Wednesday, May 11, 2011
May 11, 2011 12:51PM
AN eight-month old boy has been subjected to a body pat-down while going through an airport security screening.
The incident has caused outrage in the US after fellow passenger Jacob Jester posted a photograph of the search at Kansas City International Airport on Twitter.
Mr Jester’s photograph - captured on his phone - shows the mother holding the child as two smiling Transportation Security Administration officers search the boy at the security checkpoint.
Mr Jester said he was travelling to Albuquerque when he noticed the woman behind him with a baby about the same age as his son. He had just passed through security when he looked back and saw the baby receiving the pat-down.
"This is an extreme measure. I wouldn't want that to happen to my own son," Mr Jester told msnbc.com.
He later posted the photo on Twitter. "Just saw #tsa agents patting down a little baby at @KCIAirport. Pretty sure that’s extreme,” he wrote.
However, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said officers “followed proper current screening procedures by screening the family”.
"We reviewed the screening of this family, and found that the child’s stroller alarmed during explosives screening,” the TSA said on its blog.
“Our officers followed proper current screening procedures by screening the family after the alarm, who by the way were very cooperative and were on the way to their gate in no time."
TSA screeners are instructed to use a modified pat-down for children 12 and younger, according to the agency's website.
“Terrorists are willing to manipulate societal norms to evade detection, TSA has been actively assessing less invasive screening methods for low-risk populations, such as younger passengers, while still maintaining a high level of security,” the TSA wrote.
News.com.au’s Doc Holiday was recently subjected to his first full-body airport scan and has revealed what Australian travellers can expect when they are introduced here later this year.
Doc Holiday was told by leading Australia-based airport security expert Roger Henning, that a body scanner is “the ultimate intrusion of privacy - a device aimed clearly at politicians who all need to be seen to be doing something regardless of the cost.”