July 7, 2011

Air Travelers Face New Threat From Implanted Explosives

According to U.S. officials, the government has warned airlines that terrorists are considering surgically implanting explosives into people in an attempt to get past screening procedures.

Nicholas Kimball, spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), told the Los Angeles Times that passengers flying to the U.S. could now face even tougher screening measures.

"These measures are designed to be unpredictable, so passengers should not expect to see the same activity at every international airport," Kimball told the paper, adding existing methods could not detect plastic explosives under the skin.

"Measures may include interaction with passengers, in addition to the use of other screening methods such as pat-downs and the use of enhanced tools and technologies."

White House spokesman Jay Carney confirmed that officials from Homeland Security and the TSA had been in contact with airlines.

"The action they took in briefing air carriers and foreign partners to provide greater insights into recent intelligence indicating continued interest of terrorists to target aviation did not relate to an imminent or specific threat," he said in a statement.

"Terrorist groups have repeatedly and publicly indicated interest in pursuing ways to further conceal explosives and we continue to evolve just as the threat does," he added.

"In other words, this is the idea that terrorists have been looking for other ways to circumvent security measures in order to target aircraft. It's not at all surprising."


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