Change made to airport screenings for young kids - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Change made to airport screenings for young kids

By EILEEN SULLIVAN, Associated Press

WASHINGTON – The government has made a change in its policy for patting down young children at airport checkpoints, and more are promised.

Airport security workers will now be told to make repeated attempts to screen young children without resorting to invasive pat-downs, the head of the Transportation Security Administration said Wednesday. The agency is working to put that change in place around the country, and it should reduce, but not eliminate, pat-downs for children, an agency spokesman said.

There was public outrage in April over a video of a 6-year-old girl getting a pat-down in the New Orleans airport. She was patted down, John Pistole said, because she moved during the electronic screening, causing a blurry image.

That kind of pat-down was put in place partly because of the Nigerian man who got past airport security, boarded a plane with explosives hidden in his underpants and tried to use the bomb to bring down the airliner over Detroit on Christmas 2009.

But this screening has been criticized as being too intrusive and an unnecessary measure for children and older people who seem to pose no terror threat.

Last month, a picture of a baby being patted down at Kansas City International Airport gained worldwide attention as well. The baby's stroller set off an alert of possible traces of explosives, so the screeners were justified in taking a closer look at the boy cradled in his mother's arms, the agency said.

Pistole, testifying at a hearing on transportation security by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said his agency has been working on other policy changes for screening children, and an announcement will come soon.

Terrorists in other countries have used children as young as 10 years old as suicide bombers, Pistole said, although that hasn't happened in the U.S. "We need to use common sense," he told lawmakers.

Some of the first information gleaned from Osama bin Laden's compound after he was killed by U.S. forces in May indicated that al-Qaida considered attacking U.S. trains on the upcoming anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Counterterrorism officials have said they believe the planning never got beyond the initial phase and have no recent intelligence pointing to an active plot for such an attack.

But the evidence from bin Laden's compound shows what U.S. officials have been saying for years: Terrorists remain interested in attacking transportation nodes, such as airplanes and trains.

___

Online:

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee: http://tinyurl.com/3tvxztj

TSA: http://www.tsa.gov

  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • 24 hour silent guard honors fallen heroes

    24 hour silent guard honors fallen heroes

    Sunday, May 28 2017 10:44 PM EDT2017-05-29 02:44:41 GMT
    Source: KFDASource: KFDA

    The Amarillo Civil Air Patrol Tiger Shark Squadron is setting a 24 hour silent guard in observance of Memorial Day.

    The Amarillo Civil Air Patrol Tiger Shark Squadron is setting a 24 hour silent guard in observance of Memorial Day.

  • Local business hopes to help area firefighters

    Local business hopes to help area firefighters

    Sunday, May 28 2017 10:37 PM EDT2017-05-29 02:37:10 GMT
    Source: KFDASource: KFDA

    J.R.'s Pool Palace is has partnered up with the Sons of Liberty to host a benefit for Texas Panhandle Volunteer Fire Department.

    J.R.'s Pool Palace is has partnered up with the Sons of Liberty to host a benefit for Texas Panhandle Volunteer Fire Department.

  • Portion of US 87 in Canyon to close

    Portion of US 87 in Canyon to close

    Sunday, May 28 2017 10:07 PM EDT2017-05-29 02:07:08 GMT
    Texas Department of TransportationTexas Department of Transportation

    On Memorial Day, TxDOT and BNSF will close a portion of US 87 into and out of Canyon for bridge construction and track work. 

    On Memorial Day, TxDOT and BNSF will close a portion of US 87 into and out of Canyon for bridge construction and track work. 

Powered by Frankly