Airport security tightens across Europe after Nigerian terrorist attempt
Airline passengers across Europe faced body searches and new limits on hand luggage. Authorities say that Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab of Nigeria flew from Lagos to Amsterdam before boarding Northwest Airlines Flight 253 for Detroit.
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The general alert level at Schipol was not immediately raised after the incident, and security procedures for other flights remained unchanged, Sluiter said.Skip to next paragraph
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Schiphol, one of Europe's busiest airports with a heavy load of transit passengers from Africa and Asia to North America, strictly enforces European security regulations including only allowing small amounts of liquid in hand luggage that must be placed inside clear plastic bags.
The airport has been testing full body scanners for about a year that allow security staff to see the outline of a passenger's beneath their clothes, and intend to roll out a more complete program next year, said airport spokeswoman Mirjam Snoerwang.
Mutallab's leg was badly burned after his abortive attempt to cripple the plane, an indication that he had strapped the incendiary device onto his leg. It was unclear, however, when he attached the device or whether the body scanner would have caught it.
Passengers in Brussels, where the EU is based, were advised to reach the airport three hours before departure to allow time for a second security check at the boarding gate.
A spokeswoman for Germany's interior ministry said that stepped up security at airports was being considered, but noted the nation already has measures considered among the strictest in the world.
"We still assume a high threat for Germany, but we see no need to change our current security measures at this time," an interior ministry spokeswoman, who did not give her name in line with government policy, told DAPD news agency on Saturday.
Aviation officials throughout the Mideast reported no new restrictions directly connected to the Detroit incident, but said that security was already very high throughout the region.
India, also a target of terrorism in the past, said it was maintaining its normal security measures. "We are in any case alert. I'm not aware of any new steps taken today," said Onkar Kedij, spokesman for India's Home Ministry.