[JURIST] UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown [official profile] announced [statement] the country's plans for enhanced airport security measures and anti-terrorism efforts to the House of Commons [official website] on Wednesday. The new security provisions include increasing intelligence information-sharing with foreign agencies and extending the Home Office Watchlist to include both a no-fly list and a list of individuals subject to enhanced security screenings in airports. The enhanced screenings will include explosive trace testing, use of dogs and new body scanners. Brown said:
The action we are taking to counter terrorism at its source in the Afghanistan Pakistan region and elsewhere is a central part of our wider counter-terrorist strategy, and all our actions which we will update regularly are founded on what is and must be the first and most important duty of government: the protection and security of the British people.
In addition, Brown announced UK flights to and from Yemen will be suspended until further security measures can be enforced.
The proposed UK security measures are in response to the failed US bombing attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day. Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama called for [JURIST report] stricter airline security measures in response to the failed attack. Obama pledged to improve airline passenger security, calling the attempted bombing "a failure to integrate and understand the intelligence." Obama said that the US government had sufficient information to uncover the plot, but that "our intelligence community failed to connect those dots." Abdulmutallab has been charged [JURIST report] with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder within the special aircraft jurisdiction of the US, willful attempt to destroy or wreck an aircraft, willfully placing a destructive device on an aircraft, use of a firearm/destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm/destructive device in furtherance of a crime of violence. A plea of not guilty [JURIST report] has been entered on his behalf.