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

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
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 »
SAUDI ARABIA BILL
Veto Override Scheduled for Wednesday in Senate
14 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this afternoon that the Senate on Wednesday will take up an override of President Obama's veto of legislation that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia. "The vote is expected garner the two-thirds majority necessary to override the veto."

Source:
MEDIA SHOULD HOLD TRUMP RESPONSIBLE
Reid Devotes Senate Floor Speech to Trump’s ‘Racism’
58 minutes ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump is a racist," announced Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid from the Senate floor this afternoon. Reid said all of us are occasionally politically incorrect, but "I don't know of anyone that when that happens doesn't acknowledge it and, if necessary, apologize quickly." But Trump, he added, says things with "full intent to demean and to denigrate." Reid argued that the media isn't holding Trump to account, and should explicitly call him a racist.

ABSENT FROM LIST: GENNIFER FLOWERS
Most Trump Guests Have Military Ties
4 hours ago
THE LATEST
TOP OF MIND
Trending on Google: ‘Why Should Trump Not Be President’
4 hours ago
THE DETAILS
WHO PLAYED THE DONALD?
Longtime Clinton Aide Played Trump in Mock Debates
7 hours ago
THE DETAILS

After keeping the information private for most of the lead-up to the debate on Monday, it has been revealed that longtime Clinton aide Philippe Reines has been playing the role of Donald Trump in her debate prep. Reines knows Clinton better than most, able to identify both her strengths and weaknesses, and his selection for a sparring partner shows that Clinton is preparing for the brash and confrontational Donald Trump many have come to expect.

Source:
×