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US Steps Up Security Measures for Air Travelers

New rules in effect for some US-bound passengers on international flights

New rules in effect for some US-bound passengers on international flights

The United States has increased security screenings for air travelers from 14 countries, in response to the attempted December 25 bombing of a U.S. jetliner flying from Amsterdam to Detroit. The U.S. State Department considers four of those countries: Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria - state sponsors of terrorism. The other 10: fghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen - are considered countries of interest.

All air travelers arriving in the United States now face some measure of increased scrutiny.

Some passengers who were among the first to undergo increased screening said they faced extensive searches in Paris, but shorter delays at Dulles Internatonal Airport outside of Washington.

Manjushree Badlani said her departure from Paris was delayed by about an hour, but said her trip through customs at Dulles only delayed her by about seven minutes.

"They didn't examine our luggage. They sent us to agricultural inspection. She [the inspector] asked if we were carrying any food. We said 'no' and we were on our way," Badlani said.

Several travelers, who spoke to VOA, said they support the extra precautions.

Travelers facing even greater scrutiny come from, or have passed through, the 14 nations that the U.S. State Department says sponsor terrorism or are 'nations of interest'.