"TSA: New Scanners Kept Many Illegal Or Dangerous Items Off Planes This Year "

"(FOXNEWS)

Airport passenger screening measures have become a touchy issue in the U.S. in the past week, but in the past year the controversial measures have detected more than 130 prohibited, illegal or dangerous items that otherwise would have made it onto airplanes, the Transportation Security Administration says.

The TSA now requires all passengers at some U.S. airports either to pass through a full-body scanning device, which reveals everything beneath their clothing, or to submit to a thorough pat-down inspection -- a choice that has some travelers livid about their loss of privacy.

But the TSA says keeping passengers safe is its top priority, and the new measures are necessary.

""This year alone, the use of advanced imaging technology has led to the detection of over 130 prohibited, illegal or dangerous items,"" TSA spokesman Greg Soule told FoxNews.com. The TSA would not disclose exactly what those items were, but it said they included weapons like ceramic knives and various drugs -- including a syringe filled with heroine hidden in a passenger’s underwear.

""The advanced imaging technology can detect both metallic and non-metallic threat items that are concealed on a person’s body,"" TSA spokesman Nick Kimball told FoxNews.com. ""…Intelligence tells us that our enemy still seeks to target airplanes, and as we saw illustrated last Christmas Day, that threat can manifest itself in an improvised explosive device that has no metal in it."""