSA. She would not tell reporters how she pulled off her feat, saying she did not want to provide any information that might help terrorists.

Obviously, though, her story will be encouraging to terrorists. Again, she had tried three times to sneak aboard an airliner before she finally succeeded. TSA agents should have been on the lookout for her.

They were not.

“Profiling” is not politically correct, of course. But failing to watch out for a known risk is just the latest in a long series of failures by the TSA.