More changes to airline security after Christmas Day incident
The changes focus on stepped-up intelligence sharing. They also attempt to address concerns that arose after new airline security measures were put in place in January.
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In January, the administration instituted new security procedures for international flights. Passengers carrying passports from, or traveling from or through a dozen designated countries, were forced to undergo full-body pat-downs and extra baggage checks. Those countries, many of them predominantly Muslim, were widely reported to be: Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.Skip to next paragraph
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The extra screening involved many passengers who posed no threat, and some of the targeted countries complained about being singled out.
As the administration has continued to review procedures, Secretary Napolitano has traveled to regional security summits in Spain, Mexico, and Japan. Also, she’s worked with the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations agency, to create agreements between foreign airlines and aviation organizations.
Some Muslim groups have raised concerns that airline security procedures encourage racial profiling. But others say that if the new system sticks to profiling people based on behavior rather than on race, it will be a step in the right direction.
“We’re glad the administration is moving in the direction of looking for actual suspicious behavior and not looking for religion or ethnicity.… It seems like they’ve reacted appropriately,” Mr. Hooper said by phone Friday.