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Homeland Security warns airlines about shoe bombs

Published February 19, 2014 7:11 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • The Homeland Security Department (DHS) has warned airlines that terrorists could try to hide explosives in shoes. It's the second time in less than three weeks that the government has issued a warning about possible attempts to smuggle explosives on a commercial jetliner.

Homeland Security said Wednesday it regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, but it declined to discuss specifics of a warning sent to airlines.

A U.S. intelligence official told The Associated Press that DHS released a notice to airlines reiterating that liquids, shoes and certain cosmetics were of concern, all of which are covered under existing Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security policies.

The latest warning was focused on flights headed to the United States from abroad.

Earlier this month Homeland Security warned airlines with flights to Russia to be on the lookout for explosive devices possibly hidden inside toothpaste. The TSA then banned passengers from bringing any liquids in their carry-on luggage on nonstop flights from the U.S. to Russia. That warning became public just days before the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Airline passengers in the United States have had to take off their shoes at airport security checkpoints since shortly after Richard Reid tried to ignite explosives hidden in his shoes on a Miami-bound flight in late 2001. Reid pleaded guilty to terrorism charges and is serving a life sentence.