The Transportation Security Administration soon will begin randomly swabbing passengers' hands at checkpoints and airport gates to test them for traces of explosives.
"The point is to make sure that the air environment is a safe environment," Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CNN. "We know that al Qaeda [and other] terrorists continue to think of aviation as a way to attack the United States. One way we keep it safe is by new technology [and] random use of different types of technology." Napolitano said the tests will not significantly increase wait times at airport checkpoints.
Under the new protocols, tests will be conducted at various locations -- including in checkpoint lines, during the screening process and at gates. Newer, more portable machines make it easier to conduct tests away from fixed locations such as the checkpoint.