News / Europe

EU Countries Introduce New Aviation Security

A cargo plane parks at the UPS distribution center at the International Cargo Airport in Cologne, western Germany, 01 Nov 2010
A cargo plane parks at the UPS distribution center at the International Cargo Airport in Cologne, western Germany, 01 Nov 2010

European countries including Britain and Germany have tightened air security measures amid fears about the safety of cargo.  

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May announced new aviation security measures Monday.

"From midnight tonight we will extend the suspension of unaccompanied air freight to this country, not just from Yemen but also Somalia," May said.

On Friday, authorities in Britain and the United Arab Emirates discovered two packages carrying the powerful explosive PETN.  They had been sent from Yemen and were addressed to synagogues in the United States.  The package found in Britain had already passed through Dubai and Germany.

Related video report by Henry Ridgwell:


Monday, Qatar Airways said another bomb, which was intercepted in Dubai, had traveled as cargo on two passenger flights before being discovered.

British Home Secretary May said the new aviation restrictions will be reviewed in the coming weeks.   

"It is based on possible contact between al-Qaida in Yemen and terrorist groups in Somalia, as well as concern about airport security in Mogadishu," May said.

Britain is not the only country to introduce new aviation security following the bomb scare.  France and the Netherlands have also banned cargo flights originating from Yemen.  Germany has gone a step further and banned all incoming flights from Yemen.

A Yemen official told the country's state-run news agency that Germany's decision was a "collective punishment" against the people of Yemen.

Britain-based security expert Norman Shanks says air cargo has long been a vulnerable point in aviation security.  

"Those of us in the industry were aware of it and it does not take too long for the terrorists to identify those emissions or those loopholes and that is exactly what they have done," Shanks said.

He says technology exists that would have identified the explosives - the same technology, he says, that is used for checked-baggage screening.  He says cargo should go through the same security.

Banning all cargo that arrives from Yemen or Somalia, he says, is not the answer.  

"The terrorist simply has to take their packages across to another country, they do not need to do that by air," Shanks said. "And then ship them out through what is regarded as a potentially safe country."

Earlier this year, the United States introduced a requirement that all cargo loaded onto passenger planes be screened for explosives.  But rules on cargo screening vary around the world.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid