BERLIN, July 8 Germany has tightened security at
its airports after U.S. authorities said they were concerned
that al Qaeda operatives in Syria and Yemen were developing
bombs that could be smuggled onto planes.
Germany's interior ministry said in a statement on Tuesday
that authorities had introduced enhanced security measures
following a request from the United States.
"At German airports, the authorities have already
implemented higher levels of security checks for passengers and
baggage," said the ministry.
It said passengers flying from Germany directly to the
United States would have to remove technical equipment, such as
laptops, from protective covers and turn it on to make sure it
The United States said last week it planned to step up
security at overseas airports with direct flights to its cities.
That includes airports in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Britain took precautionary measures similar to
Germany's last week.
The Nusra Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, and
Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, are
believed to be working together to try to develop explosives
that could avoid detection by airport screening systems, U.S.
national security sources said.
The main concern is that militant groups could try to blow
up U.S.-or Europe-bound planes by concealing bombs on foreign
fighters carrying Western passports who spent time with Islamist
rebel factions in the region, the sources said.
(Writing by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Larry King)