The Los Angeles Airport Peace Officers Association is urging “large-scale deployment” of full-body scanners at LAX because wide-spread metal detectors will not catch the kind of high-tech explosives used in the attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit Christmas day.

The LAAPOA states that while LAX is one of 19 airports nationwide that benefits from full-body scanner technology, it is only deployed on passengers selected for secondary screening. “Remember,” said group president Marshall McClain, “LAX has been a target of interest of al-Qaeda since Ahmed Ressam was convicted of planning to blow up LAX on New Year's Eve 2000.”

McClain said the time is now for additional full-body scanners because National Counterterrorism Center director Michael Leiter warned over the weekend that Al Qaeda is determined to attack the United States again. “It is crucial that we heed the warnings,” McClain stated.

“Testing of whole-body scanners at LAX has shown them to be highly effective in keeping dangerous materials off airplanes.” McClain said. “The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) should be allowed to rapidly expand to 100 percent the population of airline passengers screened with the next-generation equipment. All available technology and tools must be used to fix an obvious gap in security that puts airline travelers and crewmembers at risk.”

As we reported last week, federal authorities removed older “puffer device” bomb detectors from LAX after arguing that they were difficult to repair and maintain.

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