U.S. airlines should be on the lookout for a possible shoe bomb threat, the Department of Homeland Security said in a safety bulletin issued this week.
In the warning sent Wednesday, the DHS did not mention a specific threat, but told major airliners to be aware of terrorists who might try and smuggle explosives aboard commercial jetliners in their footwear.
"Out of an abundance of caution, DHS regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners about relevant threat information as we work to meet our mission of keeping the traveling public safe," an anonymous DHS official, who is not authorized to comment publicly, told The Associated Press
. "These types of regular communications are part of that important priority."
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The security bulletin is reportedly not related to an earlier warning about toothpaste bombs on planes en route to the Sochi Olympics.
"Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence, and as always DHS continues to adjust security measures to fit an ever-evolving threat environment," the official said.
Passengers have been required to take their shoes off at airport security ever since shoe bomber Richard Reid tried to detonate explosives in his footwear on a Miami-bound flight in December 2001. He was ultimately subdued by fellow passengers and is currently serving a life sentence after pleading guilty to terrorism charges.
Travelers flying out of Kennedy Airport this week said they were a little shaken up by the shoe bomb threat warning.
"It makes you think about your safety. It makes me a little nervous," 32-year-old Mher Hussain, of Jersey City, N.J., who was about to board a plane for Cairo, told the New York Daily News.
"I can't worry too much, but it’s hard not to let it get in your mind," Anne Rocher, a 38-year-old French woman who was preparing to board a flight to Switzerland, said.
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