'Zero Tolerance for People,' Chertoff SaysIn a move aimed at further tightening airport security, the Federal AviationAdministration announced today that it would ban all people from flightsleaving or entering the United States, effective immediately.The FAA, which has in the past banned such objects as toenail clippers andhair gel, took the extraordinary step of banning people after the Departmentof Homeland Security conducted a thorough investigation of previous terrorplots."We looked at terror plots of the past, and in each and every case, peoplewere involved," said Homeland Security Michael Chertoff at a Washington press briefing. "These new rules send the strong message that the FAA has zero tolerance for people."Mr. Chertoff said that while banning liquids from flights was a constructivestep, the only true solution was to ban people altogether."Let's face it, hair gel doesn't kill people," he said. "People kill people."The Homeland Security Secretary acknowledged that the new rules would curtail Americans' ability to travel, but added, "On the plus side, that will make them easier for us to spy on."The FAA's ban on people onboard flights raised questions for the nation'sairlines, which must now ponder what, if anything, there airplanes will becarrying.But Davis Logsdon, who studies the airline industry at the University ofMinnesota, said that the FAA's crackdown on people could be a "win-win" forthe airlines: "Maybe if the airlines don't have people to worry about, theycan finally concentrate on getting our luggage to the right destination."Elsewhere, al-Qaeda disavowed responsibility for a terror plot to makeAmericans' laptops burst into flames, blaming it instead on Dell.
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