Olympics: US warns of toothpaste bombs

2014-02-06 08:32
A biathlon athlete shoots during a training session at a centre near Sochi. (Kirill Kudryavtsev, AFP)

A biathlon athlete shoots during a training session at a centre near Sochi. (Kirill Kudryavtsev, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - The US government warned American and foreign airlines on Wednesday - just ahead of the Sochi Olympics - that terrorists could try to hide explosives in toothpaste tubes on Russia-bound flights.

An official told AFP it has information "specifically targeting flights to Russia," where the Winter Games kick off on Friday.

In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security said that, "out of an abundance of caution", it regularly shares relevant information with partners both at home and abroad.

"While we are not aware of a specific threat to the homeland at this time, this routine communication is an important part of our commitment to making sure we meet that priority," it said.

"As always, our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, and DHS will continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment."

Existing travel guidelines not affected

President Barack Obama's National Security Council said the disclosure had not affected existing guidelines about travel to the resort city of Sochi.

"If we should receive information in the coming days and weeks that changes our assessment of whether people should travel to Sochi, we will make that information public through the State Department's usual channels," spokesperson Laura Magnuson said.

Stringent rules about liquids and toothpaste in hand luggage have been standard practice on US carriers after a string of thwarted bomb plots in the years following the 11 September 2001 attacks.

Security at the Games, which wrap up on 23 February, has been a major concern for Washington following two deadly December suicide attacks in the southern Russian city of Volgograd.

Adding to the nervousness is a stream of threats from Islamist militants in the volatile northern Caucasus region.

US ‘taking all appropriate steps’

Earlier on Wednesday, officials said two US warships have arrived in the Black Sea and will stand ready to offer assistance in case of an emergency at the biggest event Russia has hosted since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Obama has been personally briefed on efforts to protect US citizens and on Tuesday was assured that the United States was "taking all appropriate steps" regarding their safety, the White House said.

In an interview last week, he said the United States had "a good sense" of the security measures being put in place by Russia, adding that citizens planning to go to the Games should do so.

"I'd tell them that I believe Sochi is safe, and that there are always some risks in these large international gatherings," he told CNN.

But prominent lawmakers have warned of the heightened risk of attacks and complained that Moscow was not sharing intelligence.

Some have even said they would advise their constituents and family members to stay away.

The State Department has issued a travel alert for Russia, urging Americans to "remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times."

Athletes, meanwhile, have been advised to avoid wearing their uniforms or Team USA logos outside Olympic venues.

A top US counter-terrorism official warned this week that the biggest security threat facing the Olympics is a possible attack in areas outside of Sochi and its heavily-guarded venues.

Read more on:    sochi olympics  |  us  |  russia
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Note 16GB

GALAXY Note combines the market's largest HD Super AMOLED display,...

From R3899.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.