Happy Holi-Delays: Intense Security Causes Massive Backups For Travelers

January 3, 2010: The failed Christmas Day bomb attempt thrust terrorism into the national spotlight. Follow the latest news and debates at the TPM Terror Wire. Airports across the globe have increased security measures and restrictions. Since Christmas, there have been several scares, including what appeared to be anthrax attacks in two states, a bomb scare in California, and an airport evacuation in Minnesota.

All this has translated to a tremendously trying holiday season for travelers. Above, passengers wait for a security check at Newark International Airport in New Jersey. The airport was shut down for more than an hour after a man accidentally walked into a secure area.

Newscom/Ptsphotoshot/Shen Hong

December 29, 2010: TSA officers check boarding passes at Ronald Reagan National Airport.

Newscom/UPI/Alexis C. Glenn

January 3, 2010: The crowds at the Newark Airport during the Sunday delays.

Newscom/Zumawire/Shen Hong

December 31, 2009: A passenger bound for Washington, D.C., is searched by security at the Roissy airport outside Paris.

On January 3rd, the U.S. announced intensified screenings for travelers from 14 nations. Nigerian leaders were not particularly happy with their country’s inclusion on the list. The nation’s Foreign Affairs Minister told the AP: “Listing Nigeria on the second tier of countries for security measures in the U.S. is an unacceptable New Year’s gift.”


The aftermath of the foiled terror attempt has increased the possibility of using full body-scanning technology. Several countries are considering using techniques, such as the millimeter wave screening (top) and X-ray backscatter (below).

Great Britain may have one of the more difficult obstacles to get over with full-body scanning. The proposed technology, as The Guardian reports, may violate the country’s child pornography laws.


January 3, 2010: Passengers wait inside the Newark International Airport.

Newsom/Zumawire/Shen Hong

January 4, 2010: Even without terror scares, airports had a difficult few weeks. A worker repairs electronic screens at Reagan National Airport after an hour-long power outage.

Newscom/Ptsphoto/Zhang Jun

January 2, 2010: A long line forms at an airport in Costa del Sol, Spain.


December 31, 2009: Security officers keep a watchful eye on international passengers in France.


December 28, 2009: German police officers monitor an airport terminal in Frankfurt.

Newscom/Uwe Anspach