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Snapshot: S&T Prototype Shoe Scanner May Improve the Airport Security Experience

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“Never underestimate the power of a shoe.” 
Giuseppe Zanotti, Italian luxury shoe designer

The types of shoes you wear when flying matter. And not just shoe types. Size, material, soles and heels are also very important. Why? Shoes can become dangerous vehicles for terrorists’ plots.

On December 22, 2001, three months after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, Richard Reid attempted to light a fuse in his shoe onboard an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami. Luckily, nearby passengers and crew noticed and subdued him. FBI experts later found explosives in his shoes.

“This was ultimately the reason why now people have to take their shoes off at airport security checkpoints,” said John Fortune, Program Manager for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate’s (S&T) Apex Screening at Speed Program.  



U.S. Department of Homeland Security · · 202-282-8000