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US-bound airlines to screen smartphones, laptops amid new Al-Qaeda terror threat

Published time: July 04, 2014 08:03
Edited time: July 04, 2014 17:33
Reuters/Phil Noble

Reuters/Phil Noble

​Airlines that fly direct to the US will be forced to step up checks on mobile phones and shoes in light of threats of an Al-Qaeda bomb attack. US officials say terrorists have found a way to conceal incendiary devices inside phones to avoid detection.

UK airports put on terror alert after US govt warns of Al-Qaeda attack

'Undetectable bomb' threat: US urges increased security on international flights

Passengers on flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa bound for the US will be subjected to extra security checks, US officials have told Reuters. The US government warned earlier this week of an Al-Qaeda effort to create an undetectable bomb that could be smuggled through airport security.

According to US intelligence sources, the undetectable devices are most likely to be hidden in smartphones, including Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy phones. The bombs could also be surgically implanted into an insurgent’s body or be embedded in clothes fibers.

Officials say that bomb makers from an Al-Qaeda affiliate group in Yemen are collaborating with the Syrian al-Nusra Front to develop a device that foils security.

Airlines that do not step up their security measures could face bans on their flights entering the United States.
Heightened security measures have already been implemented in UK airports with fears they may cause significant delays during the holiday season.

The tough new security policy subjects passengers to “vigorous” body searches and requires them to switch on their laptops, mobile phones and other electronic devices when they pass through security. Airport staff are also swabbing travellers’ shoes and clothes to check for traces of explosives.

Travellers at London’s Heathrow airport told UK media that the new measures had slowed the pace at departure gates. US student Eryk Salvaggi, who was heading to Boston, told The Daily Mail that it seemed to take “twice as long for his bags to go through.”

Members of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check a passenger's bags with N.J. Transit Police to secure mass transit for the Super Bowl XLVIII, in Secaucus, New Jersey January 31, 2014. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

“There were a lot of bags being taken aside too, when they came out the other side, for extra searches,” he said. “There seemed to be a lot of frisking going on too.”

However, the two largest UK airports said they were operating as normal Thursday evening. A senior official from the US Department of Homeland Security told the BBC that there would be no delays in the coming days, but he also said the security measures had not yet been fully implemented.

The UK government has said that the security measures may be permanent at UK airports in response to an evolving terrorist threat. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned of the threat posed by the "medieval, violent, revolting ideology" behind the alleged bomb plots.

"We have to make sure the checks are there to meet the nature of the new kinds of threats. Whether it is forever – I can't make any predictions. But I don't want people to think that this is just a sort of a blip for a week. This is part of an evolving and constant review about whether the checks keep up with the nature of the threats we face,” Clegg said in an LBC radio interview Thursday.

Prime Minister David Cameron emphasized the importance of putting safety first, and said the new measures had been implemented after consultation with the US government.

Comments (19)

 

mergon 06.07.2014 09:48

So the i phone with its you cant take the battery out will lead to ,just throw that one into the bin sir or madam !

Its a digital age look at the chip circuit for a vapour smokers battery its not even as big as your little finger nail finger yet
does warn you when its running out , flashes when its fully charged ,flashes when the button is pressed for to long and when pressed 5/6 times tuns its self off ,so how many smarts does someone have to have to adopt that tiny circuit in to an ignition device ?
the only way to stop terrorism on a plane is for every body to go by boat !

 

John Smith 05.07.2014 08:40

More American lies.

 

Andy 05.07.2014 06:22

William Cocker 04.07.2014 21:07

You USAsians are so stupid it's unbelievable! You are now under attack with WMD's and you don't even realize it. It will get worse! You are so fixated on flying and explosives that you barely play lip service to anything else. People walk into the US every day. You don't catch them all. You just caught 50,000 new ones. Poor little kiddies! How many are infected and with what? The 3rd horseman is loose among you and the other 3 are close behind. You focussed on 9/11 and terror entered where you weren't looking! Better luck next time.

  


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