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Homeland Security warns airlines of new threat

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 05:23 a.m. HST, Feb 20, 2014

WASHINGTON » The Homeland Security Department has warned airlines that terrorists could try to hide explosives in shoes. It's the second time in less than three weeks that the government has issued a warning about possible attempts to smuggle explosives on a commercial jetliner.

Homeland Security said Wednesday it regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, but it declined to discuss specifics of a warning sent to airlines.

"Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continues to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment," the department said in a statement.

A U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that DHS released a notice to airlines reiterating that liquids, shoes and certain cosmetics were of concern, all of which are covered under existing Transportation Security Administration security policies.

The latest warning was focused on flights headed to the United States from abroad.

The official said "something caused DHS concern, but it's a very low threshold to trigger a warning like this." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

Earlier this month Homeland Security warned airlines with flights to Russia to be on the lookout for explosive devices possibly hidden inside toothpaste. The Transportation Security Administration then banned passengers from bringing any liquids in their carry-on luggage on nonstop flights from the U.S. to Russia. That warning became public just days before the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

It is unclear if the latest warning, first reported Wednesday by NBC News, is related to the earlier threats to Russia-bound flights.

Air passengers in the United States have had to take off their shoes at airport security checkpoints since shortly after Richard Reid tried to ignite explosives hidden in his shoes on a Miami-bound flight in late 2001. Reid pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and is serving a life sentence.

The traveling public has grown increasingly impatient with expanding security checks at airports.

TSA in recent years has changed some security procedures to allow young children and passengers 75 and older to keep their shoes on. The security agency has also launched a fee-based program that allows willing flyers to submit to background checks and avoid having to remove their shoes, jackets and small amounts of liquids packed in carry-on luggage.

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loquaciousone wrote:
BVD's, stink shoes, stink breath, and what else?
on February 19,2014 | 12:31PM
50skane wrote:
I rather go throught the TSA routine then be falling into the ocean from 35,000 feet after the plane explodes due to lax security.
on February 19,2014 | 12:47PM
HD36 wrote:
If you think 9/11 was an inside job, then this is just an extension to justify the NSA. Part of that whole New World Order thing that suprisingly alot of Christians are into because they beleive that the the elites rule government, banking, millitary etc.., and they belong to secret societies that worship the devil and they plan to bring a total economic collapse and control the population with agencies which will track us like sheep after we accept the mark of the beast.
on February 19,2014 | 06:49PM
steve76 wrote:
All we need is to have the terrorist signed up for " Pre-Check " and they walk right in with their shoes ... RIGHT ??
on February 20,2014 | 06:16AM
fiveo wrote:
Yes everyone, be afraid. Just another ruse by the government and the TSA to gin up the fear and to justify their existence. TSA just trying to get other countries to screen people's shoes. If you have traveled abroad, you already know that most countries do not screen people's shoes and yet there has not been any incidents where shoes were found to be filled with explosives. If there are cases where shoes are found to be filled with explosives, I would bet that they would be "planted" by the government operatives. They need you all to be afraid and willing to give up your freedom's. Wise up everybody.
on February 20,2014 | 06:41AM
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