Full Body Scanners
December 30, 2009 by USA Post
Full Body Scanners:The major international airport of the Netherlands will begin using full-body scanners on passengers flying to the United States to prevent a recurrence of the security breach that allowed a would-be bomber to smuggle explosives onto a flight to Detroit from Amsterdam on Christmas Day, the Dutch authorities said Wednesday.
The new measures were announced as the Dutch interior minister discussed the government’s early investigation into the thwarted bombing.
At a news conference at The Hague in the Netherlands the interior minister, Guusje Ter Horst, characterized preparations for the attack as professional but its execution as amateurish, according to The Associated Press.
“It is not exaggerating to say the world has escaped a disaster,” Ms. Ter Horst said. Dutch officials said the accused bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian, had raised no red flags as he arrived in Amsterdam from Nigeria and transferred to his Detroit-bound flight at Schiphol Airport. He arrived at 5:37 a.m. on Dec. 25, passed through security screening at a metal detector without setting off any alarms and departed for the United States at 8:55 a.m.
He had a visa to enter the United States, and he presented a valid Nigerian passport as he boarded Northwest Airlines Flight 253. The Interior Ministry’s report said Mr. Abdulmutallab was traveling on a round-trip ticket purchased in Ghana.
Ms. Ter Horst said the explosives used in the attack appeared to be professionally made, and that it appeared they had been given to Mr. Adbulmutallab.
In a letter to the Dutch Parliament posted on the countert*rror*sm office’s Web site, Ms. Ter Horst said the attack demonstrated “a fairly professional approach, comparable to earlier attempted attacks against civil aviation,” referring to the thwarted 2001 attack by the “shoe bomber,” Richard Reid.
Although Dutch officials said they would deploy the scanners “immediately,” a spokesman for the country’s countert*rror*sm office said only 7 of the airport’s 15 full-body scanners were currently ready for use. The rest would be deployed within three weeks after receiving software upgrades.
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