April 15, 2010 / 10:17 PM / 7 years ago

U.S. to buy more explosive detectors for airports

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Department of Homeland Security said on Thursday it would buy more than 1,200 additional devices aimed at detecting traces of explosives to use at airports to help thwart terrorism plots.

The devices will cost $35.5 million and come out of money from the economic stimulus law President Barack Obama signed last year, the DHS said. The Transportation Security Administration, which screens bags and passengers at U.S. airports, already uses more than 7,000 of the devices.

The DHS has been beefing up airport security across the country after a Christmas Day incident in which a Nigerian man is accused of trying to blow up a U.S. commercial airliner landing in Detroit with a bomb hidden in his underwear.

The agency has already announced plans to buy hundreds of full-body scanners to detect explosives hidden in clothing and has stepped up random checks at airports in which authorities swab a passenger, luggage or clothing to test for traces of explosives.

The DHS also announced an additional $30.4 million in money from the stimulus law would be used to improve baggage screening at Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport so luggage could be checked for explosives more quickly.

Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky; Editing by Peter Cooney

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