• New airline shoe-bomb threat warning

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    WASHINGTON, D.C.: United States (US) security officials warned on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) about a potential shoe-bomb threat on international flights to the US, local media reported.

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a warning to airlines based on “very recent intelligence” considered credible that assailants would try to attack passenger jets using explosives hidden in shoes, National Broadcasting Co. (NBC) television reported.

    Officials told NBC that passengers may be subjected to enhanced security screenings and airlines will pay more attention to passengers’ shoes.

    Some airports already require passengers to take off their shoes for security after Richard Reid tried to detonate explosives stashed in his shoes during a Paris-Miami flight just three months after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

    Terror groups are working on new shoe-bomb designs, according to in- telligence collected by the United States and other allies, Cable News Net- work reported.

    Officials told NBC the information about the latest threat was not specific to any particular country, airline or time, stressing that there was no indication of a specific plot.

    DHS officials, who declined to comment specifically about the threat, told Columbia Broadcasting System television the alert was put out because of an “abundance of caution.”

    Earlier this month, US security officials warned of explosives hidden in tooth- paste tubes.

    “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 agency said.

    On Christmas Day 2009, Nigerian man Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to blow up an airliner as it made its descent into Detroit from Amsterdam, using explosives hidden in his underwear. He was only 23 at the time.

    AFP

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