CHICAGO (WBBM) – A former TSA Administrator says the agency has come a long way in the last nine years, but stronger intelligence is needed.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports

Justin Oberman was one of the first employees hired after 9/11 as part of the government’s Transportation Security Administration.

“What I’m advocating for is greater resources spent on intelligence capabilities to try and identify people who pose a threat. Our intel isn’t good enough to know who the bad guys are, or which flights they’re on.”

Oberman says terrorists are getting more and more savvy about how they defeat the screening systems.

“The shoe bomber, the underwear bombing, the technique they tried in Yemen a few weeks ago. What TSA is doing is correct.

“They are trying to evolve our protections as the threat evolved. They are doing it through advanced technology and in this case with enhanced pat downs. They are trying to make the occurrence of them minimal.”

He says travelers have a right to choose whether they go through the body scanners. He says the machines aren’t as invasive as you might think.

“The sensitive part of the images are obscured, the images aren’t stored, screeners can’t see faces of people they are looking at and the screens are far away from view of others.”

Oberman also says it’s up to travelers to think ahead before coming to the airport. “Pack your belt, or anything metal, don’t bring bottled liquids and wear slip on shoes.” He says that’ll make your travel experience smoother and quicker.

“We’ve got a committed enemy and we need to stay resilient.”

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