The Pendleton Panther

Enhanced Airport Screening by TSA

Posted on: January 4, 2010

Long lines are present at airport security checkpoints.

It was announced on Sunday by the TSA (The Transportation Security Administration) that they will begin using more enhanced screening of passengers on security checkpoints for “any U.S.-bound air passenger traveling through “state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest” such as Pakistan, Yemen and Nigeria.” (CNN) This new rule also applies to other countries as they were urged to follow TSA procedures overseas. There are a total of 14 countries on a list of TSA’s “countries of interest” label that will automatically have enhanced screening for every individual. According to CNN, “The State Department lists four countries as those that sponsor terror: Cuba, Sudan, Syria and Iran. The other 10 countries of interest are Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen, the government official said.” An official with the State Department stated that these countries were on the list because of an affiliation with Al Qaeda or other threat to the United States. Unlike most TSA security orders, this recent one has no date of expiration but it will update and revise it as time goes on.

These past 3 days, I have been on 2 international flights and 1 U.S. inbound flight. I went through this “enhanced screening” all 3 times in the hectic airports. I was subject to full body pat-downs, bag checks, etc. Many passengers were infuriated especially since the countries I was in were the highly-developed nations of Japan and Taiwan with little to no known terrorism.

This sudden spark in enhanced airport security was ignited by a Nigerian man named  Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab who attempted to set off a bomb in his underwear on a Christmas Day flight from the Netherlands to Detroit.

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