Toothpaste alerts regarding possible bomb threats have been issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security, according to a Feb. 5 CNN report. The government has advised airlines with direct flights to Russia to be on alert for any explosives concealed in toothpaste or cosmetic tubes. The Department issued a bulletin to airlines flying into Russia because officials believed the explosives might be used during flights or smuggled into the city of Sochi, where the Winter Olympics are being held.
One U.S. law enforcement official told CNN that the cause for the Homeland Security alert was specific imminent start of the Sochi Olympics. The source explained that while authorities have confidence about the safety of Sochi and the Olympic venues, “U.S. intelligence is picking up increasing chatter that causes worry about targets outside the Sochi area, including regional transportation links.” The toothpaste alert is focused mainly on flights from Europe and neighboring Asian countries to Russia.
According to CBS News, Russia has banned all liquids from being brought on board flights in carry-on baggage, a U.S. intelligence source said. All liquids, regardless of size must be transported in checked luggage. At this time there is no indication that the United States is a target, officials said.
The opening ceremony for the Winter Olympics in Sochi kicks off on Friday.