Hugh Pickens writes: "The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration is abandoning its policy of using nationality alone to determine which US-bound international air travelers should be subject to additional screening and will instead select passengers based on possible matches to intelligence information, including physical descriptions or a particular travel pattern. Under the new system, screeners will stop passengers for additional security if they match certain pieces of known intelligence. The system will be "much more intel-based," a senior administration official says, as opposed to blunt force. "It's much more tailored to what the intelligence is telling us, what the threat is telling us, as opposed to stopping all individuals of a particular nationality or all individuals using a particular passport." For example if US intelligence authorities learned about a terrorism suspect from Asia who had recently traveled to the Middle East, and they knew the suspect's approximate age but not name or passport number, those fragments would be entered into a database, shared with commercial airline screeners abroad, and screeners would be instructed to look for people with those traits and to pull them aside for extra searches. Administration officials have said that, in hindsight, the central failure in the attempted bombing of an Amsterdam-to-Detroit flight on Christmas Day, involved inadequate sharing of information. It is not clear whether the new screening measures would have been sufficient to block him."
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