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Homeland Security warns airlines of new threat

Homeland Security Warns Airlines: Watch For Shoe Bombs

WASHINGTON (AP) - 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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sambengal February 19 2014 at 7:23 PM

I thought we got the technology of X-ray, where TSA can see my private parts.
How come still we have to take off shoes? I know why Moon landing is denial.

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redofdc February 20 2014 at 8:30 AM

I would suggest to have socks removed and scanned underneath during the process to security clearance. Any better than that?

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1 reply
jmc redofdc February 20 2014 at 10:22 AM

Give free pedicures at the airport before going through TSA?

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msslongrider February 20 2014 at 7:38 AM

Bleeding hearts,scared sheep,everyone is so scared to take action anymore. Scared of offending some religion or beleif! We know where these terroists are Bomb there asses and beleive me word will get artound not to hang out around them. If you want to hang with them your ass belongs to the next bomb.

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keystonekid28id February 20 2014 at 12:05 AM

What do they mean by a new threat? I do believe this was tried in the past so it should already be something the TSA and others are looking for.

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rmpblue February 19 2014 at 8:23 PM

Of course these periodic 'warnings' are needed as what else is there to justify the worthless and useless TSA and 'intelligence' bloat all over and throughout the US fovernment...

If there were a REAL threat to people would it not be better to in fact be as specific as possible in the interest of 'actual' safety rather than be concerned with how such intelligence is gathered at the expense of people's rights to secure themselves and their loved ones?

What a cowardly and deceitful lot the intelligence community in America is and has become. It is sad that so many people buy their self-serving lies and fear-mongering.

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1 reply
CARLTON rmpblue February 19 2014 at 10:58 PM

Hey rmp-
Do you believe that the crashes that occurred on 911 were made up? Some people would like to re-write history and say that persecution of the Jews never occurred in WW II. Are you going to say the same thing about 911? How short-sighted can you be!!!

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nikkitytom February 19 2014 at 8:28 PM

Never could understand why if there's a genuine security problem, the details if how the plot may unfold are promptly published. Would seem smarter to me to be quiet about it and not warn the terrorists that they're beiing watched. And so should change their modus operandi.

Could it be that it's not terrorists but the American public which is what is being manipulated? To instill fear and paranoia firmly in place so we'll accept more and more encroachment on our privacy. Hummmm ???? I wonder?????

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ctitus6108 February 19 2014 at 11:22 PM

They have to keep people paranoid even when there is no threat. This is how they pass their agenda's such as the patriot act.

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j.sadie February 19 2014 at 11:12 PM

I can't believe ANYONE would fall for this nonsense. If you do, YOU are what is wrong with this country.

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Benny264 February 19 2014 at 10:04 PM

Everybody need tobe checked 75year old people Too. The Taliban have 75 year old people . Including babys. I am afraid to fly i have Flyingnitis.

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dracura94 February 19 2014 at 8:56 PM

Shorting stocks can make an investor a lot money - especially if he brings down an airliner. This is what funds terrorism when oil revenues go down. Terrorism is all about "serving Allah". Needless to say my God is not into nonstop gluttony, fornication, and murder.

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1 reply
ksmujtabaa dracura94 February 19 2014 at 9:58 PM

Nobody serves Allah (G-d) by committing act of terror, even though some selfishly and ignorantly say so. G-d. G-d is One G-d, though called by different names. Peace

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