Airlines warned about possible toothpaste tube bombs ahead of Olympics
February 5th, 2014
06:58 PM ET

Airlines warned about possible toothpaste tube bombs ahead of Olympics

By Mike Ahlers

The United States is advising airlines with direct flights serving Russia to be aware of the possibility that explosive materials could be concealed in toothpaste or cosmetic tubes, according to a law enforcement source.

The source emphasized on Wednesday that there was no known threat to the United States, but the notice to U.S. and international carriers is based on new intelligence information ahead of the start of the Olympics in Sochi this week.

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Filed under: Russia
Terror alert spurs extra screening of cargo flown into U.S.
August 6th, 2013
10:30 PM ET

Terror alert spurs extra screening of cargo flown into U.S.

By Mike M. Ahlers

All in-bound cargo on commercial flights from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa - and quite possibly other areas of the world - is getting screened twice, as a result of the recent terror threats, according to a cargo industry official.

The Department of Homeland Security late last week ordered airlines to increase inspections of cargo at the last point of departure for the United States, said Brandon Fried, executive director of Airforwarders Association, a trade group.

"They said, until further notice, this is what you're going to do," Fried said.

"Nothing unscreened gets on the plane," Fried said. "Basically they said, 'If you used one method, or several methods (of inspecting cargo), you need to do it again. It's redundant, dual screening."

 

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Filed under: Homeland Security • Terrorism
Napolitano: 'Lots of chatter' on jihadi websites ahead of 9/11
DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano Photo by Paul Courson/CNN
September 8th, 2011
02:35 PM ET

Napolitano: 'Lots of chatter' on jihadi websites ahead of 9/11

By Mike M. Ahlers
Intelligence officials have picked up "lots of chatter" on jihadi websites and elsewhere about the impending 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, but nothing yet that warrants issuing a threat advisory, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday.
Nonetheless, the department will be at a heightened level of readiness as the nation commemorates the anniversary, "staffing up" Federal Air Marshals and other agencies.
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Filed under: 9/11 • Al Qaeda • Homeland Security • Living With Terror • Napolitano • Terrorism
Program puts controllers near the pilot's seat
Hartsfield Jackson International Airport Photo by Rich Brooks/CNN
August 16th, 2011
04:45 PM ET

Program puts controllers near the pilot's seat

By Mike M. Ahlers

All day, almost every day, air traffic controller Chris Boughn talks to pilots.
But despite one pleasantry he frequently hears - "We'll see ya soon" - the high-altitude controller rarely sees a pilot or an aircraft.
It is, he says, like being a chef who has cooked for decades, but never sees his customers or tastes his own food.
All of that changed recently when Boughn boarded a United Airlines B-757 and sat in a jumpseat directly behind the captain and first officer. Any closer and he would have needed wings.
Boughn (pronounced "Bonn") is among the first air traffic controllers to participate in Flight Deck Training - an FAA program that puts controllers in the cockpit to teach them about life "on the other side of the frequency."
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