New TSA Screening Rules For Certain Countries

Politico reports the TSA announced new security rules for passengers coming to the U.S., and heightened security for those coming from or through certain countries.

All travelers flying into the U.S. from foreign countries will receive tightened random screening, and 100 percent of passengers from 14 terrorism-prone countries will be patted down and have their carry-ons searched, the Obama administration was notifying airlines on Sunday.

The TSA announcement is here.

SA is mandating that every individual flying into the U.S. from anywhere in the world traveling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening. The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on U.S. bound international flights."


More from Politico:

All passengers from countries on the State Department’s “State Sponsors of Terrorism” list – plus all passengers from other "countries of interest" such as Nigeria, Pakistan and Yemen — will receive “full body pat-down and physical inspection of property,” the official said.

The countries on the State Department list are Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria. Other countries covered by the TSA directive include Afghanistan, Libya and Somalia. A complete list was not released.

The extra screening for passengers from all countries may include "explosive detection technology or advanced imaging technology where it’s available,” the official said.

I bet the companies with contracts (list here)to sell screening equipment to the TSA are happy since they are bound to get more orders.

Update: As to why these heightened rules are a feel-good measure for Obama that will serve us poorly in the long run, check out Gregg at The Majlis.

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    Per Weekend Edition on NPR (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by oculus on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 07:42:21 PM EST
    today, the Somalian immigrants relocated to Minnesota who were recently arrested are not the only Somalian immigrants in the U.S. under suspeician.  Some are in San Diego and Cleveland.  Indictments may follow.  

    Just go ahead and puffer and body scan everyone, including me.  

    Cuba? Syria? (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 05:47:56 PM EST
    I really hope the TSA is smarter than this. To be frank, if they want to target their resources effectively, they will have to use racial and religious profiling. One could imagine a regime of strip-searching every non-white european resident flying into the US. But they likely won't, and they probably shouldn't. It is no good to betray our values just for some minimally effective security.

    Racial and religious profiling (none / 0) (#2)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 06:03:01 PM EST
    How is racial and religious profiling going to prevent people like John Walker Lindh (American Taliban) and Richard Reid (Shoebomber) from getting through? Some white, Australian Al Qaida/Taliban operative was also in the news a few years ago.
    It is no good to betray our values.

    I disagree (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by rise hillary rise on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 06:15:26 PM EST
    it IS possible-and necessary to use certain demographic data and characteristics to rank individuals who deserve a higher level of scrutiny.

    It's absurd for the TSA to waste resources patting down grannies and wanding toddlers to create the appearance that everyone gets the same scrutiny.

    in addition, the original 9/11 commission recommendations ought to be implemented-like profiling individuals who pay in cash, have one way tickets and no luggage, etc.

    I'm female, 50 and fly over 50K a year. I know half the screeners at my home airport by name. I do not think it's a breach of our "values" to target screening where it is most likely to bear fruit.


    The problem is that Americans (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 06:55:56 PM EST
    want life in the air to be a police state.

    Of course Al Queda (none / 0) (#6)
    by samtaylor2 on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 07:42:42 PM EST
    Would never put an explosive in a baby's diaper.

    What's going to happen is this: (none / 0) (#7)
    by MsExPat on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:41:51 PM EST
    People from all these places will simply stop traveling to the U.S. Top Pakistani students will study abroad at universities in Australia or Europe instead of at MIT or Princeton. Syrian families will vacation in London instead of going to California or New York. Saudis will go to Bangkok for their heart operations instead of to Houston. This has already started happening since 9/11.

    And we'll end up losing the good will of the middle classes, entrepreneurs, and professional classes of all these countries. It may seem unimportant or too subtle, but I believe that the United States standing in the world benefits immeasurably from each and every foreigner who has a direct experience of our country, whether through travel, medical treatment, or study.

    You're suggesting that.. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Raskolnikov on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 03:48:57 AM EST
    ...pat downs and carry-on searches are going to deter people from travelling to America?  I don't think that the choice to travel/study here is so arbitrary that slightly increased security precautions is going to affect air travel that significantly.  

    You're completely wrong about this (none / 0) (#22)
    by MsExPat on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 10:16:50 PM EST
    In the last decade since the first security measures were instituted after 9/11, the number of foreign students coming to the US has dropped significantly.

    Tighter security has discouraged foreigners from even applying for visas.

    I live abroad and have heard countless horror stories from foreign businesspeople who've been detained and harassed by TSA and immigration.

    My feeling is that these security measures are political band aids. If we make everyone take his shoes off, we feel safer, but it's just an illusion. And in the long run, the lost good feeling, student exchange, travel and international trade alienates potential friends and allies.


    i can eliminate all objections: (none / 0) (#10)
    by cpinva on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 10:07:22 PM EST
    everyone on a US bound flight flies naked.

    no muss, no fuss, no bother.

    Two words: cavity search (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 01:38:07 AM EST
    I keep hearing... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 09:27:15 AM EST
    its the passenger we should be concerned with, not what they are carrying on their person or in their luggage.  I disagree...we should focus our efforts on one thing...explosives.  No explosives, no explosions, no crashes.  That and impenetrable cockpit doors is all we need, and we can let anybody on the damn plane...and respect the assumption of innocence and human rights.

    Ahem (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 09:29:51 AM EST
    The 9/11 hijackers had no explosives on them.

    Impenetrable cockpit doors... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 10:11:38 AM EST
    prevents another 9/11.

    Those don't do much (none / 0) (#20)
    by jbindc on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 10:58:10 AM EST
    For the passengers and flight crew if the terrorists have box cutters.

    Keeps the plane in the air... (none / 0) (#21)
    by kdog on Mon Jan 04, 2010 at 11:29:28 AM EST
    I think the passengers and crew can handle it if they are slipped past security again...got no problem with metal detectors and bomb screening though...just ain't down with the "harass all the brownskins" profiling.