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article imageTSA to start swabbing passengers' hands

By Michael Bearak     Feb 17, 2010 in Politics
TSA has announced that they are planning to swab the hands airline passengers' in order to search for explosives in light of the December attempted attack.
The Transportation Security Administration announced that they will soon begin swabbing the hands of passengers as they go through security in order detect for bomb making materials.
TSA has more than 7,000 explosive trace detection (ETD) machines and was able to purchase 400 more with $16 million in federal stimulus money. Furthermore President Obama's 2011 fiscal budget has designated $60 million for the purchase of 800 handheld ETD machines.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN, "The point is to make sure that the air environment is a safe environment."
Napolitano pointed out that pointed out that al Qaeda along with other terrorist groups think that aviation is the way to hurt the United States. Napolitano continued, "One way we keep it safe is by new technology [and] random use of different types of technology."
Napolitano also pointed out that the new tests should not increase people's time going through security. There have been concerns about the types of tests used as security checkpoints, still the American Civil Liberties Union has been very supportive of this new technique.
Jay Stanley of the ACLU was quoted as saying they, "supported explosive detection as a good form of security that doesn't really invade privacy."
The one concern of the ACLU is that they do not want to see TSA discriminate amongst travelers. Stanley said that the ACLU would have issues if there were a disproportionate number of Muslims or Arabs or people of a specific hair color.
More about Tsa, Swabbing passengers hands, Transportation Security Administration, Airports, Terrorists
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