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Body scanners to be used at Dutch airport

Category: Headlines

Published: 30th Dec 2009 16:28:33

Body scanners are to be used on all passengers flying from Amsterdam's Schiphol airport to the US, the Dutch government has announced.

Some machines will be used straight away and others within weeks, the Dutch interior minister said, four days after a man boarded a flight with explosives.

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had passed through airport security without raising concerns.

He was charged on arrival in the US with attempting to destroy a plane.

Metal detectors did not detect any explosives on him before he boarded the 25 December flight to Detroit, Dutch Interior Minister Guusje Ter Horst said.

The explosive material was apparently sewn into his underwear.

Initial investigations found he had used the explosive PETN and a syringe filled with liquid.

He suffered burns when he allegedly attempted to detonate the bomb while sitting in his seat about 20 minutes before landing.

Schiphol airport already has 15 body scanners, but privacy concerns have restricted their use.

However, Ms Ter Horst said new software would upgrade the machine to display a stylised image of a passenger's body rather than the exact contours.

The machines would detect objects concealed in pockets or under clothing, she said.

Even so, she warned there was still a chance that Mr Abdulmutallab would have been able to pass through.

"Our view now is that the use of millimetre wave scanners would certainly have helped detect that he had something on his body, but you can never give 100% guarantees," she said.

Mr Abdulmutallab passed through security checks as he had a valid Nigerian passport and a valid US visa.

His name was not on any Dutch list of terror suspects, officials said.

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BBC News, 2009. Body scanners to be used at Dutch airport [Online] (Updated 30th Dec 2009)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/7565/Body-scanners-to-be-used-at-Dutch-airport [Accessed 30th Aug 2014]

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