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US issues terror alert on thermos on planes

The US Homeland Security has issued a terror alert on use of thermos on planes, saying terrorists might conceal explosives inside insulated beverage containers.

world Updated: Dec 24, 2010 10:32 IST

The US Homeland Security has issued a terror alert on use of thermos on planes, saying terrorists might conceal explosives inside insulated beverage containers.

"The possible tactics terrorists might use include the concealment of explosives inside insulated beverage containers, so in the coming days, passengers flying within and to the US may notice additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers," said Transportation Security Administration in a statement issued on Thursday.

TSA is responsible for maintenance of security at all US airports. US Homeland Security regularly alerts law enforcement about evolving terror tactics as counter terror officials learn about them through intelligence exchanges.

While such items are not being banned from travel, TSA Officers have been trained to detect a variety of threats including the concealment of explosives in common items, the statement said which has been issued in the midst of a heavy travel season.

The notice is based on intelligence and specific to insulated beverage containers, it said.

The TSA however clarified that there is no such specific threat and the measure has been adopted as a matter of precaution as the security agencies keep on updating the terror alert.

"Passengers may observe additional security measures related to insulated beverage containers. TSA is carefully monitoring information related to terrorist tactics and working with our international partners to share information and security best practices," it said.

TSA will continue to deploy risk-based security measures and work with its international, federal, state, local and private sector partners to protect the traveling public.

"As always, the safety and security of the American people is our highest priority and we ask the public to remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings and report any suspicious activity to their local authorities," it said.

Clarifying that there is no ban on insulated beverages, TSA said at this time, insulated beverage containers are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.

TSA liquid policy still applies at the checkpoint, it added. Passengers traveling with insulated beverage containers can expect to see additional screening of these items using procedures currently in place, including X-ray screening, physical inspection and the use of explosives trace detection technology.

As is currently the case, any item that alarms while undergoing X-ray screening will receive additional screening, to include the use of explosives trace detection technology. If TSA officers are unable to resolve a alarm, the item will not be permitted on board the plane, it said.