Attorney General: New Generation of Explosives ‘More Frightening than Anything’ Else
Tightened Security Procedures at Foreign Airports Reflects Heightened Concerns, 'Not a Test'
Officials confirmed on Sunday the threat of a new generation of bombs and bomb makers who are reportedly developing almost undetectable explosive devices
Appearing on ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed “extreme, extreme concern” over the reports, saying that the new explosives are “more frightening than anything” else the government has seen.
Earlier this year, the U.S. government learnt that bomb makers from Yemen responsible for the so-called underwear bomb in 2009 were working with a particularly extreme terrorist group in Syria on new designs for bombs that are virtually impossible to detect.
“That’s a deadly combination, where you have people who have the technical know-how along with the people who have this kind of fervor to give their lives in support of a cause that is directed at the United States and directed at its allies,” said Holder in the interview.
Without directly responding to the question, he tacitly acknowledged news reports that the new bombs could be small enough to fit inside a mobile phone or laptop computer and that this was behind a recent change in security checkpoint procedures for passengers flying to the United States from certain foreign airports.
Earlier this month, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson announced plans for “enhanced security measures” at “certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States.” Passengers boarding flights to the United States at such airports may be asked to turn on electronic devices, including mobile phones, and that any devices that are out of battery power “will not be permitted onboard the aircraft.”
Officials believe that terrorists might be planning to down a jet bound for the United States or Europe, possibly with the help of individuals with American or European passports who have joined terrorist groups in the region.
“This is not a test,” Holder said about the heightened security. “This is a something we’re doing something in reaction to things that we have detected.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)