Heightened Terrorism Concerns Prompt Tighter Screenings For U.S.-Bound Flights
EL SEGUNDO (CBSLA.com) — Amid fears that terrorists may have found new ways to bypass existing security, the American government is pushing for tighter screening measures at European and Middle Eastern airports for flights heading to the U.S.
CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Brittney Hopper spoke with Los Angeles International Airport officials Wednesday night about the changes. They say those security changes won’t be seen at L.A. airports, but rather at some international airports with frequent flights to The States.
Several LAX passengers told Hopper they’re OK with increased security.
“Anything that will make me safe or my fellow travelers more safe, and mums and dads traveling around the world more safe, I’m all for,” LAX traveler Joseph Ellua said.
Middle East expert and UCLA Professor James Gelvin says the threats were most likely made by Al Qaeda in the Arabia Peninsula, who want to be a leader in international terrorism and prevent terrorism group ISIS, the Islamic state of Iraq and Syria from taking control.
“I think right now the ball is in Al Qaeda’s court to show that it is still a major player in the jihad camp,” Gelvin said.
The federal government has not said who made the threats or what they are, but released a statement that said “aviation security includes a number of measures both seen and unseen.”
Al Qaeda bomb makers may have been responsible for past bombing attempts in the U.S., such as the “Underwear Bomber” in 2009.
Security concerns are also elevated because it’s a holiday weekend.
“You have to remember it is the Fourth of July weekend so these guys tend to target special occasions and special days as well,” Gelvin said.
Officials say the new security measures are expected to take place within the next two weeks.