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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 2, 2010

ACCURACY OF AIRPORT SCANNERS QUESTIONED

Independent, UK - The explosive device smuggled in the clothing of the Detroit bomb suspect would not have been detected by body-scanners set to be introduced in British airports, an expert on the technology warned.

...The Independent has also heard authoritative claims that officials at the Department for Transport and the Home Office have already tested the scanners and were not persuaded that they would work comprehensively against terrorist threats to aviation.

The claims triggered concern that the Prime Minister is over-playing the benefits of such scanners to give the impression he is taking tough action on terrorism.

And experts in the US said airport "pat-downs" - a method used in hundreds of airports worldwide - were ineffective and would not have stopped the suspect boarding the plane.

...Ben Wallace, Conservative MP, who was formerly involved in a project by a leading British defence research firm to develop the scanners for airport use, said trials had shown that such low-density materials went undetected.

Tests by scientists in the team at Qinetiq, which Mr Wallace advised before he became an MP in 2005, showed the millimeter-wave scanners picked up shrapnel and heavy wax and metal, but plastic, chemicals and liquids were missed.

If a material is low density, such as powder, liquid or thin plastic - as well as the passenger's clothing - the millimetre waves pass through and the object is not shown on screen. High- density material such as metal knives, guns and dense plastic such as C4 explosive reflect the millimetre waves and leave an image of the object.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous wii Sensorleiste said...

The three models of scanner currently in use—from L-3, Rapiscan, andAS&E—all require the passenger to stand still for 20 to 30 seconds, which means throughput will be slower than with metal detectors.

January 7, 2010 1:50 AM  

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