February 10, 2011 / 8:05 PM / 7 years ago

U.S. officials eye ways to increase airport security

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities are considering ways to tighten security in public areas at U.S. airports after a deadly attack in Moscow last month, John Pistole, the head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, said on Thursday .

<p>Transportation Security Administration employees demonstrate new body scanner software that uses a stick figure to represent the passenger being scanned, rather than an actual image of the person, at the TSA Systems Integration Facility at washington's Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Virginia, February 1, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst</p>

A suicide bomber last month killed 36 people and injured more than 100 after detonating the device in the international arrivals hall of Moscow’s busy Domodedovo airport, sending airport officials scrambling to address the security gap.

Pistole told U.S. lawmakers he had submitted ideas to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on how to improve security in locations passengers go through before being screened for flights, a job usually handled by local police.

The ideas included checkpoints before vehicles are allowed to pull up to the airport terminals, small security teams patrolling the grounds and using officers who are trained to detect unusual behavior, he told a House of Representatives’ subcommittee on transportation security.

U.S. authorities have ramped up security for air travelers, luggage and cargo in the wake of several attempts by al Qaeda militants to attack the United States, adding full-body scanners and requiring more screening for cargo.

Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by David Storey

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