US sends transportation security experts to Yemen



WASHINGTON- The US agency tasked with transportation security said Monday it had sent a team of experts to Yemen to help screen US-bound air cargo and ensure packages can be shipped more safely.
After the discovery of a parcel bomb plot blamed on the Yemen-based branch of Al-Qaeda, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) "immediately took additional measures to enhance protocols for screening inbound cargo," the agency said in a statement.



Sanna new airport
Sanna new airport
TSA chief John Pistole said earlier Monday that the team of TSA agents will provide screening, training and equipment to examine cargo shipments at Sanaa airport.
"We're aware that we're facing a determined enemy," Pistole told the CBS "Early Show," noting the move aimed to ensure air cargo leaving the country after a ban on shipments is lifted will be safe.
"Even before this incident, 100 percent of identified high-risk cargo on inbound passenger planes was being screened," the TSA said in its statement.
The United States has placed a temporary ban on all air cargo shipments from Yemen to the United States after two US-bound bomb parcels flown out of Sanaa were uncovered in the plot.
Janet Napolitano, the secretary of Homeland Security, told MSNBC television the ban would continue "for another week," and also noted that additional screening devices has been authorized, recalling the enhanced screening after the failed Christmas Day bombing of a jet, a plot that was developed in Yemen.
After the attempt, she said, screening was heightened "not just for passengers emanating out of Yemen and transferring to the United States, but all passengers. All passengers whose last point of departure is the United States."
Yemen meanwhile announced a security crackdown on cargo shipments after it appeared the powerful explosives addressed to Chicago area synagogues may have flown on two passenger planes and been intended to blow them up.
Germany stepped up its emergency measures and extended a ban on air freight from Yemen to also cover all direct and indirect passenger flights originating in the Arabian peninsula country.
Shortly after the discovery of the bombs, Britain banned all freight from Yemen from coming into the country, including in transit. On Saturday, France took similar measures to suspend air freight from Yemen.
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Tuesday, November 2nd 2010
AFP
           


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