Carol D. Leonnig
Monday, January 4th, 2010
All travelers flying to the United States from other countries will face increased random screening, and all passengers from more than a dozen terrorism-prone nations will be patted down and have their carry-on bags searched, under new rules the Obama administration said will take effect Monday morning.
The changes greatly beef up screening standards for all U.S.-bound travelers and are in response to the attempted bombing of an airliner on Christmas Day. The Nigerian man suspected in the attack boarded an Amsterdam flight headed to Detroit. But in keeping with previous protocols, he and other passengers were screened by a magnetometer, which did not detect the explosives he was allegedly carrying in his underwear.
The Transportation Security Administration notified airline carriers Sunday of the changes for all flights entering the United States — with an emphasis on a “full body pat-down and physical inspection of property” for all people who are citizens of or are flying through or from nations with significant terrorist activity. TSA officials declined to name all the “countries of interest” on Sunday, but confirmed that the directive applies to the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism.
The department’s Web site lists Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. A senior administration official identified the following as terrorism-prone nations or countries of interest to U.S. intelligence agencies: Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.
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This article was posted: Monday, January 4, 2010 at 11:19 am