Airport smartphone security screening tightens due to al-Qaida threats
All airlines which fly direct to the US have been told to tighten up checks on smartphones amid new al-Qaida bomb threats. Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy smartphones are the devices which will be put under most scrutiny a source says.
The fear that terrorists could use smartphones for bomb attacks means that all passengers of direct flights from Europe, the Middle East and Africa have been singled out for extra security checks, according to Sky News, concentrating especially on Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy handset owners. Those airlines or airport operators who fail to strengthen security could face bans on flights entering the US.
A self contained bomb in a smartphone – or in the terrorist’s body
Warnings were given earlier this week of an al-Qaida effort to produce an undetectable bomb which could potentially be smuggled through airport security most likely hidden in a smartphone. However, US intelligence sources also pointed out that the bombs could be surgically implanted into an insurgent’s body or embedded in clothing or shoes.
“It will mean (more) random searches, secondary searches and an increase in the number of passengers asked to remove shoes and possibly all passengers being asked to remove shoes if they’re going on certain flights,” British aviation security expert Philip Baum said.
Passengers taking direct flights to the US are warned to arrive well in advance of scheduled departures in order to have time for extra security screening, but additional security is not expected to cause a significant disruption to flights.