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France Boosts Airport Security at U.S. Request

France joins other nations in bolstering security at its airports, in line with a U.S. request to do so amid concerns over Syrian rebels.
By Elad Benari, Canada
First Publish: 7/5/2014, 1:36 AM

airport security
airport security
Reuters

France has joined other nations in bolstering security at its airports, in line with a U.S. request to enhance screening for direct U.S. flights, aviation officials told AFP on Friday.

The new measures "will be carried out in a way to limit as much as possible inconvenience to passengers, however delays are possible," the DGAC civil aviation authority said in a statement.

A DGAC spokesman told AFP that "we cannot divulge the added measures" that are being taken.

Officials recommended passengers catching flights to the United States get to the airport early to undergo the additional screening.

The added security will notably be felt at the Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports outside Paris, but also in Nice and Marseille in the south of France, according to AFP.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it would be increasing security measures at airports overseas.

That decision came amid deepening concerns that terrorists in war-ravaged Syria are trying to develop a new generation of bombs that could be smuggled onto commercial planes.

Charles de Gaulle is one of the world's busiest international hubs, with peak activity now, over the European summer vacation period. Every day, 47 U.S.-bound flights leave the airport, the ADP agency managing it told AFP.

Airports in far-flung French territories such as Tahiti, Martinique and Guadeloupe will also be affected by the new security measures.

Britain and Belgium on Thursday announced more rigorous screening at their airports. Passengers going through London's Heathrow airport reported enhanced screening of footwear and electronic items they were carrying into the cabin.

Western powers have repeatedly expressed concern that some of their citizens have traveled to fight in the civil war in Syria, some of them joining extremist groups that might one day seek to strike their home countries.

It has already been confirmed that one American citizen carried out a suicide bombing within Syria; in February it was estimated that at least 50 U.S. citizens are fighting in Syria against Assad, and are liable to bring terrorism back to their home country once the war is over.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)