Israeli Security Caps MacBook 3 Times

| News

An American woman found out the hard way that her unibody MacBook isn't bullet proof when Israeli security officers shot it three times after two hours of questioning when she tried to enter the country.

"Israeli security officers had completed around two hours of questioning and searching me. They had pressed every sock and scarf with a security device, ripped open soap and had me strip extra layers. They asked me tons of questions," Lily Sussman said on her blog. "Then they asked me to wait."

Lily Sussman's post-border check MacBook

Shortly after that, she heard three gun shots and was presented with her laptop bearing three new holes. Luckily, the hard drive wasn't hit, and Israeli officials said they would replace her laptop.

While Ms. Sussman's experience is unfortunate, it's also a great reminder to always back up your data before traveling and to be especially careful when traveling to regions with high political tension.

[Thanks to Engadget for the heads up.]

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29 Comments Leave Your Own

Khaled

W
T
F

geoduck

I’d love to see her show up at a Genius Bar and ask if the Warranty covers this.
LOL

iVoid

Gee… I guess Israeli Security really don’t like the glossy screens on MacBooks. smile

It’s good that they’re going to buy her a new MacBook, but I what kind of psychopaths are they employing in Israeli Security? Must be Windows users. smile

Khaled

Steve Ballmer had a bounty for every MacBook shoot.

Tiger

Anybody know if it’s possible to sue Israeli security? Talk about a violation. That’s a bit above and beyond. I can see if they confiscate it for a while and have forensics experts go through it, but really, to shoot it? Did they think she was smuggling secrets for Iran’s President Imanutjob?

geoduck

All kidding aside there’s got to be more to the story. If they really suspected her of something they would have done a forensic analyses on the MacBook. If they suspected her of something they wouldn’t have offered to replace it. If they didn’t, then it must have been one wackjob guard. I wonder what, if anything happened to him?

Khaled

This just came to my attention, the keyboard have Arabic characters.

geoduck

One question
What kind of sidearms do Israeli border guards pack. Those are some bloody huge holes.

Brad Cook

This just came to my attention, the keyboard have Arabic characters.

The woman mentioned in her blog post that she had Arabic stickers on the computer too.  Obviously that and the Arabic keyboard were what set off Israeli security, who are notorious for treating Arabs or anyone they view as an Arab sympathizer in a poor manner.  Arabs can’t get on a plane in Israel without going through extensive scrutiny.

All that said, I don’t know what they stood to gain by shooting her laptop.  My guess is someone realized that was a really stupid thing to do, and that’s why they’re offering to replace it.

plus

Isn’t it obvious what happened?  They started it up, observed there was no “START” button, instantly knew it wasn’t a *real* computer, so it must be a camouflaged explosive. 

When it didn’t blow up after taking three rounds to the body, they discarded that theory and accepted her claim that it actually *was* a computer, so they’re going to replace it.

Lee Dronick

3 shots fired? Quite possibly one of the guards was joking around and pointed a rifle at the MacBook then he accidentally pulled the trigger; Many automatic rifles have a 3 shot burst setting. I doubt that it was done on purpose, if they suspected a bomb in the MacBook you don’t disarm it in the guard room by firing bullets into it.

jbruni

@Flashman,

No burst mode would shoot in a triangular pattern like that. They would be closer together and nearly in a straight line. Secondly, the holes are too big for any standard-issue rifle which would probably be around a .223. Those holes are closer to a 10mm or .45ACP which would be a semi-auto handgun.

Lee Dronick

No burst mode would shoot in a triangular pattern like that. They would be closer together and nearly in a straight line. Secondly, the holes are too big for any standard-issue rifle which would probably be around a .223. Those holes are closer to a 10mm or .45ACP which would be a semi-auto handgun.

Yeah, your probably right 9MM pistol rounds. They will probably claim that the MacBook pulled a knife on them.

Onnem

jbruni +1

And thirdly, if here are natural holes so why there is a darkness inside them on the display’s photo? Oh, she doesn’t know photoshop well)))
?????-????????, ????? ?????? ? ?????????, ????? ?????? ??? ????????? ?? ????? ??

Lee Dronick

And thirdly, if here are natural holes so why there is a darkness inside them on the display?s photo? Oh, she doesn?t know photoshop well)))

Actually that looks pretty authentic. I’ll tell you what, my iBook croaked maybe I will take it out to desert in the east county and fire some rounds into it to see what it looks like. No “scratch” that, I think all it needs is a new hard drive, I will shoot up my old Toshiba laptop.

macrat

Reminds me of Strong Bad’s “slightly shotgunned” computer.

Should pull the hard drive out and sell the rest on eBay.

Lee Dronick

I have it figured out. The guards called the sergeant and asked howto safely inspect a MacBook. They were told to boot it up in target mode.

AlaskaBoy

...  “Who do you know? Do you have a boyfriend? Is he Arab, Egyptian, Palestinian? Why do you live in Egypt? Why not Israel? What do you know about the ‘conflict’ here? What do you think? They quizzed me on Judaism, which I know nothing about,” she continued.

Sussman said that she then heard an announcement on the loudspeaker. “It was something along the lines of, ‘Do not to be alarmed by gunshots because the Israeli security needs to blow up suspicious passenger luggage,’” she wrote on her blog.

Moments later a man came to her and introduced himself as the manager on duty. “I’m sorry but we had to blow up your laptop,” Sussman quoted him as telling her.

“The security officers did not ask about my laptop prior to shooting it,” Sussman told Daily News Egypt. “They used the word ‘blew up’ when they told me they destroyed my laptop. I don’t know why they shot it.”

Sussman said the guards also looked through the photos saved on her camera, flipped through her journal and asked her about a map a friend had drawn for her that pointed out a main street, central bus station and the hostel where she was planning on staying in Jerusalem.

She added that she had also been carrying an Arabic phrasebook, stamps from Syria, Qatar and the UAE and a Palestinians in Palestine guidebook.

The Israel Airports Authority said in response to the story: “A check that the lady’s luggage underwent raised an indication that required security figures to act according to procedures. Police, who carried out the stated operation, was called to the scene. We suggest that the Israel Police be approached for any additional information.”

Sussman managed to salvage the hard drive and guards gave her an address where she would be reimbursed for her mangled laptop, she told Daily news Egypt. “I’m going through the process of compensation,” she said. “It supposedly will take about one month to receive the money.”

Like they say, ‘You enter the sea, you enter the food chain.’  Once I argued a little with one of their soldiers at the airport in Europe, looked around behind me, another solder had a uzi pointing at the middle of my back.  They have it rough.  If one doesn’t like, go home.

geoduck

I have it figured out. The guards called the sergeant and asked how to safely inspect a MacBook. They were told to boot it up in target mode.

LOL
That’s the funniest line on any story this month.
Even better It’s Target Disk Mode and they missed the disk

Lee Dronick

That?s the funniest line on any story this month.
Even better It?s Target Disk Mode and they missed the disk

Thanks

Welcome to the “Holey Land.”

iJack

What kind of sidearms do Israeli border guards pack. Those are some bloody huge holes.

Best guess?  Walther P99.  But the ammunition is the key.  Something equivalent to Federal 9mm full metal jacket, with Teflon tipped hollow-points.

the holes are too big for any standard-issue rifle which would probably be around a .223.

Since it’s police/military it would be 5.45mm, not .223 Remingtons, which are actually 5.56mm.  Also, the .223 is only 55 grams, while the 5.45mm is 70 or more grams.  I’m talking about the M4 or something similar, and they would easily make a hole that size.

In any event, a soldier or cop would have to be nuts to loose an automatic burst inside an occupied building.  Those things can rip through several sheetrock walls.

Target Mode, indeed.

Khaled

Target mode, ha ha.

Here’s a video interview with her:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihXtbB-4GWw

WetcoastBob

Goes to show you…

When crossing a border, upload your files to the cloud,  Blank the Drive and reinstall on the other side.

Recommended for the Canada-US border as well.

XSemper Idem5

I can think of no logical reason to shoot the MacBook. If they actually wanted to destroy its contents then they would have shot the drive only and not the screen. Did they not find the correct screw driver and get frustrated?

toefats

come on my friends. don’t be sheep.  Look closely at the picture. It’s not just the black holes, there is another clue that the picture is a probably a fake.  I’ll give a clue. Look at the reflections in the screen.

iJack

It looks pretty real in the YouTube video.

WetcoastBob

I just noticed, they shot it when it was closed and the bullets went into the keyboard.

Speaker to Wolves

What kind of sidearms do Israeli border guards pack. Those are some bloody huge holes.

Typical ordinance for any border/airport security would be light-weight 9mm machine pistols or the like. The holes may be large because of the type of ammo used, might have been hollow points - soft lead rounds which mushroom on impact to deliver maximum stopping power and prevent collateral damage from through and through wounds.

WetcoastBob

Interesting how the glass broke.  Looks like it is laminated.

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