Report: U.S. Warns of Toothpaste Bomb Threat to Olympics

None

Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
Feb. 6, 2014, 7:37 a.m.

The U.S. Home­land Se­cur­ity De­part­ment has told some air­lines to be on the lookout for tooth­paste tubes that may con­tain bomb in­gredi­ents, law­makers say.

U.S. Rep­res­ent­at­ive Peter King (R-N.Y.), chair­man of the House Home­land Se­cur­ity Sub­com­mit­tee on Coun­terter­ror­ism and In­tel­li­gence, said he had been in­formed of the spe­cif­ic bomb danger and that it was a cred­ible threat, ABC News re­por­ted.

An uniden­ti­fied seni­or U.S. of­fi­cial said the cau­tion­ary warn­ing ap­plied to U.S. and some in­ter­na­tion­al air­lines con­duct­ing flights to Rus­sia for the 2014 Winter Olympics in So­chi.

“Any type of ex­plos­ive, con­cealed ex­plos­ive, can be ex­tremely dam­aging,” King said to CNN. “It could be enough to bring down a plane. … This is the type of threat that we’re very con­cerned about.”

A Home­land Se­cur­ity of­fi­cial would not com­ment on the re­por­ted warn­ing but said the de­part­ment “reg­u­larly shares rel­ev­ant in­form­a­tion with do­mest­ic and in­ter­na­tion­al part­ners, in­clud­ing those as­so­ci­ated with in­ter­na­tion­al events such as the So­chi Olympics.”

“As al­ways, our se­cur­ity ap­par­at­us in­cludes a num­ber of meas­ures, both seen and un­seen, and DHS will con­tin­ue to ad­just se­cur­ity meas­ures to fit an ever evolving threat en­vir­on­ment,” the of­fi­cial said.

A fed­er­al gov­ern­ment source said the in­form­a­tion about a tooth­paste bomb threat was con­nec­ted to the re­cent ap­pre­hen­sion in France of two Chechen wo­men.

Pos­sible ter­ror­ist threats to the So­chi games have re­ceived much at­ten­tion in re­cent weeks. Last month, it was re­por­ted that Rus­si­an au­thor­it­ies were con­cerned that so-called “black wid­ows” of slain Is­lam­ist fight­ers might be mak­ing their way to the Balt­ic Sea re­sort town in pre­par­a­tion for sui­cide bomb­ing at­tacks dur­ing the Olympics, which take place from Feb. 7 to 23.

U.S. Rep­res­ent­at­ive Mi­chael Mc­Caul (R-Texas) con­firmed to CNN that a Home­land Se­cur­ity ad­vis­ory was sent to air­lines to be on alert for bomb in­gredi­ents that could be used either in flight or in So­chi at­tacks.

The tooth­paste bomb wor­ries are primar­ily con­cen­trated around air travel from Europe and nearby Asi­an na­tions, ac­cord­ing to CNN.

The threat is “real,” an an­onym­ous gov­ern­ment in­sider said. “We got very good in­form­a­tion. It’s based on a cred­ible source. We’re tak­ing it ser­i­ously. So are oth­er coun­tries.”

While the U.S. gov­ern­ment has re­com­men­ded that U.S. cit­izens be cau­tious when trav­el­ing to Rus­sia, no new travel ad­vis­ory has been is­sued, the Los Angeles Times re­por­ted.

“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,” White House Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Coun­cil spokes­wo­man Laura Mag­nuson said.

One of the most re­cent ser­i­ous threats to a pas­sen­ger air­liner was on Christ­mas Day 2009 when an al-Qaida af­fil­i­ated ex­trem­ist un­suc­cess­fully at­temp­ted to blow up a plane fly­ing to De­troit us­ing chem­ic­al ex­plos­ive in­gredi­ents hid­den in his un­der­wear.

What We're Following See More »
‘PULLING A TRUMP’
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
15 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Source:
A DARK CLOUD OVER TRUMP?
Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
11 hours ago
THE LATEST

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

Source:
IN CASE OF EMERGENCY
A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
6 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Source:
×