Terror threat likely to have effect at local airports

Terror threat likely to have effect at local airports

Updated: Oct 29, 2010 10:05 PM Saturday, October 30, 2010 1:05 AM EST
Air travelers could feel the effects of the terror threat.Enlarge this picture
Air travelers could feel the effects of the terror threat.
FedEx, with a facility in Indianapolis, is changing their security procedures.Enlarge this picture
FedEx, with a facility in Indianapolis, is changing their security procedures.

Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News
Indianapolis – Two major shipping companies are changing security procedures after the discovery of explosive packages on planes around the globe.

The packages containing explosives came from Yemen through UPS. FedEx also reported finding a suspicious package in Dubai. Even though the threat involves cargo planes, experts say to look for increased airport security for passengers, too.
At this point, federal authorities are not assuming the attacks were totally disrupted, so they’re staying vigilant, knowing there could be more.
The discovery of the packages triggered fears al-Qaeda was launching a new major terror campaign against the United States.
“We’ve known for some time, al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are interested in launching a series of attacks, there’s been a lot of alarming chatter,” said local terrorism expert Peter Beering.

Beering says he’s not surprised the chatter developed into what the President called a “credible terrorist threat.”
“It’s equally not a big surprise that they would try it now, here, a few days before a pretty significant mid term election,” Beering said.
Cargo planes became the targets of searches for suspicious packages, prompting UPS and FedEx – which has a hub in Indianapolis – to talk about the measures they were taking.
“Because security is of the utmost importance, UPS is immediately suspending service out of Yemen, until further notice,” said UPS Spokesperson Keisha Simmons.

FedEx confirmed it was doing the same. Local authorities have confiscated a suspicious package at a facility in Dubai, FedEx said in a statement.
In the meantime, folks at the Indianapolis International Airport say it’s business as usual and they’re not on the lookout for any kind of suspicious activity. They say they haven’t received any federal mandate to do so.
“I think it’s likely that we’ll see some heightened screening of some kinds of things,” Beering said.
That’s likely to include stepped up security at checkpoints, bomb-sniffing dogs at terminals, more officers looking for suspicious behavior and more undercover air marshals.

“This particular plot involved freight, but that doesn’t mean that the next one will,” Beering said.
He says there’s no doubt there will be a next one.
“These people are not stupid by any stretch of the imagination. They are very skilled, very methodical and they’re very patient,” Beering said.
Beering says, though, at the end of the day, people should still go about their daily lives, mailing packages, going to sporting events and flying on planes.

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