U.S. officials are worried that al-Qaida has developed a new kind of bomb that can go undetected by airport security, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Intelligence agencies recently found out that al-Qaida’s Yemeni affiliate, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, has developed a method for smuggling explosives through airport metal detectors, body scanners and physical pat-downs, two anonymous U.S. counterterrorism officials told the newspaper in a Wednesday article.
The concern has prompted Homeland Security Department head Jeh Johnson to order the implementation of “enhanced security measures” in the days ahead for U.S.-bound flights departing from Europe and the Middle East.
Officials are reportedly worried that al-Qaida might recruit Westerners that have been radicalized from their experience fighting in the Syrian civil war to smuggle the new type of bomb aboard a U.S.-bound passenger flight. U.S. agencies do not have information about any definitive plan to attack an airliner.
The tightened security will go into effect at 15 foreign airports, unidentified officials told the New York Times. Homeland Security has shared some intelligence and details about the new security protocols with partner governments and airline companies.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is understood to be more focused than any other foreign terrorist group on carrying out direct attacks on the U.S. homeland. The jihadist group thrice before has attempted unsuccessfully to bomb cargo and passenger planes flying to the United States. The organization’s head explosives expert, Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, is still at large and has instructed a number of followers in the art of bomb making, officials said.
Some analysts believe that al-Qaida has a new incentive to carry out a high-profile attack on the United States or Europe in order to burnish its jihadist reputation, following the recent successes of its excommunicated former franchise, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, in seizing control of broad swaths of land.
In the United Kingdom, the British Department for Transport on Wednesday announced it it would “step up some of our aviation security measures” in response to intelligence warnings from the United States, the London Guardian reported.
What We're Following See More »
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said Monday he'd now be willing to hold a hearing on Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland in a lame-duck session of Congress. While he said he wouldn't push for it, he said if "Hillary Clinton wins the White House, and a majority of senators convinced him to do so," he would soften his previous opposition.
In a new Monmouth University poll, 46% of likely voters support Clinton and 39% back Trump, with 7% supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson, and 2% backing Jill Stein of the Green Party. That's down from a poll taken right after the Democratic convention, in which Clinton led by 13 points.
“Hillary Clinton’s advisers are talking to Donald J. Trump’s ghostwriter of The Art of the Deal, seeking insights about Mr. Trump’s deepest insecurities as they devise strategies to needle and undermine him in four weeks at the first presidential debate, the most anticipated in a generation. ... Her team is also getting advice from psychology experts to help create a personality profile of Mr. Trump to gauge how he may respond to attacks and deal with a woman as his sole adversary on the debate stage.”
The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has requested documents from the CEO of Mylan, "the pharmaceutical company under fire after raising the price of EpiPens more than 400 percent since 2007." Meanwhile, top members of the Energy and Commerce Committee are pressing the FDA on the lack of generic competition for EpiPens.