- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Airline passengers in Britain who refuse to submit to the advanced imaging technology scans at airports will be barred from boarding their flights, the country’s Department for Transport said Monday.

Transport Secretary Andrew Adonis said: “In the immediate future, only a small proportion of airline passengers will be selected for scanning. … If a passenger is selected for scanning and declines, they will not be permitted to fly.”

The technology, condemned by civil liberties campaigners who say the scanners are an invasion of privacy, began operating at Heathrow and Manchester airports Monday, the London Daily Mail reported. The move comes after an attempted Christmas Day bombing of a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian who has been linked to a Yemen-based branch of al Qaeda, has been charged in the case.

The declaration comes as a committee of lawmakers said in a report Tuesday that Britain needs a U.S.-style national security adviser to report to Prime Minister Gordon Brown on terrorist threats, the Associated Press reported.

Parliament’s Home Affairs select committee said Britain’s government had been too slow to adapt to an evolving threat from terrorism and complained that key strategic decisions are often made in informal meetings, rather than by a publicly accountable security panel.

From combined dispatches

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