Author Topic: Sochi 2014: US warns airlines of Russia 'toothpaste' bomb threat  (Read 361 times)

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Sochi 2014: US warns airlines of Russia 'toothpaste' bomb threat
« on: February 06, 2014, 12:52:07 AM »

The US has warned airlines flying into Russia for the Winter Olympics that explosives hidden in toothpaste tubes could be smuggled on to planes.

The Department of Homeland Security told the BBC the alert affected flights direct into Russia as it prepares for the games in Sochi.

The agency said it was not aware of any specific danger to the US at this time.

It is the latest reported threat against the region, which has beefed up security surrounding the games.

Volgograd bombings
The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement that it "regularly shares information with domestic and international partners, including those associated with international events such as the Sochi Olympics".

The White House National Security Council said the latest threat had not altered existing travel guidelines for Sochi.

"If we should receive information in the coming days and weeks that changes our assessment of whether people should travel to Sochi, we will make that information public," spokeswoman Laura Magnuson told US media.

The US has also placed two warships in the Black Sea in case of a security breach during the games, scheduled for 7-23 February.

Fears were raised following two suicide attacks in Volgograd in December, and numerous threats from Islamist militants in the Caucasus region.

Two failed attempts have been made in recent years to detonate explosives on airliners.

Briton Richard Reid tried to set off a bomb packed in his shoes on a Miami-bound flight in 2001, while Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to trigger explosives hidden in his underwear on a plane to Detroit in 2009.

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Re: Sochi 2014: US warns airlines of Russia 'toothpaste' bomb threat
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 08:48:03 AM »
Limiting tube size to 3 oz. won't prevent a terrorist act?  :whistle:
Sochi-bound flights warned of ‘toothpaste bombs’
By Andy Soltis and Post Wires/NY Post
February 5, 2014 | 5:20pm

The US government is warning airlines that fly to Russia to beware of terrorists who might try to smuggle bomb-making explosives aboard planes in toothpaste tubes or cosmetics containers, it was reported Wednesday.

The Department of Homeland Security said there was no information about a “specific threat.”

A senior American official said the warning was based on “very new” intelligence and the concern was limited to flights originating outside the United States and headed to Russia, NBC News said.

Anti-terror experts fear explosives smuggled in tubes and containers and carried aboard in luggage could be assembled into a bomb when the plane is in flight.

No source of the intelligence or time frame for when an attack could occur was disclosed, according to NBC.

That network and CBS said explosives could be smuggled in toothpaste tubes, but CNN said US officials are also warning about cosmetics containers.

An anti-terror official told CBS that toothpaste tubes could be innocent-looking explosives containers “just like printer cartridges or a shoe.”

“This may be the new hot item,” the official said.

The possibility of shoes being used as a terrorist weapon seemed remote before Richard Reid tried to detonate 100 pounds of plastic explosives in his shoes in December 2001 on a Paris-Miami flight.

Asked if the intelligence could prompt new restrictions in carry-on luggage, the senior official told NBC. “That’s not up to us. That would be up to airlines and authorities overseas.”

Russia has suffered three suicide bombings in the last three months, and terrorists have called for attacks to disrupt the Winter Olympics, which begin Friday in the city of Sochi.

Last month, Russia banned liquids on all planes headed to Sochi.

The US currently has regulations banning passengers from bringing on board any containers with more than three fluid ounces of any liquid or gel. That includes toothpaste tubes.

In a statement Wednesday, Homeland Security downplayed the danger. “Out of an abundance of caution, [the department] regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners,” it said.
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