Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued an alert to airlines about terrorists armed with a shoe bomb boarding flights bound for the U.S.
An unnamed DHS official said the threat is based on relevant information and the advisory is routine to its mission of keeping travelers safe.
CNN quoted unnamed sources as saying on Wednesday that intelligence gathered by the U.S. indicate that terror groups have been working on new shoe-bomb designs.
The use of a shoe bomb is not new. In December 2001, just weeks after the 9/11 attack, a British passenger aboard an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami was subdued by other passengers before he could detonate explosives hidden in his sneakers. The passenger, Richard Reid, was convicted of terrorism and is now serving a life sentence without parole in a maximum-security U.S. prison.
Reid’s arrest set a precedent in airport security measures as airline passengers going through security checkpoints are now required to take off their shoes to be X-rayed.
With the latest alert, increased security are expected with more pat downs and shoe checks to be done on travelers.