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Europe

Amsterdam to begin full-body scans for US-bound passengers

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-31

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport will begin using full-body scanners within three weeks on people travelling to the United States, Dutch Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst (pictured) said on Wednesday.

REUTERS - Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport will begin using full-body scanners within three weeks to scan people travelling to the United States after consultations with U.S. authorities, the Dutch interior minister said on Wednesday.

The minister said ordinary procedures were followed properly in the Christmas Day handling of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.

"We will make these machines, about 15 in total, available for flights to the United States within three weeks time," Guusje ter Horst told a news conference in The Hague.

Ter Horst said normal metal detectors could not detect explosives, and the use of the full-body scanners would have helped prevent Abdulmuttalab from taking explosives onto the aircraft.

She also warned there was no 100 percent guarantee that the new detectors would have enabled airport security to catch him.

Full-body scanners, unlike the standard archway metal detectors currently used in airports around the world, use radio waves to generate a picture of the body that can see anomalies through clothing.

The investigation is continuing into whether Abdulmutallab had help in Amsterdam, the interior ministry said in a report on the investigation it released on Wednesday.

It found no evidence he had been to Amsterdam before the flight to Detroit, as some had speculated.

Date created : 2009-12-30

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