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(2010-01-05 10:47:32)



U.S. Intensifies Screening for Travelers From 14 Nations



WASHINGTON — Citizens of 14 nations, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, who are flying to the United States will be subjected indefinitely to the intense screening at airports worldwide that was imposed after the Christmas Day bombing plot, Obama administration officials announced Sunday.



But American citizens, and most others who are not flying through those 14 nations on their way to the United States, will no longer automatically face the full range of intensified security that was imposed after the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight, officials said.




The change represents an easing of the immediate response to the attempted bombing of a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit that had been in place the past week. But the restrictions remain tougher than the rules that were in effect before the Dec. 25 incident. And the action on Sunday further establishes a global security system that treats people differently based on what country they are from, evoking protests from civil rights groups.




Citizens of Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, countries that are considered “state sponsors of terrorism,” as well as those of “countries of interest” — including Afghanistan, Algeria, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen — will face the special scrutiny, officials said.




Passengers holding passports from those nations, or taking flights that originated or passed through any of them, will be required to undergo full-body pat downs and will face extra scrutiny of their carry-on bags before they can board planes to the United States.

In some countries that have more advanced screening equipment, travelers will also be required to pass through so-called whole-body scanners that can look beneath clothing for hidden explosives or weapons, or may be checked with a device that can find tiny traces of explosives.




On Sunday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain announced that whole-body scanners would be introduced in that country’s airports. Officials in Amsterdam announced last week that they would begin using the scanners on passengers bound for the United States.




Many, though not all, other passengers coming to the United States will face similar measures, but that screening will be done randomly or if there is some reason to believe that a particular passenger might present a threat, officials said.



The changes should speed up boarding of international flights bound for the United States while still increasing security beyond the standard X-rays of carry-on bags and metal-detector checks of all passengers.




The changes will mean that any citizen of Pakistan or Saudi Arabia will for the first time be patted down automatically before boarding any flight to the United States. Even if that person has lived in a country like Britain for decades, he now will be subject to these extra security checks.




Nawar Shora, the legal director at the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, says the rule wrongly implies that all citizens of certain nations are suspect.


    Nawar Shora,美国-阿拉伯反歧视委员会法律顾问,他表示这一错误的规定等于暗指所有上述14国的公民都是恐怖嫌疑分子。


“I understand there needs to be additional security in light of what was attempted on Christmas Day,” Mr. Shora said, adding that he intended to file a formal protest on Monday. “But this is extreme and very dangerous. All of a sudden people are labeled as being related to terrorism just because of the nation they are from.”




In the United States, an order for a “second screening” has already been in effect for a dozen countries.




But the requirement often does not have much of an impact because most passengers traveling domestically in the United States use driver’s licenses — not passports — when passing through checkpoints, so officials do not know their nationality and there is less of a chance that they would receive extra attention.




The addition of Nigeria, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to the “country of interest” list marks the first time that citizens of those countries will be subject to automatic additional screening for flights to the United States.




Charles Oy, 28, of Chicago is an American who was born in Nigeria. He said that he detected heightened security over the weekend — not in Nigeria but upon his arrival Sunday at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. He was one of a few passengers taken aside for individual interviews, and his bags and passport were examined.


    Charles Oy,28岁,是出生的尼日利亚,目前在芝加哥的美国人。他表示他感觉到整个周末安保措施加强了,(不是在尼日利亚,而是他周日到达芝加哥奥黑尔国际机场后)。他在一小拨预留下来的乘客中接受单独采访,他的行李和护照都被检查了。


The suspect arrested in the Northwest Airlines episode, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, was Nigerian, but Mr. Oy said that the added scrutiny did not leave him discouraged. “I feel it is very isolated, and is something not characteristic of Nigeria,” he said. “I had no particular feelings of unpleasantness. I understand it is part of the world we live in. I factor all that into my traveling. If it happens, I roll with it.”


    在西北航线上被逮捕的23岁嫌疑人Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab是尼日利亚人,但是Oy先生表示增加的安检并没有让他很烦心。“我觉得这是非常个别的情况,并不代表尼日利亚的整体”。他说道。“我没有特别不愉快的感觉。我明白这是我们生活的世界的一部分,我把这作为我旅程的一部分,如果已经这样的,不如顺其自然。”


A homeland security official said that the Obama administration did not consider this move a step in the direction of racial profiling, which the Transportation Security Administration has said it has long tried to avoid.




“Out of abundance of caution and based on the latest intelligence in this evolving threat environment, additional screening measures are necessary to keep transportation safe,” the official said, asking that she not be identified by name as she was not authorized to address the question on the record.




Domestically, passengers traveling in the United States may notice more canine bomb-detection teams or face occasional extra checks of carry-on bags. Additional behavioral detection officials are also in airports to observe passengers for any signs that might offer a hint of a plot. But there have been no comprehensive changes in screening at domestic airports.




David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, the airlines’ trade organization, said the group had been “closely coordinating” the enhanced security measures with customers’ convenience in mind. “I believe we accomplished that,” he said Sunday.


    商用航空业组织-航空运输协会的发言人David Castelveter表示在消费者的便利和安保措施的提高之间是“紧密相连”的。“我相信我们实现了这一点”。他在周日表示。


Meanwhile, flights out of one terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport were temporarily halted Sunday evening as officials investigated a possible security breach.



After a man was seen walking the wrong way down the exit lane between the secured, or “sterile,” area and the public area around 5:20 p.m., the Transportation Security Administration stopped screening. More than two hours later, the T.S.A. ordered all passengers on the sterile side to move back to the public side for rescreening.




The concourse was reopened shortly before midnight. The man who was being sought was not found, the authorities said.




While it was unclear who first alerted the authorities to the potential breach, the person was not an employee of the T.S.A., an official of the agency said.




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