All US-bound passengers to face full body search


Security chiefs last night threw a ring of steel around every airport serving America – amid growing fears of a new al-Qaeda onslaught.

And experts warn all US-bound passengers could face full body searches in a bid to thwart future bomb outrages.

Body-searches have already been introduced at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport following a plea from American officials.

Judith Sluiter, a spokeswoman for the Dutch National Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism, said: “The extra measures apply on all flights to the US for an indefinite period.”

Schiphol is one of Europe’s busiest airports with a heavy load of transit passengers from Africa and Asia to North America.

It strictly enforces EU security rules that only allow small amounts of liquid in hand-luggage if it is in a clear plastic container.

Scanners Bosses at Schiphol have spent the past year testing full-body scanners that allow security staff to see the outline of a passenger’s body beneath their clothes.

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Thai government declares state of emergency at two Bangkok airports


Apichart Weerawong / Associated Press Suvarnabhumi International Airport is the site of anti-government protests that have halted flights, stranding scores of travelers.

The action avoids broader restrictions that many Thais had feared. Protesters are demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat.

Reporting from Bangkok, Thailand — Thailand’s beleaguered Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat on Thursday declared a state of emergency around two Bangkok airports occupied by protesters but insisted he wanted a peaceful resolution to the crisis.

“I do not have any intention to hurt any members of the public,” he said in announcing the targeted restrictions on civil liberties aimed at reopening the country’s main international airport.

By declaring the state of emergency, the government can suspend civil liberties, ban public gatherings and take other measures to restore order without imposing broader restrictions that many Thais have feared.

Thousands of People’s Alliance for Democracy demonstrators on Tuesday seized the newly built Suvarnabhumi Airport, one of the busiest airports in Asia, marooning thousands of foreign travelers.

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Thailand Cancels Flights as Protesters Storm Airport

Nov. 26 (Bloomberg) — Thai authorities warned of flight chaos for thousands of passengers and damage to the tourism industry after anti-government protesters stormed the main terminal at Bangkok’s international airport, closing it down.

Four people were injured by a grenade this morning at the airport, TPBS television station reported. Parnthep Pongpourpan, a spokesman for the protesters, said the injuries weren’t serious and the People’s Alliance for Democracy group will wait for the return of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, whose resignation they are demanding.

The demonstrators, who want Somchai to take responsibility for deadly clashes with police last month, may force him to declare a state of emergency to prevent escalating violence. The prime minister, set to return today from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Peru, has rejected the resignation calls and police have avoided using force since the Oct. 7 clash in which two people died and 470 were injured.

“Tens of thousands of tourists will be stranded here as we stopped departure flights,” Porntip Hirunkate, secretary-general of the Tourism Council of Thailand, told Thai PBS television late yesterday. “This will hurt our tourism in December, which is our high season. The impact may go further to next year too.”

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Raytheon: Directed Energy Weapons Set To Go

FARNBOROUGH, Britain – Work on laser, infrared and microwave defensive systems has reached a high level of readiness, with the possibility of deployment close at hand, a Raytheon executive said at the Farnborough Airshow.

Development has advanced on products that can protect troops against mortar rounds, guard against shoulder-launched missiles fired at helicopters and airliners taking off at airports, and dissuade without killing – a non-lethal laser weapon for civil security, Michael Booen, Raytheon vice president of directed energy weapons, told journalists at the show.

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Airport Security is a joke

Tacoma runaway arrested again boarding flight



Runaway gets through airport security again

SEATTLE – A Tacoma, Wash.10-year-old who made national headlines last year by stealing a car, getting caught, then hopping a flight from Seattle to Phoenix and then San Antonio without a ticket was arrested again Tuesday after trying to hop another flight, apparently to trying again to get to Texas.

The Transportation Security Administration confirms to KING 5 News that Semaj Booker was captured at Concourse B at Sea-Tac Airport. A Southwest Airlines flight attendant called police around 6:30 a.m. to say Booker tried to follow a man onto a Sacramento, Calif.-bound flight.

“An employee reported a minor was trying to board an aircraft without a ticket,” said Sea-Tac Airport spokesman Perry Cooper, who says Booker was trying to get to Dallas.

However, the TSA says there was no breach of security. Surveillance video shows Booker passed through the central checkpoint security area without any problems, but it’s still not clear how he managed to get through without a boarding pass.

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, it became a requirement to have a ticket when passing through security.

Booker is back in his mother’s custody, but neither he nor his family would comment at their Tacoma home.

A Tacoma Police spokesperson says Booker’s mother initially reported him missing at 3 a.m. It’s not clear how he got to the airport.

Booker could face trespassing charges.

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Chertoff keen on Israeli airport security technology

Chertoff has recently cleared the way for the completion of nearly 500 miles of a planned barrier fence in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
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JERUSALEM, May 29 (Reuters) – U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Thursday he will seek to adopt novel Israeli methods, like behaviour-detection technologies, to better secure America’s airports.

“That’s a scenario where Israel has a lot of experience,” Chertoff said in an interview with Reuters. “I think that it is of interest to us to see if there is any adaptation there.”

Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport, known for its strict security measures, relies heavily on techniques that detect suspicious behaviour among travellers.

Chertoff said such methods, as well as Israeli technologies that detect explosives, are some of the things that may help protect U.S. airports and other public places against attacks.

Chertoff, at a conference in Jerusalem for public and homeland security ministers from around the world, signed an agreement with Israel to share technology and information on methods to improve homeland security.

One of the new systems presented at the conference, developed by the Israeli technology company WeCU, uses behavioural science, together with biometric sensors, to detect sinister intentions among travellers.

The U.S. homeland security chief said that not all methods developed and used in Israel, such as questioning every passenger, are practical in larger U.S. airports.

Israel’s Ben Gurion handles about 9 million travellers a year while major U.S. hubs, like Chicago O’Hare, see some 76 million passengers.

“Not every technological approach here (in Israel) is necessarily applicable, but we are always open to look for technology from whatever source,” Chertoff said.

Chertoff also said that the U.S. could not adopt border security methods used in Israel, which prevent Palestinian militants from entering its territory, for U.S. efforts to stop illegal immigrants from crossing its frontier with Mexico.

“(It’s) a vastly longer border. It’s not an area where there is much useful experience,” he said.

Chertoff has recently cleared the way for the completion of nearly 500 miles of a planned barrier fence in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

“The challenge will be to keep moving forward. We need to continue to implement the measures we have in place and continue to look for additional things to match what the enemies are doing because they are constantly retooling themselves,” he said.

Chertoff is expected to leave his post when President George W. Bush finishes his term in January 2009. (Editing by Jon Boyle)

Thu May 29, 2008 4:03pm EDT

Source: Reuters

Foreign criminals work at airports unchecked

Thousands of foreigners are being allowed to work in high security parts of Britain’s airports without passing proper criminal record checks, it was disclosed last night.

Despite warnings that terrorists would try to recruit people working “airside” in terminals – with direct access to aircraft and baggage – no attempt has been made to check whether foreign workers have committed any offences abroad.

The vetting process checks only for crimes committed in Britain. Foreign workers – arriving from inside or outside the European Union – are not checked in their country of origin.

This means that someone with a conviction for firearms or explosives offences committed abroad could, for example, take a job loading bags on to aircraft at Heathrow, Gatwick or any other airport, provided they had committed no crimes here.

The security lapse was called “absolutely astonishing” by David Davis, the shadow home secretary, who demanded “full and immediate checks”.

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Body Scanners at Airports in NYC and LA

Airports in New York and Los Angeles have become the latest equipped with body scanners that allow security screeners to peer beneath a passenger’s clothing to detect concealed weapons.

The machines, which are about the size of a revolving door, use low-energy electromagnetic waves to produce a computerized image of a traveler’s entire body.

Passengers step in and lift their arms. The scans only take a minute, and Transportation Security Administration officials say the procedure is less invasive than a physical frisk for knives, bombs or guns.

Someday, the “millimeter wave” scans might replace metal detectors, but for now they are being used selectively.

Los Angeles International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York saw their first scanners installed Thursday, each at a single checkpoint. Phoenix Sky-Harbor International Airport got one of the machines in October.

Modest travelers may have concerns about the images.

The black and white, three-dimensional scans aren’t as vivid as a photograph, but they do reveal some of the more intimate curves of the human form, maybe with as much clarity as an impressionist sculpture by Auguste Rodin.

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Homeland Ministry Plans Raytheon “Ray Guns” at Airports

The DHS, affectionately called the “Ministry” here because it resembles something out of Orwell’s famous novel, wants to fit airports with ray guns. I kid you not. “The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will consider fitting high-power microwave electropulse rayguns at US airports, in order to defend against the threat of terrorists firing portable anti-aircraft missiles at airliners,” reports Lewis Page for The Register. “American defense heavyweight Raytheon would partner with Israel’s Rafael and Kongsberg of Norway to provide the technology, according to a report in Flight International. The proposed kit is known as ‘Vigilant Eagle’, and is competing for DHS securo-dollars with defensive systems that could be fitted to the airliners themselves – for instance BAE Systems’ JetEye.”

Okay, tell me this does not sound like another “defense industry” scam, yet another scheme to make billions of dollars. Sure, there is the possibility somebody with a rocket launcher may take out an airliner. But if al-Qaeda hates our freedom, why haven’t’ they done this already? Is al-Qaeda conducting a war against the Great Satan, one with battles strung over decades? At this rate, it will take a thousand years to install the Great Caliph/Khalifah.

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U.S. increases fingerprints IDs at airports

fingerprints-wwwreuterscom.jpeg

NEW YORK (Reuters) – International visitors flying into New York now face being identified by all ten fingerprints, part of a heightened security system aimed at identifying potential terror suspects and visa fraud, officials said on Tuesday.

The upgraded system, part of the U.S. government’s Homeland Security program and its war on terror, increases the chances of catching illegal or potentially dangerous entrants into the country, officials said at a media briefing at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Tuesday.

The system expands the digital fingerprinting of international visitors to ten fingers from two.

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