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Homeland Security Boosts Security Measures For All Incoming International Flights
Updated June 30, 2017 6:03 AM
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(WASHINGTON) - Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said that new "seen and unseen" security and screening measures will be implemented over time for all commercial flights into the U.S.

Talk Media News reports, the new measures include enhanced overall passenger screening, heightened screening of personal electronic devices, increased security protocols around aircraft and in passenger areas, the deployment of advanced technology to international airports, expanded canine screening and additional Preclearance locations, a program in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers conduct screening at international airports.

"Terrorists want to bring down aircraft to instill fear, disrupt our economies, and undermine our way of life. And it works -- which is why they still see aviation as a crown jewel target," Kelly said during an appearance at the Center for a New America Security in Washington, D.C.

"The threat has not diminished. In fact, I am concerned that we are seeing renewed interest on the part of terrorist groups to go after the aviation sector -- from bombing aircraft to attacking airports on the ground, as we saw in Brussels and Istanbul. However, we are not standing on the sidelines while fanatics hatch new plots."

Kelly said the new measures will complement his March decision to ban electronic devices larger than a cellphone from the passenger cabins of U.S.-bound commercial flights from 10 airports in the Middle East and North Africa. He said that decision was based on "intelligence and real concerns we had about terrorist plotting."

He indicated that the new measures will avoid an expansion of the ban to other international airports. Kelly told CNN earlier in the month that the restrictions on electronic devices could be lifted in the 10 affected airports if they adopt new security protocols.

"We have the opportunity to raise the baseline on aviation security globally, and we can do it in a manner that will not unduly inconvenience the flying public," Kelly said Wednesday.

The measures are expected to affect some 180 airlines operating out of 280 airports located in 105 countries, accounting for 325,000 daily passengers on 2,100 flights, according to the DHS.

Kelly said the DHS intends to work with affected airports over the next several weeks and months to implement the security measures. The airports that fail to adopt these requirements with certain timeframes run the risk of additional security restrictions being imposed, he added.

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