U.S. Congress to grill air transportation chief on cargo security

09:29, November 10, 2010      

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A key Senate committee on Tuesday announced it will hold a hearing on air cargo security in the aftermath of failed package bombing attempt.

The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee announced in its website that a hearing aimed at closing the gaps in air cargo security is scheduled on Nov. 16.

The panel will grill John Pistole, administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, and Alan Bersin, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The hearing came in the aftermath of a failed package bombing attempt, in which two packages were found on cargo planes originated from Yemen and destined for the United States. Those packages contain printer ink cartridges rigged with explosive PETN.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), a Yemeni-based terrorist group, has claimed responsibility for the plot, according to the terrorist monitoring group SITE.

The Transportation Security Administration, which belongs to the Homeland Security Department, has ordered a halt on all cargo coming from Yemen immediately after the disclosure of the bombing plot.

More security measures were put in effect Monday, expanding the ban on air cargo from Yemen to include all air cargo from Somalia as well.

In addition, no high risk cargo will be allowed on passenger aircraft. Toner and ink cartridges over 16 ounces will be prohibited on passenger aircraft in both carry-on bags and checked bags on domestic and international flights in-bound to the United States.

Source: Xinhua


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