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To the list of instructions you hear at airport checkpoints, add this: "Put your palms forward, please."
The Transportation Security Administration soon will begin randomly swabbing passengers' hands at checkpoints and airport gates to test them for traces of explosives. Previously, screeners swabbed some carry-on luggage and other objects as they searched for the needle in the security haystack -- components of terrorist bombs in an endless stream of luggage. But after the Christmas Day attempted bombing of Northwest Flight 253 over Detroit, Michigan, the TSA began a program of swabbing passengers' hands, which could be contaminated by explosive materials, experts say.
The TSA will greatly expand the swabbing in the coming weeks, the agency said.
Under the new protocols, tests will be conducted at various locations -- including in checkpoint lines, during the screening process and at gates. Newer, more portable machines make it easier to conduct tests away from fixed locations such as the checkpoint.
The TSA has more than 7,000 explosive trace detection (ETD) machines and has purchased 400 additional units with $16 million in federal stimulus money. The president's fiscal 2011 budget calls for $60 million to purchase approximately 800 portable ETD machines.
Napolitano said the tests will not significantly increase wait times at airport checkpoints.
Originally posted by navilstruth
just a crazy idea but do you think DNA homing weapons could ever be developed? If so do you think that they're reason for swabbing...i mean come on why would they need to do that its not like we are gonna try to steal something at an airport or leave our DNA anywhere....i don't know just a thought.....
Originally posted by Wondering302
I'm just glad that I don't have to fly anymore. It's one of the benefits of not having a lot of money. Can't travel if you can't afford to go anywhere!