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Screeners Will Roam Airports, Test Random Fliers

Portable detectors will take swabs from hands, luggage
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2010 4:58 PM CST
Screeners Will Roam Airports, Test Random Fliers
In this Jan. 4 file photo, TSA officer Robert Howard signals an airline passenger forward at a security check-point at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, in SeaTac, Wash.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, file)

TSA screeners will take a more proactive approach to finding explosives in airports under a new security program. Screeners will walk around airport gates and security lines with portable explosives detectors, taking swabs from random passengers' hands and luggage. The security agency first ran a test of the program after the attempted bombing on Christmas Day and plans to make it nationwide in a few weeks.

"Had (Farouk) Abdulmutallab been subjected to a chemical inspection, there's a high probability it would have picked up the explosives," a RAND Corp. security analyst tells USA Today, explaining the reasoning behind the program. It will "create increasing uncertainty for the adversaries, which is always positive." (More TSA stories.)

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