The Department of Homeland Security on Thursday announced it would launch a campaign next week to strengthen security screening procedures at a host of international airports.
The effort is part of the White House’s heightened response to a Christmas Day attempt to bomb Delta Flight 253 in Detroit, a flight that originated in Amsterdam.
“As part of the ongoing review to determine exactly what went wrong leading up to Friday’s attempted terrorist attack, we are looking not only at our own processes, but also beyond our borders to ensure effective aviation security measures are in place for U.S-bound flights that originate at international airports,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a statement Thursday.
Senior Homeland Security officials will meet with leaders at major airports in Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East in the coming weeks “to review security procedures and technology being used to screen passengers on flights bound for the United States,” the department announced this afternoon. Napolitano said she would follow up on those meetings with her own “ministerial level” discussions.
Europe will be the first leg of the wide outreach effort, where U.S. officials will brief their European counterparts “on the findings of President Obama’s aviation security review,” which he ordered last week, according to the department.
The secretary did not provide any other schedule or meeting details.
White House officials have scrambled since Christmas Day to assure passengers that air travel is safe, a mission that has resulted in a host of new security rules on international flights that land in the United States.
Some countries have since followed suit, announcing they would require international passengers to pass through full-body scanners prior to boarding their planes. But U.S. officials perhaps still hope to spearhead a larger, more unified effort to increase airport security.