U.S. Airport Security Increases Following Brussels Terror Attacks

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NBC Nightly News
Lester Holt/Tom Costello
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NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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Terror attacks in Belgium trigger an increase security presence at airports and mass transit hubs across the United States and Europe, as aviation remains a consistent target for terrorists. On March 22, 2016, two bombs at Brussels Airport and one in a subway car killed at least 31 people and injured hundreds of others. This video may not be appropriate for younger viewers.



"U.S. Airport Security Increases Following Brussels Terror Attacks." Tom Costello, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 22 Mar. 2016. NBC Learn. Web. 8 September 2018.


Costello, T. (Reporter), & Holt, L. (Anchor). (2016, March 22). U.S. Airport Security Increases Following Brussels Terror Attacks. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=106031


"U.S. Airport Security Increases Following Brussels Terror Attacks" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 03/22/2016. Accessed Sat Sep 8 2018 from NBC Learn: https://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/browse/?cuecard=106031


U.S. Airport Security Increases Following Brussels Terror Attacks 

LESTER HOLT, anchor: 

And we all feel a sense of vulnerability after these sorts of attacks, and airport security here at home is being examined. But through a different lens tonight, after the Brussels attack happening in the ticketing check-in area, a part of the airport where the public and their belongings are not normally screened. Meantime, Homeland Security says it’s planning closer scrutiny of Belgian passports, while it’s also working with local police departments to strengthen the security posture at airports. NBC’s Tom Costello with late details now. 

TOM COSTELLO, reporting: 

At airports across the country, the morning rush brought beefed-up visible security. The TSA screens nearly 2 million passengers a day at 440 airports nationwide. At Newark Airport, the Port Authority’s heavily armed tactical unit, in a show of force through the terminal. In Miami, dog teams and SWAT officers set up roving checkpoints with a group of Belgians preparing to fly home. 

WOMAN: We like to go on trips. But we’re scared. We said to each other this is the last time we’re leaving home.

COSTELLO: Also in Miami, another Belgian on his way to Nicaragua for his wedding. 

MAN: I think fear and being afraid would be the worst response, because I think that would give into what terrorists actually want. 

COSTELLO: Overseas, U.S.-bound flights are getting added scrutiny at those airports, from Charles de Gaulle in Paris to Germany’s Frankfurt Mein. Terrorists have repeatedly demonstrated aviation remains an attractive target, from the shoe bomb attempt, to the underwear bomb, the multi-airline transatlantic bomb plot, and the printer cartridge bomb plot. Two hundred fifty thousand people flight into the U.S. from foreign airports every day. Former TSA chief John Pistole. 

JOHN PISTOLE: The concern has always been as evidenced by the Christmas Day bomber and Richard Reid, the shoe bomber and other plots that foreign airports are perhaps not as secure as U.S. airports. 

COSTELLO: The U.S. veteran security experts say the airports are most vulnerable between curbside check-in and the TSA checkpoint, exactly where the Brussels airport bombers struck. 

JOHN HALINSKI (Former TSA Deputy Administrator): You just don’t have enough military or police in these areas to really show-- to a deterrent show force on a 24/7 basis.

COSTELLO: By a strange coincidence, the current TSA Chief Admiral Peter Neffenger was in Brussels today meeting with his European counterparts when the attacks happened. Homeland Security today is once again reminding everyone at the airport who works here or travels through an airport, if you see something that’s out of the ordinary, say something. Lester. 

HOLT: Always good advice. Tom Costello, thank you.