BRUSSELS - Officials in the Middle East and Europe questioned tighter US airline security measures yesterday, saying increased body scanning and inspections of Arab passengers would be discriminatory and overly intrusive.
After the alleged Christmas Day attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up a Detroit-bound jetliner, the Obama administration said it would require more full-body pat-downs, searches of carry-on bags, full-body scanning, and explosive-detection technology at US airports.
The European Union has said it may require member nations to put in more full-body scanning machines to conform with American security measures.
But the European Union’s new top justice official said at a hearing yesterday that for privacy reasons, scans must be voluntary, not mandatory, and come with a guarantee they pose no health hazard. Their images would have to be quickly destroyed.
The United States has also demanded more careful screening for people who are citizens of, or are flying from, 14 nations deemed security risks.
Lebanon’s information minister, Tarek Mitri, complained that “citizens of different countries are singled out in a discriminatory fashion.’’