US to call for worldwide tightening of airport security measures over fears of ‘new generation’ of Syrian terror attacks

Barack Obama issues warning about return of ‘battle-hardened’ European fighters

The US has reportedly received intelligence that militant groups in the Middle East are preparing a new generation of “creative” non-metallic explosives, representing a challenge to existing airport security measures around the world.

After the militant group Isis declared the formation of an Islamic state and a “new era of international jihad”, ABC News reported that two other rebel factions were believed to be preparing to target a US- or Europe-bound passenger jet.

The Obama administration is now reportedly considering a complete overhaul of its system of security checks at the US’s international airports – and may ask its overseas partners to do the same.

ABC quoted one defence source as saying the threat, discussed at the White House over the course of the past week by senior intelligence agencies, is “different and more disturbing” than previous plots that have involved potentially using explosives hidden in toothpaste, shoes and ink cartridges.

Barack Obama has long been reluctant to arm the Syrian opposition, in part because of concerns that weapons may fall into extremist hands Barack Obama has long been reluctant to arm the Syrian opposition, in part because of concerns that weapons may fall into extremist hands US officials were reported to have specific concerns about the al-Qa’ida-affiliate group the Al Nusrah Front in Syria, which they said has now teamed up with Yemen-based al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula – the group behind the “underwear bomb” which failed to detonate in a plane over Detroit in 2009.

According to ABC, the Syrian threat was identified earlier this year and the Department of Homeland Security, FBI and other agencies have been developing new potential security measures for airports ever since. Those plans were now believed to be in their final stages.

Speaking to ABC’s This Week in an interview which also aired yesterday, Mr Obama did not address the latest news on the potential bomb threat.

Read more:
Isis changes name and declares a new Islamic state
Russian fighter jets arrive to hold back Isis approach
Helicopter gunships launch dawn air strikes on Isis-held Tikrit
Sectarian hatred stalks Baghdad as Shia-Sunni gulf widens
Patrick Cockburn: Kerry's search for moderates is five years late
Isis execution site where 160 killed identified by satellite images

But he did raise concerns that “battle-hardened” militants with European passports represented a growing risk to US security.

On the rise of Sunni extremist groups across northern Syria and Iraq generally, the President said: “They're gaining strength in some places.

“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,” he said.

Mr Obama said that the US must improve surveillance, reconnaissance and intelligence gathering to combat the risk, and that Special Forces troops would have a role. He said military strikes against organisations that could harm the US may also be used.

Congressman Peter King, a New York Republican and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, also interviewed on This Week, warned: “The terrorists in Syria are extremely sophisticated, very advanced, and so thousands of people can go back to Europe and come here.”

Meanwhile, also in Washington yesterday, a spokesperson for the Obama administration reacted to Isis’s self-proclaimed “restoration of the caliphate” by calling on the international community to unite in the face of the threat posed by the Sunni extremists.

“Isis’s strategy to develop a caliphate across the region has been clear for some time now,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said. “That is why this is a critical moment for the international community to stand together against Isis and the advances it has made.”

News
news

Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

Sport
Erik Lamela celebrates his goal
football

Argentinian scored 'rabona' wonder goal for Tottenham in Europa League – see it here

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift performs at the 2014 iHeart Radio Music Festival
musicReview: 1989's songs attempt to encapsulate dramatic emotional change in a few striking lines
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Anderson plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders series two
tvReview: Arthur Shelby Jr seems to be losing his mind as his younger brother lets him run riot in London
Voices
Don’t try this at home: DIY has now fallen out of favour
voicesNick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of it
Arts and Entertainment
Miranda Hart has called time on her award-winning BBC sitcom, Miranda
tv
Sport
Phil Jones (left) attempts to stop the progress of West Bromwich Albion’s James Morrison on Monday
Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo, writes Paul Scholes
Arts and Entertainment
Saw point: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Serena’
filmReview: Serena is a strangely dour and downbeat affair
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
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

English Teacher

£4848 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Manchester Secondary: Outstanding...

Cover Supervisors/Teaching Assistants Secondary Schools in York

Negotiable: Randstad Education Leeds: Cover Supervisors/Long Term Teaching Ass...

Science Teacher

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Science Teacher...

Cover Supervisor

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Cover Supervisors needed for seco...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker