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US:‘Careless Individuals’ Behind Lasers Shined at Aircraft

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says there is no specific or credible intelligence to indicate that recent laser activity tracking U.S. aircraft is connected to terrorists.

Secretary Mineta Wednesday blamed individuals using commercially-available lasers in a manner he called reckless and illegal.

Mr. Mineta said pointing lasers at aircraft is not a harmless prank. He said such actions could disable or disorient a pilot during takeoff or landing.

The Transportation Department has received 31 reports of laser incidents involving aircraft since December 23.

In response, Mr. Mineta said pilots are now required to report incidents to air traffic controllers, who will share the information with law enforcement officials.

He said the new procedures will give police more timely and detailed information to help them identify and prosecute people shining lasers at planes.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.