Profiling, Not Pat-Downs, Key at Most World Airports

Including Israel's airport, one of the world's best at security
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2010 10:40 AM CST
Profiling, Not Pat-Downs, Key at Most World Airports
A passengers has his luggage checked by security personnel, inside the Ben Gurion air port terminal near Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

(Newser) – Ditching the TSA's new security procedures in favor of profiling seems like a controversial move—despite a new poll showing 70% support the idea—but at most world airports, that's how it's done. Airports like Israel's Ben-Gurion International, widely considered to be one of the world's most effective at security, utilize pre-flight intelligence rather than last-minute body scans and pat-downs, MSNBC reports. At Ben-Gurion, where no plane has been successfully attacked since 1972, passengers are questioned multiple times and assessed based on background, behavior, and associations.

"We don't need to spend one dollar to buy body scanners," says a former security director for the state airline. The most intrusive machine most passengers will walk through is a metal detector. Many other European and Asian airports also pre-screen passengers and then use standard X-ray machines and metal detectors. Full-body scanners are not widely used because, as the European Parliament's Transport Committee noted in a statement, "scanning alone cannot stop terrorism." Click here for the latest on the TSA uproar.
(Read more airport scanners stories.)

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