Shoe-bomb threat on international flights uncovered; DHS alerts airlines

Posted at 4:55 PM, Feb 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-19 20:27:04-05

NEW YORK (PIX11/CNN) – The Department of Homeland Security is warning airlines of a potential shoe-bomb threat on international flights.

Officials told NBC News that “very recent intelligence” uncovered credible threats of a terrorist act using explosives hidden in shoes.  Passengers traveling to and from the United States should expect increased screenings and security, extending to shoes concealed in luggage.

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When or where the act might occur is not clear, and there is “no indication of a specific plot,” according to the report.

Intelligence collected by the United States and other countries has indicated terror groups have been working on new shoe-bomb designs, sources said.  That knowledge prompted the warning to airlines to be on the lookout for possible explosives hidden in shoes on flights from overseas to the United States.

Richard Colvin Reid

Shoe bomber Richard Colvin Reid was convicted in 2002 on multiple accounts including attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.

The latest threat is not related to the Olympics in Sochi, officials say, telling NBC, “Out of an abundance of caution, DHS regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners about relevant threat information as we work to meet our mission of keeping the traveling public safe.”

In December, 2001, shoe bomber Richard Colvin Reid, a British national, was arrested on a flight from Paris to Miami after he tried to blow up American Airlines flight 63 using explosives concealed in his shoes.  He was subdued by passengers and flight attendants after the smell of burning matches drew their attention.

Reid was sentenced to life in prison without parole and is being held in a super maximum security prison ADX Florence in Colorado.