No systematic frisking of US-bound travellers

Starting today people travelling to the US will no longer be systematically frisked at their departure gate at Brussels Airport. Selective security measures will remain in place, but out of security concerns the exact nature of these measures is not being divulged.

Belgian Mobility Secretary Etienne Schouppe (Flemish Christian democrat) told the daily Het Laatste Nieuws: "There will be a more selective approach."

The procedure whereby all travellers on US bound flights were frisked at Brussels Airport was introduced after the terrorist attempt to blow up a plane landing at Detroit (USA) on Christmas Day.

The Belgian authorities were informed about the most recent changes to security measures on Friday.

Earlier the US Homeland Security Department announced new security procedures for travellers arriving in the US by air. In future all passengers will be screened on the basis of their profile.

The daily Het Laatste Nieuws has reported that International airlines will be given access to databanks containing information compiled by the security services.

In this way it will be possible to compare travellers' characteristics. Information will include the route being travelled, age, names and other information on passports and possibly also religion.

The existing Black List of potential terrorists remains in force, but more information will be gathered by comparing it with data from other passengers.