Anti-terror security forces in the United Kingdom and the United States are on guard this holiday season. Christmas and New Year’s are a busy travel period, and recent reports indicate an increase in terror threat levels. Officials are apparently considering some security measures that, if implemented, are sure to raise the ire of airline passengers.
It has been reported that at least one airline terror plot has been thwarted, and an article in the British newspaper Daily Express states:
Terrorists are plotting to blow up five European passenger jets in a Christmas “spectacular”‘ security experts say.
…Whitehall officials admit that a terror strike on the UK is now “almost inevitable” particularly with British jihadis returning from fighting alongside the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Counterterrorism officials in Europe and in the U.S. have started talking about possible measures they can take to prevent a large-scale act of terror in the skies. A solution they’ve considered includes banning mobile devices outright in plane cabins and prohibiting carry-on luggage onto the planes.
Not only is this the busy air travel season and more threats have been detected, but terrorists now have access to more sophisticated bombs and explosive devices. Nevertheless, passengers can be expected to resist bans on cell phones and carry-on luggage. In addition to the inconvenience posed by such bans, checking luggage has become increasingly expensive. In fact, according to Bloomberg, “…the bag fee, and a cavalcade of others in the years since, has produced more than $6 billion in new annual revenue for the airline industry.”
Jeh Johnson, head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has not ruled out the suggested bans, but he has said such measures are not imminent:
Frequent air travelers have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure: