Homeland Security to Increase Security on Overseas Flights Headed to U.S.

By:  Warren Mass
Homeland Security to Increase Security on Overseas Flights Headed to U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security released a statement from DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson on July 2 stating: “I have directed TSA to implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States.”

Jeh assured the public: “We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible…. As always, we will continue to adjust security measures to promote aviation security without unnecessary disruptions to the traveling public.”

Reuters reported that an unnamed U.S. official told the news agency that some of the new measures would involve additional inspections of passengers’ shoes and property.

The official also said that the U.S. government had legal authority to enforce new security requirements at foreign governments or airports on flights that go directly to the United States.

In an interview on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show on July 2, Johnson spoke about the changes in security procedures:

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 and so this is something that happens periodically and people should not overreact to it or over-speculate about what’s going on. But there clearly are concerns centered around aviation security that we need to be vigilant about. There is a terrorist threat to this country that remains, and I believe that counter-terrorism needs to be the cornerstone of our mission, our vast mission … and aviation security is something that we still have a fair amount of concerns about.

ABC News reported on July 2 that U.S. officials learned earlier this year that members of the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria — the Al Nusrah Front — as well as radicals from other groups were collaborating with elements of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which built devices to designed to circumvent security screening equipment, such as the “underwear bomb” that failed to detonate in a plane over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009.

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