US warns of Olympic toothpaste bomb threat: The United States has issued a warning to airlines flying into Russia to watch for toothpaste tubes containing explosive materials ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics, according to reports.
U.S. officials said Russia and the United States have shared intelligence information, and the U.S. is still assessing the credibility and scope of the threat, which is based on new intelligence information.
Russia is on high alert over the possibility of attacks at the Winter Olympic Games, which begin in Sochi on Friday.
The concern over the toothpaste tube threat is focused mostly on flights from Europe and neighboring Asian countries, according to a CNN report.
“It’s real. It’s real and we got very good information,” a U.S. government source told CNN. “It’s based on a credible source. We’re taking it seriously. So are other countries. …”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it routinely shares “relevant information” with both domestic and international entities, such as those associated with international events like the Sochi Olympics, “out of an abundance of caution”.
Russian officials have banned liquids in airline carry-on luggage ahead of the Sochi Olympics, according to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
The threat is likely to prompt authorities in the United States and Europe to clamp down on toothpaste and cosmetics, according to a former airline security chief.
“My prediction is that they will give a direct order that they’ll be removing toothpaste from passengers’ hand-carried items” and possibly from checked luggage too, said Glen Winn, a former United and Continental airlines security director.