Federal officials insist that screeners at Kansas City International Airport were just doing their jobs when they frisked a baby, an incident that gained worldwide attention after a minister posted a cellphone picture of the pat-down on Twitter, the Associated Press reports. The baby’s stroller set off an alert of possible traces of explosives Saturday, so the screeners were justified in taking a closer look at the boy cradled in his mother’s arms, said Nick Kimball of the Transportation Security Administration.
The Rev. Jacob Jester, an evangelist who snapped the photo Saturday after he cleared security himself, said it didn’t sit right with him to see the baby being patted down. He said he thought the boy was about 8 months old. He posted the photo on the social-networking site Twitter, commenting that the search was “extreme.” His wife and another minister also posted it, and soon it was a cyberspace hit, with more than 300,000 viewers. It made it onto such sites as the Drudge Report and London Daily Mail, sparking complaints that TSA had crossed the line.