The government says it will force U.S. airlines to take stricter anti-terrorism measures, but people who lost loved ones in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 say the actions aren't strong enough.
On the 103rd day after the bombing, the Transportation Department announced orders requiring devices to detect plastic explosives and stricter compliance with aviation security warnings, after Flight 103 relatives met with President Bush.The White House meeting on Monday, which was scheduled for 20 minutes but lasted an hour, began a day of emotion-filled activities at nearby Lafayette Park, Congress and a Washington church by scores of relatives and friends of the 270 people killed in the Dec. 21 explosion of the Boeing 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland.
The relatives called for a full-scale congressional investigation "to determine what and where the breakdowns were" that led to the "preventable massacre at 31,000 feet."
Bert Ammerman of Demarest, N.J., spokesman for the relatives, said action announced by Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner was "a positive step forward. We applaud the secretary, (but) it's not enough." Skinner was in the meeting with the relatives and Bush.
Ammerman said all checked and carried baggage should be hand-searched until devices are installed that can detect plastic explosives such as the one believed to have blown up Flight 103 as it was headed from London to New York.
The relatives also proposed better training and pay for airport inspectors and public disclosure of terrorist threats.
"Our loved ones were not given the freedom to make a rational decision regarding their fate based on all the available facts," Ammerman said.