Friday, October 24, 2014   

US calls for tighter security at some foreign airports
(07-03 14:24)

Intelligence officials are concerned about a new al-Qaida effort to create a bomb that would go undetected through airport security, a counter-terrorism official said, prompting the US to call for tighter security measures at some foreign airports.
The counter-terrorism official, who would not be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, declined Wednesday to describe the kind of information that triggered the warning. But officials in the past have raised concerns about non-metallic explosives being surgically implanted inside a traveler's body, designed to be undetectable in pat-downs or metal detectors, AP reports.
The US has been planning for additional measures for the past month, a counter-terrorism official said, adding there was no immediate threat that led to the announcement by the Homeland Security Department that it was requesting tighter security abroad.
American intelligence has picked up indications that bomb makers from al-Qaida's Yemen affiliate have traveled to Syria to link up with the al-Qaida affiliate there. The groups are working to perfect an explosive device that could foil airport security, according to the counter-terrorism official.
Americans and others from the West have traveled to Syria over the past year to join al-Nusra Front's fight against the Syrian government. The fear is that fighters with a U.S. or Western passport -- and therefore subject to less stringent security screening -- could carry such a bomb onto an American plane.
It wasn't clear which airports were affected by the extra security measures, but industry data show that more than 250 foreign airports offer nonstop service to the US, including Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport, Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and the United Arab Emirates' Dubai International Airport.   
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