All Flyers From 14 Nations to Be Patted Down
Tough new air security crackdown begins today
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2010 1:33 AM CST
Updated Jan 4, 2010 7:47 AM CST
Jordanian Muslim pilgrims in the airport in Medina, Saudi Arabia. US-bound travelers from Saudi Arabia and 13 other countries will be subject to enhanced screening beginning today.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – In the toughest new airline security rules in history, all US-bound passengers from 14 nations considered state sponsors of terrorism or "countries of interest" will be patted down, and their carry-on baggage will be searched. The new rules will apply beginning today to travelers from Afghanistan, Algeria, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, MSNBC reports.

Inbound travelers from all other countries chosen at random will also be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. The State Department and Homeland Security worked together to assemble the list of targeted countries. "The new directive includes long-term, sustainable security measures developed in consultation with law enforcement officials and our domestic and international partners," said a statement from the Transportation Security Administration.