TSA Tightening Security Amid Potential Terror Attacks Involving Electronics
BALTIMORE (WZ)-- Under growing fear of potential terrorist attacks on board flights the TSA is tightening up security even more.
Additional screening for what you bring on board is now happening at several airports across the country.
Nothing is changing to what you can or can't put into your carry-on luggage but what you may start seeing is a closer look at what's inside; specifically your electronics.
All of it is meant to help stay ahead of evolving threats, under growing fear that terrorists could be perfecting bombs that could get past airport scanners.
Recently a new ban has gone into effect banning laptops, tablets and other large electronics from carry-on luggage on flights to the U.S. and U.K. from airports in numerous different cities in the Middle East and North Africa.
"The bottom line is keeping terrorist with explosives off planes," says former TSA administrator John Pistole.
The TSA is currently conducting what they call "adjusted screening" at several large airports, asking travelers to place items like food, papers, and electronics larger than a cell phone in separate bins for screening.
The idea is to give "screeners" a clearer image of the items that can be often challenging to see when stacked on top on one another and in overstuffed luggage.
Some critics say the move doesn't go far enough and what's needed is more police.
"To truly have something to deter, you're still gonna have to have armed police officers to do that," says airport security expert Marshall McClain.
Concerns of provoking longer lines is also an issue.
Some travelers say they are definitely guilty of overdoing it when it comes to carry-on luggage but say they support the idea of adjusting screening if it means safety.
"I don't have a problem with it as long as we don't miss a flight," Jaye Lindo says.
"If that eliminates any potential threats, I'm on board for it," one woman says.
Others fear longer lines could pose a terror threat in the future.
"Once you're packing crowds of people together you're creating another target," says aviation expert Jeff Price.
Maryland Senator Ben Cardin believes the focus should be on getting ahead of the threat long before it becomes an issue.
"I think we have to work with the risk factors and try and find different technologies that can eliminate that risk factor so we don't have to go through this inconvenience," Cardin says.
TSA officials say the hope is that extra time added by additional screening would be offset by the time it would take you to have you take your stuff anyway if asked to.
It appears members of the TSA pre-check program won't be affected by the extra screening.
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