April 12, 2010 - Abuja, Nigeria—Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano yesterday visited Abuja, Nigeria, at the invitation of the Nigerian government, to meet with top officials from across Africa and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to discuss ways to bolster global aviation security.
“The attempted terrorist attack on Dec. 25 demonstrated that international terrorist threats must be countered with a coordinated, global response through enhanced security standards, increased information sharing and stronger screening measures,” said Secretary Napolitano. “My meetings with our African partners underscore our commitment to working together to strengthen global aviation security measures and better protect the traveling public.”
In Abuja, Secretary Napolitano addressed more than 30 African ministers and representatives, held bilateral meetings with ministers from several African countries, and met with officials from ICAO and Airports Council International—stressing the need for collaborative international action to prevent terrorists from boarding commercial aircraft. Her visit marked the fourth in a series of major international meetings intended to build consensus on strengthening global aviation security.
Secretary Napolitano also underscored the Obama administration’s commitment to strengthening information sharing with international partners about terrorists and other dangerous individuals.
She also applauded the measures taken since Dec. 25 to strengthen aviation security in Africa—including Nigeria’s installation of advanced imaging technology units at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, the nation’s busiest airport. While the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not conduct screening at foreign airports, Secretary Napolitano is committed to strengthening coordination with international partners to implement stronger and more effective measures to protect the integrity of the global aviation network.
Secretary Napolitano’s discussions in Abuja build on recent major international meetings that have resulted in joint declarations—coordinated with ICAO—to strengthen the international civil aviation system among the United States and Asia/Pacific partners on March 13, among the United States and Western Hemisphere partners on Feb. 17, and among the United States and European partners on Jan. 21.
On April 2, Secretary Napolitano announced that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will begin implementing new enhanced security measures for all air carriers with international flights to the United States to strengthen the safety and security of all passengers—superseding the emergency measures put in place immediately following the attempted terrorist attack on Dec. 25, 2009. These new, threat and risk-based security protocols—tailored to reflect the most current information available to the U.S. government—will apply to all passengers traveling to the United States.