COUNTER TERRORISM: U.S. and Europe Grapple with Bomb Threats
Guarding Against More Cargo Plane Bombs
Following the recent attempt to smuggle package bombs into the U.S., Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano spoke with leaders from the major air cargo companies about how to make things safer in the wake of the Yemen bomb plot.
Napolitano spoke with officials Thursday (Nov. 4) from UPS, DHL, FedEx and TNT, to discuss enhanced air cargo screening and security efforts following last week’s disrupted attempt to conceal and ship explosive devices onboard aircraft bound for the U.S. from Yemen.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Napolitano said she is committed to partnering with the shipping industry to strengthen cargo security through enhanced screening and other preventative measures, including terrorism awareness training for personnel.
Following her call with shipping industry leaders, Napolitano spoke with Giovanni Bisignani, director general of the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association (IATA). They iscussed continued DHS collaboration with private sector partners and international allies to secure the global supply chain through a layered security approach.
France Arrests Brothers on Terrorism Charges
Meanwhile, bomb threats and bomb plots continue to bedevil several countries in Europe. CNN reports that French authorities have arrested two brothers on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack. The pair, who are French, were taken into custody Wednesday (Nov. 3).
France is at its second-highest level of terror alert and 85 people have been arrested on suspicion of links to terrorism this year. About 27 of them are still in custody, officials said.
Greece Intercepts 14th Letter Bomb
And in Greece, authorities are dealing with a spate of letter bombs – sent mostly to foreign embassies and governments. The 14th suspect device, sent to French Embassy in Athens, was detonated by police.
Two bombs exploded at the Swiss and Russian embassies earlier, slightly injuring a courier service employee. The devices are small and apparently do not pack enough explosive to seriously hurt anyone, the BBC reported. Authorities believe the bombs are the work of militant Greek leftists and not linked to international terrorism. Two Greek men have been arrested in connection with some of the bombs.
The spate of bombs has prompted Greek officials to halt the delivery of overseas mail.