Planning on bringing liquids on your Russia flight, you may want to think otherwise if the Transportation Security Administration has anything to do with it. The TSA has temporarily banned all carry-on liquids, gels, aerosols, and powders for Russia flights from the United States per concerns over terrorist attacks at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning Thursday to U.S. airlines that terrorists may try to conceal explosives in household items many passengers carry on such as toothpaste tubes and cosmetic containers in an attempt to disrupt the biggest games of the year in Sochi, Russia.
A DHS official said that the agency is not aware of a specific threat at this time, although House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul said during a CNN interview on Wednesday: “The terror threat has been around for several days. I find it to be very specific and credible.”
McCaul added that Homeland Security is ” taking a lot of precautions in terms of tightening up screening at the airports” to ensure that explosives will not be smuggled onto Russia flights or into the Olympic village.
The DHS official declined to provide any further details about the ban or the warnings, but said the department is using measures both “seen and unseen” to protect Americans from threats, including intelligence gathering, random canine searches, temporary restrictions, and using federal air marshals as well as other forms of new technologies for Russia flights.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, who is responsible for the host nation’s Olympic preparation, told reporters that law-enforcement services in his country were on top of handling the security situation.
“All the information we have at this moment on threats and risks allows us to say that security at the Olympics will be provided,” he said, according to a report from the state-owned RIA Novosti.
As part of the new DHS security policy, passengers on Russia flights will have to check in personally with airline representatives at airports, as opposed to checking in online, at kiosks, or through their mobile devices in an effort to protect the Sochi Olympic games.