Executive Briefings

Citing Bomb Risk, TSA Mandates Additional Security on Middle East Airfreight

Citing the increased threat of a bomb being smuggled on board an aircraft bound for the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued on Monday an emergency order requiring stricter scrutiny of air cargo.

Until further notice, all cargo being loaded onto flights at last point of departure airports in five countries — Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — will be required to comply with air cargo advance screening (ACAS) protocols.

The increased security protocols will primarily affect six carriers that depart with U.S.-bound air cargo: EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Qatar, Saudi, Emirates and Etihad. The TSA’s directive affects seven airports across the five named countries.

“In close coordination with Customs and Border Protection [CBP], I directed specific carriers to implement strict security requirements based upon recent information that established a need to implement additional security measures for air cargo bound to the United States, on both passenger and cargo aircraft,” TSA administrator David Pekoske said in a statement to CBS News.

“The continued threat to commercial aviation calls for enhanced screening and security to protect international air travel direct to the United States,” Pekoske said in the emergency order.

The countries were chosen because of a, “demonstrated intent by terrorist groups to attack aviation from them,” according to the TSA agent familiar with the developments.

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Until further notice, all cargo being loaded onto flights at last point of departure airports in five countries — Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates — will be required to comply with air cargo advance screening (ACAS) protocols.

The increased security protocols will primarily affect six carriers that depart with U.S.-bound air cargo: EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian, Qatar, Saudi, Emirates and Etihad. The TSA’s directive affects seven airports across the five named countries.

“In close coordination with Customs and Border Protection [CBP], I directed specific carriers to implement strict security requirements based upon recent information that established a need to implement additional security measures for air cargo bound to the United States, on both passenger and cargo aircraft,” TSA administrator David Pekoske said in a statement to CBS News.

“The continued threat to commercial aviation calls for enhanced screening and security to protect international air travel direct to the United States,” Pekoske said in the emergency order.

The countries were chosen because of a, “demonstrated intent by terrorist groups to attack aviation from them,” according to the TSA agent familiar with the developments.

Read full article