Religion offers no break on airport screening

TSA says passengers won't get out of body imaging screening or pat-downs based on their religious beliefs


By Sharon Theimer
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration says airline passengers won't get out of body imaging screening or pat-downs based on their religious beliefs.

TSA chief John Pistole told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday that passengers who refuse to go through a whole-body scanner machine and get a pat-down won't be allowed on planes, even if they turned down the in-depth screening for religious reasons.

Civil rights groups contend the more intensive screening violates rights including freedom of religion. The issue is getting new attention after a man posted an item online saying he was thrown out of the San Diego airport for rejecting a full-body scan and pat-down groin check and insisting he go through a metal detector instead.

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