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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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Artsfww February 20 2014 at 1:00 PM

I think it's bull. Just let passengers check each other and save billions of taxpayers money and make flying safer.

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Cindy February 20 2014 at 11:42 AM

Whatever it takes to keep us safe should be the greatest concern for all. So we just have to show up at the airport a little bit earlier to make time for the check points but I rather get to my destination safe. So to Homeland Security I give an applause as long as they continue to make sure that our trips are safe and hazard free.

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Ricardo February 20 2014 at 11:28 AM

WHat about hiding a biological explosive in their a$$?

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Rick February 20 2014 at 10:53 AM

A Muslim clown wearing a bulbous red nose and size 35 shoes and a tablecloth on his head won't be checked as that's "profiling".......

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Artsfww February 20 2014 at 12:59 PM

Amen, you got that right.... we are being dumbed down

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TUTSAMERICA February 20 2014 at 10:52 AM

DHS is a joke. It is all BS and they are just trying to justify their existence. If by now they do not have the process down to a science then they need to go back to school. I figured since we are allowed to wear our shoes through security then it was no longer an issue.

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olengrumpy February 20 2014 at 10:40 AM

if they look like a terrorist don't let them on the plane, who cares if they get pissed off. I get pissed off when Americans get groped so they can fly because of these dirtbags, sick of worrying about offending them, they all hate us anyway. Let them swim across the atlantic

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jmc February 20 2014 at 10:20 AM

Great! Flying isn't enough of a nerve wracking experience!

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swifterman February 20 2014 at 10:18 AM

. . .
Paranoia is contagious - and when you look at CAUSE & EFFECT - it all started wit a lot of secret crimes from secret government-agencys right after ww II.

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Suzy February 20 2014 at 9:54 AM

I guess it's been a very long time since I flew on a passenger jet (2010). We had to take our shoes off from Mass to Florida. I, personally wasn't offended b/c everyone else was doing it and besides, doesn't that add to a safer airplane. So, we did this on the way down and on the way back. And both times although they asked us to remove our shoes they weren't very assiduous with their jobs!

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jmc February 20 2014 at 10:20 AM

Wear sox.

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manmi1 February 20 2014 at 9:49 AM

Reading some of these posts makes me feel sad that we have far too many dopes in this country. First of all, making this political is stupid. Secondly, since they want to make this political... we had the worst terrorist attacks EVER on American soil during a republican administration who ignored warnings. Thirdly, please, please, please use a dictionary and learn what "socialism, communism" and other terms you throw around truly mean. All any of you have to do is talk about a "Kenyan," or use those other terms and you immediately announce yourself as someone with a very low I.Q.

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sewingds February 20 2014 at 10:46 AM

may have happened on the Reps watch, but threat came during Dems term, check your facts. Why are you making it political.

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