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US warns airlines to look out for explosives hidden in shoes

The US has issued a warning to airlines to be on the look-out for explosives being smuggled onboard in passengers' footwear. The advice focused on international flights into the US.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) cited "very recent intelligence" suggesting assailants could try to attack international flights coming into the United States using explosives hidden in shoes.

DHS officials told the NBC television network in the US on Wednesday that passengers might be subject to enhanced security screenings as airlines paid more attention to passengers' shoes.

The warnings were not specific to any particular country, airline or time. The DHS said there was no indication of a specific plot. The Department said it had issued the warning due to an "abundance of caution."

Earlier this month,

there was a warning of the possibility of explosives being hidden in toothpaste tubes

on airlines flying to Russia for 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 agency said.

Two individuals who tried to use bombs hidden in their clothing are currently serving long jail terms in the US. In December 2001, Richard Reid of Britain tried to set off explosives hidden in his shoe. He was on board a Paris to Miami, American Airlines flight. Then on Christmas Day, eight years later, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab of Nigeria tried to set off explosives hidden in his underwear onboard an Amsterdam to Detroit, Delta Air Lines flight.

jm/crh (AFP, Reuters)

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