Seems that US authorities have been able to gather credible info that something bad is planned on flight(s) to the America sometime this summer and has instructed airports in the Europe, Middle East & Africa to conduct more comprehensive passenger searches.
New York Times reports (access here) that this more extensive screening would be carried out at 15 unnamed airports due to threat from Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen.
Here’s some tidbits from the Reuters piece:
The official said Washington had legal authority to enforce new security requirements on foreign governments or airports because the flights go directly to the United States.
Asked about the enhanced security steps in an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday night, Johnson said: “We continually evaluate the world situation and we not infrequently make changes to aviation security. We either step it up or we feel sometimes we’re in a position to dial it back.
“So this is something that happens periodically and people should not overreact to it or overspeculate about what’s going on,” he said.
Adding there is “a terrorist threat to this country that remains,” Johnson said: “We continually evaluate the world situation and if we think that there are improvements that we can and should make without unnecessarily disrupting the traveling public, we’ll do that.”
Earlier, law enforcement and security officials told Reuters the United States and European authorities were discussing measures that could include installation of additional bomb-detection machines.
Bombmakers from the Nusra Front, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, and Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, are believed to be working together to try to develop explosives that could avoid detection by current airport screening systems, U.S. national security sources said.
The main concern is that militant groups could try to blow up U.S.- or Europe-bound planes by concealing bombs on foreign fighters carrying Western passports who spent time with Islamist rebel factions in the region, the sources said.
Well. Not sure how the foreign airports are going to conduct more comprehensive searches for flights departing to the United States compared to today?
My personal view has always been that if someone or some terrorist group truly wants to take down an airline there is very little that the current security theater can do besides gathering advance intelligence and acting upon it. Very difficult for me to personally to understand why anyone would be willing to blow him/herself?
Let’s hope that the radicalism in the Middle East and horn of Africa would ease and we all could live in peace.