'WOMAN IN BLACK' REVEALEDMAJOR POT CROP FOUNDGAS LEAK MISTAKESNEW WAREHOUSE ROW STORES
WTVC NewsChannel 9 :: News - Top Stories - Security Increased for Incoming U.S. Flights
Updated:
Wednesday, July 2 2014, 09:19 PM EDT
Security Increased for Incoming U.S. Flights
The Obama administration is planning to move forward with efforts to increase security at airports overseas amid deepening concerns that terrorists in war-ravaged Syria are trying to develop a new generation of bombs that could be smuggled onto commercial planes, sources told ABC News.

Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security is likely to issue a series of urgent directives in the next two weeks to airport authorities and airlines operating overseas, requiring them to expand passenger screening if they want to fly commercial planes into the United States, the sources said.

The proposed directives include requiring airport authorities overseas, particularly in Europe, to further scrutinize U.S.-bound passengers' electronics and shoes, to set up more explosives detection machines, to increase random screenings of travelers and to take a series of secret actions the public would never see.

At least some of those proposed directives have now been green-lighted by administration officials, and a notification could be sent to airlines and airports within the next two weeks, the sources said.

'This is never a decision that [DHS] makes lightly,' one source said. 'It's something that has to be warranted. It has to be something particularly serious for [DHS] to even consider increasing security.'

The Department of Homeland Security, FBI and other U.S. agencies have been quietly debating for months whether to ask overseas partners to boost their security posture and whether to take action here at home. The back-and-forth has been based on intelligence showing that a particularly extreme 'subset' of terrorist groups in Syria was working alongside operatives from al Qaeda's prolific offshoot in Yemen to produce 'creative' new designs for bombs, as one source put it.

Earlier this year, U.S. officials learned that associates of the al Qaeda affiliate in Syria - the Al Nusrah Front - and radicals from other groups were teaming up with elements of the Yemen-based group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which built such innovative devices as the 'underwear bomb' that ultimately failed to detonate in a plane over Detroit Christmas Day 2009.

Bolstered by more recent intelligence, U.S. analysts believe the 'subset' of extreme terrorists in Syria could be looking to down a U.S.- or European-bound plane, with help from one of the thousands of Americans and other foreign fighters carrying U.S. and European passports who have joined Al Nusrah Front and other groups in the region.

While intelligence obtained by the U.S. government has not indicated a specific target or a specific timeline, one source called the threat 'different and more disturbing than past aviation plots.'

Asked Monday by ABC News whether his European counterparts were doing enough to address the threat emanating from Syria, FBI Director James Comey said European authorities are 'doing a tremendous amount of work 'but that it was "hard for [him] to say' whether it's enough.

While U.S. officials have been outspoken about the dangers posed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and, separately, the threat of foreign fighters in Syria, the latest intelligence shows that the two threats have bonded in an unusually powerful way, essentially creating a sum more worrisome than its parts.

After coming across the initial thread of intelligence earlier this year, U.S. officials, in regular consultation with the White House, developed a 'detailed plan' for addressing the issue, as one source put it. That plan was presented several weeks ago to the White House, which has been debating with other agencies whether the potential security benefits outweigh the potential impacts on partners overseas.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson has the authority to unilaterally issue directives to airlines overseas, but agency heads like him generally prefer to have the backing of the White House when making big moves. After all, issuing such security directives carries both economic and diplomatic implications.

Getting foreign governments all on the same page is no easy task, and forcing authorities overseas to increase security measures demands more manpower and resources from those foreign governments and airlines. Nevertheless, while airlines overseas could refuse to comply with DHS security directives and drop U.S.-bound flights from their routes, economic pressures virtually eliminate that as an option.

This would not be the first time DHS has issued urgent directives to airlines overseas. In July 2006, TSA issued at least two 'emergency amendments' to foreign carriers, detailing 'enhanced security measures for all flights' to the United States. A month later, the U.S. and British governments disclosed that they had thwarted a plot to down several planes with liquid explosives hidden in carry-on luggage.

The latest potentially lethal partnership in Syria is at least part of what sparked an advisory to airlines earlier this year to look out for explosives-laden toothpaste tubes, cosmetics and shoes.

Since January, officials with access to the country's most sensitive intelligence have warned publicly that hard-to-detect 'technologies and techniques' were being exported to Syria, that foreign fighters from the West were 'learn[ing] new things' and 'build[ing] new relationships' in Syria, and that "training complexes" were popping up there to prepare Western fighters for terrorist attacks against their home countries.

More recently, Comey, the FBI director, said the U.S. government is spending 'a tremendous amount of time and effort trying to identify' anyone who's gone to Syria, but 'the challenge' is not missing anyone.
Security Increased for Incoming U.S. Flights

Advertise with us!

Related Stories

  • TN/GA Regional News
  • National News
  • International News
  • WTVC :: Community - The Good Life

    The Good Life

    Celebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
  • WTVC :: Community - Sideroads

    Sideroads

    Take a ride with Brian Smith to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
  • WTVC :: Community - Road Trippin

    Road Trippin

    Come Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
  • WTVC :: Community - Closings and Delays

    Closings and Delays

    These are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
  • WTVC :: Community - Educator of the Year

    Educator of the Year

    Vote now on your favorite candidate teacher for the Educator of the Year!
  • WTVC :: Community - Wednesday's Child

    Wednesday's Child



  • WTVC :: Community - Deaf & Hard of Hearing

    Deaf & Hard of Hearing

    Information provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
  • WTVC :: Community - Community Calendar

    Community Calendar



  • WTVC :: Community - Photo Galleries

    Photo Galleries



  • WTVC :: Community - Sponsored Events

    Sponsored Events

    Check Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!

NewsChannel9 Top Stories

Deadly Accident on Highway 58

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Friday

Middle East Crisis

Our Friday Facebook Friend of the Day

Proposed 44.28% Dade County Property Tax Increase Fails

Patients With Deadly Ebola Virus To Be Transferred To Georgia Hospital

Robbery at Collegedale Credit Union

UPDATE: Hundreds Of Marijuana Plants Found In Grundy County

Gas Leak Follow Up: Mistakes Made

Bulletproof Vests Approved for Chattanooga Firefighters

Summer's Last Splash: A Really Cool Treehouse

Summer's Last Splash: Hiking in Marion County

Summer's Last Splash: the Lookouts

Summer's Last Splash: School Supply Race Between Latricia & Josh

New Retail Stores & Spa Coming to Warehouse Row

Hamilton County Teachers Surveyed on Top Needed School Supplies

Bike Traffic Light on North Shore First of Its Kind in Tennessee

Collegedale Concession Stand Fire Believed Arson

Boyd Buchanan Football Squad to Use Safer Helmets

Portion of Highway 58 Dedicated To Fallen Firefighter

Effort Underway to Build Parks in Honor of Child Who Died in Hot Car

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Thursday

It's a Geep?!?!

Ebola Update in West Africa

Our Thursday Facebook Friend of the Day

Dump Truck Tips Over on Mowbray Mtn.

New Hospital To Aid One Of The Unhealthiest Counties in TN

Mocs First Day of Practice

All on Board For CFC National Championship Game

Chattanooga Police Chief Addresses Department Diversity Concerns

UPDATE: New Clinic Means New Hope for Veterans

Identity of Mysterious "Woman in Black" Revealed

Gas Leak Forces Business Evacuations

Candidates Vie For Hamilton County District 1 Commission Seat

Parents Petition to Preserve Popular Playground

Back to School Means It's Immunization Time

Tennessee's TCAP Scores Released

Marion County Girl Named TN's National American Miss

Woman Testifies She Saw Holly Bobo on Video

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Wednesday

Middle East Update

A Close Call as a Train Comes!

Fugitives on the Run Caught

Our Wednesday Facebook Friend of the Day

Residents Sound Off To Chattanooga City Council On Sound Ordinance

Chattanooga Man Shot in the Hip

Accuser Collapses During Preliminary Hearing for Rape Suspect

Phone Scam Targeting Seniors Spreading to Area Counties

Chattanooga City Council Holds Public Hearing on Noise Ordinance Proposal

McMinn County Sheriff's Office Gets Guns from Military Surplus

Last Airman Aboard Enola Gay Dies in Georgia

House Fire Blamed on Man Using Electric Pump to Transfer Gasoline

3rd Annual GigTank Event Showcases Inventions, Ideas and Innovation

Bipartisan Deal to Reform VA Includes New Clinic in Chattanooga

US & Europe to Impose Tough New Sanctions on Russia

Child's Body Found in Wheel Well of U.S. Military Aircraft

Immigrant Advocates Say They're Puzzled by Governor Haslam's Letter to President Obama

Georgia Mother Charged with Leaving Kids in Hot Car

Overturned Tractor Trailer in McMinn Co

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Tuesday

MUST SEE: Former UT Vol Peyton Manning Dances at Broncos Practice

Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

GMC teams celebrates Drew Bollea's Birthday

Our Tuesday Facebook Friend of the Day

Changes Coming to Bradley SPCA Animal Shelter

CFC Heading To New Jersey For Championship

Chattanooga Man Shot In The Knee

Bradley County Boy Recovering from Dog Attack

Suspect in Hidden Bathroom Cam Investigation Speaks Out

Snow Leopard Dies at Chattanooga Zoo

Peggy Carroll - A Mother to Children in Need

Chattanooga Choo Choo to Undergo an "Extreme Makeover"

1000 Gallons a Minute: Major Flooding on North Shore

First Day In Pads In Tennessee

House Deemed Total Loss After Fire

Local Business Leaders Discuss Climate Change Impact

Hardwick Clothes Celebrates 134 Years in Business in Cleveland

Health Officials Scramble to Contain Ebola Outbreak

Cell Phone Burns Up Girl's Bed

Massive Phone Outage in Cherokee County, NC

HazMat Spill Shuts Down Amnicola

Severe Weather Strikes Across the Country

Our Monday Facebook Friend of the Day

GMC Mid-Morning Update for Monday

Man Dies in Sunday Morning Stabbing

Cleveland Candlelight Vigil for 17-Month-Old Baby

"Rising Star" Contestant with Local Ties

Governor Haslam's Plea to President Obama Over Immigrant Children

Man Drowns in Polk County

Rival Bikers Involved in Shooting in Athens

Roughnecks Memorial for K9 Tanja

Motorcycle Accident in Clevelend

Singing Sensation: Slava Korsak

From Scraps to Art Bikes

More Negative Political Ads Surface In Third Congressional District Race

10-Month-Old Kansas Girl Dies After Being Left In Hot Car

The Price of Freedom: UTC's Veteran Entrepreneur Program

Chattanooga Man Charged with Aggravated Rape of A Child

Common Core Town Hall Prompts Some to Do Their Research

Police Need Help Finding Fraud Suspects

Advertise with us!

Newsmax Headlines

Sponsored content

Business News

Asia stocks dip on Dow drop

HONG KONG (AP) -- Most Asian stock markets dipped on Friday following a big sell-off on Wall Street but losses were limited by optimistic reports on China's economy.

Consumer Info

   WEST PALM BEACH, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 03/21/14 --
 Companies that pride themselves on being eco-friendly may have conflicted
 ideas between marketing with ad specialties and maintaining their green
 reputation. ...

Entertainment News

"GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY" - ZOE SALDANA

LONDON (AP) -- Zoe Saldana hopes fanboys find her sexy in "Guardians of the Galaxy" even though she has green skin.

Get This

DOGHOUSE ARREST

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) -- He went from the doghouse to the jailhouse.

Science/Tech News

IN THE NEWS: TWITTER SAYS GOVERNMENT REQUESTS FOR USER DATA GREW SHARPLY

NEW YORK (AP) -- Twitter says government requests for user data grew sharply in the past six months as more countries asked for a greater amount of information about users.


 

Tonight on WTVC NewsChannel 9

7:00 Wheel of Fortune

7:30 Jeopardy

8:00 Shark Tank

9:00 What Would You Do?

10:00 20/20

11:00 NewsChannel 9

11:35 Jimmy Kimmel Live

Complete Schedule »


Road Trippin
No Text Zone
Pay It Forward
Storm Track 9 Radar
Storm Track 9 Weather App