The U.S. is asking for "enhanced security measures" at airports overseas due to terrorism concerns, officials said on Wednesday.
Without naming any specific threat, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement that he has "directed TSA (Transportation Security Administration) to implement enhanced security measures in the coming days at certain overseas airports with direct flights to the United States."
Government sources told NBC News this has nothing to do with the July 4th holiday, but rather intelligence that extremists fighting in Syria and Iraq are teaming with a notorious al Qaeda bombmaker working on explosives that would evade detection.
That extra security — mostly in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, not in America — means passengers are likely to see more random pat-downs, more screening of carry-on bags, more swabbing for explosive residue and extra scrutiny of electronics, according to law enforcement and security officials.
"Aviation security includes a number of measures, both seen and unseen, informed by an evolving environment," said Johnson. "We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible. We are sharing recent and relevant information with our foreign allies and are consulting the aviation industry."
— Tom Costello
First published July 2 2014, 2:03 PM