Thermoses, coffee cups added to list of possible terrorist weapons
During the busiest travel season of the year, travelers carrying thermoses or beverage cups – which could be used to conceal explosive materials – may be subject to extra scrutiny.
Airline travelers this holiday season have one more thing to think about: whether to pack or carry a thermos bottle or beverage cup.Skip to next paragraph
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On one of the busiest travel days of the year, federal officials have alerted travelers to the likelihood of extra scrutiny regarding such items – which could be used to conceal explosive materials.
“Passengers traveling with insulated beverage containers can expect to see additional screening of these items using procedures currently in place, including X-ray screening, physical inspection and the use of explosives trace detection technology,” states an advisory issued Thursday night by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Officials note no specific threat regarding thermos bottles and cups. But the warning to Christmas Eve travelers and others flying on airliners over the winter holidays – 43.6 million people, according to the Air Transport Association of America – comes as part of a broader official effort regarding airport and airline security.
Since then, there’s been an attempted car bombing in New York’s Times Square, the shipment of explosives hidden in printer toner cartridges on cargo planes bound for the US from Yemen, and several arrests of suspected domestic terrorists as the result of sting operations by the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies.
Most notably, that includes Mohamed Osman Mohamud, arrested recently for allegedly plotting to explode a bomb at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Ore., where thousands of families had gathered for the traditional Christmas tree lighting. In October, a Pakistani-born US citizen was arrested on charges of plotting to carry out a coordinated bombing attack on Metrorail stations in suburban Virginia near Washington.