The DHS announced new security measures on Friday that are designed to significantly reduce the number of passengers pulled aside for additional screening and will not be based on nationality or passport, but on characteristics pulled together by intelligence agencies.
"These new measures utilize real-time, threat-based intelligence along with multiple, random layers of security, both seen and unseen, to more effectively mitigate evolving terrorist threats," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
The new system would also require travelers who match information about terrorism suspects, such as a physical description, partial name or travel pattern, to undergo additional screening. The names of terrorism suspects identified by the U.S. government will continue to be included on security watch lists and no-fly lists as a part of airline security.
The new policy affects all travelers coming into the United States from abroad.
Senator Susan Collins, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said the new screening protocols were a more effective security strategy. "Applying a kind of blanket, one-size-fits-all scrutiny to individuals based solely on their country of origin provides only limited additional security and helps terrorists avoid detection by using operatives from other countries to carry out their plots," Collins said.