Passengers entering the US will now be screened based on whether they fit intelligence profiles of potential terrorists, not solely on nationality, the Obama administration is announcing today. Under the new plan, passengers will be subject to special screening if they share characteristics that match the latest intelligence information about potential attackers, such as physical description or itinerary. The Department of Homeland Security will forward such information to airlines and foreign governments, who will then use it to guide screenings.
Passengers will still also be matched against terror "no-fly" watch lists, as they are now, but not every passenger from several nations with links to terrorism will face special screening. The new "intel-based" approach is expected to drastically cut the number of people screened but be more effective because it's custom designed to single out those who may pose a threat. "We believe it is a much more effective system" that is "tailored to optimize our ability to interdict would-be terrorists," an official tells the Los Angeles Times. The rules will take effect within the month, notes the Washington Post.
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