by Donald Wood
Last updated: 11:39 AM ET, Mon December 18, 2017
After last week's botched terror attack in New York City, Transportation Security Administration officials are testing a new security screening technique that can detect hidden explosives and suicide vests.
According to CBSNews.com, the TSA equipment is being tested at the 7th Street metro station in Los Angeles where more than 86,000 people pass through each weekday.
It is also being tested at rail hubs in Washington D.C. during the busy holiday travel period.
The scanners have been designed to operate in the background by scanning people as they walk by in real time without using radiation. The goal is to be able to detect dense items concealed under clothing with the intent of stopping suicide bomber style stacks.
"We're really looking for those alarm indicators. And so as that bar turns from green to red, we know we've identified an individual that may need a little closer scrutiny," Los Angeles transit authority head of security Alex Wiggins told CBSNews.com.
"If we can encounter that person as they enter the station in the mezzanine, we can very, very quickly isolate them and move to an area where if there is a threat we can contain that much better."
Amtrak used similar scanners in Washington D.C. during the Thanksgiving holiday, and tests had been previously conducted during the Super Bowl in 2014.
TSA officials have said more testing needs to be done before the technique can be installed in airports and rail stations across the United States.
"There is no silver bullet, no technical silver bullet to prevent all acts of terrorism, but clearly as part of a layered defense, it can play a role in at least making it harder for the bad guys," homeland security expert Frank Cilluffo said in a statement.
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