U.S. looks to secure public areas in airports

The Calgary Herald|Reuters

U.S. authorities are considering ways to tighten security in public areas at airports after a deadly attack in Moscow last month, John Pistole, the head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, said.

A suicide bomber last month killed 36 people and injured over 100 after detonating a device in the international arrivals hall of Moscow’s Domodedovo airport, sending officials scrambling to address the security gap. Pistole told U.S. lawmakers he had submitted ideas to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on how to improve security in locations passengers go through before being screened for flights, a job usually handled by local police.

The ideas included checkpoints before vehicles are allowed to pull up to the airport terminals, small security teams patrolling the grounds and using officers who are trained to detect unusual behaviour, he told a House of Representatives’ subcommittee on transportation security.

U.S. authorities have ramped up security for air travelers, luggage and cargo in the wake of several attempts by al-Qaeda to attack the U.S., adding full-body scanners and requiring more screening for cargo.

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