CAIR seen nodding in approval.
(Reuters) – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano played down on Tuesday prospects of adopting Israeli-style aviation security in response to protests at intrusive patdowns and screenings at American airports.
Visiting Israel to assess its streamlined and sometimes controversial system, Napolitano defended her administration’s measures as appropriate to the scale and legal requirements of U.S. air travel, and said they were gaining public support.
“I don’t see any changes in the immediate future,” she told Reuters. “We are always refining our procedure, but the point is that we have fewer than one percent of the traveling public opt out of the system, and so part of what is going on is people adjusting to the changes in airport security.”
Following attempted al Qaeda attacks, including by a passenger accused of trying to blow up a bomb hidden in his clothes aboard a flight to Detroit in 2009, U.S. authorities have deployed hundreds of full-body scanners and introduced more intensive frisking. Delays and privacy complaints have surged.
Speaking between a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a tour of Ben-Gurion Airport, Napolitano said “a quarter to a third” of her visit was focusing on aviation, and the rest on other security concerns.