WASHINGTON – Passengers flying to the U.S. from some airports in the Middle East and Europe will be put through tougher security screening in response to intelligence that a terrorist group in Yemen has developed a new method for smuggling a bomb onto a jetliner, two U.S.counter-terrorism officials said Wednesday.
Intelligence agencies recently learned that a bomb maker working for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had created a technique for hiding explosives that could evade existing metal detectors, body scanners and pat-downs, the officials said.
Officials are concerned that the method could be shared with Western fighters in Syria who might have valid passports and visas that would allow them to board a flight to the U.S.
The agencies did not have details about a specific plot directed at U.S.-bound airlines, according to the officials, who were not authorized to speak publicly.
In response to the information, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson is ordering the Transportation Security Administration to take “enhanced security measures” in the coming days.