New Threats to the Aviation Sector
Deadly Attack Outside UK Parliament
March 25, 2017
Between March 20 and 23, AlertsUSA issued the following
related Flash message to subscriber mobile devices:
3/20 – DHS now forbids nearly all elec devices in cabins of non-stop US-bound flights on 12 carriers servicing Middle East & Africa. No current impact on US carriers.
3/21 – UK to announce US-like ban on laptops and other elec devices in the cabin of certain airline flights from the ME and Africa. Move based on solid threat intel.
3/22 – Shots fired on Westminster Bridge outside of Parliament in London. Multiple injuries. Building on lock down. AlertsUSA monitoring…
3/22 – London incident began with SUV mowing down 10+ people on bridge, then crashing into Parliament fencing. Driver then attacked police w/knife and was shot.
3/23 – Islamic State group says through its Aaamaq news agency that the London attacker was a `soldier of the Islamic State’.
What You Need To Know
On six occasions AlertsUSA subscribers were notified via SMS messages to their mobile devices regarding security threats. Beginning Monday, subscribers were notified of new restrictions on the types of electronic devices allowed in the cabins of non-stop US-bound flights from eight Muslim-majority countries: Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey. Those traveling to the US from 10 airports in these countries will be barred from bringing laptops, tablets, or any devices “larger than a cellphone” as carry-on items. Instead, these items will need to placed in checked luggage.
According to the Dept of Homeland Security, intelligence indicates that terrorist groups continue to target commercial aviation and are aggressively pursuing innovative methods to undertake their attacks, to include smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items. Based on this information, DHS and TSA determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of departure airports to the United States.
At present there is no impact on domestic flights, or flights departing the United States. Following the announcement of the ban by DHS, the UK government announced similar restrictions.
Readers are reminded that on multiple occasions over the past several years, AlertsUSA Threat Journal has warned of increasing threats to the aviation sector:
In January 2015 we reported on a new issue of al Qaeda’s quarterly Internet magazine known as ‘Inspire’ that included what counterterrorism experts say appears to be the most detailed, and potentially lethal, bomb recipe published by al Qaeda to date. In addition, instructions are also provided on getting the bomb through airport security and even where to sit on the plane.
In July 2014 we reported on new warnings that Al-Qaeda in Yemen, despite the media narrative of their deep animosity with ISIS, was passing on bomb making expertise to militants fighting in Syria and Iraq.
In Feb 2014 we reported on intelligence indicating Islamic terrorist organizations were working with methods for smuggling individual components for liquid explosives onto planes. It was this intelligence that led to DHS banning liquids, gels, aerosols & powders above a certain size within carry-on baggage.
Also in Feb 2014, we reported on DHS warnings to domestic and international airlines of intelligence suggesting an increased threat involving explosives hidden in shoes on overseas flights bound for United States.
Vehicular Attack Outside UK Parliament
On Wednesday, AlertsUSA subscribers were notified of reports of shots fired on the Westminster Bridge outside of the Houses of Parliament in London. In the aftermath, London police report the incident began with British-born Khalid Masood, age 52, driving his SUV at approximately 70 MPH along the walkway of Westminster Bridge, intentionally mowing down pedestrians. Upon reaching the far end of the bridge, he crashed the SUV into the concrete and iron fence outside of Parliament, then fatally stabbed a responding police officer before being shot. As of the time of this report’s preparation, four people had died in the incident and more than 50 were wounded, some with what responders described as c atastrophic injuries.
On Thursday, the Islamic State formally claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the now dead suspect was a `soldier of the Islamic State’.
The group also released a new series of threatening graphics showing different landmarks buildings from London ablaze, with messages such as “we will bring the war in your countries: wait for the worse and be sure this operation will be the first but not the last”, and another which carries the vow “there is nothing but fire in front of you”.
AlertsUSA continues to monitor the overall domestic and international threat environment and will immediately notify service subscribers via SMS messages of new alerts, warnings and advisories or any developments which signal a change the overall threat picture for American citizens as events warrant.
OTHER ALERTS FROM THIS WEEK
NOT DETAILED IN THIS NEWSLETTER ISSUE
3/23 – Satellite imagery of N. Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear site shows activity consistent w final prep for underground nuclear test. Regional forces on high alert.
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World News Roundup
March 25, 2017
Other Developments We Are Following
Obama Admin Officials Could Face Criminal Charges Over ‘Unmasking’
US Senators introduce new Iran sanctions
Venezuela president asks United Nations for ‘help’ boosting medicine supplies
U.S. sanctions 30 firms, individuals for aiding Iran, North Korea arms programs
Saudi Arabia faces $6 billion U.S. lawsuit by Se pt. 11 insurers
The Navy Will Struggle to Build Trump’s 350-Ship Fleet
New amphibious landing tactics and technology
Pentagon, Air Force Continue F-35 vs A-10 Close Air Support Testing
Why Erdogan Seeks to Provoke European Leaders
Estonia’s lessons for fighting Russian disinformation
As the European Union turns 60, it starts to feel its age
Scottish independence might hurt defense industry more than Brexit
Germany blocks defense exports to Turkey
Why France is Boosting Its Military Muscle in Pacific
Poland mulls F-35, F-16A/B fighters acquisition
NATO forces assemble in eastern Europe
US Warships Being ‘Harassed’ By Iranian Forces In The Straits
Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak freed after six years in detention
US Senators introduce new Iran sanctions
US-led coalition vows to crush ‘Islamic State’.
One in five Arab Mediterranean youths hopes to emigrate: study
Syria army retakes Damascus areas from rebels
U.S. general: Russia possibly supporting Taliban in Afghanistan
U.S. turns down Russia invitation to Afghan peace conference
Report: North Korea preparing for another nuclear test
Report: North Korea security agents are being purged
China dismisses ‘mi litarization’ of disputed islands in South China Sea
Japan commissions new $1bn helicopter carrier amid tensions with China
China says hopes new Japanese carrier doesn’t mark return to militarism
China Is Building a 100,000 Strong Marine Corps
ARM YOURSELF WITH KNOWLEDGE
USING THESE FREE REFERENCES
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Travel Security Update
The U.S. Dept. of State is the authoritative federal source for information on the security situation at travel destinations worldwide. With tensions rapidly increasing in most regions, readers planning on international travel, even to such common destinations as Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands, are strongly encouraged to do a little research on the security situation prior to departure.
Latest USGOV Travel Alerts and Warnings
Additional Sources of Travel Guidance
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