Accessibility links

Breaking News

New Security Measures Announced for US-Bound Airline Passengers

The United States has announced a new security system with more intelligence-based approach to stop the suspected terrorists from entering the country by airliners.

The new system was announced Friday after a three-month security review ordered by President Barack Obama following a failed attack on a U.S. flight last December.

Officials say the new measures will replace the ones put in place soon after a Nigerian man allegedly tried to blow up a commercial airliner when it was preparing to land in Chicago on Christmas Day (December 25) 2009.

In the old system, anyone who had been to, or was from, one of 14 countries, mainly in North Africa and the Middle East, was targeted for extra searches.

U.S. officials say from now on all passengers aboard flights entering the country will be searched by extra-security measures.

They said the new approach will determine which passengers require a secondary security screening based on traits of known terror suspects, such as name, physical description and travel patterns.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley says the new system is better able to adapt to combat unforeseen terror threats than previous security measures. "This new procedure is much more intelligence-based and much more dynamic, tailored to specific real-time intelligence and threat information, so it will vary based on our analysis on any given day," he said.

He said in addition to gathering and synchronizing data about potentially dangerous travelers, airport screenings will also incorporate multiple random layers of security. These may include explosives trace detection, advanced imaging technology, canine teams or pat downs.

Former Transportation Security Administration chief of staff Ralph Basham said implementing the new requirements will call for international teamwork.

"That cooperation is improving, the technology improving, and I think the intelligence sharing-and what we're doing now, I think is getting closer to hardwiring intelligence to operations. That's what we're seeing," he said.

Basham says gathering and connecting this intelligence is the key to fighting terror threats.