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Officials: U.S. airport security could detect al-Qaida bomb

U.S. and allied intelligence agencies in the last 10 days seized an explosive device that was an improved version of the “underwear bomb” in the failed Christmas Day 2009 airline bombing attempt, U.S. officials said on Monday.

Officials said the bomb and the plot to introduce it aboard an aircraft with a suicide bomber was the work of Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, considered to be the group’s most dangerous offshoot.

There was no immediate sign the Obama administration was ordering changes in airline security procedures. The latest plot never came close to fruition and no aircraft was in danger.

The Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday emphasized the importance of security measures to air carriers and foreign government partners. “The guidance issued today simply reiterates and updates existing security guidelines and encourages continued vigilance in light of the recently apprehended device,” a DHS official said.

Because the device was similar to the one in the failed 2009 attempt over Detroit by Nigerian-born militant Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, security steps taken since “would have been able to prevent this device from bringing down an airplane,” the official said.

Other U.S. officials said that current airport metal detectors probably would have trouble spotting a device which had no metal parts.

But airport body scanners, which use light doses of radiation to scan through a passenger’s clothes, ought to be able to detect “anomalies” which could then be further examined in a hands-on, pat down search, they said.  Read More

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Posted on May 8, 2012, in #breaking news, #social media and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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