The Dutch government announced it will begin using full body scanners for flights heading to the United States following an attempt to detonate an explosive on a U.S.-bound flight from Amsterdam.
Dutch Interior Minister Guusje Ter Horst told reporters on Wednesday that in three weeks there should be 15 scanners set up at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, "which will increase security significantly because these scanners also detect non-metal objects."
Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, boarded a Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit from Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. He is accused of carrying explosives on the flight but failing to successfully detonate them.
Ter Horst said current security measures include body searches and detection gates that only detect metal.
"This system, of course, is not water tight," she said
Abdulmutallab arrived in Amsterdam on Friday from Lagos, Nigeria. After a layover of less than three hours, he passed through a security check at the gate in Amsterdam, including a hand baggage scan and a metal detector.
"No suspicious matters which would give reason to classify the person involved as a high-risk passenger were identified during the security check," Ter Horst said.
But Ter Horst said that the body scanners would certainly have helped in detecting whether the suspect was carrying something on his body.
Ter Horst said security at the airport is carried out by private companies that are inspected and supervised by the state police.
"I'm not saying that nothing ever goes wrong, but everything suggests that security at Schiphol is good," she said.
Erin Akerboom, the head of the Dutch counterterrorism agency, said that the suspect's passport was checked before he boarded the flight and that it was a Nigerian passport.
He also said the fact the suspect paid by cash and did not check in luggage was not irregular.