• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 41s

U.S. issues toothpaste tube terror warning

By CBS News 4:15 PM February 5, 2014

The alert came after the arrests of female Chechen suspects in Austria and France as part of a probe into an alleged terror organization that was talking about smuggling explosives onto aircraft

The United States has warned airlines that terrorists looking to disrupt the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, could conceal bomb-making components in toothpaste tubes or skin care product containers, CBS News confirmed Wednesday.

The worry is that teams of operatives could smuggle those tubes on board a plane along with other component parts and then assemble an improvised explosive device while the plane is in flight, U.S. officials said.

They said the potential threat is aimed at Russia and the Sochi Olympics, which kick off Friday.

Russia on Wednesday banned all liquids from being brought on board flights in carry-on baggage, a U.S. intelligence source said. Anything containing liquid, no matter how small an amount, must be in checked luggage.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued the warning to U.S. airlines and some foreign airlines as well.

Officials said there is no indication that the United States or Americans would be targeted, but the warning was given to U.S. carriers operating direct flights to Russia and flights between international cities and Russia during the Winter Olympics.

“Out of an abundance of caution, DHS regularly shares relevant information with domestic and international partners, including those associated with international events such as the Sochi Olympics,” the warning said.

The alert came after the arrests of female Chechen suspects in Austria and France as part of a probe into an alleged terror organization that was talking about smuggling explosives onto aircraft, sources said. The suspects in Austria were released due to lack of evidence.the suspects in France are still believed to be in detention.

The U.S. currently has regulations banning passengers from bringing on board any containers with more than 3 fluid ounces of any liquid or gel. That includes toothpaste containers.

Officials are not aware of any specific threat involving toothpaste tubes, a federal terrorism official told CBS News.

“To make people aware is a good thing,”  the source said.

“Technically, toothpaste tubes could be used to conceal bomb-making ingredients, just like printer cartridges or a shoe. This may be the new hot item,” the source said.

While Russia says it has established a “ring of steel” around the Olympic venues, there have been widespread concerns that Muslim militants from the Caucasus could attack the games.  Some U.S. athletes have said they have asked their families to stay home.

Russian authorities have issued wanted posters for so-called “black widows,” women whose husbands, brothers or fathers have been killed by Russian security forces and may be seeking revenge.

Russian security services have waged a take-no-prisoners assault in Dagestan, just a few hundred miles from Sochi.  Dagestan, along with neighboring Chechnya, is home to an Islamic insurgency that has been battling Russian forces for years.

It’s where Tamerlan Tsarnaev lived for months before authorities say he and his brother launched a bomb attack on the Boston Marathon last April.

The State Department has advised Americans traveling to the Olympics to “remain attentive regarding their personal security at all times.”

Latest Stories

  • News

    Alaska gasline corporation opens office in Japan

    by Liz Raines on Jan 19, 16:28

    The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) is opening an office in Tokyo, according to a Jan. 12 notice from the agency and Gov. Bill Walker. The notice specifies Masatoshi Nick Shiratori as director of the office. Aside from the notice, the decision has not been publicly announced. Grace Jang, a spokesperson for Walker, called use […]

  • New Anchorage nonprofit promotes positive police interactions

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 19, 15:22

    Newly formed nonprofit Anchorage Cops for Community is looking to help foster positive relations between police and the community they serve. It’s an outreach program sponsored through Anchorage Police Department Employee Association (APDEA), but chair Angelina Fraize says they hope to do more, like their popular monthly Coffee with a Cop events. The APDEA felt that […]

  • News

    EPA proposes OK of Fairbanks air plan, but more steps needed

    by Associated Press on Jan 19, 14:04

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to accept a state of Alaska plan for cleaning up the air in Fairbanks. EPA region 10 air office director Tim Hamlin says the agency is recommending approval of the plan even as it works to reclassify pollution violations in Fairbanks as serious rather than moderate. Reclassification would […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Simply Three

    by Daybreak Staff on Jan 19, 12:55

    Simply Three is a classically trained trio bringing a modern sound to their stringed instruments. According to their biography on their website, they are known for their high-energy shows and covers of pop hits, but they also play the old masters like Gershwin. The band has an online following based on their creative music videos with […]

  • Lifestyle

    Nordic skiing for newbies: What you need to get started

    by Rachael Penton on Jan 19, 12:52

    Anchorage has received more than 30 inches of snow so far this winter, and with temperatures staying below freezing this year, the snow has stuck around. This means great conditions for nordic skiers — also known as cross-country skiers — both experts and novices. If you’re a newbie who wants to get out on Anchorage’s trails […]

  • Politics

    Anchorage municipal attorney rejects initiative to change equal rights ordinance

    by Daniella Rivera on Jan 19, 12:10

    The battle between religious freedom and LGBT rights in Anchorage is at a standstill, with one side trying to figure out their next move. Wednesday, the Anchorage Municipal Attorney’s office rejected a ballot initiative from a group that wants to make changes to the equal rights ordinance the Anchorage Assembly passed in 2015. The ordinance protects […]

  • News

    Bethel homeless shelter dealing with drunk residents

    by Associated Press on Jan 19, 9:23

    Operators of a homeless shelter in Bethel say they’re struggling to deal with intoxicated residents. KYUK-AM reported Wednesday that Bethel Winter House Director Eva Malvich says she may be forced to shut down the facility if problems continue. Malvich described an incident that took place earlier this month in which staff had to call police. She […]

  • 2 charged with burglary at Public Safety Department building

    by Associated Press on Jan 19, 9:07

    A former Department of Public Safety employee will be arraigned next month on a felony burglary charge and misdemeanor counts of theft and criminal mischief. Alaska State Troopers say 22-year-old MarieKimberly Ramos and 32-year-old Jeremiah Ranem on Dec. 22 broke into a locked area of the Department of Public Safety Building on east Tudor Road […]