Rep.-elect West: Airport pat-downs show terrorists have 'won'

GOP Rep.-elect Allen West (Fla.) has cast his lot with opponents of the government's new airline security procedures, saying they are a sign the terrorists have "won."

The United States is succumbing to the will of terrorist groups who want to disrupt people's way of life, said West, a former Army officer who was one of two black Republicans elected to Congress three weeks ago.

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“There are two aspects of terrorism. One aspect of terrorism is to kill you. The other aspect of terrorism is to create a disruption of your lifestyle through fear and intimidation," he told the Sun Sentinel of South Florida. "So they have still won even though the underwear bomber was not successful in killing us. They have still won."

West joined a growing number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill who are against the Transportation Security Administration's new security measures such as enhanced pat-downs and full-body scans.

The White House backed up the agency's policies on Monday amid criticism from the public ahead of the busy holiday travel season, explaining they are a necessary security measure intended to prevent incidents like the attempted Christmas Day airline bombing.

West, who said he wants security officers to profile potential terrorists at airports, said the screenings could disrupt people's travel plans by driving them out of airports.

“So they are more than happy to see us going through all of these evolutions right now and affecting the big travel season because people may say I’m not going to fly," he said.