Washington, Feb 6 (): US authorities are warning airlines with flights to Russia for the Winter Olympic Games that explosives hidden in toothpaste tubes could be smuggled on to planes.
Terror concerns have remained over the Sochi Olympics ahead of their start on Friday. The Department of Homeland Security DHS give out a warning to the American airlines today, saying the Russian bound flights could be the target of a terrorist attack involving toothpaste tubes. New intelligence shows that toothpaste containers could hold ingredients used to make a bomb aboard a plane.
In an official statement released by DHS it is said that it was not aware of a “specific threat to the homeland” at this time, and it regularly shared information with domestic and international partners, comprising of those linked with international events such as the Sochi Olympics”.
Fears were raised up after two suicide attacks in December in Volgograd, and numerous fears from Islamist militants in the Caucasus region. In the months leading up to the Olympics, terror groups have given out threats, and three suicide bombings in as many months have rocked cities in Russia.
The biggest worry is about the groups based in southern Russia’s Caucasus region, in specific the agitated Dagestan republic. However, US officials are also worried about the al Qaeda-linked groups from a different place could take advantage of the attention being focused on Russian militant groups.
The alarm about the use of toothpaste tubes is mostly intensive on flights from neighbouring Asian countries and Europe as the U.S. has less intelligence-sharing with those nations.
A U.S. official with knowledge of the present situation, who would not speak on the record because of the sensitivity of the situation, said the U.S. intelligence community is still evaluating the reliability and possibility of the threat. The official said the Russians brought some information to the United States, but the official would not say whether the United States had sources of information about this threat on its own.