The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), acting in response to the bomb plot last month that originated in Yemen, said today it will ban all "high risk" cargo on international passenger flights bound for the United States.
Separately, DHS said toner and ink cartridges weighing more than one pound will be barred from passenger aircraft if they were to be carried in carry-on or checked bags. In addition, cargo identified by DHS as "high risk" moving on all-cargo flights entering the United States will be subject to what DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano called in a statement "additional and enhanced screening." The secretary did not define what constitutes "high risk" cargo.
These measures also affect inbound international mail packages, which now must be screened individually and certified to have come from what DHS called an "established" postal shipper.
Napolitano also said the Obama administration is working with other nations to "expedite the receipt of cargo manifests for international flights to the United States prior to departure in order to identify and screen items based on risk and current intelligence."
The United States has continued its ban on all air cargo shipments originating in Yemen and today extended the ban to Somalia, another nation considered a hotbed of terrorist activity, she said.
U.S., Yemeni, and European investigators are working to uncover more details of a terrorist plot involving two bombs concealed in printer cartridges found in packages that originated in Yemen. A group affiliated with al Qaeda has claimed responsibility.