The Transportation Security Administration announced Thursday that, starting next week, all airline passengers must take off jackets before passing through metal detectors. Also, more travelers will be subjected to pat-down searches and checks for explosives. U.S. officials got a wake-up call last month about the need to screen passengers for explosives when two Chechen women apparently carried bombs onto two Russian planes and blew them up, reports the Associated Press.
Bags checked onto planes in the United States must pass through machines that can detect various kinds of explosives. But neither the walk-through metal detectors that passengers use on the way to gates nor the X-ray machines for carryon bags can detect plastic explosives. Rafi Ron, former head of security at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport and now a security consultant in Washington, said the steps were “something we’ve been expecting for too long, but finally it’s coming.”