BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) – The TSA ordered that liquids be banned from carry-on baggage on all flights between the US and Russia.
Security concerns are ramping up before the Olympics, and it was all sparked by a warning from US Homeland Security regarding terrorists who might try to smuggle explosives into Russia in tiny travel-size toothpaste tubes. So, the TSA has banned liquids, gels and aerosols in carry-on luggage on flights between the US and Russia. However, it's not always enforced.
Boston Globe Reporter Shira Springer, skyped with FOX 25 from Russia, and says security at the Olympics so far has not exactly left her with a feeling of security.
"What I saw early on fairly lax security actually surprised - not show credentials," she said.
And now the latest security concerns don't only involve terrorism on the ground in Russia, but in the air headed there. A notice sent to FOX 25 and foreign-based airlines Thursday says extremists may target airplanes by bringing bomb-making materials onto planes.
Officials say the new warning is not based on a specific threat, and that the decision to go public was made out of an abundance of caution.
"We know in our own country whether its inside a shoe, underwear, whether it's in liquids, that there are constant threats and ingenuity going into trying to disguise explosive devices," Massachusetts Congressman Bill Keating said.
It's prompted airlines making trips between the US and Russia to temporarily ban all liquid, as well as aerosols and powders from carry-on bags. Boston-area security expert Todd McGee says the threat is nothing new.
"We can go back to 2009 with the liquid threat from the UK," he said.
Mcgee explained that explosive materials or devices disguised in those forms could be hard to detect because without metal parts, like a detonator, a metal detector or scanner can't pick them up.
"Potentially, you don't need a lot to make a device. Devices are limited to the imagination of the maker. Once you have your explosive material, an ignition, a power source, some type of switching device, and you have info that is readily avail on the Internet as you know, and so these crude means of making a device are really quite simple," he said.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that half a dozen of their reporters arriving in Moscow did manage to pass through security without having to remove toothpaste, hand lotion and even water bottles from their carry-ons.
But the AP reported that the rules do seem to be more strictly enforced at train stations in the Sochi area.