US to alter aviation security policy

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Sunday, April 4, 2010

US officials have announced new security policies for all international flights bound for the US. The move will replace the mandatory screening of passengers from fourteen countries, implemented after the failed bombing of a flight to Detroit, Michigan last Christmas by a Nigerian man. The change comes after President Barack Obama ordered a review into the matter.

The move is intended to lower the amount of air travellers taken for extra screening, and will be based on information obtained from intelligence agencies, such as if they match a description given by officials. Formerly, additional security were done based on one's passport or nationality.

US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano commented that the plan will "utilize real-time, threat-based intelligence along with multiple, random layers of security, both seen and unseen, to more effectively mitigate evolving terrorist threats. [...] Of course, after the events of December 25, I think it reminded everyone that aviation remains a target of Al-Qaeda and how important it is going to be for us to work in a variety of ways to keep improving aviation security."

"[I]t's much more tailored to what the intel[ligence] is telling us, what the threat is telling us, as opposed to stopping all individuals of a particular nationality or all individuals using a particular passport," commented a senior administration official who wished to remain anonymous to media. He added that the former measures were a "blunt-force instrument".


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