U.S. to Search All Air Travelers From 'Terrorist' States

Reuters
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Reuters

The U.S. government announced on Sunday new security screening procedures for passengers from countries listed as "state sponsors of terrorism" and selected others as part of a crackdown following the botched Christmas Day bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner.

The United States currently lists Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. Along with passengers flying from or through those countries, travelers from Nigeria, Yemen and Pakistan will be patted down and have their carry-on luggage searched under new security procedures, Politico reported on Sunday.

The Transportation Security Administration, the U.S. agency responsible for air security measures, said it also had issued new security directives to all U.S. and international airlines with inbound flights to the United States that would include random screening of passengers.

The rules are to be effective on Monday.

"Because effective aviation security must begin beyond our borders, and as a result of extraordinary cooperation from our global aviation partners, TSA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening," the agency said in the statement.

"The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. bound international flights," it added.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian man, was arrested after being accused of carrying a bomb sewn into his underwear onto a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Dec. 25. He got through security screening, and was subdued by passengers and crew after trying to detonate the bomb.

U.S. President Barack Obama said on Friday it appeared Abdulmutallab was a member of al Qaeda and had been trained and equipped by the Islamic militant network in Yemen.

Comments