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Profiling, Not Pat-Downs, Key at Most World Airports

Including Israel's airport, one of the world's best at security
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2010 10:40 AM CST
Profiling, Not Pat-Downs, Key at Most World Airports
A passengers has his luggage checked by security personnel, inside the Ben Gurion air port terminal near Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

(Newser) – Ditching the TSA's new security procedures in favor of profiling seems like a controversial move—despite a new poll showing 70% support the idea—but at most world airports, that's how it's done. Airports like Israel's Ben-Gurion International, widely considered to be one of the world's most effective at security, utilize pre-flight intelligence rather than last-minute body scans and pat-downs, MSNBC reports. At Ben-Gurion, where no plane has been successfully attacked since 1972, passengers are questioned multiple times and assessed based on background, behavior, and associations.

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"We don't need to spend one dollar to buy body scanners," says a former security director for the state airline. The most intrusive machine most passengers will walk through is a metal detector. Many other European and Asian airports also pre-screen passengers and then use standard X-ray machines and metal detectors. Full-body scanners are not widely used because, as the European Parliament's Transport Committee noted in a statement, "scanning alone cannot stop terrorism." Click here for the latest on the TSA uproar.
(Read more airport scanners stories.)

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