U.S.-bound airlines are now having to take extra precautions in their security checks due to recent threats of terrorist attacks from Al-Qaeda. U.S. officials say terrorists have found ways to conceal incendiary devices in smartphones, forcing security officers to keep a close eye on cell phones.
The primary focus will be on flights bound for the United States from the Middle East, Europe and Africa. The government has received reports about Al-Qaeda creating an undetectable bomb in a cell phone that can pass through airport security.
Security workers are looking into smartphones, such as Apple iPhones and Samsung Galaxy devices, since these phones have more room to house something unwanted. U.S. intelligence sources report the bombs could be embedded into clothing fiber or surgically embedded into a person’s body, making them even more difficult to uncover.
Airlines that fail to meet new security standards could face bans on entering the United States. The UK has already taken matters into their own hands and increased their security measures immensely. The country fears that bans may cause delays during the profitable holiday season.
As part of the new security checks, passengers must turn on their phones and laptops while passing through the checkpoint to ensure they are operational.
“We have to make sure the checks are there to meet the nature of the new kinds of threats. Whether it is forever–I can’t make any predictions. But I don’t want people to think that this is just a sort of a blip for a week,” said UK Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. “This is part of an evolving and constant review about whether the checks keep up with the nature of the threats we face.”