12/30/09

Airport Security Cos Rise Again As Dutch To Use Body Scanners - WSJ.com

Friday there was an attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. A Nigerian man on the flight tried to blow up the plane an hour before landing , but he was foiled by other passengers.

Countering the Threat of Improvised Explosive Devices: Basic Research Opportunities, Abbreviated VersionAttacks in London, Madrid, Bali, Oklahoma City and other places indicate that improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are among the weapons of choice of terrorists throughout the world. Scientists and engineers have developed various technologies that have been used to counter individual IED attacks, but events in Iraq and elsewhere indicate that the effectiveness of IEDs as weapons of asymmetric warfare remains.  

The components of the man's device made it past airport security metal detectors, spurring speculation that companies that make devices that can see through clothes and hidden items could experience an increase in orders.
In the latest development, all passengers boarding flights to the U.S. from Amsterdam will be screened using full-body scanners within three weeks, the Dutch government said Wednesday. The government said 15 of the scanners will be installed to help detect explosives that can't be found by metal detectors.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, where the alleged bomber boarded, has 17 whole-body scanners produced by L-3 Communications Corp. (LLL). The machines have been used only on a voluntary, pilot basis because the European Union hasn't established rules for their use that would address privacy concerns.
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