Officials told the airlines to perk up and stay alert on flights heading from overseas into the U.S., with several sources telling NBC News that “very recent intelligence” showed credible warnings of possible attempts to attack planes using explosives concealed in shoes.
There’s no specific threat to any certain airline, country or time, or any confirmed plot, officials say. But Homeland Security thought it was best to let airlines in on the possible danger anyway. One official told NBC that the concern that comes with this news is “moderate.”
“It’s a reminder that we are under constant threat and an advisory to airlines be on their A game,” said another official familiar with the threat intelligence.
This also has nothing to do with the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, officials say.
“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,” the Department said. “These types of regular communications are part of that important priority.
“Our security apparatus includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by the latest intelligence and as always DHS continue to adjust security measures to fit an ever evolving threat environment.”
You’ll recall The Shoe Bomber, Richard Reid, whose attempt to blow up explosives in his shoes on a flight from Paris to Miami in 2002 is the reason why we all take our shoes off in airport security screenings now. And it sounds like the shadow he cast on our footwear is going to last for a very long time yet.