New airport rules target passengers via Nigeria and 13 other countries

The Feds issued the toughest airport security rules ever for U.S.-bound passengers Sunday, ordering patdowns, body scans and other new screenings for most fliers.

The TSA directive targets people flying from or through 10 countries of interest -- Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen -- and four countries that the State Department says sponsor terrorism -- Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria.

The new directive will be in place indefinitely and replaces the order the TSA imposed after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab of Nigeria was accused of trying to blow up a plane landing in Detroit on Dec. 25.

Every passenger holding a passport from these countries, or flying through these countries en route to the United States, will undergo enhanced scrutiny, the official said.
The "majority" of all other passengers, including U.S. citizens, will also be subjected to the stricter security, the official said. These passengers will be selected at random.

The enhanced screening measures will include some combination of a full-body patdown, a full-body scan, a thorough hand inspection of all carry-on luggage and the use of explosives-detection technology, such as swabbing a passenger's hands, clothing and luggage.

"The bottom line is they are going to do enhanced screening measures, which would either be a full-body patdown, or if they have the [full-body scan], they can use that instead," the official said.
The official declined to say whether the full-body patdowns will include passengers' private areas in an attempt to detect explosives hidden in underwear, as was the case with the botched Christmas Day attack.
The TSA has the authority to mandate security screening levels for air carriers that are flying into U.S. air space. Security officials at airports around the globe will be responsible for carrying out the U.S. government's new security directive.

A White House spokesman said it approved the new rules.

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