Another shoe bomb? The US Department of Homeland Security warned airlines on Wednesday that “very recent intelligence” indicates there may be a security threat to airplanes from explosives hidden in shoes.
The department told airport screeners to check passengers’ shoes for traces of explosives, citing credible threats that a shoe bomb may be used to attack commercial passenger jets entering the U.S. from abroad.
“Out of an abundance of caution, DHS regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners about relevant threat information as we work to meet our mission of keeping the traveling public safe,” said the DHS official, who is not authorized to comment publicly about an ongoing investigation (except for this one comment, I guess).
“These types of regular communications are part of that important priority.”
Argh. Well, I suppose I will complain slightly less now when TSA agents make me remove my shoes. Damn you Richard Reid for trying to blow up a plane with your shoe bomb! Look what you’ve started!
But shoe bombs aren’t the only things to be worried about on a flight – and I’m not talking about co-pilots hijacking planes – I’m talking about toothpaste bombs.
The shoe bomb warning is the second time in recent weeks that the US has warned of an increased threat of explosives on aircrafts. A couple of weeks ago the US told airlines to be on the lookout for explosives hidden in toothpaste tubes on direct flights to Russia. Worried that terrorists might hide bomb-making materials in toothpaste tubes for assembly into an explosive device, the government banned on all liquids, gels and aerosols from carry-on luggage on flights between the U.S. and Russia ahead of the Olympics.
Hopefully toothpaste will never be permanently banned from flights – because that would be awfully inconvenient. Not more inconvenient than getting blown up by a toothpaste bomb, but still pretty inconvenient. I mean, airlines didn’t ban underwear after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to bomb a Delta jet with explosives hidden in his pants, so there’s still hope for toothpaste.