Airport security stepped up after US warns of new threat

President Barack Obama has said his administration is concerned by the presence of foreign militants fighting in Syria and Iraq

The UK is to step up security at airports after a request to do so from the US based on intelligence reports that militant groups in the Middle East are preparing a new generation of non-metallic explosives that could be carried undetected on to commercial flights.

ABC News quoted a defence source as saying the threat is “different and more disturbing” than previous plots, which involved explosives hidden in toothpaste, shoes and ink cartridges. The US is increasing security at its airports and has asked other countries to do the same.

A UK Department for Transport spokesman said Britain had decided to “step up some of our aviation security measures”, but declined to comment on the detail “for obvious reasons”. The spokesman denied the extra measures would cause delays, saying: “The majority of passengers should not experience significant disruption.”

The developing danger is thought to have been discussed by senior intelligence officials at the White House last week, according to ABC. The Department of Homeland Security is expected to issue new instructions to international airports where flights into the US originate, including closer inspection of travellers’ electronics and shoes, more random passenger screenings and several other undisclosed activities.

The new directives reportedly stem from intelligence focused on Jabhat al-Nusra, a group of radical militants based in Syria, who are believed to be working with members of al-Qa’ida’s franchise in Yemen, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, to fashion “creative” designs for explosives to be used to bring down planes. Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula was responsible for the so-called “underwear bomb”, a thwarted plot to target a flight from the Netherlands to Detroit in 2009.

President Barack Obama has said his administration is particularly concerned by the presence of foreign militants fighting in Syria and Iraq, who could board flights to the US without a visa, using their European passports. In an interview with NBC, Mr Obama said: “We’ve seen Europeans who are sympathetic to their cause travelling into Syria and now may travel into Iraq, getting battle-hardened. Then they come back.”

News of the threat comes after the militant group Isis declared the formation of an Islamic state in the regions of Iraq and Syria that it controls. The US has already sent several hundred troops and military advisers to Iraq in response to the Isis advance, while last week Mr Obama asked Congress to approve $500m (£293m) for arming and training moderate Syrian opposition fighters.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review