TSA orders Middle East countries to inspect air cargo

TSA orders airports in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE to carefully inspect U.S.-bound air cargo.

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Ben Ariel,

Airport security (illustration)
Airport security (illustration)
iStock

The United States has ordered more stringent inspections of air cargo from five Middle East countries, AFP reported Monday, citing a June 2017 attempt in Australia to bring down a plane as evidence that extremist groups continue to target civilian aviation.

The Transportation Security Administration said Monday it had ordered seven airports in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to provide advance data on U.S.-bound air cargo to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for vetting before the cargo is loaded.

The agency did not cite any new specific threat for the move.

"The persistent threat to aviation calls for the world to raise the baseline on global aviation security across the spectrum," it said, according to AFP.

"These countries were chosen because of a demonstrated intent by terrorist groups to attack aviation from them."

TSA also pointed to Australian security officials' foiling of an advanced plot by three men with ties to the Islamic State (ISIS) group last June to bring down an aircraft with an improvised explosive device.

"The incident in Australia that occurred this past summer was an ominous reminder for TSA and all of our aviation partners, to include cargo carriers, that we need to continue our efforts to keep our skies secure," TSA said.

Last year, the U.S. imposed a ban on electronic devices bigger than mobile phones on direct flights from 10 airports in seven Middle Eastern countries and Turkey.

Britain quickly followed suit with a similar set of restrictions.








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