Air travellers to US face possibility of virtual strip search

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Washington, Dec. 31 (ANI): American officials have warned air travellers entering the US that they could be forced to undergo "virtual strip searches" in the wake of an attempted move by a Nigerian to bomb a Northwest Airliner.

Walk-through imaging machines that let security officials see through a passenger's clothes could become widespread across the country after the "crotch bomber's" failed attempted to blow up a passenger plane as it prepared to land, reports the Courier Mail.

Six millimetre wave technology machines are already being used for primary screenings at airports in cities including Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco.

Another 13 airports across the country use the machines to screen passengers who have already set off a metal detector.

Passengers can opt for a pat-down search instead.

A security administration official said the Transport Security Administration has ordered another 150 machines at a cost of 170,000 dollars each.

They are slated for deployment by 2014.

In Australia, body-scan technology has been on trial at Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide airports but no decision has been made on whether it will be adopted.

The Politico website yesterday reported Obama Administration officials would consider speeding up the rollout of the machines as part of the review. (ANI)

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