Passengers face tough screening

2010-01-04 08:23

Washington - Passengers flying into the US from Nigeria, Yemen and other "countries of interest" will be subject to enhanced screening techniques, such as body scans and pat-downs, the Transportation Security Administration said Sunday.

Starting on Monday, all passengers on US-bound international flights will be subject to random screening. Airports are also directed to increase "threat-based" screening of passengers who may be acting in a suspicious manner.

In addition, anyone traveling from or through nations regarded as state sponsors of terrorism - as well as "other countries of interest" - will be required to go through enhanced screening. The TSA said those techniques include full-body pat-downs, carry-on bag searches, full-body scanning and explosive detection technology.

The State Department lists Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. The other countries whose passengers will face enhanced screening include Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man who allegedly tried to set off an explosive device aboard a Northwest airliner on Christmas Day, has told US investigators he received training and instructions from al-Qaeda operatives in Yemen.

The TSA said the ability to enforce the new security measures is the "result of extraordinary cooperation from our global aviation partners".