A travel alert has been issued by the US State Department warning Americans living and travelling abroad to remain vigilant ahead of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Although the US State Department haven’t found any specific threats that may occur over the remembrance period they have warned that Al Qaeda had ‘demonstrated the intent and capability to carry out attacks’ against the US and US interests. It also stated: “In the past, terrorist organisations have on occasion planned their attacks to coincide with significant dates on the calendar.”
The warning issued does not specify any particular area and covers the entire globe, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said: “We remain at a heightened state of vigilance, and security measures are in place to detect and prevent plots against the United States should they emerge. While threats remain, our nation is stronger than it was on 9/11, more prepared to confront evolving threats, and more resilient than ever before.”
The alert issued by the US State Department will not expire until January 2nd 2012.
Since the tragic events of September 11th 2001 many passengers have had to deal with tighter security measures at airports and when flying. As well as the attempts since by terrorists wanting to emulate the same destruction by the Al Qaeda September 2001 plot has also added to extra security measure being put in place to ensure passenger safety.
David Learmount, operations and security editor of aerospace publisher Flight Global said: “One thing is certain. Tight security is here to stay. The hope is that the checks, although remaining stringent, will become less invasive.”
Some of the latest security checks to be implemented include the introduction of body scanners and a ban on liquids being brought into the airport by travellers and items such as razors and nail scissors are no longer able to be brought on board in your hand luggage. Extra baggage checks were made more stringent in the US even for internal flights. The US has also introduced armed Air Marshalls onto their flights plus many cockpit doors now come re-enforced and are locked during flights.
Mr Learmount said: It’s certainly getting harder for terrorists to breach airport security. But the would-be bombers are persistent and security experts have to try to anticipate their next move. It’s a game of cat and mouse. What the International Air Transport Association and the equipment manufacturers would ideally like to see is a situation where passengers walk through an airport security area and as they do so they are scanned, their bags are scanned, their biometric passport is scanned and the whole process is relatively painless and queue-free. The checks will continue. It’s the way they are done that will change.”